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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

We live in a results-oriented, I-need-it-now world. Of course this is counter-culture to great and lasting love-relationships. In this kind of world it pays to remind ourselves that building intimacy, serving generously, and loving well all take time.

When it comes to love, think “nurturing a garden” not “fixing a vehicle.” With a truck or car you can pay to diagnose the problem, go buy a part, install it, slam the hood, and VIOLA, on to other things. However, don’t try that in your marriage, PLEASE!

See, a vehicle is just supposed to work. It’s supposed to be there when you need it, and just wait around for you the rest of the time. It’s meant to perform the way you expect, and you have a right to demand that it does whenever you want. If it doesn’t you probably neglected something or other, or a part wore out, and it’s just a matter of getting it fixed. When that’s done it’s reliable once again.

A marriage, on the other hand, only “works” if you nurture it regularly. Love grows like a garden and needs regular watering, fertilizing, pruning and protecting. Only then will it be there when you need it, and in your awareness as a delight the rest of the time. A marriage performs according to the way you invest in it and you have no right to expect anything else. If you do, you’ve probably missed a finger you should be pointing at yourself, or it’s time to learn more about your partner, and just a matter of developing a little humility. When you can see it this way your marriage will become “reliable” once again.

Therefore, for whatever relationship woes you may encounter: find out ways to nurture solutions, not just fix the problems.

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We all know, too well perhaps, the same words spoken in different ways can say very different things. For example take the question, “Honey, can you come here?!” and put it to different tones of voice. Or place varying emphasis on different words. You can make it sexy, scolding, a plea for help, or anything in between. Anything you want really.

Think of the myriad of things you say to your significant other in the run of a week, and the variety of ways those things are said. What drives the content, quality and therefore effectiveness of these interactions is not only in the words you use but in HOW you say them.

In fact, some experts say that as little as 5% of what we mean is in the actual words we use. This explains the often falling short of text messaging and email. It also explains what we mean when we say, “I got yelled at” when no one was shouting at all.

If the manner in which we say something counts for so much in a single exchange, think of the accumulative effect of all you say to your partner over the years. It is this accumulation that drives how you feel about each other and seeds the atmosphere between you with all things gracious, needy, or greedy or anything in between. Anything you want really.

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You doubtless have many reasons for believing in marriage for life; or maybe you’ve been in one long enough you’re starting to wonder about that.

However, scrap your moral, cultural and conventional reasons for being pro-monogamy just for a minute or two. Instead consider this one highly compelling reason for choosing a mate and sticking it out for life: It is the MOST fun way to live!

That’s right, the purpose of marriage is maximum pleasure. It provides the parameters within which the best of life is possible. Acting as a shield for a couple from the world, marriage protects the potential for joy of the couple. It’s a covenant that provides a safe place. And safety is necessary to bask in the comfort and joys of love instead of grasping for or defending your satisfaction. Isn’t that why we all signed up for it in the first place – to live happily ever after?

When asked how you know he or she is the right one for you, we’ve all answered, “he/she makes me laugh,” or, “we just have so much fun together,” and, “I really enjoy being with them.” We marry to capture that, for life. However this target can easily be lost amid the rush, the mundane, and, in some cases, the hardship of everyday living. Hurting and separating couples complain that, “he/she only makes me cry,” or, “we just don’t have any fun together anymore.”

Having fun together is the glue that holds two hearts together for life …happily. The starting place for having more fun with your spouse is to realize how central fun and enjoyment is to your marriage. You may need to be reminded that it’s the purpose of the covenant you’re in.

Go out for coffee, watch a funny movie, or do something together that is wonderfully enjoyable. Do it again, and do it often this year. And through the vehicle of fun, to become more “one.”

Whatever else your love-life is in 2012, it should be fun!

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Thanks to You

Dear Readers:

Thank you so much for reading and engaging with our blog in 2011. This blog marks the beginning of what we want to say about couplehood and how to make it better. It has been a great joy to meet many of you (albeit online) and to get to know you a little better.

If you’re new to our blog, visit our “About Us” page to see the four things we believe about romance, love and marriage. We believe these values and living them out have the potential to transform any relationship from where it is to even greater heights and the very best “life in love” has to offer.

To all our readers please accept our heart-felt thanks for checking in to read and comment during our first year of blogging. We hope that this blog has blessed your home and relationship just as writing it has blessed ours. Thank you in advance for engaging with us further in 2012.

