3 Truths Guiding Our Marriage

We have a saying that floats around our home:

Our marriage is either growing or dying. Which one are we choosing today?”

This is significant because we believe that no marriage stays stagnant.

Every second…

Every day…

Every  year…

we are making choices that impact the future of our marriage. When you are in a relationship there are aspects of your behavior and how you portray yourself that directly impact your partner.  For us, we try and bring to the front 3 truths to ensure longevity in our relationship.

The first truth is how we communicate with each other. Language, tone and body language are all forms of communication we are aware of that can have an effect on building or destroying a relationship.  Language… you know the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”.. well that’s not true.  Words are very powerful and can take on a life of their own. When you use disrespectful words towards your partner each word works to tear them down. And on the opposite side of the spectrum,  if you are using loving words towards them you can build them up.  So before you let loose, choose your words wisely.

There is also a non-verbal form of communication and it’s to stay silent. This can be just as damaging because when your partner does not know how you feel or what your thinking they can misinterpret what your silence means. As we all know, very rarely are men and women, in terms of communication, ever on the same page. So…speak up.

Contribution in our marriage is the second truth we continually reevaluate.  For us, contribution looks more like what each individual is bringing to the table to help the relationship grow. We each play our “roles” and the dynamics of a relationship are always changing.  We realize the routine of life can kill a relationship because we tend take each other for granted and disconnect from our partner.

Expressing an attitude of gratitude  towards your partner because they went to work to provide for the family or got up in the middle of the night with a crying kid while you slept shows that you are grateful for the contribution they are making to the relationship.  Acknowledging the “role” your partner is  playing for the betterment of the relationship will keep you connected. Every one wants to feel appreciated.  Show gratitude as often as you can!!

Commitment is our third and most important truth. We take the vows we made to each other on our wedding day very seriously. That is not to say we haven’t had moments where we wanted to call it quits.  Having two imperfect people try and live a life together is very difficult.  Our relationship is no different.

Staying committed to the relationship requires a conscious decision to honor your partner even on their worst day, month or year. Communication and contribution can play a part in how committed you are to the relationship.  They can be  forms of validation.  When a partner doesn’t feel validated eventually they no longer feel the need to stay committed.  If you can consciously commit to going to work every day for a paycheck, your relationship should require that same mentality.  You both need to be conscious and intentional about the health of  your relationship.

Please note, however, we are not talking about staying committed to an abusive relationship. Putting your hands on your partner in a harmful way is never acceptable.

 

 

 

How do you  answer the question, what am I doing to make the relationship grow or what am I doing to make it die?

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Making YOU a Priority

The message society sends us is this: the busier I am the more successful I am. And aren’t we all striving to be successful??  So how do you make yourself a priority when you are so busy striving for success?

Have ever heard the saying “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”?  Well, think of that saying in terms of making yourself a priority. No one can take better care of you than YOU. You just have to be intentional about putting yourself on the schedule. Even if its only 10 minutes to start.

Believe you are worthy enough to invest that valued time, we all have so little of, by making yourself a priority. If your schedule is so full that you are unable to pencil yourself in then its time for a reevaluation.  Explore why it is that you have to every minute accounted for.

This may also  mean you learn saying the word “No”  to something or someone that does not directly benefit in helping you make yourself a priority. The world will not crumble.  Know that it is okay for you to take some time to rejuvenate, exercise, or explore what ever it is that brings you individual enjoyment.

People by nature are takers. The more you give the more they’ll take. So you have to know when you have overextended yourself. Stop and correct the course.

Lastly, making time for yourself requires being  a little selfish.  Being selfish to where you are intentionally trying to hurt someone else is not what we’re saying. The definition of selfish is to take care of or be devoted to one’s self.  I don’t know about you, but to take care of self means to be intentional. Intentional as to how I am doing mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually in each of these aspects.

As the flight attendant on the plane always say: “You have to put on YOUR oxygen mask before you can help someone else with theirs”.

 

Question of the day: What ways have you developed to ensure that you are a priority?

 

 

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Parenting…Where’s the Manual??

Parenting, Manual, love

 

As we all know there is not a manual handed to us on  “How to be a Good Parent” when we leave the hospital with our precious new bundle of joy. We soon find out that the adventure of parenting is going to be one of trial and error.

There’s no love like the love between a parent and a child. From the first breath your child takes, there is not a thing you wouldn’t do for the safety and well being of your child. A parent’s love does not  have to be reciprocated. No matter what happens with your child you will always love them.

The saying “love is blind” comes to mind when describing a parent/child relationship.  We have all experienced that demon child in the store, restaurant, etc. and thought how can the parents not see how bad that kid is, right?! Yet, at times the very demon is our own child. Don’t let that blindness of your love for them keep you from holding your child accountable to the authority you have as the parent.

We experienced being parents while we were still teenagers. We went from being under our parents authority to having that authority as parents. Finding out who we were as parents became  our priority. We did not find it acceptable that because we were teenagers that somehow exempted us from our responsibilities. We just knew we wanted to raise a respectful human being who hopefully would one day contribute positively to society.

That meant that we had to feed, cloth, and nurture our babies to the best of our abilities. Did you catch that, I said to the best of our abilities.  Our abilities, however, had to continue to mature  from the teenagers we were to responsible adults.  We could no longer stay in a child-like frame of mind. As parents we had to continually cultivate our parenting skills- what worked for one kid did not work for the other.

The biggest thing for our family about parenting is consistency. Consistency in our love for them, our words to them, and discipline. Our consistency defines a part of our character as parents. Our kids know this to be true as to who we are as parents. They in turn respect the structure because the outcome is going to be the same.  That’s not to say they like our parenting technique, but they do respect it because it is required. As the saying goes in our house: “you may have a strong will, but mine (dad and mom) is stronger”. This requires us as parents to act as the adults: be consistent in our behavior and make tough adult decisions that kids do not have the ability to comprehend.

But, there have also been times when an apology is in order. Parenting is a learn as you go process. You realize the decision or a reaction you made was the wrong one. Therefore, asking your child for forgiveness shows your child that you are willing to admit you are wrong, you don’t have all the answers, and you are by no means perfect. Remind them you are doing the best you know how to because….there is no manual.

parenting, words, protection

Question of the day: What would you include in a parenting manual?

 

 

 

 

 

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