If True Love Doesn't Terrify You, You're Not Really Getting It

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Love has a way of always pushing your limits and exposing your weaknesses. If you're feeling stretched, pushed, or even terrified, it's a good sign that you're probably doing it right.

Be willing to go to that scary place, have the hard conversation, and confront your demons..

Pushing through your discomfort will only bring you closer together.

If your love is always easy, you're probably not growing... And that means you're missing out.

Episode #48 - Jim and Cindy Wigdahl

In this week’s episode we sit down with Jim and Cindy Wigdahl. Jim and Cindy have been friends for over 30 years, but have only been married for 4 or 5 years. Their story is amazing and sad and full of hope all at the same time. It will open your heart. I hope you love it.

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • What it's like to marry your friend of 30 years after not seeing them in nearly 2 decades.
  • Jim explains what it's like to be single till your mid-50's... and be happy about it.
  • The feeling of peace that results when you choose to be with someone.
  • The importance of your community supporting your relationship.
  • What it's like to have a short engagement, and end up really courting and getting to know each other after marriage.
  • Jim discusses how his concept of God has changed and grown since he has been married.

Favorite quotes from this episode:

"Don't ultimately hesitate to give your life away. Don't hesitate to release the thing that you cling to, because you will find that it will move into a better thing. And you will find yourself more fortunate because of it." -Jim Wigdahl

"Marriage will break you. It will destroy you. And that's a good thing. Because it will then put you together in a way that is richer, and deeper, and you will be more alive than you ever thought you could be." -Jim Wigdahl

[jbox title="Show Notes:" border="5" radius="15"] If you love the smooth and sultry sounds of Jim's voice, you can check out his voice talent website here. Leave your thoughts about this interview in the comments!

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I'm With You

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“I’m with you,” I said to her late last night as we held each other tight. I held her and listened, to all her worries. Tears slowly falling down her cheeks, overwhelmed with stress, wondering how we’re going to pay our bills through the winter. Worried our son might have a relapse. Feeling like she’s letting us all down. Scared to pursue things that matter because we’ve failed in the past and she just doesn’t want to feel that pain again. “I’m with you,” I repeated. Three words to let her know I hear her. Three words to let her know “You matter to me, my love.” Offering no judgements. Offering no advice. Just listening. Listening and wrapping my arms around her as tight as I can.

“I’m with you.” My wife needed to know, she’s not perfect, and it doesn’t matter at all, because I’m with her. I don’t need a perfect wife. I need a wife who’s not afraid to love with her whole heart. Letting her know I’m here, with her, no matter what…no matter how hard this season of life we’re currently in is, we’re together…fighting through the shit together. Fighting because our lives matter.

Fighting because she’s worth every ounce of joy and pain and suffering and love and her kisses and her touch and belly laughs and late night slow dances and the times when we don’t even have to say anything at all to each other, we just relax into each others arms and the adventures we share with each other and our kids. Our kids deserve a whole separate run on sentence.

It’s all worth it. This life, with her by my side, is worth it.

I’m with you. Three simple words I first heard in Bob Goff’s amazing book, Love Does. These words are powerful. They let someone know it’s OK to open up. That you’ve given them a safe space for them to be themselves, fully. Three words to let someone know they are loved.

And, isn’t that what we want in life the most? To know we’re loved, valued and appreciated? Ultimately, that’s where we find happiness and joy, in those times when we’re completely ourselves, loved and supported 100%.

It’s so easy, to offer advice. I have this innate desire to fix her problems. Especially when my wife is scared or hurting. I want to do anything I can to take away her pain and end her suffering and ease her worries. I want her to be OK and happy. Yet, sometimes, even though I feel I can do this for her, sometimes, all she wants is for me to listen. To just listen and not try and help.

Sharing our worries and fears and problems with others somehow, is enough to help. Saying things out loud, seems to ease their stranglehold they wield so mightily over us.

So, for now, all I want my wife to hear is this… “I’m with you, my love.”