From our marriage to yours, we pray you enjoyed a Merry Christmas season, and have a Happy New Year.

Let’s make it count,
Rowan and Mara

P.S. On our Twitter feed right now, you can find a variety of ways to ensure you finish 2011 and start 2012 “strong in love.” Check it out here (you don’t need to have a Twitter account to do so). You can also like and follow us on Facebook.

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When a woman marries, she chooses and hopes for certain qualities. The problem is, it’s not always intuitive to a man what particular qualities his woman married him for and which ones he would do better to keep for use at work, with friends, or in the garage. By outlining what qualities women aren’t after in a man, and showing their alternatives, this series will shed some light on your quest to be the best version of yourself for her sake.

Let’s start with a great quality all men exhibit, particularly when it comes to those they love and care for. Picture the scenario in which a man has listened to his better half vent emotionally about an upsetting problem. After hearing her out for a few minutes he sees the root of the issue and offers an obvious but brilliant and practical solution.

If you’re a married man reading this, you know the rest of the story. If you’re not familiar with this story… well, let’s just say it rarely has a happy ending. What’s with that? No man is really sure. But in falling into this trap something begins to become clear:

One quality she doesn’t want from you is the ability to provide rapid-fire solutions and knee-jerk answers.

You might pride yourself in being right, in being a problem solver, and seeing things logically. They might even pay you a lot for that at work. But this quality is just not on her top three list of qualities she married you for.

Understanding, however, is. She wants you to understand her. And not just intellectually, but to be with her where she is at, deeply and emotionally, and share in what she’s going through.

This is why communication that’s honest and open is so important to her world. She needs to know you understand; and even draw out how she feels. This goes beyond understanding a conversation, or being on the same page about something. It involves understanding her as a person – she needs to know you “get” her, and love her: her weaknesses and strengths, her struggles and triumphs.

Interestingly, understanding is a more difficult than providing solutions. Understanding requires coming side by side to observe something in all its messiness, its insignificance or its magnitude through another’s eyes. It’s about care. This means shelving your quest for a solution long enough to feel what she feels, and to feel it strongly enough to say something meaningful in order to prove to her she’s not alone, and worth your full attention.

When it comes to solutions, she actually knows those. What she doesn’t know is that you care enough to understand, for understanding is what empowers her to make her own decisions. Give her that quality.

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One Click, One Pick

This week, over at Stupendous Marriage they’re doing a great thing. They have something there that will point you down a rich path of wisdom when it comes to enjoying your marriage more.

And, now for you, it’s one click away. We encourage you to go there and read about what’s going on.

Over at this site they’re asking you to do something quite difficult but extremely rewarding. Dabble long enough to make a choice, just as they ask you. To do this, you’ll have to get your feet wet and poke around enough to ensure your choice counts.

When you’re ready, do as you’re told and make just one pick.

As you investigate what’s going on over at Stupendous Marriage we hope you find some great concepts and things that make you laugh, like we did. Indeed, encapsulated here are possibly the brightest and most dynamic ideas regarding marriage wisdom on the web.

It’s quite important to remember, however, that just clicking changes nothing. To benefit, you’ll need to find something to apply right away. What will be challenging about this will be making just one pick. Find us over there too – one click, one pick. Enjoy!

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It doesn’t take a genius to agree with the statement that doing the same things generates the same results. However, in long-term relationships we fall prey to this dynamic all the time. Humans are creatures of habit. Habits are comfortable, they support our current lifestyle, and they are easy. However, get excited about the fact that one ingredient can change everything.

You and I wouldn’t want a diet which never changes – just “okay” food served repeatedly. Rather we cherish great food as one of the joys of living. We like food that makes us stop and savor the moment, or the opportunities we get to try food from a different culture, or looking forward to the meal at home that’s been a few days in the making.

This dynamic is also true of your marriage, which is a thrilling thought. Again, repeating the same things generates the same results, but doing something different changes outcomes enough so you can stop and savour a new moment, or look forward to a great relationship habit or lifestyle in the making.

So, make today a time for a change. Not in “who” you’re with (!) but rather in “what” you do when you’re with them. The ingredient to change today is the choice and follow-through to do something different in your relationship, the fuel for generating different results in your relationship.

Why not add the ingredient of change to your sex-life? Think for a moment, really apply it. That could work, right? What about changing how the two of you handle money? Or date? Or have family times?

Be the genius that actually does something with this post and do something different for different results in your marriage.

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