Logo, MARRIAGE 101 MINISTRIES - Marriage Counseling
 
(210) 521-8668  
6619 Laurelhill Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 

                                 Quick Marriage Tips

Over the years, we have accumulated solutions for many marriage issues during counseling. We hope the information on this page will help you with your issues. Keep an eye out on this page and revisit it time to time for new solutions. You can also purchase our 7-8 minute solutions on DVD by calling our office at 210-521-8668. 

WHAT MARITAL LOVE LOOKS LIKE 

Long-Suffering

Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your spouse without impatience or anger. 

OPEN MINDEDNESS VS. BEING JUDGMENTAL 

Love is not being judgmental but looking for ways to encourage and praise. Trust me; you will walk through your own judgment! You know, casting the first stone. 

PEACE VS. STRIFT & CONFLICT

Love is the daily, and sometimes HOURLY, commitment to resist conflict that comes from pointing out and responding to minor offenses!

HUMILITY VS. STUBBORNNESS 7 BEING PRIDEFUL

Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to whinning, accusing, or being right.

Love is taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming your spouse even when you think you are right.

OBSERVANT AND AWARE VS BEING OBLIVIOUS

Love is being the world's leading expert on your spouse! No one should know your spouse better than you.

DISHARMONY VS. PATIENCE

Love means being willing to take the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed of you have agreed upon a solution.  

FORGIVING VS. GRUDGE HOLDING 

Love is asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness when it is requested always,  and without expecting the same in return. 

DECEIT VS. HONESTY

Love is being true to your word. Who you are when you are alone, is who you REALLY are. 

SELF-CONTROL VS. AGITATION

Love is being kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse's character, or assault his or her intelligence. It takes at least 2 to argue-don't be one of them.

BEING AUTHENTIC & REAL VS. INSINCERITY

Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie manipulate, or deceive in any way to get your spouse to give you want or do something your way. 

SELFISH AMBITION 

Love is keeping your own identity and allowing your spouse to keep theirs without feeling threatened. When your will and God's will line up, you are moving toward being a righteous person and will grow closer to God's heart. Move toward truly wanting to be unknown. 

SELF- SACRIFICE VS. SELFISHNESS 

Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule, to make things easier on your spouse without expecting credit for it or complaining. Love is sacrifice without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in debt. 

FAITHFULNESS VS. WAVERING LOYALTY

Love is treating your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even when they don't seem to deserve it. Isn't that what you want? Sow it first and then you will surely reap it! God said so!

GOODNESS

Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust you. 

SELFISHNESS VS. YIELDING 

Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding. Love yields always. 

SERVANT HOOD

Love looks for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired. 

THE FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE 

AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER...REALLY? THE FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE

So, we date, fall in love and are on our best behavior with each other and relatives. There are hearts & butterflies in the air and all rosey. You have spent spent mainly fun time together, but now you are married and must tend to everyday living details and its different than you thought it would be. 

  • The "News" flash: new husband/wife, new name, new driver's license, new bank account, new Social Security card, new address, new phone number, new signature, new title.
  • Bedtime habits, times and rituals will be different
  • Spending habits will be different
  • Expect to gain a little weight 
  • Friendships will change now you aren't single anymore
  • Intimacy won't be as often, but will be better

SOME INTERESTING THOUGHTS:

  1. Your time isn't your own anymore
  2. You are now eating for 2, or at least cooking for 2, ( even thought you aren't pregnant) and you must always consult with each other about what, when, where and how you are going to eat meals.
  3. You will now see each other at your worst
  4. The cute little habits will become irritating Big habits. 
  5. The family members you once were trying to escape and would never share with look pretty good now!
  6. You find that you really DO think differently about so many more things that you once thought you did. 
  7. You say to yourself, " Exactly why did i get married?''
  8. After a couple of weeks, you may feel your new spouse isn't carrying their fair share around the house.
  9. You may have more intense disagreements that when dating. 

Solutions

  1. If you didn't have what i call, an "ODD" (opinions, dreams & desires) meeting before you married, plan one now. Discuss and come into agreement on the following:
  • Who does what chores
  • A budget
  • Vacations
  • When you argue, that neither of you will speak of it to anyone
  • Being open with passwords, social media sites etc.
  • Holidays with in-laws
  • How do you handle discipline with children
  • Date night ( This is just a start and you can continue these weekly meetings adding your own subjects as time goes by. 

       2Make up your mind to embrace & enjoy the differences-both of you 

      3. You don't always have to have your way- learn to yield

      4. Don't judge harshly- give each other grace and forgiveness

      5. Give 10 times more than you take and do it not expecting to get it

      6. Adjust your expectations- no one is perfect, including you!

      7. Try to stop doing the things that irritate- that will bring about honor and peace 

 AFTER THE I DO'S

AFTER THE WEDDING- THE ADJUSTMENT 

If you find yourself asking these questions, you're not alone. Who is this person I married? Who am i becoming in this relationship? Is marriage supposed to be this hard? All married couples go through periods of adjustment.

Adjusting to marriage involves uniting two sets of perceptions, expectations, needs, goals, and personalities.

Schedules, chores, in-laws, finances, vacations, children - coming together with the same goal in mind. 

THE 4 STAGES OF ADJUSTMENT: THE FIRST 3 YEARS 

  • FIRST SIX MONTHSThe "honeymoon phase," - very few serious problems and a general sense of satisfaction.
  • SIX TO TWELVE MONTHS: Optimism fades into realism due to differences of opinion, financial obligations, bad habits, or boredom. 
  • 12 To 36 MONTHS:  There may be a short period of disillusionment. Challenges for time or money, childbearing, or sexual adjustment require new coping strategies. Children can further complicate the adjustment process. 
  • 18 to 36 MONTHSCouples begin to get accustomed to life together. Couples who cannot accept or improve their quality of life together break up. Couples who remain committed to building a strong marriage have a realistic view of what takes to be successful. 

   HOW TO BE A GOOD HUSBAND 

 10 TRAITS OF A GOOD HUSBAND

  • A good husband shows his wife love and gives her affection in word and deed.
  • A good husband notices his wife. ( I just caught you doing right!!!) 
  • A good husband prefers her company above all the others ( We don't have to take the kids this time, do we?)
  • A good husband knows he is a servant, provider, and protector to his wife.
  • A good husband is a lover; he doesn't lust after his wife. ( What can I do to please you?)
  • A good husband watches his conversation and keeps it respectful
  • A good husband prays over his wife daily. ( What can i pray for you before we start our day?) 
  • A good husband doesn't try to clone his wife but allows and appreciates her differences (you are such an interesting- woman- i love the way you are!)
  • A good husband builds up his wife's self-esteem & confidence. (I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it!)
  • A good husband totally unpredictable, fun loving and surprises her husband often! (Put your best dress on baby- I'm taking you out!)

  HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE 

10 TRAITS OF A GOOD WIFE 

There are many aspect of a good wife and it's really not the same to everyone. That's why we need to go to God's word, once again, for our answers and adhere to the standard He set. 

THE PERFECT WIFE (PROVERBS 31) 

10] How hard it is to find the perfect wife.

She is worth far more than jewels. 

11] Her husband depends on her. (She is dependable)

He will never be poor. 

12] She does good for her husband all her life. 

She never causes him trouble. 

13] She is always gathering wool and flax 

and enjoys making things with her hands.

14] She is like a ship from a faraway place.

She brings home food from everywhere. (She is a good shopper- good prices)

15] She wakes up early in the morning, 

cooks food for her family, and gives the servants their share. (She cooks)

16] She looks at land and buys it.

She uses the money she has earned and plants a vineyard.

17] She works very hard 

She is strong and able to do all her work. (She is independent but submissive

18] She works late into the night 

to make sure her business earns a profit. (a good administrator of the business)

19] She makes her own thread and weaves her own cloth. (She sews

20] She always gives to the poor 

and helps those who need it ( She is Charitable)

21] She does not worry about her family when it snows. 

She has given them all good, warm clothes. 

22] She makes sheets and spreads for the beds,

and she wears clothes of fine linen. 

23] Her husband is a respected member of the city council,

where he meets with the other leaders. 

24] She makes clothes and belts and sells them to the merchants.

25] She is a strong person, and people respect her.

She looks to the future with confidence. (She has a positive attitude)

26] She speaks with wisdom (she is a good counselor

and teaches others to be loving and kind. 

27] She oversees the care of her house. (She makes sure the home is clean and in order

She is never lazy. 

28] Her children say good things about her. (She spends time with the kids.) 

Her husband brags about her and says, (she has her husband's admiration) 

29] ''There are many good women,

but your are the best.''

30] Grace and beauty can fool you,

but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.

31] Give her the reward she deserves.

Praise her in public for what she has done.  

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MAINTAINING YOUR MARRIAGE

Just as a car needs regular maintenance, your marriage does too- much more so! If you changed your oil, check you tire pressures, had it balanced and washed it only the first year you had it, how long would it has or even look? By the same token, if you work at making our marriage good only during the first year while it is new, how log do you think it will be before it starts to break down? The following are a few tips you can use to keep your marriage fresh! 

  • SHOW INTEREST.  This can be a subtle as listening and looking a person in the eyes when they are speaking. 
  • BE AFFECTIONATE. Non-sexual touch, little acts of physical affection, or as simple as reminding your spouse of a happy time the two of you shared together. 
  • SHOW YOU CARE. Small acts of thoughtfulness and kindness can go a long way in marriage. 
  • BE APPRECIATIVE. Every time you express appreciation for your spouse and the ways they contribute to you marriage, you are strengthening the bond between you two. 
  • SHOW YOUR CONCERN. When your spouse expresses sadness or adversity, it is important that he or she feel validated for their concerns. 
  • BE EMPATHETIC. Trying to share in your spouse's emotions can help put the two of you on the same page. This can be expressed through words of through a simple facial expression. 
  • BE ACCEPTING. Even if you do not agree with what your spouse is saying, it's important to let him or her know that you still respect them and validate their feelings. 
  • JOKE AROUND. Sharing mutual jokes and laughter can strengthen the ties of a relationship. 
  • SHARE YOUR JOY. Let your spouse know when you are happy or having a good time. Two of the most important foundations for any marriage are love and respect. 

PROBLEM SOLVING

We bring many different things into our opinion on how to solve problems

  • Backgrounds
  • Imprints
  • Childhood
  • How we saw our parents solve problems

Solutions

  • Turn off the cell phone.
  • Find the real problem- Sometimes we start out discussing one problem and move to another issue and then another until we cannot even remember where we started.
  • Stick to one issue at a time- Write it down if you have to.
  • List alternative solutions - You may each have different ways of going about the resolution of a problem- list them and discuss all of them calmly.
  • Together select a plan of action- Come up with a plan that works for both of you- again- write it all out.
  • Establish and enforce accountability-You both developed the plan, now hold each other accountable to follow the plan. Plan to meet with each other several times a week to discuss the progress.
  • Set up an evaluation procedure- Put together some kind of evaluation procedure to help you assess how you are doing with the problem.
  • Celebrate together- When success has been achieved!
  • Never let the problem to be solved become more important than your beloved spouse! 

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ROCK SOLID PRINCIPLES FOR GOOD COMMUNICATION:

Be empathetic

  • It is impossible to take advice from someone unless you believe they understand you.
  • Brings safety & security to relationship.

Be a good listener-the language of love 

  • Express genuine desire to listen
  • Do not interrupt- use a pad of paper for comments or notes
  • Accept their feelings whether they are right or wrong
  • Have a non-judgmental attitude
  • Make and keep eye contact
  • Don’t do anything else while listening
  • Show appreciation that they are confiding in you
  • Be supportive

Express your expectations

  • But don’t expect them to be a mind reader!
  • This goes for your intimate time together
  • Be specific
  • Don’t expect all of your issues to be resolvable!

Schedule communication times

  • Don’t talk when tired, impatient, distracted or cranky
  • Set a time and treat it like a business appt.
  • Meet in a public place
  • This should not be on date night- this is a business meeting only
  • Try taking a brief walk together in the evening and using that time to talk
  • Plan to get away alone with each other each quarter, 4 times a year, for communication & relationship building
  • Plan a regular Starbucks date twice a week to talk

Develop a problem solving-plan 

We bring many different things into our opinion on how to solve problems

It takes a great deal of work to have warmth and connectivity but few are ready to roll up their sleeves and accept the pain and sacrifice it takes to have it.

  • Find the REAL problem- stick with one issue at a time
  • List alternative solutions
  • Together, select a plan of action
  • Establish & enforce accountability
  • Set up a day for evaluation

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HOW NOT TO FIGHT WHEN THE CASH GETS TIGHT!

Ask a married couple what they always fight about. Chances are, the subject of money or finances will come up. Here are a few tips to help curb the conflict.

Write your financial plan on paper & keep track of your expenses.

MISTAKE: Couples talk about how much they make and make verbal plans and then accuse each other and fight over what was said.

SOLUTION: Print out calendars for the next 3 months, write down a plan that you both agree on, sign & date it. If things change as time goes by, both of you re-sign and re-date the new plan.

