Just about everything in life has to do with relationships. Often on Mondays we choose to focus on marriage relationships. We have decided to incorporate one of the greatest joys in our life which is the many, many amazing people we have had the privilege of meeting, working with and doing life with. (relationships!) We have asked these people to think about what they would share with an engaged or newly married couple if they had less than 5 minutes to talk. Our “conversations” over upcoming Mondays will be based on these thoughts as they come in.
So our first thoughts are from Craig. He has been married for 31 years. Here are the two things he would say to a pre-marriage couple:
1. Spend twice as much time working on your relationship than you do working on the wedding. Read several relationship related books together and spend hours discussing them. Go through a quality thoughtful, honest pre-marriage counseling process with an experienced, trusted couple who have a great marriage.
2. Spend at least half your time together talking. Turn off the TV and the electronic devises and get out of entertainment mode — talk about everything, … current events, politics, religion, faith, the future, the past, your dreams, your fears, sex — everything. Most of the problems later in marriage come as a result of not really knowing and accepting each other at a deep level.
Here are the two things I’d say to recently married couples:
1. Keep talking about EVERYTHING.
2. Spend time alone having fun — laugh — — don’t let responsibility, other family or even your children rob you of the joy of your own relationship with each other. I heard it said decades ago and have seen it lived out in hundreds of young families. “Couples who make their children the number one focus of the family end up with bad marriages and self-absorbed children.”
Hmm, it appears to me that Craig thinks communication is important and I would like to point out these thoughts are coming from a male. HE thinks this is important. Communication is not just something women like. It is necessary for a good relationship. (period) Communication involves honestly sharing your thoughts and actively listening. Stop frequently and ask your partner, “what did you hear me say?” Make sure they are understanding what you are trying to share. You may have to state your thoughts several times in different ways to be fully understood.
What do you think of Craig’s advice?