LOVE LISTENS

Love Listens

Few of us listen patiently. The way we communicate to our spouse reflects the condition of our heart. If we are angry because of unmet expectations then we tend to respond harshly. A lot of times in a conversation we listen to respond and not to understand. This should be our daily challenge. Try to demonstrate patience with your spouse by not saying anything negative to them, but really try to understand what they are trying to communicate to you. It is better to hold your tongue than to say something you will regret. The bible says in James 1:19, “Understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger”. If you are finding yourself not being able to hold in your anger give us a call!

I Pad, IPhone, “I Messages”?

i Pad IPhone I MessagesEveryone knows what an i Pad and an iPhone are now a days, but what about “I Messages”?  “I Messages” are a form of verbal communication, via face-to-face with an individual or sent through the Apple (or Android) devices.

“I Messages” contain a formula where one can use this verbal communication style to express their feelings about an action that took place.  Furthermore, the formula states what is necessarily needed to correct the action for future references.  So, what is this so-called “formula”?

Here you go:

“I feel (INSERT EMOTION) when you do (INSERT BEHAVIOR). I need (INSERT DESIRED ACTION).”

In the first part of the “I Message”, state your feeling/emotion.  For example: upset, hurt, disappointed, happy, loved, etc.  When you state your feeling first, the other person you are communicating to will be less defensive.  That’s right, less defensive.  You are taking ownership of your own feelings and not placing blame on someone else making you feel a certain way!  Make sure to NOT say “I feel like you…” or “I feel as if you…”  These beginning statements DO NOT express an emotion.  If anything, these two statements will place the other person on the defense.  So, keep it sweet, short and simple with “I feel (emotion)”.

The second part is where you insert the other person’s behavior that assists you in feeling a certain way.  Some examples of how to state a behavior could be: “I feel happy when you hug me” or “I feel depreciated when you call me names”.  You are connecting the emotion with a particular behavior, but not blaming that person for your emotions.

Once you have stated your feeling and the other person’s behavior, what do you want more or less of?  The last part of the “I Message” is what you desire.  So, going further with the examples I provided previously, your needs may sound like: “I feel happy when you hug me.  I would like more hugs from you.” or “I feel depreciated when you call me names.  I deserve to be appreciated by my partner.”  Make certain to place reasonable and achievable requests that you and/or your listener can accomplish together.

So at first, the “I Message” formula may sound robotic, but give it your own flair and try it out!  Let me know how the formula has worked for you and your listener down below in the comments area.  Happy communicating!

Inviting God

Inviting God

If you do not pray as a couple I encourage you to start. Here are some ways to do that:

Start by praying silently together. Sit down together and hold hands. Discuss your mutual concerns and start to pray silently. As you get more comfortable with silent prayer you can finish your silent prayer aloud by taking turns expressing thanksgiving and praise. You can also take this time to thank God for being present with you and hearing your prayer. Another way to pray is out loud together. Prayer does not have to take hours, but can be as simple as a few minutes a day that you set aside to invite the Lord into your marriage. You can pray for God to bless your marriage and also to protect it. Thank God for the things he is blessing you with. The goal is to pray together consistently.

THE OXYGEN YOU NEED!

The oxygen you need

When you are not communicating in your marriage you are giving the devil uncontested time to talk to each of you separately, sowing seeds of suspicion, doubt and lies. The silent treatment is the loudest invitation of trouble in your marriage. Regardless of how bad things get between you and your spouse, keep talking. Here is a daily communication activity you can start:

Appreciations: Share five things you appreciate about each other. These can range from the simple “I like your smile” to the sublime “I like it that you were able to kiss and make up after I forgot to pick you up last night.” It can be a nice surprise to realize just how much our partners notice and appreciate.

Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams: Describe three things you hope for in the long run (“I hope to complete a marathon by the time I’m 40”) and in the short run (“This week-end I’d like to spend a half-hour alone with my dad when he visits.”) A partner who understands your dreams is able to help them happen.

New Information: We often forget to update our partner about a change in plans or circumstances. We tell people at work or a family member and think we’ve told our spouse. Make the daily updates a ritual. Information like “The dentist said Bobby won’t need braces after all” is crucial to staying in-synch and feeling connected.

Puzzles: Clear-up big or little mysteries before they become suspicions, jealousy, false assumptions, or resentments. Most “puzzles” have simple explanations. “You promised you’d water the tomatoes before you left this morning. What happened?” You have to ask.

Complaints with Request for Change: Get in the habit of saying what you want rather than what you don’t want. Describe a specific behavior that bothers you and explain how you’d like it done. Instead of “I get furious when you call and don’t leave a message,” say, “Honey, when you call and get the machine, please don’t say ‘It’s me’ and hang up. Say why you’re calling, and when you’ll call back, or be home, or whatever it was you were calling to tell me.”

If you are finding that this is not working please give us a call. We have very flexible availability as well as price ranges to meet your needs.

Retrieved from Smartmarriages.com

Your Husband NEEDS Friendship

Your Husband Needs FriendshipA couple was in a deeply troubled marriage, one that had reached a crisis point. Divorce loomed. When it came to fixing the relationship, they didn’t even know where to start. That’s when the wife had a revelation. She realized it was time to do something drastic.

She asked her husband to take her hunting.

It was his favorite activity, and though she had never shown any interest in it, she was committed to doing whatever it took to heal their strained marriage.

The husband was shocked. In fact, he was so surprised he laughed when she told him. But he couldn’t think of a good reason to tell her no. Reluctantly, he took her along on a hunting trip the next weekend.

That trip saved their marriage. She’d never had any desire to hunt, but soon learned to enjoy it. The shared interest led to them doing other things together. They became friends again, and it restored their relationship.

Friendship: it’s where almost all marriage relationships begin, and it’s the glue that keeps your marriage from getting stale. Women tend to bond through meaningful conversation. Men bond through having fun together.

A healthy marriage includes both of those elements—open, honest conversation and the enjoyment of shared interests.

Think about how men become buddies with each other. It’s not by having long, intimate discussions, but by doing stuff. They golf or ski. They play football, go camping, or fish and hunt. Men bond through recreation.

That’s also how they long to connect with their wives. Numerous surveys indicate that men in happy marriages are far more likely to identify their wives as their “best friends. That’s the greatest compliment a man can give.

To put it bluntly, men are interested in fun and sex. Remove those things from a marriage—like in the example of the couple above—and you’re left with something closer to a living arrangement than a vibrant, healthy relationship.

Unfortunately, many men find it difficult to grow close to another person…until recreation is involved. That’s when men become more open and vulnerable, sharing their hearts and talking about things they might otherwise keep to themselves.

Many wives don’t understand this dynamic. He has his hobbies and I have mine, they think, showing no interest in the things their husbands love. Men see this as a wife with no interest in drawing close to them.

Women, when you tell a man “I’m not interested in the things you do,” he hears this: “I’m not interested in you.” Accurate or not, that’s a dangerous message to send.

Husbands and wives who have fun together—traveling, sharing hobbies and activities, laughing and playing together—create a bond that’s not easily broken. A wife who becomes her husband’s friend will go a long way toward keeping him satisfied.

Retrieved from Marriage Today

Connect with your Child

Connect with your Child

Let go of distractions. The key point here is to focus all of your attention on your child for a set-aside time with them whether it is ten minutes a day or one hour.

Speak your child’s love language. Know what makes them feel loved and give it daily. Some kiddos need more affection, while other kids need more affirming words.

Show sincere interest in their interests and play with them.  Children long for this time with you.

Be a parent you can talk to. This means listening to what your child has to say without immediately offering your two cents.