How Freedom and Responsibility Can Transform a Relationship

Uncategorized Feb 20, 2021

Many of the struggles people experience in dating and marriage relationships are, at heart, caused by some problem in the areas of freedom and responsibility. By freedom, we mean your ability to make choices based on your values, rather than choosing out of fear or guilt. Free people make commitments because they feel it’s the right thing to do, and they are wholehearted about it.

By responsibility, we mean your ability to execute your tasks in keeping the relationship healthy and loving, as well as being able to say no to things you shouldn’t be responsible for. Responsible people shoulder their part of the relationship, but they don’t tolerate harmful or inappropriate behavior.

Dating and marriage is ultimately about love. People seek it through dating. When they find it, and it matures, they often make deep commitments to each other. Freedom and responsibility are necessary for love to develop in dating. When two individuals allow each other freedom and take...

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Why You Should Change the Way You Think About Dating

Uncategorized Feb 19, 2021

Mikkalah had wanted to be dating for a while, but it wasn't happening for her.  She was an intelligent, fun and interesting person, so there seemed no good reason for her lack of dates other than her strategy.  Her "traffic patterns," as I call them, never placed her in situations where she met many single men.  She worked in a small law office, went home at night, ran errands, went to the beach with friends on Saturdays, attended church on Sundays, and that was it.  So, from my perspective, when you see basically the same people over and over, you are not really shopping.  I had to get her "out there."

With much reluctance, he joined a dating service.  I was so excited for her as she was finally taking control of this part of her life.  She filled out her profile, and it was not long before she got an invite.  And to her surprise, when she went on the date, she liked him!  "I actually had a great time," she said, with a hint of optimism...

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The Worst Relationship is the One You Can't Let Go of

Uncategorized Feb 19, 2021

"So why don't you tell him that you want to break up with him?" I asked Monica about her boyfriend, Brian. "You keep telling me over and over about this issue that just doesn't go away."

"Because he has so many wonderful qualities," she said. "There are so many things I love about him."

"Like what?" I asked.

"Well, like his sense of humor, and his charm. I still get excited whenever he is around. I am so drawn to him," she said.

"Yeah, I know." I empathized. "And then when you get together, what happens?"

"We have a great time," she said. "That is why it is so hard."

"You have a great time for how long?" I pushed.

"Well, when he is there. And then when we get together again," she said.

"And... when is that?" I asked.

"Too long..." she said, reflecting the truth that Brian would dip into her life with fly-by romance and investment and then be totally unavailable in any kind of way that would build a true relationship.

"And then what happens?" I asked further, knowing the answer.


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Is Dating About Getting Married?

Uncategorized Feb 19, 2021

In this clip from The Dr. Cloud Show, Dr. Cloud talks to a caller about the pressure to date for the purpose of getting married.

It’s a perception that puts so much pressure on singles and can take the fun away from dating, so Dr. Cloud explains how to change your perception about dating so you can learn about yourself, other people and have a good time.

Want to get a preview of How to Get a Date Worth Keeping? Click here.

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8 Things Every Healthy Relationship Needs

Uncategorized Feb 14, 2021

Relationships grow in a healthy manner only as they undergo experiences, and there is no shortcut to experiences. In other words, we only "know" each other to the extent that we have experience with each other. We can know facts about the person we are dating: their friends, job, hobbies, and so forth. But that doesn't mean we "know" them as a person. That kind of "knowing" cannot come from reading a file on someone.

Experience requires time. It is simply impossible to get enough experiences under your belt without spending a lot of time dealing with the relationship. Here are eight necessary time-consuming activities on the road to becoming committed to someone:

  1. Having enough talks to safely open up with each other
  2. Entering each other's worlds of work, hobbies, worship, and service
  3. Meeting and spending time with each other's friends
  4. Understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses
  5. Going over basic values of what is important in life to each other
  6. Getting to know each other's...
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How to Help a Spouse Who Has Childhood Trauma

Uncategorized Feb 13, 2021

A caller’s husband is ready to confront his childhood trauma at 44 years old, but as he faces the demons that have haunted his past, her husband has become withdrawn and depressed. She says that he stays out in a camper near their house, and she’s concerned about his overall wellbeing. In this clip from The Dr. Cloud Show, Dr. Cloud talks to the caller about what she can do to best support her husband while he’s struggling.

If you’d like to help a loved one who’s struggling with their mental health, here are some additional resources. 

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How the Pandemic Has Affected Our Mental Health

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2021

In this clip from The Dr. Cloud Show, Dr. Henry Cloud speaks who a caller who talks about the depression and anxiety she’s faced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Cloud explains that we were created with a framework that provides structure in our lives, and when the Coronavirus shut down the world, it took away the mechanisms we use to regain stability. 

Think of the way that we’re created. It’s much like a house.

First, it starts with the foundation, and our foundation is having connection. If we don’t have connections, people, relationships, the rest of us struggles.

After that, we have the frame of the house. Our “frame” comes from the principles and the truths that we believe in. They create maps for how we navigate life.

Once you build the frame, there’s the way you operate the house. How we “operate” is based on the things that we have control of.

COVID-19 has taken away everything we knew. Everything that...

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Why Do Nice People Attract Jerks?

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2021

The question that many people wonder is "If I'm nice, then why do I keep attracting such jerks?" They think that something is inherently wrong with them, and sometimes they can begin to get quite hopeless over their chances of finding good friends, someone good to date, or building a great marriage.

The key to remember is that the reason why nice people attract jerks is that they are too adaptive in the beginning. If that person had had boundaries, the problem never would have happened. Or if it did, the problem would have been fixed first.

People who are selfish and controlling can only be that way if they are in relationship with someone who is adaptive. If someone stands up to them and is honest about his or her wants and desires, then the controlling person has to learn to share or gets frustrated and goes away. Take these steps to avoid ending up in relationships that attract unhealthy people:

  • Be honest about your preferences and desires.
  • Don't act like you like things other...
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Attachment Styles that Lead to Failure in Relationships

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2021

Every relationship needs to have two essential components that work together, or it’s destined for failure.


A relationship needs to have the glue that keeps it together, and that there’s an attachment that’s not easily broken. At the same time, there has to be another component within that attachment — separateness.


Now, what do I mean by separateness? How can you be “separate” from someone when there has to be togetherness? Well, what I mean is, you have to have autonomy within that relationship.

So, we have to have togetherness, and we have to have separateness.

Here’s the deal … When we get into relationships, and one person interprets any separateness as a threat, but it’s really not, it creates a problem. That’s where control issues come from.

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Why Singles Get Frustrated With Dating and What They Can Do

Uncategorized Feb 10, 2021

I hear this all the time when I’m talking to frustrated singles.

“Maybe God doesn’t want me to be married.”

Generally when people say that, it's a conclusion they're drawing from the results that they're getting. I think that answer is often given out of despair and not out of a providential calling. There are people, and Jesus said this, that for the sake of the kingdom they choose a life of singleness or service. Paul wrote about the same thing--if you're single, you have a lot more time to devote to serving and a lot more energy.

But when you hear people make that comment, it's usually out of the feeling of wanting to be married or wanting to be in a relationship, but it's not happening, so people think, "I guess God doesn't want this for me." I do believe there are things that we desire that are not in the cards. But more often than not, when people have a desire for a relationship and it's not happening, there are probably issues to be resolved and...

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