Homework #1



Marriage Counseling Homework

This is my first second draft . . .

I’ve been thinking about the homework from our first marriage counseling session, finally I think I better just write something down and I can come back later and edit. The therapist gave us a lengthy description of each of these three items, but in the end this (pictured) is what she wrote down to remind us.

Specific Concerns to Address:

1) I have a lot of anger or resentment or ambivalence from a thousand small things. (Probably she does too x2)

2) I want to know my home to be a place of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way in 23 years.

3) We MUST have some systematic family issues because we have ALL had struggles

4) We haven’t had sex in about 2 1/2 months

5) I think we both wonder if our marriage will make it, and if we want to make it – I think we are both tired of trying sometimes – at other times we know we want to push on.

6) Lately, we can’t have a conversation deeper than the weather without getting into an argument or becoming short with each other. We don’t know how to work to a solution together on things we disagree about. 


1) We both have a healthy concept of what marriage should or might look like (I think) – we just can’t seem to put it into practice in our own marriage.

2) I can love, I can forgive, I am joyful, I am easy going (all this is the Chris I am looking for)

3) Marie loves our family, she desires good for us all, she works to do nice things and have nice things in our home.

4) Together we like to eat, we like to drink, and we have common goals and values.

and what i have mostly been thinking about . . . .

For some reason I have not been able to really solidify this. Perhaps that is part of the problem – perhaps my lack of ideal means I have been sending mixed signals to my wife and have not been consistent?

But I do know what an ideal day looks like: I recall when I first became a Christian and familiar with this verse from Galatian 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” I recall being at her parents’ house. Whenever we visit with family there is a period of tension leading up to it where we all get prepped on appropriate behaviors and my wife gets set to stand against her feelings of inadequacy. It makes sense now looking back that we were at her parents’ house when I talked to her about wishing what our own kids could take from us was the fruit of the spirit. I remember describing to her that she and I are a tree where others, particularly our kids, would find nourishment, satisfaction, and enjoyment, and it would come in the form of this fruit. I still believe this today to be the ideal.

In practical terms this means that we would greet each day a pleasure to live through, with hopefulness and an expectation that today would be a good day. We smile at each other and greet each other with kindness and warmth. When the brokenness of the real world confronts us in the form of laundry and broken plates, and dishwashers that don’t work, we take it in stride. Anger will come, but be angry and move past it, don’t point your anger at others. When disagreement comes (and of course it will – life and marriage is full of conflict) we treat each other with dignity, and respect.

People are respected, space is respected, and time is respected. Nothing will be perfect so we needn’t try to be perfect or expect perfection. Love should win over performance and perfection.




  1. The concerns were easy, looking for our strengths was harder. Sadly, even thinking of the ideal was hard. I really was thinking about it for about a week – it was like i hadn’t considered what I’d really like the ideal to be in a looooooong time.


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