Sunday, January 18, 2015

Things to START Doing

Sometimes we married couples spend so much time in what Gottman calls Negative Sentiment Override (NSO), that is, doing all the things mentioned in my previous blog, and it becomes nearly impossible to see through the negativity to something positive. There are many great techniques to counteract this behavior and we will explore those in upcoming blogs. But for now, we will take a look at what Stephen Arterburn in his book, The 7 Minute Marriage Solution, suggests. He came up with these solutions based on, in his words, “years of extensive study based on hundreds of couples’ experiences in our New Life Marriage Weekend workshops, a research project from the Center for Bible Engagement, and my own personal experience.” So, along with the seven things to STOP doing, he discusses the seven things to START doing:

·      Start embracing friendship and fun

“A little humor and fun may be your best path to restoring or renewing or revitalizing a relationship.”

“Friendship forms the foundation for the fun and humor that make marriage enjoyable at times and endurable at others.”

·      Start responding romantically to your mate

“Sexual satisfaction comes from investing in the other person’s joy and pleasure. It does not come from seeking to gratify yourself.”

“What really fuels romance in a marriage is for each mate to put the other first and be continually attentive to the other’s needs.”

·      Start expressing grace and forgiveness

“Forgiveness must be accomplished without accepting or condoning the hurtful behavior.”

“You should forgive your mate simply because you love him or her. That is why God forgave you, and that alone is reason enough to forgive each other.”

·      Start affirming your mate’s strengths

“The more you accept the other person, the more likely it is that your mate will transform into the best he or she can be.”

“The way of love, the way of commitment, and the way of Christ is to accept the flaws and weaknesses of your mate and love in spite of them.”

·      Start spending money responsibly

“Communicate to each other hopes and expectations that involve money and make a budget that accommodates both necessities and dreams.”

“To avoid financial disaster, you must close your ears to the siren voices of government and alluring TV commercials urging you to spend your way to prosperity.”

·      Start practicing your lifetime vows

“God looks upon a vow as an extremely serious thing”

“Wedding vows are crucial because in the presence of witnesses the couple makes a solemn promise to stick to the rules even when they feel the powerful pull of their wants and urges.”

·      Start showing respect no matter what

“Just about every problem can be boiled down to a lack of respect.”

“You can’t respect a person while criticizing, trying to change, nagging, hiding money from, or ignoring your spouse.”

This week, which of these things will you commit to START doing? Share with the rest of us how you plan to start. And see what’s new on my website:

Next time: The Seven Minutes that Matter Most

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