[jbox title="About the author:" border="5" radius="15"] Josh Solar is a giver of love, creator of art, and an influence for good in the world. If you love love, you will love his blog, (where today's post was originally published) Josh Solar Loves You, and keeping up with his amazing family at The Happy Family Movement. I highly recommend you check out his podcast episode on The Loveumentary as well. [gravityform id="2" name="Subscribe" title="false" description="false"][/jbox]

Episode #46 - Jackson Dunn with Focus on the Family

In this week's episode we sit down with Jackson Dunn, the Director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family. Jackson's goals with the Marriage Division at Focus on the Family are to provide resources for couples preparing for marriage, to enrich the lives of married couples and to help couples in crisis. He was formerly the Director of University Ministries at the Center for Relationship Enrichment on the campus of John Brown University. In this position, he taught relationships courses, oversaw a national student assessment, directed a national couples retreat program, and helped developed a community premarital and marriage program. He is an awesome dude who loves being married, loves his family, loves the work he does... and I think you'll love listening to him.

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • Raising the bar on love. The measure of a good marriage should not simply be that you don't get divorced.
  • As much as we like to make our problems about other people, the only thing you can control or take responsibility for is you. The quality of your relationship is up to you.
  • What's your definition of a thriving marriage?
  • Busyness is the enemy of amazing loving relationships.
  • The importance of intentional living every single day. Not just on important days/occasions.
  • What it means to judge the quality of a husband by the radiance of his wife.
  • Do you think the negative things associated with love and marriage are normal? Or are they just normal for your experience?

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Don't Be Afraid To Be The One Who Loves The Most

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Today I'm grateful to announce that I am officially a published author! My friend, Tyler Ward, author of Marriage Rebranded, has been collecting marriage advice for Millennials, and asked me to contribute. I happily obliged, and now my work is being published alongside some of my heroes, in his book called Marriage Hacks. The following is my contribution. I wanted to share it with you. If you like it, you'll love the rest of the book. Check it out here:

How I Discovered Love Is Not Weakness

On December 11th, 2013 I found myself in a car driving through the back roads of Georgia with a stiff back and weary eyes. I had spent the last two months of my life sleeping on couches, driving from city to city with my friend, Melissa, as we searched the United States for the most passionately in-love couples we could find.

We were nearing the end of our journey, and as always, I had no idea what to expect from the couple we were about to meet. I had no way of knowing I would receive the most important love advice of my life.

When we arrived at Joseph and Anne Gaston’s home, we were treated with 60+ years worth of stories and experiences. They told us how they met and how they fell in love. They recounted the struggles that came with working in the medical field while raising a family, how they had to sacrifice important things so the other could pursue their dreams.

Conversations like this are what I live for—rich in stories, personality, and practical advice. These are the reason I started recording these stories in the first place.

As we were winding down the conversation, we asked the Gastons if they could leave the world with one bit of love advice, what would it be?

Without missing a beat, Anne said,

“Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most.”

I felt the air get sucked from my lungs as the power of her words sank in.

I had always been taught that “the person who cares the least always has the most power.” We tell ourselves that not caring—not loving—means we get to dictate the pace of the relationship and the level of commitment. We believe the person who cares the least worries the least, stresses the least, and has the most freedom to do as they please.

We say that loving makes you weak and vulnerable. It makes you a captive in your own relationship, subject to the feelings, moods, and desires of the one you love.

One simple sentence by an 80-year-old woman changed a lifetime of belief for me.

I suddenly realized that love is not weakness. It’s power.

Love is the fuel that makes relationships work. Loving someone more than they love you is not stupid or crazy or foolish. It’s the bravest thing you can do in this life.

True love is given without conditions or expectation of reciprocation. We can love others even when they are imperfect and flawed. We can cherish them, serve them, and forgive them even when they break promises, say unintentionally hurtful things, fall short, or forget.

Love is unfair… and that’s what makes it so amazing and beautiful.

When we aren’t afraid to be the one who loves the most, and we find a partner who is also committed to loving big, we get the experience of receiving love even (and especially) in the moments we least deserve it.

That is what true love is all about. Don’t miss out on true, deep, meaningful, connected love.

Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most.

Don't forget to check out the book Marriage Hacks with contributions from Gary Chapman, Danny Silk, Gary Thomas, your's truly, and many others.

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