 Always include luxury and entertainment in your budget regardless of how small it is. 

MISTAKE: Budgeting every penny with no leeway for emergencies or fun.

SOLUTION: Remember that people work for things-not money- you must have fun or you will get depressed and give up, so:

  1. Make day trips to nearby towns- gas for car and picnic lunch
  2. Use 2 for one coupons- restaurants, attractions (ex: Groupon)
  3. Find beautiful parks to take a walk through and take pictures.
  4. Start using some of our inexpensive dates 

Don’t put money before your relationship

MISTAKE Couples tend to blame each other when things are financially rocky.

SOLUTION:  Your relationship comes first, tough it out, pray together and forgive.

 Always think about your spouse before yourself

MistmakeIn the heat of the moment, people zero in on their own needs which they feel are not being met, disregarding their partner's needs. They justify their right to yell and fight to be heard.

Solution: Don’t be selfish and don’t think selfishly. Listen and care more about understanding your mate's point of view and their needs than your own and being heard. Don’t ever buy something that your partner didn’t know about or that wasn't planned by both of you. No secrets.

 Focus on your goals

MISTAKE: We revert to our old routine- we see a restaurant and go off budget.

SOLUTION: Plan an allowance in your budget for spur of the moment desires, but set a limit when you first make the budget and stick to it!

 Learn to YIELD

MISTAKEPride can cause people to stand their ground when they are wrong rather than argue.

SOLUTION: When you blow it, ask forgiveness and promise not to do it again-then don’t!

 Don’t make life changing decisions in the heat of the moment

  • Don’t walk out on each other
  • Don’t use the D (divorce) word
  • Don’t insist the other quit a job

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DEPRESSION & MARRIAGE

Depression is a mental illness that can negatively affect both partners in a marriage.

7 COMMON SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

  • Sadness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Change in appetite
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Loss of pleasure in activities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety

HEADLINES AND TRENDS

Approximately 19 million people in the United States are diagnosed with depression per year. Women are diagnosed with depression twice as much as men.

   1. According to the National Depression and Manic Depression Association, untreated depression costs the United States an estimated 43 billion dollars a year due to absenteeism from work, lost productivity and medical costs.

   2. Depressed people often feel ashamed and embarrassed. Many people consider depression to be an indication of flawed character. Furthermore, depressed people sometimes believe that their depression is their fault. In one research study, fifty four percent of those surveyed believed that depression is a personal weakness.

   3. Many people suffering from depression feel alone and isolated and have great difficulty reaching out for help. Managing depression can be much easier with the help of a spouse and other family members. Being in a marriage where one partner suffers from depression can be overwhelming and confusing for the non-depressed spouse. The spouse can often feel frustrated, angry or hurt by their partner’s behavior. Many people experience feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment when dealing with depression as there is still a stigma attached to the illness. Depression can affect marriage in a very negative way with an increase in marital dissatisfaction. Couples dealing with depression are at higher risk for divorce.

   4. The partner of a depressed spouse needs to become educated about the nature of depression and treatment options that are available. The spouse needs to learn not to personalize their partner’s behavior. Encouraging their partner to seek help and being supportive of their partner’s treatment will be particularly helpful.
The entire family can begin to display the traits of social isolation, avoidance, negative interaction and other symptoms of depression.

It can be hard to differentiate between common marital problems and the subtle signs of actual depression. What appears as marriage problems may in fact be manifestations of depression. While suffering from depression there is usually an absence of feelings of love and intimacy. When this occurs, a partner may assume that they are no longer in love with their spouse. There can be profound feelings of isolation and a depressed atmosphere that permeates the marriage. These feelings can contaminate moods, outlooks, activities and behavior.

SOLUTIONS

  • You can’t prevent a bird from flying over your head, but you CAN stop it from building a nest in your hair
  • Try to think more positive. Think of all the good things in your life; count your blessings-on paper!
  • Keep yourself busy with something you enjoy doing
  • Talk to someone you love and trust about how you are feeling
  • Live for tomorrow instead of today.
  • Exercise or just walk a couple times a day- a change of scene can really help
  • Put some uplifting music on
  • Take a shower or swim- water grounds you
  • Sing

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       HOW TO GET AND KEEP YOUR WIFE INTERESTED IN YOU!

  • Make a list of the reasons you think you have almost lost her- you know what to do with that list!
  • Make a list of the top 5 things she likes least about you and begin to work on them at a time. 
  • Make a list of the top 5 things she was attracted to you for in the beginning and simultaneously start doing them again
  • Pay attention to her
  • Start touching her regularly- non-sexually-loving touches
  • Listen to her without offering advice unless she asks, if she does, answer briefly and then turn the conversation back over to her. Make eye contact.
  • Be confident in who you are- if you're scared about anything, don't let her know- seek your pastor's help. She needs a man's man who is strong and confident.
  • Surprise her with fun & romantic dates- make time for her- if it's her that is working too much and long, send flowers to her work with and intriguing invitation to meet you some place romantic (maybe with live jazz). Arrange for the kids to be taken care of and put that in the invite so it's harder for her to say no.
  • If she doesn't appreciate you or what you do, don't be crushed- stay positive and confident- do not have high expectations!!!!
  • Don't beg or be needy.
  • Don't bring ANY negative or toxic elements into the conversation.
  • Improve your looks- work out- get a new sexy look- get some new threads- start dressing a level up from what she is used to seeing. 
  • Don't spy on her- cell phone, computer or by car
  • Agree with her 
  • Under her 
  • Respect her
  • Acknowledge her presence and hard work 
  • Still continue to be there for your family
  • Keep your word. If you say you're going to do something, do it.

If you practice these behaviors, she just might wake up and start noticing you again and decide she wants to be with you more than anyone else in the world. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain by giving it your all. 

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      FRIENDSHIP & FUN

    Put the following list on your refrigerator door:

  • Sunday: For 5 minutes today, tell me what you love about me.
  • Monday: Flirt with me at least 3 times today. (I will be counting!)
  • Tuesday: Give me at least one genuine compliment today as you look into my eyes.
  • Wednesday:Write me a little love note today.
  • Thursday: Tell me a funny story, get a funny movie we watch or tell me a joke.
  • Friday: Tell me one of your all-time favorite moments with me.
  • Saturday: Play a game with me today. 

      Friendship & Fun in a marriage are 2 of the biggest predictors of long-term marital satisfaction. 

    1. What happens to fun in most marriages? Many couples move from being best friends who have a lot of fun together        before they get married to a more intense and serious relationship as the years go by. The problem is that as time goes by, anger,        resentment and unforgiveness build up and they lose that closeness and friendship.

