Over the years I’ve been a part of a number of stressful conversations (in the mediator role).
One of the things I stress out front is the need for a soft start up. (John Gottman talks about a harsh start up. Basically if you start angry then it’s not likely that your “discussion” is going to end well.) I ask folks to talk about the good before they talk about the stressful so that they have a positive framework for dealing with the negative stuff.
Overall I think this is a great concept. Start your day with kind words. Start your meal with thanks. Start a conversation with a sincere compliment. Just writing about it feels uplifting.
And, on the flip side, if you find yourself or your sweetie starting a discussion in a harsh way, I encourage you to ask for a break. Heated arguments just cause destruction. If you find you can’t discuss it at all with relative calm, then get third party help.
If you want to learn more from John Gottman’s perspectives, read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Discussions invariably end on the same note as they begin. John Gottman
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to help you catch your grumpiness before you speak.
Intimacy in Marriage: 5 Worst Excuses for Not Having Sex Time to examine the excuses.
The XY Code: Sometimes He Has No Clue Keep teaching him and keep showing him grace.
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My husband and I gather with a group of friends weekly to share from our lives, discuss what we’re reading (currently Gods at War) and pray for each other. Oh, and we eat munchies too.
Paul and I credit much of our personal growth to this group. The exchange of ideas, the sense of family, and the accountability has drawn us to better things.
I understand that not everyone can find or make a group like this, but you can still challenge yourself to grow. One way to do this is to expose yourself to good ideas in other ways, like reading good books or following a new blog. There are some rich resources out there.
The Christian Marriage Bloggers Assoc. (CMBA) has a challenge out this month and here are some of the responses. There’s good stuff in these blog posts and you may find a blogger that speaks to you. Check them out.
Week One: marriage wisdom from family (I listed some in past links, here are a couple more)
Becoming His Eve: Words of Wisdom: Christ Is Our Center
Directed Path Ministries: A Meaningful Father – Son Conversation
Week Two: marriage wisdom from the Bible
The Generous Husband: Words and Wisdom: The Bible
Pearl’s OysterBed: Words of Wisdom: Sex Matters
Becoming a Better Man: The 24 Hour Miracle
The Forgiven Wife: Psalms for My Marriage
Directed Path Ministries: Selfishness is Deadly
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NIV
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to help you find resources that will challenge and encourage you.
Happy Wives Club: 25 Frugal or Free Date Ideas for You & Your Husband Have fun and save a few pennies.
Are you shopping online this week? Please start on the Shop and Support TGW page. It won’t change your purchase price, but I will receive a small commission.
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Just a little reminder to guard your heart.
From time to time you may meet an “interesting man.” It can happen and there may be nothing wrong with you or your marriage (if you are struggling in your marriage be aware of the areas of lack or wounding).
The important thing is to act appropriately and guard your thoughts. This is where some of the decisions are made when it comes to emotional affairs.
Make sure that you are investing in your marriage and that you don’t let this gentleman take up residence in your head. He’s probably a great guy, but he has no reason to be in your thoughts in an ongoing way. Boot him out.
The bottom line is the greener grass is the grass you water. Water your marriage relationship and guard against emotional affairs.
Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3 NRS
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to help you create intimacy in your marriage as an ongoing work. Ask Him to help you stay faithful to your husband.
Making Love in the Microwave: I Love You Because: Free Printable! Print them out and leave them around for your husband to find.
Intimacy in Marriage: Being “In the Mood” is a Poor Gauge for Deciding to Have Sex Sex is a responsibility and a privilege.
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Plan a little surprise for your husband.
Is there something he wants? Can you buy it and wrap as a gift?
Is there somewhere he wants to go? Can you make time and steal him away?
Is there something he wants to do? How can you make that a reality?
I am sneaky challenged, but my husband is way talented in this area and I am learning from him. Even if your husband figures out your surprise, he will be flattered that you wanted to bless him. And you can keep practicing until you sneak one by him.
There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. Charles Morgan
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God for creative ideas on ways to bless your man.
The Forgiven Wife: One Year Take up the one year challenge. How would your husband be different after that year? How would you be different?
The Good Men Project: 5 Reasons to Get Your Wife Out of the House and Into a Hotel Gaye (of Calm.Healthy.Sexy.) guest authors and shares great reasons to have time away with your sweetie.
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This week’s theme in the CMBA October challenge is to share words of wisdom for your marriage “from the Bible.”
What I want to share is not so much a Bible verse, but rather a perspective about Bible content.
Any time you read the Bible, ask yourself how it could be applied to your marriage.
Going the extra mile for a Roman soldier (Matthew 5:41) or restoring someone in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1) can translate into generous attitudes and gracious living in your marriage.
Even if the scripture isn’t specifically addressing husbands and wives, the content may apply in principle because much of it is about how to handle relationships.
What’s your favorite Bible verse? How does it apply to your marriage?
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to teach you from His Word. Ask Him how to apply those truths to your marriage.
The XY Code: Tell Your Husband to Go Away! Your man needs time with other men.
Becoming Minimalist: Speak Your Dreams Be bold this week.
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My sweetie has been away at a men’s retreat.
Before he left he wrote messages on sticky notes and left them for me to find.
The cute twist was that he placed them where I would find them as I walked through my day. I’d pick up my coffee cup and there was a heart or I’d slip into the shower and there was a sexy little note. He knows me well enough to know my daily patterns. He also knew some of the things I would be facing while he was gone and he left me encouraging notes too.
The boy has made major points with me.
The best portion of a good man’s life. His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. William Wordsworth
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to show you how to bless your husband with words.
Here is another blogger who has taken on the CMBA challenge ~ marriage wisdom from family.
The Romantic Vineyard: Modeled Words of Wisdom
Becoming His Eve: When It Seems Impossible: 30 Dates in November Challenge Do all or part of the challenge for some date night fun.
Image credit © Lori Byerly / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Yesterday I talked about positive and negative marriage lists and how we tend to drag out one or the other when things get stressful.
I was talking mostly theory (I got the idea from Seth Godin), but today I had a real life experience that was pretty interesting.
While doing laundry I got aggravated over a mess in the basement.
Mentally I started to go into the litany of messes I have had to deal with over the years, but then I remembered Seth’s post and I stopped myself. I made a list of all the things my husband does that blesses me and listed all the ways my husband has grown and changed over the years.
There is still a mess in the basement, but my attitude is more gracious and cleaning up the mess feels far more doable (it’s not buried under a pile of fussiness and blame).
You go, Seth.
The thing is, at every juncture, during every crisis, in every moment of doubt, you have a choice. You will pull out one (virtual) list or the other. You’ll read and reread it, and rely on it to decide how to proceed. Up to you. Seth Godin
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to help you develop a go-to positive marriage list for those fussy moments in marriage.
Image credit © Lori Byerly