A wise old owl sat on an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?


Amy and I realized we were heading for disaster one day during the latter part of our first year when a huge argument broke out over ... the dry cleaners. We were heading out for our date night, and earlier that day I had dropped off a pair of pants to be dry-cleaned. Branson is a small town, so consequently on our way to the big city, Springfield, we passed right by our dry cleaners. Amy noticed they were having a special, three pairs of pants for only a dollar. She asked me how many pairs of pants I dropped off at the cleaners earlier, and I, quite innocently, replied, "one." It was simple enough; I only had one pair of pants that needed to be cleaned, so logically I only dropped off one pair of pants. Simple, right? Wrong! When your marriage is stressed out and you have no rules about conflict, things can go very, very badly.

Amy immediately asked why I hadn't dropped off three pairs of pants to be cleaned, since that would have been cheaper than just dropping off one pair. I sarcastically replied, "Because I only HAD one pair." Amy did not like this response and felt that I was being fiscally irresponsible. I responded that she was being irrational. You can see where this was going! We did not make it three miles out of town before I stopped the car and announced, "This fun time is over!" We literally turned the car around and returned home, giving the baby-sitter some excuse about why we were coming home early from our date.

While I was sulking that night I realized Amy and I were not getting along like we wanted. There was something missing in our marriage, and it was LUV. LUV is the key to resolving any conflict that can arise in your marriage. LUV is the answer, and only LUV can give you the chance to actually reach a win/win solution to all your future conflicts. I say "to all your future conflicts" because there WILL be conflict in your marriage. This is important to understand. When I was engaged, I thought conflict would never happen in a healthy, loving relationship. What I have learned might shock you! Conflict, in fact, is the key to deeper intimacy. Think about it for a second. Why might conflict actually lead you to deeper intimacy?

If you saw a complete stranger walking down the street wearing an obnoxious hat, would you express you feelings or opinions to him? "I can't believe you wore that hat this morning. I mean, what were you thinking!" or "I am so embarrassed you wore that hat today." I hope the answer is no. Why? Because expressing deep feelings or opinions to a complete stranger is inappropriate. We typically only get into conflict with those people who are closest to us, because we care about their feelings and opinions.

Conflict is a doorway to intimacy because you are expressing your most intimate feelings, opinions, or needs. This is the essence of an intimate relationship, one where you are sharing and meeting each other's feelings and needs. However, most couples never reach this level of intimacy. Conflict, for these couples, is a negative experience.

Amy and I were no different with negative conflict at the beginning of our marriage. Our dry-cleaning incident is proof that we were not allowing conflict to drive us deeper in our intimacy, but rather allowing conflict to tear us apart. A year into our marriage, we were stuck -- until we learned a skill so powerful it completely revolutionized our marriage, and still does to this day!

How would you like to completely eliminate -- with one simple skill -- all of the reasons couples divorce? Think it's impossible? Well, it's not! Researchers have discovered four main reasons why couples divorce. We like to call these factors the four divorce germs, because they infect marriages, and those couples that don't get the vaccination will divorce. The vaccination is the skill of LUV Talk. Before I explain LUV Talk, however, I will help you discover the four divorce germs infecting marriages today (next week).

If you'd like to learn more about LUV Talk, you can order the Secrets to Lasting Love video series. This is our latest video series for marriage, and they are perfect for churches and small groups! Click here to order them online, or call (800) 848-6329.