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The power of a sacred pause

"The most important thing in life is to stop saying 'I wish' and start saying 'I will.' Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities." Charles Dickens wrote that, and this week you are about to learn the most important strategy for your relationship to succeed. Before you become flooded, and incapable of loving each other well, take a Sacred Pause.  It's really the only way you can get through difficult conversations and come out closer than ever.

The Sacred Pause is nothing more than recognizing you are getting upset.  Is this difficult to do?  Clearly not! We all can recognize when we are not happy and are getting angry.  The question is whether or not you are willing to make the right choice in these moments.

Are you willing to disengage, in the right way, and give yourself time to calm down? You had better be willing because a Sacred Pause is going to save your marriage.

What is a Sacred Pause?

I've talked about this strategy a...

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4 repulsive reactions you have to stop now

Repulsive.  Just saying the word out loud should get your attention. "Arousing intense distaste or disgust." The Urban Dictionary defines repulsive as, "Something or someone that is gross and provokes disgust; disgusting." Let me ask you something, is this your goal each day you wake up lying next to the person you chose to spend the rest of your life together? Is it your dream to destroy your marriage and spend tens of thousands of dollars on arguably the worst experience a human being can go through? Are you intentionally trying to be repulsive through your words and actions?

Unless you are Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, or Jeffrey Dahmer, my guess is you are not, in fact, waking up in the mornings dreaming of creative ways to repulse your spouse. The bummer is, we are naturally gifted at being repulsive when things become difficult.

The family of your youth taught you many things.  Some good things and some bad things. The perfect family system does not exist....

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The one thing you can't do

When is the last time you heard, "You never do anything! I have to do everything around here!" Or at least some version of an irritated, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, or disgusting statement of fact leaving you feeling like a failure or judged. Today, together, we are going to eliminate this kind of hullabaloo (Which I spelled hullabaloo correctly on my first attempt, whoops, I typed this out too fast because Grammarly finally corrected me! Now I've just made it embarrassing.) Anyway, today we discover how to destroy flooding in our difficult conversations.

Welcome to Inspirational Comedy, I'm Michael Smalley, thank you for joining me today.  Two things before we get started.

  1. Head on over to smalleyinstitute.com and join the family by becoming a member of the VIP Inner Circle. It's weekly coaching, encouragement, and guidance to help you get the marriage you want. You get date night ideas, a huge vault of online courses (valued at over $500), downloadable couples...
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How about trying NOT being a jerk

Move from adversaries to teammates. The first three minutes of a difficult conversation matter:

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...
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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...
Continue Reading...

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 ending...no, 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?

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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: https://www.smalleyinstitute.com/offers/FooijErY 

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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 sponsor...me! 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 it...well...you’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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