Tag Archives: relationship

3 Secrets To A Successful Marriage

5 Sep

Research shows that a couple’s retreat or couple’s seminar extends the marriage to the next 5 years. So if you have been attending a couple’s getaway yearly, then you are definitely assured that you will stay married for a long time!

In the couples’ retreat we attended just recently facilitated by Victory Fort, aptly named “They’re Playing Our Song,” I have been reminded that all throughout your relationship with your spouse, you could actually be playing different songs. In the beginning, you might be singing, “You To Me Are Everything”, then in another season of your marriage, you or your spouse might be singing “Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko” (How I Wish I Had 2 Hearts). And then again, you also might be playing “Please Release Me Let Me Go,” or then again maybe “Love Will Lead You Back” in a few years. 

In the couples retreat, I have learned that the greatest songs in marriage starts with the Key of C, the 3 secrets to a successful marriage. Here are some of the most important things to note for  your own marriage:

1. COMMUNICATION

Pastor Sonny and wife Malou really hit the mark with this one.
  • Miscommunication breeds misunderstanding. Miscommunication happens because men and women differ from one another:
  • Men want to talk because there is a problem. Women talk only because they want to be heard. They just want to spill out words while organizing things or thoughts in their mind.
  • Men are conditioned to listen actively – they want to talk to tell you what they want to happen, or to take action, or to solve a problem. Women only want them to know what’s in their heart and how they’re feeling.
  • The purpose why couples need to talk to each other are:
    • to better understand each other and situation; not to blame and not to complicate the situation,
    • to enable people to resolve differences; not to disagree and not to fight,
    • to build trust and respect; not to be suspicious and not to judge, and
    • to create a caring environment, to love and to flourish for creative ideas to be revealed.
  • Communication is NOT just to understand information, but to understand the EMOTION behind the information.
  • To communicate effectively, we need to understand the power of words, which involves a lot of work.
    • The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:6  is telling us that speaking the same language will result to achieving almost anything.
    • The devil’s goal is to confuse the husband and the wife. There has to be a goal or a purpose to talk to each other: NOT just pouring out our hearts and emotions, but to address conflict and arrive at a solution.
    • Going away or retreating to our caves is NEVER the solution.
  • There are 3 ways that we can communicate effectively:

1. Words. We say what we mean, and mean what we say, yes, even in sex. We can only retain 7% of what is being said to us through words, or even LESS especially with words we don’t want to hear. When we talk to our spouse, we need to communicate and consider each other’s convictions, true emotions, standard and values, and our hearts. Let us not allow them to guess what we want to say. Reveal the depth of who we are and how we truly feel.

Power Verse:
  • Proverbs 31: the woman of noble character wants to bless and not to bluster, to heal and not to wound, to create a world of order and beauty and not chaos. In her tongue are the words of kindness and instruction.
  • Proverbs 18: on the other hand, warns us of a fool’s lips that incur a beating caused by hurting words.
 
2. Tone. Consider how you say your words. 38% of the things we say are retained through our tone. Verify and confirm what we say. Let us consider the right pitch to use, the highness or lowness of pitch of our voice.
Power Verse:
  • Matthew 12: 32-37: a good heart brings forth good things. What is in our heart affects the tone of our voice. All our sentiments and hurts in our hearts affect how we say things.
 
3. Non verbal. 55% of retention is through our body language. Our actions affirm or deny what we say. What do we communicate through our eyes, our facial reactions, our body language? What do we always need to communicate to our spouse?
  • For the husband: that she is the most important person in your life. This gives her security.
  • For the wife: that you respect him and are proud of him, and that you appreciate everything they do, especially in the presence of his family and in front of other people. This gives him validation.
  • Here are the 5 most important statements to say to your spouse in order of importance: 
    • #5. “I am proud of you!” (to husbands)
    • #4. “What do you think?” (to wives)
    • #3. “How are you?” (to wives) with “I just want to reply or return your call.” or “I am sorry, please forgive me.”
    • #2. “You matter to me.” (to wives)
    • #1. “Thank you.” (to husbands)
Power Verse:
  • Proverbs 4:23: warns us to guard our hearts because it is the offspring of life.

