Dr. Kelly Flanagan

Dr. Kelly Flanagan

Dr. Kelly Flanagan is a licensed practicing clinical psychologist who writes regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again.


    Posts by Dr. Kelly Flanagan

    Marriage While Parenting

    Which is more important, your marriage or your children? The answer is your marriage, and the answer is your children. The answer is neither. The answer is both. The answer, actually, is to begin asking a different question altogether. Our kids should never be more important than our marriage, and they should never be less important…Family is … [Read more...]

    Let’s All Admit We Love a Stranger

    “I feel like I don’t know you anymore.” Usually, we think this means the end of a relationship. What if it means a relationship can finally get started? My wife and I have been married for fourteen years so I’m absolutely certain I know why she is not returning my text messages. When I left her this morning she was quiet and sullen about … [Read more...]

    An Open Letter to Millenials About the Insanity of Marriage

    Dear Millenials: Surveys show you’re losing interest in marriage and, from what I hear, the main reason is this: to you, marriage doesn’t make any sense. And I know why you feel that way – it’s because marriage doesn’t make any sense. One life has enough sorrow of its own. Why would you volunteer to share the sorrow of another human being, too? … [Read more...]

    The Only Way to Be Enduringly Grateful This Thanksgiving

    This month, in America, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. On that day, we’ll focus on being grateful for what we have. And then on Friday we’ll shop ourselves broke. The two are not unrelated. And understanding the connection could be the difference between clutching onto life versus dancing into it … I glance at my silenced cell phone and my heart … [Read more...]

    The Nine Most Overlooked Threats To A Marriage

    I feel bad for marital communication, because it gets blamed for everything. For generations, in survey after survey, couples have rated marital communication the number one problem in marriage. It’s not … Marital communication is getting a bad rap. It’s like the kid who fights back on the playground. The playground supervisors hear a commotion … [Read more...]

    The Art of Seeing Your Children When They’re Not Even There

    Your husband wants you to come searching for him. Your wife wants you to come searching for her. But there is one person who wants you to come searching for them even more than your spouse. That person is your child. When our children are young, they want to know we are thinking of them, remembering them even when apart. They feel anchorless … [Read more...]

    Why One Text Message is More Romantic Than a Hundred Valentine Cards

    On Valentine’s Day, we try to purchase romance with one night of intense togetherness. But romance can’t be purchased, and the most romantic things may be the things we do for each other when we’re not together. I was an adult when I met my wife, but she turned my world upside down – I dropped about a decade from my psyche and started acting like … [Read more...]

    The One Illusion We Cannot Afford To Believe In

    I’m on the fifth floor of a hotel in Pennsylvania, waiting for an elevator to the lobby. Early morning, and I’m leaving the hotel to find a cheaper breakfast. As I wait, I become aware of piped-in music overhead. I hear lyrics that remind me of my wife: “Fortune teller said I’d be free, and that’s the day you came to me.” I instantly reach for my … [Read more...]

    How to Accept the Things That Drive Us Crazy in a Marriage

    We spend most of our marriages trying to change our partners. Ironically, the most important change we can make is to accept more of the good but crazy-making things about each other… In the spring of 1999, a film called Jerry Maguire left a permanent mark on pop culture, with three little phrases: “Show me the money.” “You had me at … [Read more...]

    Marriage is a Joke – Keeping the last laugh, together.

    One person? For a lifetime? And complete fidelity? You’ve gotta be kidding. Well, yeah, you kind of do have to be kidding. Joking. Laughing. Delighting. At least, that’s what the scientists say… My honeymoon was a disaster. We were two poor graduate students amazed at how cheap it was to stay in an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica at the end of … [Read more...]