This week on Real Talk with Rachael I’m having a conversation with Dr. Robert Paul. Robert Paul is Vice President of the Focus on the Family Marriage Institute. He is both a marriage therapist and an accomplished speaker who presents regularly at professional conferences and enrichment events both nationally and internationally. He has co-authored six books, including “The DNA of Relationships,” with Drs. Gary and Greg Smalley, and “9 Lies That Will Destroy Your Marriage: And the truths that will save it and set it free,” with Dr. Greg Smalley. He is a former professor at Evangel University where he taught in both the biblical studies and psychology departments, specializing in Marriage and Family Counseling, Human Sexuality, and the integration of faith into all areas of life. Bob and his wife, Jenni, live in Springfield, Mo., have been married for over 43 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren.

Key Points from Our Conversation:

  • Addressing deep-seated desires and achieving relational success offers relief and freedom.
  • Recognizing and breaking the reactive cycle in relationships can empower individuals to improve their dynamics by understanding and halting predictable conflict patterns.
  • Group support can provide reassurance that marital challenges are universal and not unique.
  • Faith and personal transformation, as highlighted by Robert’s and his wife’s journey, play a crucial role in sustaining relationships.
  • Utilizing available resources for counseling and self-improvement, such as those mentioned in the episode, can be immensely helpful.
  • Emotions are morally neutral and serve a purpose in signaling areas needing attention; understanding this helps in better managing them.
  • The care cycle emphasizes the importance of balancing personal care with nurturing the relationship, leading to healthier interactions.
  • Practical advice on nurturing oneself and the relationship, including suggestions for summer activities and self-care strategies.
  • Recognizing the subtleties of negative thoughts and maintaining a ‘no losers policy’ promotes a healthier team dynamic in marriage.
  • The need to build trust and address past relationship baggage and family influences for better current interactions.

Let’s Get Real Practical:


You can find a list of Christian counselors at The American Association of Christian Counselors or through Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselor Network.
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