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The Marriage Challenge

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The Marriage Challenge is an audio podcast designed to help any couple strengthen their relationship. Each episode features a guest couple tackling a different topic or challenge they’ve faced, sharing when and how they got it wrong and what has helped them to change. Each edition also features a helpful challenge for the listener to try during the next month.

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Make sure you don’t miss an episode by signing up for regular news and updates – plus receive a 20% discount off your next purchase from the Care for the Family shop!

Latest Episode:

Episode 32 – ‘The lonely journey of infertility’ with Andy and Sarah Lang

In this episode of The Marriage Challenge podcast, Andy and Sarah bravely share about their on-going journey of infertility, and discuss some of the ways it has impacted their relationship over the past ten years. With insight and wisdom, Andy and Sarah draw from their own experiences, and those of other couples to give advice and hope to any couple facing infertility issues.

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Episode 31 – ‘Overcoming past hurts’ featuring Steve and Lesley Hayes

Steve and Lesley have been married for over 25 years, but at the start of their relationship they had to fight to keep going. Marrying for the second time, having both previously divorced, they realised early on that they still carried past hurts from their previous relationships. In this episode of The Marriage Challenge podcast they talk candidly about the difficulties they faced in those early days and how they worked through them to bring their relationship back from the brink.

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Episode 30 – ‘When communication is hard’ featuring Steve and Chris Hughes

Steve Chris Hughes

In this episode of The Marriage Challenge podcast, Steve and Chris Hughes share some of the difficulties they’ve faced in the area of communication, and reflect upon how their very different family backgrounds influenced their communication styles, and impacted their relationship.

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Episode 29 – ‘The importance of keeping unity’ featuring David and Charis Baker

David and Charis

So often, it’s not the big things in marriage that cause relationships to break down, but the little things, the day-to-day niggles and irritations that come between couples and create distance. In this episode of The Marriage Challenge podcast, David and Charis Baker talk about the importance of keeping unity in their relationship, and how they deal with the small grievances that create discord between them.

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Episode 28 – ‘Juggling roles and responsibilities ‘ featuring Dan and Alicea O’Connor.

Dan Alicea

Juggling work and childcare can be a challenge for many couples with young children. In this edition of The Marriage Challenge podcast, Dan and Alicea share their experiences of taking on roles that go against tradition, with Alicea working full-time and Dan being a stay-at-home dad. Listen as they talk about the impact this has had on their relationship, and find out how they’ve overcome some of the challenges along the way.

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Previous episodes:

Episode 27 – ‘Staying strong while working away ‘ featuring Jonny & Alison Campbell-Smyth.

Campbell Smyth

For many couples working away from home is part of the normal routine. Our guests, Jonny and Alison, reflect with honesty on how spending so much time apart impacted their marriage. They offer insight into their experience and share the practical steps they took to help them stay emotionally strong, and make the most of the time they got to spend together.

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Episode 26 – ‘Facing mental health issues together’ featuring Will and Lucinda Van Der Hart.

Will Van der Hart

In this episode Will and Lucinda Van Der Hart share their experiences of facing mental health issues together.

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Episode 25 – ‘The extrovert and the introvert’ Featuring Becky and Phil Morgan.

Becky and Phil

 

Some couples are pretty similar, but others face the challenge of working together despite major personality differences. In this edition of The Marriage Challenge podcast we are joined by Becky and Phil Morgan – she’s an extrovert and he’s an introvert! They candidly share how their differences affect their marriage, from the impact on day-to-day life through to what they choose to do on holiday.

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Episode 24 – ‘Forty years and flourishing!’ Featuring Paul and Priscilla Reid.

Our guests on this edition of The Marriage Challenge podcast are Paul and Priscilla Reid who have just celebrated forty years of married life together. They reflect on what it takes for a marriage to last over the long haul and how they have benefitted from their commitment to each other. Enjoy the wisdom, laughter and inspiration that comes from so many of years of doing life together.

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Episode 23 – ‘The Christmas 2015 edition’ Featuring Katharine and Richard Hill.

Katharine and Richard Hill discuss how to work together during the busy Christmas period and have an enjoyable festive season.

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Episode 22 – ‘The path to adoption’ Featuring Sophie and Luke.

In this edition Sophie and Luke share their story of making the life-changing decision to adopt two children.

