About Deb

biopic 6Deb DeArmond

Deb is an author, a speaker, and relationship coach—helping others improve their interactions at work and at home. Her first book, Related by Chance, Family by Choice: Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships was released in November 2013 by Kregel Publications.

Family dynamics are Deb’s passion and her writing explores marriage, grandparenting, in-law and extended family relationships. Abingdon Press released her newest book, I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last in January of 2015. Her newest book about marital conflict, Don’t Go To Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! will release in June of 2016. Her work has been featured in several magazines including Lifeway’s Mature Living, WHOA for Women, and the Kingdom Life Now.

Deb is wife to her high school sweetheart who showed her the path to become a Christ follower 42 years ago. Mom to three incredible sons and daughters-in-law. Gigi to six perfect grandboys. But Jesus is her favorite, and the others have learned to live with it.

Deb loves to travel, and considers herself a foodie. Her idea of the perfect job would be to travel on someone else’s dime, writing about her experiences, and eating her way around the world!

Deb and her husband Ron, live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Learn more about Deb, her books, and her ministry at Deb DeArmond/Family Matters (www.debdearmond.com)

Deb would love to speak at your next event. Uses the Contact page on this site to explore this opportunity.

About this Site

IMG_2449 copyFamilies are fabulous. Families are challenging. And none of them, no matter how great they may look on the outside, are perfect.

Why is it we often reserve our best behavior, exercise the greatest level of patience, and use our most skilled communication with those OUTSIDE our family units? Is it because they don’t have to like us, much less love us, so we put in greater effort? Or perhaps we don’t want to be the outsider at work, or lose a friendship we enjoy, so we “clean up” and put our best foot forward?

I’m not sure, but you get the picture. We can do better.

How do I know? Cause we’re living it every day. And though it’s not perfect – it’s really good and getting better. I don’t think I have been extraordinarily lucky – although I know I’ve been blessed with what my mother would call, “good stock” when it comes to my hubby. Lots to work with there right from the start. And working together is how it continues to get better every day. Three sons rounded out our immediate group, but as you can see in the photo above – they’ve been busy. They added wonderful wives and six perfect (nearly) grandboys. That’s right – no pink in my tribe. I’m the queen of the testosterone zone, and I love it. My daughters-in-law are my wonderful reinforcements and partners in crime.

Relationships are among our greatest challenges and our greatest gifts. I believe it’s possible to have sound, healthy family relationships even though I admit it may not always be easy. This site seeks to explore how to do it, not in our own strength or ability, but how to do it God’s way – by walking, not in the law, but in love. And you can borrow His love if your tank is running low.

Family was God’s idea from the beginning. When we show up as real, transparent and open to His spirit, He can use our lives as a testament to His grace, His love, and His beautiful design. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be committed to the One who is, and apply His lessons each day. Some days will be tough. Others will be better. But God spreads grace like a four year-old spreads peanut butter on toast – thick, messy, and dripping over the edges.

When I selected a graphic for this site, the concept of “bridging” relationships appealed to me, hence the picture of a picturesque bridge. We need to work toward creating the connections that move us closer together and help us close up the gap that can divide and separate.

This site is about finding our way as family, with Jesus as our guide.  I’m hoping that you will stay tuned and join the conversation. I’d love to hear your stories – both the good and the bad. What have you done to build your family relationships? Your marriage? And how about your in-law relationships? What steps have you taken to establish, rescue, improve or prepare for living the life God intended when He created you and your family? And how about your relationships with spouses, siblings, aging parents and beyond? I want to hear it all.

So, tell me your stories…….. You can use the form below to share your experiences or ask me to contact you via email if you prefer.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “About Deb

  1. Deb,
    I am wondering if you could offer some insight in my situation with my mother-in-law. I have been married for a year and a half and together for four years with my wonderful husband. His parents are divorced and his mom is not remarried; she has been single for 13 years now. Her sons are her world which feels intrusive to me, her daughter-in-law. I think of “leaving and cleaving” and how she seems to be hanging on tighter than I appreciate. She talks to him like he is a small child, using voices normally used for infants and says things like “my Patrick”. This has bothered me for quite some time now but more so since we have been married. I recently read an article stating that MIL’s and DIL’s view the same man differently: one as a man and the other as their child. That offered some clarity but has not decreased my frustration in how she talks with him. How can I navigate this situation? Do I tell her it bothers me or learn to be okay with it?
    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

    Blessings,

    Avery

    • Avery,

      This is not an unusual situation, although it doesn’t make it any easier for you!

