Loving Gestures Begin to Fade–Angry Marriage Sign #1

Everyone looks forward to special gestures in their marriage.  If you stop feeling like doing them or if they don’t happen very often, this may be a sign. At the start of an anger cycle the willingness and interest in doing favors, or treating your spouse and special ways stops.  If your spirit of generosity feels bankrupt it may show up in other places in your marriage, seeming unintentional.

Example: “we used to watch TV together almost every night, but I’ve been too busy to do that for a while.”

It may also feel like you have a valid excuse for the change in behavior.

Example: “My husband never used a mind me hanging out with my girls, but now he’s always checking up on me when I do. I told him where I was going, I don’t have to keep checking in with him.”

Whether the decrease is intentional or seems unintentional, or purposeful, when you stop indulging, pampering and pleasing each other, when you stop treating each other carefully and gently, you are most likely feeling the pain of disappearing goodwill.

 

Husbands Love Your Wives…

FFC image for Husbands Love Your Wife    

     I often tell my wife that I love her.  In return she would tell me the same. Then there are times when I would tell her that I love her and she would ask me why.  I would tell her; “because the bible says I must do so.”  I know some of you may laugh and we do to, but it is truth.  Ephesians 5:25 states; Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.  This is a powerful statement!  But how can we as husbands love our wives as Christ loves the church?  Simple! We have to put forth the effort to do so.  Even when the wife acts out of character, and sometimes they will; husbands you are to still love them in this manner. Even if for some reason or another your wife gets so upset and fusses or curse you out, or all of a sudden falsely accuse you of things out of her suspicion, or stop cooking for you the way they use to, or even stop giving up the sex regularly… WHAT?  Guess what husband? You as the Christian husband are to still love her unconditionally as the bible has mandated you to do.  

     I believe that as long as we strive to love in this manner, we will eventually reach that level of love and intimacy that we desire and need in our marriages. Don’t get me wrong husbands; loving this way can be a very difficult thing to do!  However, in the long run, it will definitely pay off in more ways than one, if you know what I mean.  Remember, husbands, it is all about the sacrifice.  Stop the madness!  Start giving more of yourselves.  Love your wives the way you want to be loved.  Treat them the way you desire to be treated.  Of course, you would never hurt yourself, so give your wife the same respect by loving and caring for her… as Christ loves and cares for you.   

Dependence, Independence, Co-dependence, and Interdependence

interdependence pic

Recently I was sitting with a couple in session, explaining to them boundaries, and how we are each responsible for our own actions, feelings, etc. One of them asked me, “but if we each take care of each other, wouldn’t that be ideal?” What he was describing is interdependence. Interdependence IS the ideal that we all strive for, but it is often confused with dependence. Lets take a look at different forms of dependence and how they affect relationships.

Independence is “standing on your own feet” and “taking care of yourself.” Many people consider an independent person strong and in control. This is great, but it is also lonely. No one gets into a relationship because they are looking for independence. On the contrary, we look to a relationship to give and receive care.

Dependence describes a relationship where boundaries are blurred. This may look like new relationship where both partners are super in love and can’t get enough of each other. This sense of oneness is deceiving, though, and after the initial thrill wears off, this type of fusion becomes rather suffocating if the partners don’t start to respect each other’s space. Dependence also can be a relationship where each partner is constantly annoyed and bickering. The partners seem to hate each other, but in reality they are still defining themselves by relating to the other person.

Co-dependence usually refers to a relationship where one partner enables destructive behaviors in the other partner, such as addiction. A co-dependent partner defines him/herself by tiptoeing around the other person and adapting him/herself to take care of the other. It may appear on the outside that the addict is the “sinner” and the co-dependent is the “saint,” but actually the co-dependent is just as unhealthy as the addict because they allow and even encourage the destructive behavior and allow themselves to be abused or taken for granted.