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Episode 21 – ‘Marriage with a blended family’ Featuring Steve and Rebekah Legg.

Leggs

In this edition we hear Rebekah and Steve Legg talk through their experiences of getting married and bringing together their six children from previous relationships under one roof. They talk very honestly about what it is like to find time for each other and how they have dealt with the challenges of in-laws, ex-partners and forging a new family together.

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Episode 20 – ‘Coping with change in middle age’ featuring Simon and Janey Lawry-White.

Simon Janey

Whether it is dealing with the empty nest, wrestling with hormones, moving home or jobs, or just a creeping sense of separateness – how can we cope with changes in our relationship when we get to middle age? Our guest couple Simon and Janey Lawry-White talk candidly from their own experiences and offer help and practical tips to couples navigating this stage of life.

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Episode 19 – ‘Coping with change in the early years’ featuring Tim and Rachel Hughes.

Tim and Rachel

In this edition we hear Rachel and Tim Hughes speak about the pressures they have experienced in the first decade or so of marriage. They talk very honestly about what it was like having four children in quick succession, coping with time apart as Tim travelled for work and how they are now having to re-negotiate how they do life after a recent house move and starting new jobs.

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Episode 18 – ‘Using boundaries to bolster your marriage’ featuring Andy and Dana Masters.

Andy Dana Masters

In this edition we hear from Andy and Dana Masters who share their experience of how simply agreeing on some boundaries helps them to protect and bolster their marriage. We hope you enjoy their thoughts and perhaps consider how having boundaries could enrich your own marriage.

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Episode 17 – ‘When life leaves you shaken’ featuring Patrick & Diane Regan.

Regans

Patrick and Diane Regan talk with great honesty and vulnerability about the pressures they experienced as they faced grief, illness and uncertainty. They share the things that helped, and those that didn’t as they went through the fire.

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BONUS CLIP: Patrick speaks a little bit about his new book ‘When Faith Get’s Shaken’ which is available in bookshops and online.

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Episode 16 – ‘Marriage in a digital age’ featuring Sim and Lottie Dendy.

Sim Lotti

Sim and Lottie Dendy tackle what it means to be married in a digital age, exploring both the benefits and the challenges posed by the ever-growing world of the internet and new technology.

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Episode 15 – ‘Back from the brink’ featuring Kate and Harry Benson.

Kate and Harry Benson

What does it take to save a marriage on the brink of separation? Listen to Kate and Harry Benson share their own journey from a marriage that was heading for divorce, to now being happier together than ever before.

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Episode 14 – ‘When two become three’ featuring Joel and Naomi Brockett.

Joel and Naomi Brockett

The arrival of a first child is perhaps the biggest change a married couple will ever face. In this episode of The Marriage Challenge podcast we are joined by Joel and Naomi Brockett who share their own experience of starting a family and reveal how they now help other couples going through the same transition.

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Episode 13 – ‘The myths of a ‘perfect’ marriage’ featuring Katharine Hill and Philip Jinadu.

It takes two podcast

Welcome to this special edition of The Marriage Challenge podcast. As a one-off, this podcast has been filmed – so that as well as listening to it you’ll also be able to view it on YouTube. Another change to our usual format is that both our guests are married – but not to each other. We are joined by Katharine Hill who is the UK Director at Care for the Family and one of our regular speakers Philip Jinadu. Together they look at four of the most popular misconceptions about having the ‘perfect’ relationship. Check out their thoughts and see if you agree with them as they bust these marriage myths!

Katharine and Philip are about to take to the road for the upcoming It Takes Two event tour. At the end of the podcast they discuss this exciting new event. To find out more and to book tickets, visit – www.careforthefamily.org.uk/ittakestwo

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Episode 12 – ‘The Sex Factor’ featuring Nicky and Sila Lee.

Niki and Sila Lee

Welcome to the first edition of The Marriage Challenge podcast in 2015. In this episode we are joined by Nicky and Sila Lee, the creators of The Marriage Course and authors of The Marriage Book, who talk about how we can build and improve sexual intimacy over a lifetime.

They share openly and honestly about some of the challenges they have faced over the years and then offer some great advice on how, together as a couple, you can tackle and overcome sexual issues. Enjoy this down-to-earth episode with a couple who gently, yet confidently, approach a subject that is not always easy to talk about.

