Power of the Tongue

This blog post is a contribution from our intern Michelle Ezell, one of our Master’s Level interns.  One of my missions in training my interns is that they learn how to run a successful private practice when they leave me.  Or be trained well enough to partner with me!
Communication is a tool used to enhance understanding, and promotes meaning on so many levels of expression. I was reading an article by David Boehi (2012), and he admonished his readers of the importance of choosing to speak to your spouse in a manner that is respectful and conducive to healthy and positive communication overall. A common adage often heard today is ‘it’s not what you say–but how you say it.’ But how often do we adhere to this simple rule of communication when it comes to our spouses and partners? Tone, verbage, and careful selection of timing even can all have a significant impact on a message that is given to another. Once words are released from you lips (or email, text, etc.) it is up to the receiver of the message as to how he will interpret it–and this, as many of us know, can greatly influence the original intention of the message.
So, it is important that we are careful of how we speak to each other. James 3:9-10 says ” With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we can curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brother’s, this should not be.” When we speak to our loved ones, will we speak in a way that is empowering, encouraging, and uplifting? Or will we tear each other down with our weapons of venomous destruction? Communication is such an essential element in love and relationships, and a small adjustment as simply watching how we say things to the ones we love can improve one of the many essences in life, language, and love.
Boehi, D. (2008, May 19). Family Life.The Power of Words. Retrieved October, 21, 2012, from www.familylife.com/article/topics/marriage/staying-married/communication/the-power-of-words.

Marriage Communication Guideline #10

Try to understand your spouse’s opinion.  Appreciate each other’s differences.  Be concerned about each other’s needs and interests.

Marriage Communication Guideline #9

Do not blame or criticize your spouse, restore them, encourage them.  If someone verbally attacks, criticizes or blames you, don’t respond the same way.

Marriage Communication Guideline #7

When you are wrong, admit it and ask for forgiveness.  When someone confesses to you, forgive them.  Be sure that it is actually forgotten and don’t bring it up again!

Back To The Basics: Marriage And Money

Money is definitely one of the most common causes of separation and divorce in our society.  I’ve been doing some reading of Dave Ramsey at the prompting of my husband.  This was a great article published by Chris Russell.  Awesome information.

(Reprinted from www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com)

The old joke goes “marriage is grand, divorce is 50 grand.”

While it is funny, it is also right. Marriage is a great thing, but not working together can be costly—and not just in terms of money.

It’s a huge life change when you tie the knot. Everything that was “I” becomes “we.” A house comprised of two individuals rather than one couple won’t get very far because they’ll play tug-of-war on everything. And with money fights and money problems being the number one reason for divorce in America, that’s something you don’t need to fool around with.

The single most important thing a man and woman need to make their marriage work (after love) is communication. With no communication you don’t know what the other person is thinking, feeling or concerned about. If there is a breakdown in that department, it leads to bitterness and growing apart.

Talk to your spouse about your goals, dreams and what you want to accomplish. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can start working together to achieve them. You can also learn more about how your spouse approaches problems so you can work better together.

As far as money goes, guys tend to view it as the scoreboard at a football game. It tells us if we are winning. It can be dangerous because men attach their self-esteem to their money. If funds are tight, they tend to get dejected or down on themselves. It’s important to remember that the person makes the money, not the other way around.

For women, money is usually looked at as a security issue. The more they have, the less they have to worry about Murphy visits like a job loss or hospital stay turning their world upside down. That’s why an emergency fund is so important to most women. It’s a shield, a barrier, against bad things in life.

Odds are one of you is a nerd who likes everything in place, and the other is a free spirit who actually has a life. This most likely means you will have different approaches and priorities for your money. One of you wants to spend and the other wants to save. When you make a budget, there is one word to remember: compromise.

You’ll have to meet in the middle on almost everything. The best thing you can have here is a giving spirit.

Your marriage grows stronger each time you give, no matter how small the gesture. This doesn’t mean you never get anything you want. It means if both of you approach a situation with a “you first” rather than a “me first” attitude, you’ll find much more happiness and much less marriage turmoil.

Find the areas where your strengths lie and use those for mutual benefit. For instance, if the husband is a better negotiator and the wife is good at research, then when they make some big purchase, she can find the best bargain and he can haggle the price down.

The one who is better with numbers might take the lead on paying bills or a budget meeting, but you both participate. Don’t keep separate checking accounts or each of you pay separate bills. You both should know what gets paid and when and be able to do it yourself.

If a husband makes all the money and just hands it off to his wife to pay expenses (or the other way around), and the earner is killed in a car wreck, the other one is in big trouble. He or she has no idea of what to pay, to whom, when or how much. That’s not a scenario someone wants to think about for themselves or their spouse. Both of you should know what’s going on.

Finally, remember that a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you work as a team, you’ll go much farther with your money and lives than you ever would as two people working separately under the same roof. Don’t forget that.