    2.How do most married couples see themselves? As simply husband & wife instead of as friends.

   3.How do friends see each other? Friends have more patience with each other, listen without blaming, show respect for           each other's feelings even if they disagree, celebrate special occasions, extend grace and forgiveness more readily, and practice         kindness towards each other, make each other feel safe, don't try to change each other and compliment and talk more to each               other.

   4.What does having fun do for a marriage? It builds positive memories reduces stress, produces affirmation and support       and causes good communication. 

INEXPENSIVE BUT CREATIVE IDEAS 

  • Watch a funny movie, be silly and eat popcorn together.
  • Break all the rules and go on a morning date!
  • Play games- with each other every weekend or with another couple. 
  • Take dance lessons together- John Coker is our instructor!
  • Explore a flea market.
  • Get disposable cameras and go sight-seeing in your own town.
  • Ride the tour bus around the city. 
  • Go to a county court house and watch a trial in session. 
  • Get up extra early and go out to breakfast on a weekend before work. 
  • Donate blood together. 
  • Go to an interesting location like a park lake and order a pizza.
  • Buy flowers, take them home and decide together.
  • Fly kites. 
  • Be kids again. Play hopscotch, go to a park, order happy meals, etc.
  • Go to the conservatory. 
  • Take a drive to a lovely area with creative landscaping to get ideas for your home.
  • Watch the stars. You could go on a normal night or plan to see a meteor shower or comet. 

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 SEPARATION & DIVORCE

     Divorce is a sad fact of life but there is nothing new about it- parents have been getting divorced for centuries. 

     Divorce means something went wrong. Two people who, for all the right or wrong reason, had pledged themselves to stick          together to provide a secure family base for their children, are now splitting up. It didn't work out the way it was planned.

     No one Wants to get divorced. But it happens, for the sake of the children, here are some tips on how to minimize the impact on    the kids:

    1. Please remember, children love both parents. Ideally, you should try to stay married for the sake of children, but if you have had sound counseling and marriage classes and it's still making all of you unhappy, then its best to plan an amicable divorce. You have a responsibility towards your children to provide a loving and caring home.

      Note, this does NOT mean you should put up with an abusive relationship just to "stay together for the children". Ongoing violence, drug abuse etc. are NOT good for children. If you really need to get out, then get out. 

   2. If you must separate, be grown-up about it. Do your level best to separate amicably. Agree that things are not working out between you and that it is best to separate. Avoid lengthy court battles and custody disputes. Why? They cost you a bunch of money, drag down your emotions, preventing you from moving on with life, and ALWAYS end up with the children picking up the bad vibes and feeling insecure. Consider a mediator rather that an attorney. It will run between $400.00 & $600.00! 

   3. Even if the other person has hurt you badly, he is still the parent of your child and no child likes to hear bad things about their parents. Be honest with your children and answer their questions as unbiased as you can, even though it may not be easy at times but do not put your spouse down. Also, you need to reassure them that you are not going to leave too so they don't feel abandoned. 

   4. Do not defend the other parent if he/she proves to be constantly unreliable- not turning up for the visits when promised, not calling them or keeping in touch, failing to send cards and presents, etc. Your child will be deeply disappointed, hurt, perplexed, and will believe (s)he must have done something wrong. Make it clear that it is NOT your child's fault that you separated, nor their fault that the other parent is so unreliable. 

   5. Even if you have been badly hurt or angry, you must encourage your child to keep in contact with the other parent through phone calls, letters and occasional visits. Of course, if the visits become unpleasant, you might have to stop that. Usually, children need to know that both parents can be contacted. Don't pass on your perceptions and prejudices to your child. 

   6. Never send messages to the other parent through your children. If you have something to communicate, pick up the phone and say it; don't involve your children in your fights and arguments. 

   7. If the other parent really is harmful or abusive through your children, then do everything in your power to protect them. But make sure this is not your own pain, guilt or jealousy speaking!

   8. Joint custody, in which the child spends three days a week in one home and 4 days in the other almost never works. Children need a consistent place to call home, not to be battled and forth between the two places. But if the other parent is in a better position (emotionally, financially, whatever) look after the kids- then for their sake permit it! (Yes, I know that is hard, but it is time to be grown-up about all of this.) Also, do not try to control the parenting style or rules that your ex uses. You look after the parenting in your house and leave them to look after the parenting in their house. 

    9. Be sensitive about introducing new boyfriends/ girlfriends into the home. Children will harbor, for long time, a fantasy that their parents will be back together. Bringing a new lover into the home dashes those hopes and will often result in an angry backlash from them. Understand where they are coming from and take it slowly. 

   10.  Above all, work on yourself. Learn from the experience, heal from the wounds, and by setting an example teach your children how to overcome a bad situation and turn it into a good one. If it doesn't kill you, you will come out of it stronger. That's the lesson your children will learn and have hope instead of despair about human relationships. 

    Fighting over your kids- custody, visitation, parenting- is the worst possible thing that can happen to you or your kids. It's always ugly. Studies show that harm to children is more closely related to conflict after the divorce. Everyone has conflict before and during a divorce, but if you want to protect your children, get finished with the conflict and resolve it, at least within yourself, as quickly as possible. Children learn much more by what you model than by what you say. By continuing conflict after the divorce, you are teaching your children by your actions that problems can't be solved. 

    Children need their relationship with both parents. There is a bonding between parent and child that cannot easily be replaced by a surrogate parent or stepparent. To protect the essential parent- child relationship, you have to insulate children fro your own conflict with their other parent. The divorce is not their problem; it's yours. Being a bad wife or husband does not ake your spouse a bad parent. 

    So Don't hold the children hostage- they are not pawns or bartering pieces in your game. When it comes to the parenting schedule, Don't bargain with your spouse on any other basis than what will give your children the most stability and the best contact with both parents. 

    The worst thing for the child of a broken home is feeling responsible for the breakup and feeling that loving one parent is a betrayal of the other. These feelings cause children intense stress and insecurity. To protect your child from almost unbearable pain, DON'T say anything bad about the other parent in front of the child; don't undermine or interfere in any way wit the child's relationship with or love for the other parent; don't put the child in a position of having to take sides. 

     Do encourage every possible kind of constructive relationship your child can have with your ex-mate. Let the children know that you are happy when they have a good, loving time with their other parent. 

     Kids can really get on your nerves at a time like this, and single parenting is enough overwhelm any normal person. You are not superman or Wonder Woman, and kids are not designed to be raised by one lone person. You need help and support, and you need time off from the kids. Make a point of getting help from the family, friends and the many parent support groups and family services agencies throughout the United States. Get references to groups by calling churches or social service agencies throughout the United States. Get references to groups by calling churches or social service agencies. 