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Episode 11 – ‘The Christmas Edition’ featuring Rob and Dianne Parsons.

Rob and Dianne Parsons

Christmas can be both the most fun and the most stressful time of year for couples. Listen to Care for the Family founders Rob and Diane Parsons reflect on Christmas past during their 43 year marriage and discover some helpful hints for Christmas present and future to help you make the most of the festive season.

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Episode 10 – ‘The Empty Nest’ featuring Paul and Traci Lowden-Stoole.

In this latest episode of The Marriage Challenge podcast we are joined by Paul and Traci Lowden-Stoole who share their story of both children leaving home for university in the space of just a few days. Listen to their honest account of how they embraced a new season in their marriage.

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Episode 9 – ‘Little people, big challenge!’ featuring James and Jen Rankine.

Welcome to the latest edition of The Marriage Challenge podcast. In this episode we are joined by James and Jen Rankine who battle through sleep deprivation to tell of their experience as a married couple with three young daughters! With their household currently filled with messy mealtimes and toddler tantrums, they share at first-hand the challenges they face and have down-to-earth advice on how a relationship can not only survive but thrive amidst the frenetic environment of bringing up a young family. Quite simply a must-listen for any couples with young children.

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Episode 8 – ‘Guess who’s coming to dinner?’ featuring Owen and Pauline Hylton.

Owen and Pauline Hylton

In this episode we are joined by Owen and Pauline Hylton who share their own experiences of bringing together two very different family backgrounds and the challenges that followed in their marriage. In-laws are often the butt of jokes but for those struggling with difficult relatives it isn’t always a laughing matter. Owen and Pauline share some great insights and advice to help create harmonious relationships with your partner’s parents and wider family.

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Episode 7 – ‘When the sparks fly’ featuring Andy and Fi Banes

Andy and Fi Banes

In this episode we are joined by Andy & Fi Banes who share their own experience of the tensions that surfaced when they clashed over how to run a household together. Listen to their honest, and often humorous, recollection of the difficulties they faced and how they have learnt over time to make their differences work for them and not against them.

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Episode 6 – ‘The importance of humour in marriage’ featuring Chick and Margaret Yuill

Chick and Margaret

They share candidly about how having fun and an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has helped them survive the tough times and bring joy to their 45 year marriage. Lots of advice and wisdom for couples at any stage of married life. Laughter really can be the best medicine!

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Episode 5 – ‘Making Time for each other’ featuring Philip and Kate Jinadu

jinadus2

Do you ever struggle with busyness and over-scheduling and find it hard to carve out regular time for your relationship? If you do – or someone close to you does – then this edition is for you. Philip and Kate Jinadu talk about the challenges that they have faced trying to stay connected during busy and stressful times. They offer some great tips on how to be intentional without being intense.

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Episode 4 – ‘Facing challenges together’ featuring Sarah and David Abell

Sarah and David Abell

Sarah and David Abell speak vulnerably and candidly about their long journey to parenthood and some of the challenges they faced along the way.

Their interview gives an insight into what it is like to go through miscarriage and fertility treatment and they share what helped them to cope along the way. As always – there is a practical challenge at the end for you to try in your own relationship this month.

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Episode 3 – ‘Managing your money together’ featuring Mark and Cathy Madavan

The Madavans

In this edition we take a look at the often contentious issue of how to deal with finances in your relationship. Mark and Cathy Madavan share their own story of how they have learned to deal with their different approaches to saving and spending. They discuss some of the financial struggles they’ve experienced together and share some practical tips to help any couple manage their money well.

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Episode 2 – ‘When the going gets tough’ featuring Rob & Dianne Parsons

Rob and Di

In this edition, we are thrilled to be joined by Rob and Dianne Parsons – founders of Care for the Family. Rob and Dianne share with refreshing honesty about the tougher times in their relationship – what helped them through and what they’ve learnt through those experiences. We hope you are encouraged by their story of working together through the ups and downs of over 40 years of married life.

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Episode 1 – ‘The power of words’ featuring Katharine & Richard Hill

In this very first podcast we are delighted to be joined by Katharine and Richard Hill – the presenters of Marriage Unlocked – who are talking about the power of words. You’ll find out when and how they got it wrong and what has helped them to change.

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