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
From our family to yours! Happy Thanksgiving!
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.
It’s that time of year again when our doorbell rings and children of all ages hold out a bag asking for “trick or treats”. Television sets are filled with “spooky” movies and “haunted” houses. Stores are packed with cases and cases of candy.
Over the years working with thousands of couples in our Life Together Forever Retreats and our Marriage Intensives, we have witness some of the most challenging spouses. So here is out list of the scariest spouses in marriages today.
The Five Scariest Spouses
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
We have dear friends who are lifelong Dallas Cowboy fans. In good times and bad, they watch every game religiously. They spend hundreds of dollars on Dallas Cowboy branded merchandise, home décor, and clothing. One of the first outfits their children wore as newborns was a Dallas Cowboy onesie. Their cars have Cowboys bumper stickers. Their work areas and home has Cowboys décor. Everyone knows that they are Cowboys fans. They are definitely Dallas Cowboy fanatics.
According to Merriam –Webster Dictionary, the word fan is “probably short for fanatic” and first appeared in 1682. A fan is “an enthusiastic devotee” and “an ardent admirer or enthusiast.”
“Marriage should be honored by all.” Hebrews 13:4 (NIV
We change over time and so does our marriage relationship. Our relationships go through cycles of moving closer to each other and seemingly growing more distant.
The relationship cycle is normal. It is how God built us. Neuroscientists tell us that our brain experiences a dump of neurochemicals when we begin to fall in love. The next 18 to 24 months as our relationship continues, we experience that loving feeling that is due to the “chemical cocktail of love”. But at some point in the first two years of our relationship, our brains chemical system automatically resets.
“You have made my heart beat faster… with a single glance of your eyes…How beautiful is your love… How much better is your love than wine…’ Song of Solomon 4:9-10 edited (NASV)
We rarely speak to political issues on this blog, but there is no doubt the political tension is high and we have witnessed an uptick in political issues affecting marriages in many of our recent Marriage Intensives. Every newscast, social media feed and magazine has a reference to an issue or a politician.
For some, political discourse is a spectator sport. We watch it as if watching our favorite sport contests. Others enjoy the voyeurism of it all. We watch to see the implosions and scandals. Some of us do not care one bit and we hardly ever watch news anymore.
Then there is the political junkie. We listen to talk radio all day and binge watch news supporting our political views and vilifying our foes. We buy the merchandise, go to meetings, give and raise money, and champion the cause of our issues.
‘Listen, don’t get trapped in brainless debates; avoid competition over family trees or pedigrees; stay away from fights and disagreements over the law. They are a waste of your time.’ Titus 3:9 (VOICE)
How Political Issues Can Hurt Your Marriage
James and Sara came to a Marriage Intensive after thirteen years of marriage. She felt like she did not have a voice anymore in the marriage and that he would not listen to her. He felt like she did not put any effort into the relationship and would rather spend time with her friends than with him.
Near the end of the first hour, it was obvious what had happened. As soon as they married, they stopped doing the things that made them fall in love in the first place. No more dates. No more long conversations discovering each other. No more checking in with each other about what is going on in their worlds.
Over time, in the absence of emotional connection, they began to shut down. Not doing the things that connects your hearts leads to a barrenness and absence of warmth. Lack of heart connection is the foundation for negative interaction. The longer the lack of connection, the more frequent and intense the pattern of negative interaction.
We believe that almost every broken trust in a marriage can be traced back to a pattern of negative interaction that started with disconnection of the heart.
Five Questions That Will Connect Your Hearts