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Bookend Arguments with Good Connecting Times

Hello Safe Haven Community,

Introducing our

Safe Haven Pre-marital and Young Married Intensives

Couples come for 2 days for a marriage-impacting experience

We are offering a 30% discount because we believe every marriage should have a chance to get off to a good start.

“Why do you keep putting the dirty dishes on the counter instead of in the sink?” I said to my husband, Mike, with irritation as my phone buzzed announcing a new text message.

Exhaling with frustration, I read the text message. “For your next blog, I was thinking you could write on how couples can be more aware of life’s difficulties that add stress to a marriage and how couples can strengthen their relationship through playfulness.”

I stopped. I took a deep breath to slow myself down. I had asked Alan Hart, who leads the Safe Haven Intensives for young married couples, to give me some ideas for my blog. I read on.

Good relationships are not merely about surviving bad times but thriving in the good ones. My wife, Terra, and I have learned that we have to actively do things that are life-giving to strengthen our bond. As couples we need to find what brings joyfulness, those things that help us enjoy one another, and then do more of them.”

I was convicted. It was Mike and my day off, and I was allowing the stress of the week to trickle over and taint our ‘time to play, connect and enjoy each other.’

I read further.

As couples, in times of conflict, we need to zoom out and take a birds eye view of what is going on. We need to look at the greater value of our relationship and put the argument in context.

Are there other stressors in life that are putting stress on your relationship?

For example, are there financial pressures that make each of you sensitive to expenses? Or is work stressful or started a new job?

Are your children going through a difficult developmental stage?

Are you remodeling your home, trying to create a Christmas budget with the little finances you have, or are you trying to make holiday plans with difficult family members?

These outside stressors will put you on edge, quickly triggering a disagreement, causing you to get stuck in your argument cycle. And just because you find yourself in an argument, doesn’t mean that things are not going well in your marriage. It is a reminder to team up as a couple, zoom out and see the stressors that are pushing in on your marriage, stop the argument cycle, and find ways to join as a team.

Be intentional about bookending your days with ways that help you enjoy each other … and then do these things often.”

I think this is a good reminder as we get ready to enter the holiday season. Although holidays are a time for families to gather, food to be plentiful and activities many, holidays are also a reminder of our losses, disappointments, hurts and frustrations.

And as the stressors of life push in on you and your marriage, remember that you both do love each other and want to grow old together.

The stressors of life often trigger your arguments. Zoom out past the topic of your argument, recognize the stressor and try face the stressor ‘together’ as an ‘us.’

And then do something everyday that is fun, that will connect you.

Whether it is enjoying coffee together early in the morning, a quick phone call in the middle of the day to share a joke, creating supper together, taking a walk, planning Friday date nights, or snuggling in bed before falling asleep.

Find what keeps you enjoying each other and do it often.

Join us for a Free Webinar

Safe Haven Model Part 2

November 29, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Sign Up Below:

What we will cover is:

* The way you react when your dragons are raised.

* The key ingredients of an emotionally connected Safe Haven marriage.

*Help you chart your argument cycle.

If you can’t make the webinar, sign up and you will have

24 hours to watch it.

See you at the webinar.

Growing in life together,

Dr. Sharon May


Alan Hart

Thank you to all our Veterans.

We appreciate all you have done for us and our country.

Safe Haven would like to offer a scholarship to our veteran couples in need of a 2-day marriage intensive*

*(Safe Haven will offer a 30% discount off our standard pricing on a 2-day marriage intensive with Alan Hart, M.S. Associate Marriage and Family Therapist supervised by Rick Jackson, M.S. LMFT 83813 for the first two couples (with one spouse a veteran or currently serving) who signs up between November 2018 and February 2019.)

Email us at:

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