First Steps To Saving Your Marriage

I'm a BIG believer in if you look for opportunities for solutions in your life you will find them. 

I had the priviledge to hear Jill Savage speak at our MOPS group this morning about the ABCs of a Healthy Marriage.

Mind you, this is after, Brett and I have come to the realization that if we want to have a relationship that was full of love and happiness that we don't have all of the answers to get us there. We both feel that something is "missing", it's not the love or admiration we have for each other but more the emotional and physical connection, the way we communicate with each other, and understanding that we both have different ways of doing things, and that's okay. 

When I heard that the speaker was going to be speaking about marriage, I got that, this is something you were meant to hear feeling. You know, that feeling that you get when you know you're at the right place at the right time? 

Jill started her story off by explaining how at one point in her life she had gotten away from having Jesus in her life. That she had always seen the God side of him and had forgot that he was also a man and had experienced the same struggles that we go through daily as mothers. 2 that stood out to me: 

"Everywhere he goes people want to touch him."

"Everywhere he goes people want to follow him." 

If you have children, you understand how relatable this is. You see, she reminded me that Jesus has had the same struggles and he has dealt with the sames things that we deal with on a daily basis. "CLICK" my brain went off. I need to find a church, a communicty for my family. (Step 1) 

She talked about the Basic Principles of Good Parenting:

1. The Best Parenting you can do for your children is grow your marriage.

2.You'll never be a better mother (or father), than you are a wife (or husband). 

3.With God ALL things are possible. 

You see security and a place for our children to feel safe, warm, and loved is key to them being happy, healthy children. 

Then as Jill went on, she started in with the ABCS of her story and how to have a healthy marriage. Stick with me people, this stuff is GOOD stuff! 

Allow for Differences- 

Differences in Personality/Temperaments & Differing Needs 

Personalities have always been something that interested me, but I've just recently been finding out what it means to define them. 

Introvert vs Extrovert - This is how you are refueled, do you prefer being around people or alone? An introvert prefers being alone and an extrovert prefers surrounding themselves with people. To figure out which you prefer, think about how you feel after a long, hard week. When it gets to the weekend, what do you want to do on Friday night? Stay home or go out with friends? 

Internal Processor vs External Processor - An internal processor is a thinker and wants to think before they make a decision and an external processor wants to talk about it. Think about when you are going to buy a new car, you're doing the research. Do you figure out your decision based on your research alone and your thoughts or do you prefer to talk about it and discuss every option? I know for me I'm a talker, I want to do my research and get others opinions! 

Thinker vs Feeler - When you're making decisions do you go by the facts or do you tend to go by emotion, what your gut says and your instincts? If you go by the facts, you're a thinker. 

Concrete vs Abstract - Fact based or Mushy (abstract), the mushy is usually someone who is creative. 

Sequential vs Random - Is there an order to everything you do? Do you put things in the dishwasher the same way everytime or just throw it in? 

The key to these things are to be aware that not everyone is wired the same. We all have different ways of processing and thinking and coming to a decision, but just because your spouse is different does not mean he's wrong! 

Say to yourself "He's not wrong, just different." 

She went on to introduce the 11 needs of a marriage and how normally a Man and a Woman's 5 needs are different. 

1. Affection - non sexual touch (women) 

2. Sexual Fulfillment - more about your attitude towards sex than the act itself (men)

3. Communication (women)

4. Recreational Companionship - they want you to "play" with them. (hobbies) (men) 

5. Honesty & Openness (women)

6. Attractive Spouse - men are visual beings, they want you to look different in the evening than when they left you in the morning. This DOES NOT mean they want you to look like a model. (men) 

7. Financial Plan - we want there to be a plan and to know each others roles in the plan, this is to have a sense of security. (women)

8. Support from Home - a safe place to be, not a place to come home and be nagged for not living up to standards that aren't his. (men)

9. Family Commitment - we want them to put family first, for example, if given tickets to a game or concert, we want them to think about how it effects the family before accepting or declining. (women)

10. Admiration - women do this well before kids and after kids it seems that nothing the husband does is good enough. They can't take care of the baby like you do, they don't help as much, etc (men)

11. Spiritual Commitment - (both) 

Think to yourself, what is 1 area that is a need of my husband's that I need to step it up at? 

Be Loving- 

Are you making withdrawals or deposits into your spouses love language?

Take the Test CLICK HERE to find out what your love languages are. 

5 Love Languages

1. Encouraging Words

2. Acts of Service

3. Gift Giving & Receiving

4. Quality Time

5. Physical Touch/Closeness

Communicate Daily

Couch Time - Spend 15 minutes a day debriefing your day - in front of your kids

Three Question Technique - Before you say anything about your day, ask 3 questions about theirs.

McDonald's Drive Thru - Use this technique in a conflict especially. 

When you are having a conflict, listen to what your partner is saying and then when they are finished say. What I hear you saying is... this allows you to be sure you understand what they are saying and that you are listening to understand instead of listening to debate what they are saying. 

Date Regularly

Daily- couch time, flirty text, I'm thinking of you (Notes)

Weekly - Something consistent that you are looking forward to. Every other Friday, the 3rd Saturday of the month, etc

Annually - Anniversary, go somewhere and do something without kids. 

Evaluate Your Past - 

The house you grew up in was sort of your internship home. It's where you first learned about love, sex, conflict resolution, God, etc 

In what areas do you need to relearn because they aren't how you want to live your life now? 

Forgive, Forgive, Forgive -

Forgiveness is a choice, and you should choose it often. Don't hold onto things. 

God in the Center Always - 

Matthew 7-