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9 TIPS TO RENEWING INTIMACY IN YOUR MARRIAGE

   1.) Add romantic gestures, words and thoughts on a very regular basis. Be romantic even if you believe that you are not the romantic type. 

   2.) Rebuild your trust, if necessary, and open yourself up emotionally so that you can discuss your vulnerability. Some examples of raising trust in your relationship would be to openly admit your wrong doings and to be transparent about your actions--not trying to hide where you are going or what are you going to go. 

   3.) Intimacy and a false sense of pride don't go together. Practicing humility, forgiveness and understanding are the way to have a successful relationship. Apologize. 

   4.) Surprise your spouse- Remember how you loved surprising your partner before marriage? Uncalled for gifts and outings and love notes help to restore intimacy. Don't take each other for granted.

   5.) Initiate physical intimacy- Don't fall into routine sex. Be creative in the bedroom- dance for each other- put on lingerie, draw a big bubble bath, give a sensuous massage. The more often you make love- the more often you will want to. Read some good books on exciting marital sex TOGETHER to see how to add some new ways to please your spouse. Do not neglect this vital part of marriage. 

   6.) Go out on dates- Make dates together.

   7.) Stop complaining, criticizing, condemning and worrying - Problems are a part of daily living. Your spouse is not a therapist to whom you dole out your everyday complaints and tensions. Talk romantic and fun as much as you can. Be a lover. 

   8.) Spend time together and communicate. Turn off the TV, cell phone and listen to each other. Make decisions together. Massage each other's back while you talk! Touch is key! This will rekindle those early, happy memories and passionate feelings.

   9.) Appreciate your spouse and show it. Remember that no one is perfect. You should focus on his/her positive traits. Be verbally demonstrative! 

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Intimacy 

              Your Intimacy Rule Books-

      UNDERSTANDING YOUR SPOUSE'S RULES

  • No 2 men or women are alike-
  • Rulebooks are shaped by our response to our childhood experiences, upbringing and birth order. 
  • Rulebooks govern everything you do. 
  • Parents have everything to do with how our rulebook was written:
  1.  Sex is only for pro-creating
  2. Sex is a shameful
  3. Physical or sexual abuse changes our rulebook
  4. Being told we were ugly
  5. Introduction to pornography at an early age 
  6. If a girl has a very healthy relationship with her dad, she will easily achieve a fulfilling intimate relationship w/her husband.
  7. If she was abused by dad, she will have a difficult time opening up to her husband, even though she may have been very promiscuous with many boyfriends.
  8. If a man's mom was controlling and domineering, he will dislike a sexually aggressive wife.
  9. If he found a gentle love with his mom, he won't have to much trouble becoming intimate with his wife.

WHAT DOES BIRTH ORDER HAVE TO DO IT? 

  • Your rulebook is a product of your birth order.
  • FIRSTBORN AND ONLY BORN'S need to be in control. They truly believe they have the answer to everything, are capable, dependable, perfectionists who are exacting and exhausting logical, some are power mongers- sex with these will make you feel you must jump through hoops to ''to get it right.'' Others become people pleasers; they will go out their way to make sure you feel great.
  •  If you think sex should be fun & exciting, you are probably a LAST BORN. They grow up a strong sense of entitlement, were coddled & babied (by mom, dad and older siblings), are charming, very funny and love surprises - they are often manipulative and risk takers. 
  • If you are accommodating but rarely initiate sex, you are most likely A MIDDLE-BORN CHILD. They like peace at all costs, require much less attention than other children, not as assertive as the others, are secretive and unselfish. 

    EDITING YOUR RULEBOOK!

Not to do but it is possible with a lot of work and paradigm shifts! 

  1. ) Figure out you personal 
  2. ) Figure out your spouse's rulebook 
  3. ) Make up your mind not to allow a parent's short comings affect your marriage
  4. ) Put away the past by forgiving your parents or the person who hurt you
  5. ) Do something you wouldn't do before or tolerate something you never would before until you have achieved victory in that area- it will require prayer to re-write your rulebook.
  6. ) Get rid of unrealistic expectation 

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                            Affection, Romance, and Intimacy- How They Area All Linked

  • Quick sex isn't near as fulfilling- make a passion plan- take your time- It's like the difference between a quick burger to go and dressing up for an expensive, luxurious 5 course dinner at an exclusive restaurant and savoring every moment over candle light. 
  • Touch all week in preparation for the weekly special night. 
  • One-Flesh- 2 become one in spirit and in their flesh
  • Are you giving each other your leftover emotional scraps-get some rest?
  • Roomates VS.Lovers 
  • What are you willing to give up to work on sexual intimacy in your marriage?
  • What do you mean married couple need to make a passion plan?
  1.  15 Seconds a day:kiss passionately
  2.  15 Minutes, 5 days a week: connect and talk- affirm & refresh each other
  3. 1.5 hours a week: date & court your spouse- regular scheduled date night
  4. Schedule into your life 1.5 a week for sexual intimacy: bubble baths; massage each other; candles; soft music- prioritize romance!
  • Compartmentalize your problems so they don't spill over onto every situation all the time. Negativity is a killer of romance. 
  • Create a sexual engedi experience- takes preparation and is worth the time & energy invested; if the husband bought flowers on the way home from work on their regular date evening, planned care for the kids somewhere else, brought take-out home, drew her a bubble bath and left her alone with some soft music coming out of their stereo with a chilled glass of wine he wouldn't have a problem having a beautiful encounter that evening.
  • Take turns planning the evening- don't let anything take preference over that time-protect your special evenings with your life!

                                  5 ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENTS TO INCREASE INTIMACY

  • STOP COMPLAINING- Complaining isn't a positive action- constant criticism shuts down intimacy. controlling and negative people cause others to pull away from them. If you want to see an immediate difference in your marriage, quit complaining and show some gratitude! 
  • SHOW GRATITUDE-  Happily married couples aren't happy because of their bank account, physical appearances or the fact they never have arguments- they have an attitude of gratefulness for each other. Practice thank therapy! Make gratitude a daily habit. 
  • PRACTICE THE GOLDEN RULE- If your spouse feels appreciated, honored, respected and loved, those feelings will definitely be reciprocated in time. Show these feelings to your spouse, even if the do not immediately return that kindness. Do not expect immediate results. Your relationship will be strengthened. If the only reason you practice the golden rule is to get a certain response from your spouse, it won't work. 
  • LIMIT YOUR "IF ONLY'S'' AND '' I WISH'' COMMENTS- A marriage based on "if only's'' is very unhealthy. If only my spouse: would lose weight; would work less; would be more romantic etc. If you do this, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Your spouse will never be able to meet your needs and expectations. if you continually put your spouses needs before your lower lower your expectations and give empathy and extend unconditional forgiveness, your entire marriage will change 
  • CHOOSE FUN & OPTIMISM- Milton Berle was fond of saying "Laughter is an instant vacation.'' Be spontaneous go to the movies on a whim. Take the kids out of school, play hooky from work and go to the zoo or the museum or the water park together. You cannot change what has happened to you already but you can take steps to ensure a better tomorrow. 