2. CONNECTION

Pastor Tito and wife Carol reminded us of these barriers to emotional intimacy, and yes FB is one of them…
  • The biblical foundation is found in Genesis 1:27, that male and female have a unique need for emotional intimacy. But in Genesis 3:5-7, they were tempted. Man has fallen, out of his own selfishness.
  • God himself is the missing piece of the human heart. As Mary Farrar says it, “there should be a healthy connection: first be connected to God, then be connected with each other.”
  • Barriers or disconnectors to emotional intimacy between couples:
    • 1. Busyness and weariness
    • 2. Sloth or laziness with marriage (auto pilot)
    • 3. Social media (FB, Twitter…)
    • 4. Personal baggage or hang up
  • Connectors for emotional intimacy:
    • 1. Discover and understand your spouses emotional expression. Men are like waffles (thinking in boxes) and women are like spaghetti (thinking in interconnection and relationships of things). Marriage is like a coin. It has two sides, but it is STILL only ONE COIN. We relate and connect to each other based on our themes or individual wiring, temperament, love language, or birth order. Here are some practical tips to discover our spouses emotional expression:
      • 1. Non negotiable weekly date night
      • 2. Laugh together
      • 3. Try new things together
      • 4. Play together
      • 5. Rejuvenation at the end of workday: halt for husbands and talk for women
      • 6. Pray and believe together. God has joined us divinely.
  • 2. Devote and delight in sexual intimacy. (Genesis 2:24). Here are some practical tips:
    • 1. Do not deprive each other. Consider and appreciate the blessing of God’s innate wiring of husband. In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, there is a marital glue. Wives, remember that men are more fragile and vulnerable. They are mortally wounded when repeatedly rejected. Husbands, remember to do it ASAP, not as soon as possible, but as slowly as possible.
    • 2. Schedule a day for sexual intimacy
    • 3. Put awe ( Affection, Warmth and Encouragement) in your intimacy
    • 4. Share what pleases you most.  

3. COMMITMENT

Pastor Raymond and wife Malou reminded us that Jesus is the only source of the living water.
  • Ephesians 5:31: to be united (cleave) together to be one flesh. To cleave means to stick together like glue
  • Commitment is a decision to love and stick with the other person no matter what
  • According to Timothy Keller, the meaning of marriage is facing the complexities of marriage with the wisdom of God. Love now becomes a covenant, NOT a renewable contract that expires.
  • Investing with time brings the love. Emotion follows the motion, the action.
  • Stick together!  There’s a turnaround. It is a matter of declaration for the future. “No matter what.”
  • John 4:13-17: people will be thirsty again, but with Jesus you won’t be thirsty again. This verse is also speaking about second and third marriages: you would want to be quench with the need you didn’t find in your marriages, but it is ONLY through Jesus that your thirst will be quenched. God is the source of water in our life. We are asking for something from our spouse that God can only supply – unli!
  • The vow is both is noun and a verb:
    • Listen.
    • Encourage: make a prophetic declaration
    • Co-build: you need support and mentors
  • Vows:
    • I will love you no matter what.
    • I will bring out the best in you no matter what.
    • I will believe the impossible no matter what.
    • I will be faithful to you no matter what.
    • Our foundation will be the word of God at all times no matter what.

Power Verse:

  • Psalm 127:1: We will pass on a legacy of commitment to the next generation no matter what.
  • Judges 2:10: God is more committed to our marriage than us.
Here are the many ways we have learned to apply the 3 Keys of C during the day:

 

Are you ready for the challenge???
The Great Date Challenge: Love Art
The Great Date Challenge: House of Straw
And the prize for the Great Date Challenge? A movie date with popcorn and drinks!
Awesome couples for support!
And another couple partner in our marriage journey, Milona and Bensie.

These are the many bonuses of our couples getaway that made it all the more worthwhile:

Matching his and hers pens! Adorable, right?
“Making sweet music together” cupcakes we found on our beds for the night was a sweet surprise!
Breakfast in bed room service with flowers!

We were floored with how well organized and how well planned this couples getaway was. And only for P3,990! We thank Victory Fort pastors and the many volunteers for their commitment and dedication for the many marriages of all the couples who were blessed with this retreat. 

We hope someday, we will have the greatest and most romantic love story ever told! 

Life is Amazing!
LENY
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Building An Affair-Proof Marriage

7 Jul

If you have followed what I have posted on small care groups, it is a mini discussion amongst couples on some of the most important concepts and tools to help us enrich our marriage. 

Here’s the second CG Bites we are discussing this quarter: His Needs, Her Needs – Building An Affair-Proof Marriage, taken from the best-selling book authored by marriage counseling expert, Dr. Willard F. Harley Jr.

