I attended a wedding on Saturday for someone who my husband works with. I had to share part of the message that the Priest shared with us. He talked to the congregation about the importance of the environment we provide for the new couple in order to foster growth in their marriage. Wow! I had never thought about that. We are responsible to help provide good environments for our friends and family’s relationships to grow! What a responsibility. And do we do all we can to foster that? It is easy to make judgements, choose sides, and gossip amongst friends. But we should be doing all we can to lift each other up and nurture their relationships. That really spoke to me.
Additionally, he talked about the importance of focusing on our partner and their needs. He talked about us living in such a “me and I” society. The couple on Saturday were both focused on the other person and how much they loved them and wanted to make them happy. But as time grows we start getting in our selfish nature and think of what I want and what works and feels good for me. How often do we think of how our actions will help or hinder our marriage environment? Or will this help our friends marriage environment? Help save the environments!!
We are so excited to be participating in the annual “Speaking of Women’s Health” conference this year on August 28th. We are preparing a wonderful break out session on “How to Create Intimacy with Your Partner” and another break out session on “Positive Parenting”. You can purchase tickets at www.speakingofwomenshealth.com or visit our website for a direct link. Hope to see you there!!
My husband and I just had a conversation that I felt was “blogable”. Is that a word? We are both Michael Jackson fans and were talking about how his music legacy will live on even though he is gone. We started talking about how, sadly, his negative issues that surrounded his life will also be remembered. Whether he did them or not is not the issue, he will be remembered for not only his musical legacy but the things that he was accused of and some that he admitted to. My husband talked about why it is so important for us to teach our sons that no matter what you do in life, no matter how successful you are or how much money you make, your CHARACTER is what counts. You can do all great things and if your character has unforgettable flaws, that will follow you. Once it is tainted, you can’t get it back. It is gone forever. Yes, people may still like you and look up to you, but in the back of their minds they will always have a tainted view. Character really does count.
I am amazed as I work with couples in marriage counseling how our perceptions can be so different than reality. I often hear one partner say something to their partner that their partner hears COMPLETELY different than what was said. What we hear comes with so much baggage. What is said goes thru a filter, based on our experiences, and is translated in our minds to mean something that is sometimes different than what was said. I see it often and it happens often.
You don’t want to get in the habit of constantly second guessing everything you feel your partner said, but it is healthy when emotions are high and you are having a lot of feelings come up, to simply mirror what you heard your partner say. That way your partner has a chance to tell you if what you heard is what they meant. Try to do it in a non-defensive way. This is an excellent way to keep yourself in check. Have your partner do the same for you, too.
I am currently reading a really great book for couples, whether in marriage therapy or not. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. It has some GREAT exercises in it as well as great research. It can be dry in some parts (as most self help can) but if you can hang in there, you may find some valuable tips for you and your partner.