The circumstances in your marriage may never change, but your attitude CAN change your marriage. Your marriage can change in a matter of days if you change your attitude to one of giving without expectations. If your attitude changes, so will quality and frequency of intimacy in your marriage. 

Each day you wake up, happiness is a choice you can make- it's yours for the taking. The glass really is half full - not empty. 

                                  GOURMET SEX VERSUS A HOUSE SALAD

  • Women have many friends they share with. They also share their families. A man doesn't- he only has his wife. If she puts him off repeatedly to be on the computer, to work, to be with his kids etc. It can devastate him. To a man, a satisfying, intimate relationship with his wife is more important that she will ever know. This satisfies his emotional & spiritual needs; not only his physical needs. 
  • If you ask most men what makes them feel loved, they measure it in terms of the frequency of intimacy and if they feel their wife desires them. If you ask a woman, she measures it in by the consistent acts of kindness he does for her and others, how he treats the kids and how he listens to her when she wants to talk. 
  • If sex is not a priority in the marriage, the husband feels inadequate because he feels unable to please his wife; he is no longer the hero. The wife feels he no longer finds her beautiful or desirable. 
  • Gourmet meat versus a peanut butter & jelly sandwich- the chef learns the art of preparation. A good sexual "chef" does the same thing. How a man presents his hunk of burning love to his wife really matters. Is he a good father? Is he kind and generous? Does he take time to make the intimacy time a work of art, delicious in every way or does he just throw it all together and eat fast to get full? 
  • In my opinion; divorce has risen to an all-time high because most married people are selfish and going 90 MPH in different directions. This causes fatigue and impatience. We live in an "instant" society. Most people do not slow down and take their time to make love- instead they opt to have a quick sex on the go to satisfy their needs, not caring if their partners is satisfied. True, gourmet intimacy takes time, planning and lots of work but to have a happy marriage and secure children and ultimately a very happy life, it is a definitely worth it!

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Fun and Romance

HOW TO REDISCOVER THE FIRE OF LOVE AGAIN

  • Gaze into each other's eyes for at least 10 seconds on a daily basis.
  • Touch tenderly every time you pass each other.
  • Kiss 15 seconds passionately every day of your life without fail!
  • Have more fun when you are together than when with others.
  • Use your words, facial expressions and actions to build one another up rather than to tear each other down.
  • Serve each other.
  • Play together- get another couple to play with.
  • Only hang out with couples as in love or more in love than you are. Steer clear of arguing couples!
  • Spend time alone together- dance in your house together- sing to each other- read a marriage self-help book to each other-
  • Men: Talk to your wife quietly, softly and gently as you would as if you were trying to communicate with her while duck hunting; not wanting to frighten the ducks away. Pay close and careful attention to her as if she was relating your nightly sports report.
  • Women: Speak to your husband with the respect you'd give a revered spiritual leader, because he is supposed to be yours. Adapt to him as you do to your girlfriends when they need you to be there for them- he may not say it often, but he needs you more than they do and deserves you more.

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  • Be aware of the humorous moments in each day.
  • Make it a habit for everyone in your family to share at dinner something funny that happened to them.
  • Take delight in comedies on television and at the movies.
  • Watch classic funny movies and television shows.
  • Share funny jokes and cartoons with each other.
  • Reflect on funny times in your past together.

Together, work on building your sense of humor. Couples who can laugh at themselves or at their situation usually feel stronger when problems arise. Laughter can sometimes release negative tension both physically and psychologically.

Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduction of stress and tension.
  • Stimulation of your immune system.
  • An increase of natural painkillers in your blood.
  • A decrease in systemic inflammation.
  • Reduction of your blood pressure.
  • Lifts your spirits.
  • Laughter and humor relieve tension, lift spirits, and bring couples closer together.
  • Having a sense of humor as a couple can help keep your relationship fresh.

Hormones

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

Distraction

Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.

Perspective

Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a 'threat' or a 'challenge'. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as 'challenges', thereby making them less threatening and more positive.

Social Benefits of Laughter

Laughter connects us with others. Also, laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!

T.V. and Movies

There's no shortage of laughter opportunities from the entertainment, both at the theater and in the aisles of the video stores, as well as at home with T.V. comedies. While wasting your time watching something marginally funny may actually frustrate you, watching truly hilarious movies and shows is an easy way to get laughter into your life whenever you need it.

Laugh With Friends

Going to a movie or comedy club with friends is a great way to get more laughter in your life. The contagious effects of laughter may mean you'll laugh more than you otherwise would have during the show, plus you'll have jokes to reference at later times. Having friends over for a party or game night is also a great setup for laughter and other good feelings.

Tell Jokes

Aside from forwarding emails that make us chuckle (which isn’t bad, as long as you’re sure not to forward things that people may find annoying), most people don’t just tell jokes anymore, which is too bad. If you cull the Internet, Reader’s Digest and other sources for just one or two good jokes, you’ll find that the laughter is often contagious, others may share jokes right back, and you’re suddenly having more fun in your life. You might like to invest in a good joke book

Find Humor In Your Life

Instead of complaining about life's frustrations, try to laugh about them. If something is so frustrating or depressing it's ridiculous, realize that you could look back on it and laugh.' Think of how it will sound as a story you could tell to your friends, and then see if you can laugh about it now. With this attitude, you may also find yourself being more lighthearted and silly, giving yourself and those around you more to laugh about. Approach life in a more mirthful way and you'll find you're less stressed about negative events, and you'll achieve the health benefits of laughter.

'Fake It Until You Make It'

Just as studies show the positive effects of smiling occur whether the smile is fake or real, faked laughter also provides the benefits mentioned above. So smile more, and fake laughter; you'll still achieve positive effects, and the fake merriment may lead to real smiles and laughter.