The concept is hinged on the idea of being aware, to understand, appreciate and to meet our spouse’s needs to reduce marital conflict and avoid the risk of an affair in our marriage.

The key to meeting our needs lies in our Love Bank: it is an inner scoring device we never knew we had.

The Love Bank underscores that we affect each other emotionally after every encounter; be it pleasurable or painful. 

The accumulation of positive and negative experiences determines our emotional reaction to those we know. We are not actively aware of this but the love units keep coming in or going out, withdrawn or deposited, and keeping scores.

There were promises we made that we only allow our spouse the exclusive right to meet our most important needs, and these needs are strictly reserved for the marriage bond.  

If these needs are not met in our marriage, then we face the powerful temptation to fill it outside of marriage, and enter into an affair, even though we may have very strong moral, ethical, or religious convictions. 

It takes skill and practice to be aware and to learn to meet each other’s needs. 

According to Dr. Harley, in order of its importance, here are man’s most important needs:

  1. Sexual fulfillment
  2. Recreational companionship
  3. An attractive spouse
  4. Domestic support
  5. Admiration

In the order of its importance, the woman’s basic needs in marriage tends to be:

  1. Affection
  2. Conversation
  3. Honesty and openness
  4. Financial support
  5. Family commitment

Married couples like us need to be aware of this most important principle. We need to be less incompatible and be more irresistible to each other. 

We need to PUT IN the effort, AND put our effort in the RIGHT PLACES.

Let us examine how to become more irresistible. 

The Irresistible Husband:

  1. Affection. The husband tells his wife that he loves her with words, cards, flowers, gifts, and common courtesies. He hugs and kisses her many times each day, creating an environment of affection that clearly and repeatedly expresses his love for her.
  2. Conversation. He sets aside time everyday to talk to her. They may talk about events in their lives, their children, their feelings or their plans. The topic is never judgmental, always informative and constructive. She talks to him as much as she would like, and he responds with interest. He is never too busy to “just talk”.  
  3. Honesty and Openness. He tells her everything about himself, leaving nothing out that might later surprise her. He describes his positive and negative feelings, events of his past, his daily schedule and his plans for the future. He never leaves her with a false impression and is truthful about his thoughts, feelings, intentions and behavior.
  4. Financial Support. He assumes the responsibility to house, feed and clothe the family. If his income is insufficient to provide essential support, he resolves the problem by upgrading his skills to increase his salary. He does not work long hours, keeping himself from his wife and his family, but is able to provide necessary support by working sufficient hours. While he encourages his wife to pursue a career, he does not depend on her salary for family living expenses.
  5. Family Commitment. He commits sufficient time and energy to the moral and educational development of the children. He reads to them, engages in sports with them, and takes them on frequent outings. he reads books and attends lectures with his wife on the subject of parenting and child development so that they will do a good job training the children. They discuss methods and objectives until they agree. He does not proceed with any plan of training discipline without her approval. He recognizes that his care of children is critically important to her.

The Irresistible Wife:

  1. Sexual Fulfillment. The wife meets this need by becoming a terrific sexual partner. She studies her own sexual response to recognize and understand what brings out the best in her; then she shares this information with him, and together they learn to have a sexual relationship that both find repeatedly satisfying and enjoyable.
  2. Recreational CompanionshipShe develops an interest in the recreational activities he enjoys most and tries to become proficient at them. If she finds she cannot enjoy them, she encourages him to consider other activities that they can enjoy together. She becomes his favorite recreational companion, and he associates her with his most enjoyable moments of relaxation.
  3. Physical Attractiveness. She keeps herself physically fit with diet and exercise, and she wears her hair, make up and clothes in a way that he finds her attractive and tasteful. He is attracted to her in private and proud of her in public.
  4. Domestic Support.  She creates a home that offers him a refuge from the stresses of life. She manages the household responsibilities in a way that encourages him to spend time at home enjoying his family.  
  5. Admiration. She understands and appreciates him more than anyone else. She reminds him of his value and achievements and helps him maintain self-confidence. She avoids criticizing him. She is proud of him, not out of duty, but from a profound respect for the man she chose to marry.

Our society needs to train people on meeting the needs of others, especially our marriage partner. If you need to make your married life a priority, let’s start!

Let us be irresistible! Are you incompatible or are you irresistible???

Blogger’s Note: If you want to learn how to become irresistible to your spouse, you may want to read the book His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard F. Harley Jr. and discover in detail how identifying and meeting your most important need will deepen your love and desire for each other.


Life is Amazing!

LENY

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