Interdependence, on the other hand, is the holy grail of relationship happiness. In an interdependent relationship, each partner has a strong sense of self and some degree of independence. From a place of wholeness, each partner is able to give to the other and bring out the best in the other. Each partner may say, “s/he makes me a better human being.” In an interdependent relationship, partners have individual identities, but being with their partner makes them happier. The couple does not have to agree on everything, but they do share many of the same values. The allow each other to free, and come together by choice. There is a high degree of acceptance and caring, and a low degree of coercion and guilt. There is a lot of trust in the self and also in the partner.

I Am Human… I Do Have Feelings!!!

FFC image I Am Human and I Do Have Feelings

Why be so rude and ugly?  Just because you can, does not mean that you should.  What is this world coming to?  Where is the respect for one another?  Every human being deserves to be treated with respect.  Many marriages struggle primarily due to a violation of the respect principle.  When you disrespect, you dishonor.  And when a person feels dishonored they feel unwanted and useless in the marriage.  The bottom line is; if you can disrespect one another, then maybe you don’t deserve to be with one another.  Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt.  This is the biggest lie ever!  Words do hurt!  Husbands watch what you say to you wives and love them even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25).  Wives be careful how you handle you husbands.  Submit yourselves unto him, even as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).  Respect and honor one another.  Yes it can sometimes be a tough thing, however; it is attainable.  It is according to you.  How bad you want it?

Setting Goals

Setting Goals

Setting goals allows you to choose how you want to move through life. Some achievements can take a lifetime to attain, while others can be completed in the course of a day. Setting and meeting goals can lead\ to feelings of satisfaction and accomplishments. Having a clear vision of the end state we are trying to achieve before we take action to reach our goals is the key factor in accomplishing any goals that we set.

Think about the “big picture.” These general statements can help hone in on the things that really matter to you. Recognizing the things you value will guide your decision-making and keep you focused on your end goals.

Break the “big picture” down into smaller and more specific goals. Consider areas of your life that you either want to change or that you feel you would like to develop with time. Begin to ask yourself questions about what you’d like to achieve in each area and how you would like to approach it within a certain time frame. In terms of your career, you may ask yourself what your ideal job is. What steps do you need to take to get that job? What are the roadblocks? Do you need a specific degree or certificate? With financial goals, you may want to consider where the money will come from. How much money you will need to live comfortably? What are the best ways to spend or invest money? Do you want a house, new car, or to begin a retirement plan?

Create actionable goals. When setting goals, they should answer the highly specific questions of who, what, where, when, and why. Instead of the general goal, “I want to get into shape,” try for a specific goal, “I want to run my first half-marathon this year.” Setting a “due date” to meet goals not only keeps you on track, but it prevents pesky daily roadblocks from getting in the way.

Make each goal a positive statement. Once you have done the brainstorming and considered how to make your goals, it’s time to solidify them. Using positive statements is a direct way to affirm your commitment to completing your goals

Set priorities. At any given moment, you have a number of goals all in different states of completion. Deciding which goals are more important, or time-sensitive, than others is crucial.

What are some of the things you brainstorm about when you are trying to set a goal? What are some of the things you would do when deciding on how to achieve your goal?

Are You in an Angry Marriage?

Living and loving in a truly mature way (in an adult marriage) means letting insights transform the ways in which you relate to one another.  To do this couples must learn to communicate their needs effectively. It requires a new language of love, a form of communication based on insight and emotional understanding.  Finding the words, the right words, that truly express formerly hidden feelings can have a powerfully transforming impact on your marriage.

Where there is contact there is friction, and in marriage goodwill is always being put to the test! An angry marriage in particular, erodes the spirit of goodwill spouses feel toward one another. The erosion of goodwill takes time in an angry marriage. When we love someone we don’t just wake up one morning and discover it disappeared overnight. It is usually slow and goes unnoticed for a long time. Because it’s such a slow process couples might not even see it happening.

Read my next post where I will explore 10 early signs that goodwill may be leaving your marriage and that anger is setting in. Examine your marriage, the real with yourself and see if you’re missing important signals. Most importantly do something about it.

Do you know a couple in an angry marriage, are you that couple? I would love to hear from you.

The information from this post comes from the book The Angry Marriage by Bonnie Maslin, Ph.D.