Having fun is an important part of stress management. Because studies show such wonderful health and stress relief benefits to laughter and even the anticipation of laughter, having fun should be a priority in the life of anyone who wants better health, greater happiness and less stress. Here are some strategies for having more fun in your life:

Have Friends Over More Often

Most people find themselves very busy these days — often busier than they want to be. While the activities that occupy our time are important, having fun is equally important. While busy lifestyles can sap us of our spontaneity, having friends over and setting aside some time just to play can offer a regular outlet for having fun. Worried that your house is too messy to have people over? There are simple and stress-relieving methods for cleaning, and you’ll likely find that less clutter leads to less stress anyway.

Have a Regular Game Night

Many people associate having fun with games, but how many people regularly indulge in a game night? Whether you rotate hosting the game night among a group of friends, you stay home and play with your family, or you go out and find a sports league or bingo night somewhere, finding a regular outlet for playing games can be a great stress reliever and method of having fun.

Take a trip to Barnes & Noble!

Spend a couple of hours in the bookstore enjoying the humorous coffee table books and the humor section. Halfway through your date, mosey on in to Starbucks for a cup of java or hot cocoa. Limit the conversation to your enjoyment of each other or to planning your next date. Leave the talk of work, finances or children out of the equation!

REDISCOVERING LAUGHTER & PLAY IN YOUR MARRIAGE

Why we stop playing as we grow older:

  • George Bernard Shaw once said: “We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
  • As kids we laugh & play-as we get older, we get serious
  • We feel irresponsible if we are playful
  • We are preoccupied with what others think about us
  • As adults, we tend to laugh more with others than with our spouse
  • We believe that everything we do as adults MUST have an agenda-a purpose and we feel guilty if we just have fun

HOW TO HAVE A PARADIGM SHIFT AND START LAUGHING

  • Flirt like you are in the courting stage of your relationship! (closet kisses!)
  • Be aware of the humorous moments in each day.
  • Make it a habit for everyone in your family to share at dinner something funny that happened to them.
  • Share funny jokes and cartoons with each other- in the car-on the phone
  • Reflect on funny times in your past together.
  • Curl up into each other’s arms and watch a movie in bed with a bowl of popcorn
  • Play games and laugh together
  • Take a trip to Barnes & Noble
  • Have friends over more often
  • Have a regular game night - we do
  • Play practical jokes on one another
  • If you see or hear something fun or funny, immediately call or text it to your spouse and share it
  • Chase each other-wrestle.
  • Go see a funny movie together
  • Sneak up on your spouse with a squirt gun.
  • Build a sandcastle.
  • Skip stones across a pond or explore a path through the woods.
  • Neck at the movies.
  • Invite friends and family. Have a watermelon eating contest.
  • Play checkers, or Battleship, or Old Maid.
  • Watch cartoons or a kids animated movie together. It’s even okay to be silly.
  • Go dancing like you did when you were young-so many people stop dancing as they get older.
  • Stop complaining, criticizing, and condemning

Benefits of Laughter

  • Laughter & play lead to a powerful release of endorphins which leads to extreme loving feelings which lead to the best intimacy you can experience
  • Reduction of stress and tension.
  • Stimulation of your immune system.
  • An increase of natural painkillers in your blood.
  • A decrease in systemic inflammation.
  • Reduction of your blood pressure.
  • Lifts your spirits.
  • Laughter and humor relieve tension, lift spirits, and bring couples closer together.
  • Having a sense of humor as a couple can help keep your relationship fresh.
  • Imprint your children!
  • Playfulness is a great release from the constant sense of responsibility and the pressure that builds up in the adult world.
  • HORMONES: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

Together, work on building your sense of humor. Couples who can laugh at themselves or at their situation usually feel stronger when problems arise. Laughter can sometimes release negative tension both physically and psychologically.

Don’t make it expensive, make it thoughtful

Find out what your spouse’s love language is and plan your special day or night according to THEIR love language-not yours!

  • Quality Time: Honor your loved one by getting a sitter (as a surprise) for the night and either stay in and to snuggle with a good romantic movie and popcorn, chocolates etc or have reservations for the two of you ONLY at a quiet, dimly lit restaurant and then talk about your love for them and no business-no kid talk-no finances talk! OR, go someplace exciting you both have never been on Google Earth
  • Acts of Service: Draw them a hot bubble bath, complete with soft candlelight and a glass of champagne or plan a special love song that you sing to them with music.
  • Words of Affirmation:  write a love letter full of praise and reasons you love your spouse or memorize a love poem and recite it over dinner or on bended knee or sing a love song to your spouse
  • Receiving Gifts: Based on how well you know your spouse, come up with a thoughtful, creative gift that is perfect for them or take them shopping at their favorite store or shop on line together.
  • Physical Touch: Give a sensuous massage with candlelight and their favorite soft music or cuddle up and stroke their hair or arm etc. while watching a good movie.

BE DESIRABLE!

  • Dress your best
  • Fix up your hair and nails.
  • Put on your Valentine's favorite fragrance.
  • Plan romantic nighty-night clothes too as a surprise
  • Fresh breath, clean fragrant body

 

WINE EM’ AND DINE EM’!

  • Pick up dinner on the way home, or
  • Have dinner delivered, or
  • Don’t go out for dinner unless you have reservations-too crowded
  • Create a romantic atmosphere: candlelight, petals, good food
  • Select the right food and drink-their favorite
  • Surprise them by not telling them where you are taking them- to a nice hotel!

 

FIX YOUR ATTITUDE TO GIVE-NOT TAKE!

  • Plan a future romantic getaway and share the news over dinner.
  • Concentrate on your partner.
  • Lower your expectations
  • Remember romance-talk romantically-no heavy subjects

 

MAKE FUN YOUR AIM-THAT LEADS TO ROMANCE!

  • Look at your old pictures and videos together
  • Play a game together- alone- no other couples or kids or friends or relatives
  • Dance together-all alone

Call the radio station ahead of time: Dedicate a song to your valentine.

BE VIGILANT! THE FIVE WARNING SIGNS OF A DETERIORATING MARRIAGE

Criticism- Often this can start out as complaining. There are always things that can annoy us about our spouses. However, when u it moves into criticism there can be real problems in the marriage. '' Criticism involves attacking someone's personality or character-- rather than a specific behavior--usually with blame.'' Criticism tends to be generalized rather than about a specific issue. This one can often sneak into relationships because moving from airing a complaint-- which is very healthy-- can often be confused or turned into a criticism. 

Contempt- Over time, if spouses are not careful criticism can often move into contempt. This is when there is intention to insult and psychologically abuse your spouse. As this happens it is often hard to be affectionate or loving to one another and it can sometimes be hard to imagine why you fell in love with you spouse in the first place. 

Defensiveness- Often defensiveness comes in reaction to contempt. It can become automatic to defend yourself when you feel you are being attacked. Defensiveness can be actions such as denying responsibility, making excuses, turning a complaint or criticism around on the other spouse, cross-complaining or returning a complaint from your spouse with a complaint of your own. Instead, listen to your spouse's complaint, and try to change that behavior. If you only try to protect yourself, the problem will never be resolved. 

Stonewalling- This can sometimes follow many painful interaction of contempt and defensiveness. If the couple cannot progress in their problems towards solutions, often one of the spouses (men are more likely) begins to stonewall in conversations. This means that he or she doesn't react when the other spouse is mad at them. They ignore the situation or turn into a ''stone wall'' they either emotional or sometimes physically leave the conversation or the room. 

Indifference- The last warning sign the marriage is in trouble is when one or both spouses just do not care about anything couple related. If this occurs, divorce or an affair is only a step away. 

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN

The reason a clock works is because of all gaps are perfectly and intricately filled in by the gears and wheels. Each part is completely different than its counterpart. If each part were the same, the clock would be a heap of metal and not function. 

If an orchestra were made up all violins or all drums and they all were tuned exactly the same, it wouldn't sound very good. Different instruments playing in Harmony together make a beautiful melody. 

Men & women fill very different roles and both are needed to be whole in a family. Children are blessed when their 2 parents understand and appreciate each other's differences. Let's look at a few of these differences. 

   MEN & WOMEN KEEP SCORE DIFFERENTLY

  •  What is the basic between the ways men & women keep score? 

       Men: think they are scoring big w/a woman when they do something big for her- he may think it's worth 50 points- she sees it as 1 point. Then, because he feels he is ahead, he stops doing anything else for her until she catches up. 

Women: Everything a man does counts as 1 point- big small, therefore, he is behind most of the time. For her to feel loved and supported, he needs to continually be doing little things for her. 

  • Does a man get anything out of doing these little things for his wife? 

Yes- it is healing for him- he begins to see himself as her hero as she shows him appreciation and admiration- therefore, they both get what they need. 

  • What does a man need? 

He needs her acknowledgment that is he always working on the next big thing for her- for her to step back it seems nothing is happening and realize he is working on something for her behind the scenes. He needs her to know that it doesn't mean he doesn't love her, but is becoming more focused on doing big things again. Ex: a workaholic husband- the addition to success. 

  • What typically happens when a woman feels she is out giving her husband?

She begins to manifest resentment, unforgiveness and anger. She subtracts his score of 10 from her score of 40 and determines he has a zero- he has a 10, but she has reduced his points because she feels abandoned and unloved because it seems to her he has stopped earning points while she has continually been doing little 1 point things for him. Then, they both stop and find their marriage in trouble. 

  • What can she do?

She needs to take responsibility for letting the score get so uneven- she needs to step back, pamper herself a while and allow her husband to take care of her and build up the points again. She must stop blaming him for the problem and give him a new scorecard. She needs to start valuing him for his effort. 

  • What can he do? 

When he feels unappreciated, he stops giving his support- he needs to understand that she needs to receive for awhile and release his compulsion to focus on the big thing. He can give her his time, touches and words of endearment. When he realize she has come up with a solution that works and returned to being the hero, he will release his own resentment and balance & harmony can be restored quickly. 

   NEEDS ARE DIFFERENT 

  • A need is " a lack or absence of something necessary.''
  • Unmet needs are the base reason for marriage break-ups. 
  • When a person is focused on getting his own needs met, he doesn't think about how he can meet his spouses' needs. This leads to vicious cycle of fighting & hurting one another and eventually to emotional distance & relationship breakdown. 

WHAT WOMEN NEED: 

  • Affection- non- sexual physical touch, hugging, caressing 
  • Caring- Interest in her feeling and concern for her well- being
  • Companionship- the need for emotional closeness & openness
  • Devotion- feeling adored & special
  • Patience- waiting calmly without complaint
  • Respected- Treated with dignity, courtesy & honor
  • Security- protection & provision- a safe relationship and environment. 
  • Sensitivity- having empathy for her feelings & emotions
  • Significance- to know that she is valuable for whom she is 
  • Spiritual Intimacy- shared spiritually, feeling oneness in the couple's mutual relationship with God
  • Trustworthiness- reliable, faithfulness to your word
  • Unconditional love- absolute, without question     
  • Understanding- listening without judgment and with empathy

 WHAT MEN NEED: 

  • Acceptance- a favorable reception without rejection
  • Admiration- knowing that he is important and worthwhile
  • Appreciation- gratefulness for what he does
  • Approval- to be judged favorably without criticism
  • Companionship- doing things together- having common interests
  • Encouragement- inspiring with courage, hope or confidence
  • Support- working with him- being a team
  • physical responsiveness- demonstration of affection and sexual responsiveness affirms a man's masculinity
  • Respect- to be treated with honor 
  • To be needed- That he is important to the well being of his family
  • Trust- belief in him and that he know what he is doing
  • Spiritual connection- serving God together- having a joint purpose and direction in their spirituality
  • Unconditional love- not limited by or subject to conditions. 

THINK ABOUT IT

  1. Why is "meeting needs" NOT about YOU''?
  2. What can you do to remain focused on your spouse's needs?
  3. What can you do to discover your spouse's needs? 
  4. Why is it important to understand your spouses's needs rather than just knowing what they are?
  5. How can you put your knowledge and understanding of your spouse's needs into action? 
  6. What will you do to begin meeting their needs?
  7. How can you encourage your spouse when he/she attempts to meet your needs?
  8. What are the 5 love languages? (1) Physical Touch, (2) Quality Time, (3) Receiving gifts, (4) Acts of service, (5) Words of affirmation. 

QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF 

  • How have you sought to meet your own needs? 
  • Looking back at your life, would you say that your emotional needs have generally been met?  Or, have they gone unmet? Why is this? 
  • Have you experienced the downgraded progression of unmet needs? 
  • What is your spouse's primary love language? What can you do to speak it? 
  • What will you do to better meet your spouse's needs? 
  • In your opinion, should marriage be 50/50 or 100/0. Why? 

HOW MEN AND WOMEN COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY 

WOMAN-

Are dramatic and share feelings. They communicate to build relationships. They tend to be more active listeners and give more than men. They give and expect to receive details. Women use 6000-8000 words daily. 

MEN- 

Want the facts and normally communicate to share their information and solve problems. Men use 2000-4000 words a day. 

EMOTIONAL NEEDS ARE DIFFERENT 

Women- 

Seek to nurture, shelter and care. See themselves as settlers, peacemakers and designers- are driven to relate, associate and cultivate. Ask them who they are and they will respond in terms of relationships. 

 


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