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How about trying NOT being a jerk

Intro: Today you learn how to achieve the most important thing you want from your relationship.  "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’" Martin Luther King Jr. What are you doing for your relationship? 

Gentle startups use "I" statements. Notice the difference between saying "You make me so angry always leaving those dirty socks on the floor like that" versus "I get angry when I see those dirty socks on the floor like that."

You are not as good as you think you are.

  • We remember ourselves in such a better light than what we truly do to others.  We have to in order to prove the wrongness of our spouse.

No one wants to be around a jerk or meet their needs.  It has never worked, maybe it is time to try a different approach.

  • Whiney, not attractive
  • Pouty, not attractive
  • Jerkey, not attractive

If you want your feelings and needs to be understood and validated, no other choice exists.

The miracle of a...

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Move from adversaries to teammates

The first three minutes

  • In a six-year longitudinal study performed by John Gottman and Sybil Carrère, they discovered that they could predict the likelihood of a couple’s divorce by observing just the first three minutes of a conflict discussion.

Three major errors in difficult conversations

  1. We assume we know all we need to know to understand and explain a situation.
  2. We hide our feelings — or let them loose in ways we later regret.
  3. We ignore who we are, acting as if our identity is separate from the issues.

“The key is to shift your thinking from I need to explain myself or deliver a message to I need to listen and learn more about what is going on,” Stone says.” Doug Stone

Before you start a difficult conversation. Ask three questions:

  1. Sort out what happened. How do you see the situation? Where does your story come from (information, past experiences, rules)? What do you think you know about the other person’s viewpoint? What...
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The joy of difficult conversations

The joy of difficult conversations will lead you to the marriage you want. 

25 years of missing out on the true joy resulting from pain

  • I didn’t want to feel Judgment, condemnation, controlled, confused, powerless
  • I kept trying to change her
  • I couldn’t understand we are all two things simultaneously

Where is the joy in pain?

  • It leads to a deeper understanding
  • The result is authentic intimacy

Intimate Conversations (only available to VIP members)

One Incredible Exercise (only available to VIP members)

  • Gottman's Open-Ended Questions Exercise
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How to have a difficult conversation

“In a world where great risks can bring extraordinary rewards, Tom Mullen has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams...” Now I hear it, I’ll never make it as a movie trailer voiceover guy, like that one guy, who’s done every movie trailer ever produced. Do you know his name? I looked it up and will tell you at the end of this intro. “But first, in a world where husbands and wives fight for control of the other, one couple takes a risk. They boldly enter into a difficult conversation.”

You’ll love this movie! Drama, comedy, suspense, and a happy, not that kind of happy ending! Pain is part of an intimate relationship but most of us can’t ever go there because we either avoid pain, or we turn pain into an unproductive hurt locker.

Today we learn how to have a difficult conversation. You’re going to learn about, wait for it, cue the dramatic music...the the soft start-up.

Welcome to the show, I’m your host, Michael...

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Ever feel flooded in an argument?


Feeling flooded in tough conversations is miserable! Don't miss out on August 7th from 7pm to 9pm when I share the best thing I've ever learned to do when my heart rate gets too high in an argument.

Watch the webinar free, the toughest thing I ask of you is to register: 

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Never Quit Never Surrender - The Warrior's Marriage

Your marriage is hard, now get over it

I’m continuing in the series, The Warriors Marriage, today is perhaps the simplest concept and the hardest way to be a warrior in your marriage. Your marriage is hard, circumstances seem impossible, now get over it.

Welcome to the podcast, I’m your host Michael Smalley and next, don't ignore this podcast. Keep listening. Keep trusting. Never quit, never surrender.

But first, a word from my! Put the podcast on hold and find hope, a way out of your current nightmare..

Attend the free webinar on August 7th, Friday night from 7pm to 9pm CST. I’m going to spend two-hours unpacking today’s strategies. Plus plenty of time for Q&A and very cool downloadable couple's exercise you can print out and use right away.

Leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. 

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Randolph Frederick Pausch (October...

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Weapons of Mass Destruction - The Warrior's Marriage Part 2

Welcome, “Today is the 2nd part of my series on the warrior’s marriage, and you’re not going to like’ll eventually like it but first I have to shove a few things down your throat for a second, maybe a minute.  “Welcome to the Inspiritaitonal Comedy podcast with Michael Smalley, learning doesn’t have to be boring!”

The pain is a good thang!

  • Why do we avoid it?
    • No one likes it
    • Seems logical to avoid
  • How is it a good thang?
    • You can’t know pleasure without pain
    • Relief from pain brings pleasure (Studies show when relief arrives, and it will, pleasure is better than before)
    • You bond through pain
      • It’s why camping was such fun!
    • Gives you permission to reward yourself

“There's a reason a cold beer tastes better after you've mowed the lawn or a hot chocolate tastes better after you shovel the...

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Feeling overwhelmed by "Flooding"?


Dr. John Gottman writes:

We all know what it’s like to get carried off by some rough emotional currents when we are dealing with our mate. These aren’t the day-to-day flashes of anger or hurt. I am talking about the giant waves of bad feelings that completely knock you down and take any rational thought with them. This is how it usually goes. You are in the middle of a conflict or disagreement, your partner says or does something, and suddenly you fall down a deep dark rabbit hole. The only notes you register are rage, hurt, panic, and fear.

Ever think, "Why do our arguments feel insane? I end up overwhelmed and totally discouraged"? On August 7th learn why "Flooding" derails your relationship.  More importantly, learn how to eliminate "Flooding" from your arguments! 

If you want to turn arguments from miserable moments to opportunities for deeper intimacy, educate don't degenerate by:

  1. Focusing on the good and dealing with the bad
  2. Take a Sacred Pause to...
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The Warriors Marriage Part One

Who are you?

  • A crisis of life - My own journey of identity
  • I had all the head knowledge
  • My actions showed I didn’t actually believe it

These choices reflect who we are and what we value.

  • It’s important not to identify just as a wife or a soldier. You are far more than that.
  • We get in trouble when we allow our parents or society to define who we are (e.g., the pursuit of materialism, power, and appearance).
  • Identity may be acquired indirectly from parents, peers, and other role models.
  • Children come to define themselves in terms of how they think their parents see them.
    • If their parents see them as worthless, they will come to define themselves as worthless. People who perceive themselves as likable may remember more positive than negative statements.

To be more satisfied in your relationship means living in harmony with who you really are.

  • You are not a reflection of the life around you.
  • You aren’t just a wife, husband, warrior, or anything of this world....
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Repent Matthew 4:17

28 Statements from Jesus that will Transform Your Marriage

Part 1 - The critical importance of intimacy with Jesus

Repent Matthew 4:17

  1. Listen to this devotional on my podcast
  2. 'From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”' Matthew 4:17
    1. A true disciple is not first a learner or reader of his words.  You are a doer. In v19 Jesus says, “Come follow me”.
  3. The first command of Jesus’ public ministry was, “repent”.
    1. Jesus wants an inward change because nothing else will stick if you don’t first address YOU
  4. Your actions need to be immediate
    1. v20 “Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
    2. A friend’s wife was giving a sermon where she shared this same advice, because it’s what she did.  Drugs, alcohol, miserable. Meets a janitor at the church who tells her to repent and go and tell everyone that she now believes in Jesus.
    3. Repent is...
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