In every interaction with your spouse, you will move toward, move away or move against.
The choice you make in how your interaction with your spouse is a critical key indicator to the success of your marriage. John Gottman’s research indicates that divorced spouses reported that they ignored, or turned away from, their spouse’s attempts to connect between 50 and 82 percent of attempts, while couples who made it ignored their spouse’s attempts to connect only between 14 and 19 percent of the time.
Darla was angry. She told us that her husband did not understand her and she did not feel like he ever would. She wondered if he loved her as she told us countless examples of his inattention to her needs. And when he finally asked her out on a date, it was to something that he knew she hated. She was done.
On a good day, enjoy yourself; on a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won’t take anything for granted. Ecclesiastes 7:14 MSG
As a society, there is no other conclusion to make. Relationships as a whole in America are unhealthy and unsuccessful. According to the data, the divorce rate has plateaued at 50%. That is somewhat deceiving because around 70% of first time marriages actually make it. The older set bends these numbers upward.
Less than half of second time marriages actually make it. And about a third of third time marriages make it.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and Dad’s everywhere this week will be working on how to make this Mother’s Day wonderful for their wives.
‘Into the home of the childless wife, He sends children who are, for her, a cause of happiness beyond measure.’ Psalm 113:9 (VOICE)
There is no Mother’s Day Manual For Dads. Most new and young dads make rookie mistakes. Those of us who have been married a few decades have figured out how to get through Mother’s Day without having major snafus. Here are some easy tips to help set you up for success with this year’s Mother’s Day.
We had a great time as the guests on a conference call with marriage ministers and marriage counselors from all across the globe. One pastor asked the question, “What are the few things I can tell couples that will get their stale marriages moving in the right direction?”
We believe that every can take action now, immediately, to make their marriage better, stronger, and closer. Here is how we answered the question and what we recommend every couple do to move toward each other and the marriage they deeply desire.
There are huge differences between men and women when discussing the concept of emotional intimacy. To most women, it usually means sharing secret things of the heart, talking things over, and affection such as cuddling.
There was a long running beer commercial where a man was alone out in nature, fishing or hunting, and as he opened his drink he would proclaim, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.” But most men would disagree. It could get a lot better, if his wife would join him and enthusiastically share in the activity.
Men are bent toward action and they feel emotionally connected when doing things together. Husbands feel closest to their wives when they are working together on landscaping, going to see a movie, enjoying a recreational activity. According to William F. Harley Jr., (His Needs Her Needs) “Spending recreational time with his spouse is second only to sex for the typical husband. “
Dana and Tony had been married for seventeen years when they came in for a marriage intensive. Dana had asked him to move out and he did not know what else to do when he called.
Dana complained that Tony was an embarrassment to her. Any time she invited him to a couples gathering with her friends or to her company events, she felt like he purposefully caused a scene. He would put her down as a wife or make fun of her in some way.
Tony felt alone in the marriage. She refused to ever go on a bike ride with him, join him on a golf outing, or go to the gym with him. Occasionally when he was out with a couple of his friends, she would show up unannounced and unplanned and then be upset with him if he did not leave his friends to be with her for the rest of the night.
Work toward unity, and live in harmony with one another. Romans 12:16a (VOICE)
One study several years ago found that people who report they are Christians are just as likely to divorce as those who didn’t. Headlines online and in print read that you are just as likely to divorce if you are a Christian than if you are not.
Church is great for your marriage!
Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches. Hebrews 10:24-25 (Voice)
However, a deeper look into the matter by several other studies found that those couples who regularly attend church together are 46% less likely to get divorced compared to only 10% less likely if they occasionally go to church together.
Further, studies have found that couples not going to church at all are twice as likely to get divorced as those who attend church regularly together. So practicing Christianity, as evidenced by attending church services regularly, is much more powerful in keeping your marriage together than just believing Jesus is your Savior.
Kay and Brian were at a breaking point. She was focused on being the best mother she could be and had given little effort in her marriage for the past fifteen years. He would attempt to avoid conflict by bottling it up inside until eventually he would explode in yelling and threatening.
After one of his tirades, Kay asked him to move out. Separated, they reached out to their Pastor for support and he had them call us. They set up a last-ditch effort Marriage Intensive with us to save their marriage.
The Big Question
We spent the day together. God did what He usually does during the long day of work. He healed each of them in their most broken place and began to heal the old wounds in their relationship.
Near the end of the day, they each grabbed their spouse’s rings. Holding their spouse’s ring finger, we had them finish the sentence. “Our marriage is worth fighting for because…”