Episode 90: How to Overcome Differences in Your Marriage—with Kari Trent Stageberg

March 26, 2024

Rob & Joanna Teigen

There’s a common misconception that it’s always the big things—like dishonesty or infidelity—that cause marriages to fall apart. But the truth is, many marriages experience death by a thousand cuts as small areas of misalignment add up over time.

Every marriage has its squabbles, clashes, and little flare-ups of friction. Over our more than 30 years together, we’ve certainly had our fair share of moments where our mindsets didn’t quite match up.

We’ve all been there at some point, and that’s why we were elated to chat with today’s guest, Kari Trent Stageberg. Kari is a wife and a mom of two little boys. With her dad, she runs a nonprofit called Strong Families, and she’s also the author of The Merge for Marriage, a book designed to help couples stay on the same page in spite of all the ways they may be different.

In this conversation, Kari shares:

  • How to work together with your spouse towards the same goal even if you use different approaches
  • Tools for resolving conflict, nurturing connection, and bringing joy back into your relationship
  • Why today’s world creates unique challenges for modern marriages and how to overcome them
  • And more!

We hope you enjoy this episode!

Links:

 

Our Takeaways:

1) God placed your spouse in your life to complete you, not defeat you. When your spouse acts in a way that is different from you, it can be easy to think that one person is right and the other is wrong. If you like to act spontaneously but your partner prefers to think things over, you might see them as indecisive while they see you as reckless. Instead of clashing over these different preferences, appreciate that each partner’s strengths help balance one another out. Try to meet in the middle whenever you can!

2) Mending a marriage takes many intentional steps. In her book, Kari lays out 5 “merge tools” couples can use to strengthen their relationship. These include putting a stop to unproductive cycles, adding attachment into your marriage, rediscovering joy together, spotlighting your spouse’s strengths, and healing past wounds. Learning about these strategies is a great first step, but it’s just as important to take action on them.

3) Doing more of the same thing is not going to result in any changes. When a relationship is struggling for a long time, the idea of change can seem daunting. It takes strength to take the first step towards reconnecting with your spouse. But this act of courage can breathe new life into a relationship that is lacking hope. Just as Christ took the first step to help us even though we didn’t deserve it, we too can take the first step to bring more peace to our marriage.

Meet Our Guest

Kari Trent Stageberg

Kari Trent Stageberg

Kari Trent Stageberg, MBA, is an author, speaker, and Certified Master Coach and Trainer who serves as the CEO of StrongFamilies. A survivor of domestic violence, Kari’s goal is to help individuals and couples find hope, find freedom, and experience The Blessing through Christ, both as individuals and in their most important relationships. When she isn’t working, she spends her time enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her amazing husband, Joey, and their two young sons, Lincoln and Benton.

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