What part does faith play in “A New Way to Love?”

Faith in God’s grace for creating marriage as a human context in which his love can be experienced is essential. Faith is essential to trust that God is at work in the deepest conflict, the darkest night, and trusting the process that God has created will lead eventually to experience the light of His love.

Do Christian couples have extra tools to help them in times of distress?

Yes. Christian couples have at their disposal their faith, and they have the guidance and promises of scripture that essentially God is love and that they that love dwell in Him and He in them.

One in two marriages will end in divorce…what are the top factors contributing to this trend? How can this trend be reversed?

Most couples do not know how to create and sustain connection. They tend to focus on what is not working for them personally rather than what is not working for the relationship. The major cure for divorce is to make the relationship top priority rather than each other’s needs.

What are the attitudes and skills needed to help improve a troubled marriage?

The major attitude is openness to new awareness and information and to mutually take responsibility for the difficulties in the marriage. Couples co-create their difficulties, and they need to know they can co-create improvement. The major skill is to learn how to have a conversation that is safe so they can relax their defenses and be vulnerable with each other.

What kind of specific communication problems do you see couples experiencing?

The specific communication problem most couples experience is being negative with each other—put downs, criticism, shaming and blaming. Each partner tends to want the other to see things their way and each has difficulty accepting that there are always two realities.

Can conflict be used to strengthen a marriage?

Yes, conflict is growth trying to happen. Each spouse uses conflict to try to get something done that can only be done in another way.


Every frustration that produces conflict is a wish in disguise. To strengthen marriage, spouses need to translate the frustration into the embedded wish, communicate the wish direction by asking for what they want instead of complaining about what they do not have, and then each has to stretch into giving this to each other unconditionally.