      When a single mom loses a son to marriage – she does feel it often as a loss. In some cases, especially the eldest or only son, becomes “the man of the house” which can create a dependence on him that is not healthy. Subsequently, when he marries, it feels like, once again, she’s been abandoned. The fact that she speaks to him as though he were a child however, is a slightly different issue.

      Her attempts to keep things “as they were” are evident in her behavior. What else besides her sons does she have currently in her life? Active in church or community? Friends? Extended family beyond her boys? If not, she’s stuck – uncertain what to do now that her role of mom has changed. I urge you to extend kindness to her in this transition. Trust me, “baby talk” might be annoying or even creepy, but with the number of DILs I’ve talked with in the last 3 years, this is a situation that can be addressed. But I do not think you should be the one to have that conversation with her – your husband is. How does he feel about her behavior? I’d be surprised if it doesn’t bother him, (and concerned if it doesn’t!). Ask hubby to address it.

      You stay above the fray and avoid creating a division. In fact, reach out to her to help fill the void – lunch if you live close, an occasional coffee or movie date. She’s probably lonely. If she is as crazy about her boys as you’ve suggested, I am sure she will honor a request from her son to acknowledge his adulthood and speak with him accordingly! I invite you to let me know how this works through. Contact me at my email – deborah.dearmond@gmail.com Best blessings!

  2. My daughter in love of 11 years and I had a reasonable relationship for the first 5-6 years. They would spend the night at our home when they were in town and we visited them in their town. We had meals together. After the 6th year, they stopped spending the night with us, and my son gave excuse after excuse. Their visits became brief and then it became just my son. At her baby shower in 2012, she did not greet us (my mom, sister and myself) so we went to talk to her. My mom said “you are showing more than (my sister’s daughter in law) but she is taller than you”. My sister agreed in some form. It was not malicious in any way. The baby was born and I held her for 10 minutes and DIL wanted her. I went by to see her (with permission) 2 weeks later and again, 10 minutes and DIL wanted her. They did not allow any visitors for 6 weeks (the pediatrician’s recommendation because she was 4 days from full term) and no one was allowed to see her for 3 months. I asked my son about this and he said that when we were at the shower, DIL felt we intimated that she was fat. So she was hurt by all 3 of us and they stopped coming to family functions. Most of my family have never seen my granddaughter. My son also said that they don’t spend the night with us any more because DIL is also mad at my husband because all he does is question DIL (they are both educators). He is the kindest man on the planet and was trying to make conversation with her. DIL is the daughter of a sexual abuse victim whose mom did not believe her and has had chronic health issues since DIL was 12. I’m not a psychiatrist, but believe that has a lot to do with her emotional unhealthiness. Post partum depression doesn’t seem to be the answer as it started before the pregnancy. I was very emotional when I apologized to DIL for anything I had done to hurt her feelings, asked for forgiveness and told her that I loved her, and wanted us to have a MIL/DIL relationship that I had with my MIL. She blankly stared at me and said she never felt I loved her. We only have contact in a social situation (birthday, large group meals, etc. Nothing intimate. If I try to have any conversation with her one on one, she leaves the room. People that I have known for decades) that I have told this story to has said the same thing “I don’t know how anyone could be angry at you”. I have never had an ongoing problem with a co worker, family member or neighbor-EVER. I purchased your Related by choice…book (my mother in law made me a cross stitch with “family by chance, daughter by love”) and so far, only the suggestion of asking her to teach me about something she loves seems to be my best option. My son is a pastor and he preaches about men leading their family in love, but he doesn’t seem to be able to apply that in his home. I have never interfered, never made any kind of judgement or offered unsolicited advice or comment (when could I have, there has been no opportunity of an intimate conversation). Thanks for listening…