It’s common to confuse an itch with a scratch. But there is a huge difference between an itch and a scratch.
An itch is a sensation that causes a desire to scratch. It is not action, but rather merely there. It is the desire to do or get something.
A scratch, on the other hand, is action in response to an itch. The focus of the action of scratching is to eliminate the itch.
A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out. Prov. 25:28 (MSG)
We do not know anyone who loves to do chores. But they have to get done. And with most couples who come to us for help, chores seems to be part of the discussion. One feels like the other hardly ever helps, or does not keep their end of the delegated chores or spends too much time doing them instead of connecting with their spouse. Sometimes the issue is that the one doing the chores is being regularly criticized instead of appreciated for doing them.
“For each will have to bear his own load” Galations 6:5 ESV
Holidays are a stressful time for couples and families. Negative patterns of interaction grow exponentially as almost all communication becomes focused on the tasks of the holiday. Frequently feelings are hurt in the mix and there are long periods of negative emotions and energy.
But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13 (Voice)
Make This Holiday Weekend Better
Turn your relationships around during the holidays by implementing these tips for making memories!
Four moments seems like such a short amount of time. Yet if you take advantage of the opportunities within these four moments, you will have the power to create the life together forever you have always wanted. Four moments out of every day are the most powerful to moving toward each other, instead of against or away from each other.
You improve your marriage by intentionally using the 4 most important relationship moments every day.
One of the most surprising findings of our work with thousands of couples over the years is that it only takes one spouse to change a marriage. One spouse can go outside of the marriage for something they have not created and developed in their marriage sabotaging any hope for their future together. One spouse can meet with a divorce industry attorney and file in courage. One spouse alone can end the marriage.
You have incredible power to create the change in your marriage you desire.
A recent call from a 32 year old wife in a five year old marriage. “Why is it that my husband showed me a lot of PDA (public display of affection) in our beginning of our relationship but is reluctant to do it now?”
The most important sex organ is the brain. And within the brain we are finding the answer to this very important question that is a common problem within most relationships.
It is amazing to us how many times husbands and wives are sitting in our offices and learn for the first time something about their spouse. Some have been married years and never knew that when she does this, he feels that… or that it always makes her feel the same negative way when he does that.
It makes sense to us that blown expectations is a huge part of the negative pattern of interactions that couples in struggle find themselves experiencing. One of the biggest “aha”s for us in our work with couples over the years is the huge number of times that the offended spouse has never communicated the expectation to the offending spouse. That is, when one spouse expects the other to do something that has never been communicated and is emotionally frustrated, hurt or sad when it does not happen.
Unspoken expectations are unhealthy expectations.
Life is stressful. It is full of everyday little stressors and huge unexpected once-in-a-lifetime stressors. It has wonderfully exciting and “I can’t believe it” joy-filled stressors as well as little joys that also bring about unintended stressors. As long as we are living, we will experience stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress,
- the annual costs to employers of stress related healthcare and missed wore was measured at $300 Billion in 2014.
- 77% of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress.
- 73% of Americans regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress.
- 76% of Americans cited work as the leading cause of their stress.
- 54% of Americans reported stress has caused them to fight with people close to them.
- 48% of Americans reported lying awake at night due to stress.
Relationships Buffer Stress
Jackie and Kurt had fallen out of love. Seven years into the marriage, Jackie was focused on raising their two young children. Her energy was spent by the time Kurt walked in the door. Focused on his career, Kurt frequently worked late and was frustrated by the lack of appreciation for all he was doing to provide for the family.
When Jackie called to schedule the marriage intensive, she said, “I don’t think my husband loves me anymore.” When they arrived Kurt stated that he doubted if she loved or respected him anymore. The future of their marriage was in jeopardy.
Lost That Loving Feeling
Like so many young couples in the child-rearing years of marriage, Jackie and Kurt had unconsciously traded putting their energy toward building a passionate life-long marriage for providing for and parenting their children. Home management, budget, and chores replaced the things their pursuit of each other.
Julie was angry when she called for a marriage intensive. After twelve years of marriage, she discovered her husband’s emotional affair with his coworker. The words he texted her were like knives piercing through her heart.
They attended a three day intensive with a another organization and thought they were ready to move on. He was upset that she was still bringing it up and could not believe they had spent so much money and she was “not over it yet”.
She said, “I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive him”.
What Forgiveness Is Not
Before we look at how and why to forgive, we need to explain what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness does not mean: