There are many obstacles that distract us from what is important. My partner and I are serious about our marriage and although we want to have fun and enjoy what life has to offer, we know we need to take intentional effort to ensure we stay connected. Like you, we are a busy couple and we try (often unsuccessfully) to balance a full-time job, a business, volunteer work and our friends and family and time for ourselves – exercise etc.
Like climbing Everest, it’s a tough climb that you are on or have ahead. Its hard work and there are many scattered bodies around us but not only is there a reward at the summit, there are gorgeous views all around. It’s a great journey, an important journey, not only for you but for the future generations.
1. What is marriage enrichment?
Today I want to give you an insight into marriage and to send a message about the importance of marriage enrichment.
What is marriage enrichment: what are we trying to do and why?
It’s a work of art: Picture of married life. It starts with our romantic notions, our vision, and our perception of how our marriage will be and then it takes on life. Art, done with commitment and dedication, it is perceived in different ways by all who look at it. It’s meant to last forever, so it needs nurturing and commitment. What does the real picture look like?
2. Common misconceptions
- We don’t need it
- We are doing fine – we’ll wait for problems to arise
- It’s a waste of time
- We do not want others to know our business
- Good marriages happen naturally – ”we’ll be ok”
- There is no benefit of this to our marriage
3. What happens during a typical marriage enrichment event?
- Taking intentional time out to focus on your marriage
- Becoming aware of where the ‘edges’ are between yourself and your partner
- Identify the positive aspects of your marriage
- Opportunity to re-discover each other
- Learn skills in communication and ways to deal with conflict
- Understanding how emotional intimacy can be increased in your marriage – important
John Gottman popular psychologist and has worked with couples for over 40 years.
- 96% of the time, the way a conversation starts in the first 3 minutes, will dictate how it finishes
- Watch out for the 4 toxic signs of communication – Criticism / Contempt / Defensiveness / Stonewalling
- Contempt is the single biggest predictor of divorce
- 5:1 Magic Ratio – positive to negative interactions
- Take 30 mins time out when overwhelmed or flooded
- Good listening comes from good speaking
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