Love 4 Life: Marriage Conference

IMG_20130504_100117My honey and I

Ter-Bear and I attended a marriage conference last weekend at our church.  I’m go thankful we finally found a church we both like and that Connor likes too.  I can tell you that after almost 12 years of marriage it’s good to have a refresher every now and then on what marriage means and is truly about.  Marriage is such a blessing, it’s not always a smooth road, but it’s definitely a road that I want to travel down forever with Terence.

I took some notes at some of the breakout sessions and wanted to share some points I took away from the conference with you.

COMMUNICATION

*Men relate & communicate better side by side.  I thought this was interesting…maybe that is why T and I have good conversations laying side by side in bed?  Do you find yourself laying in bed and in the quietness of the night, at the end of a long day find it easier to talk?  No distractions, just dark and the two of you talking…

*Converse in a restaurant.  Go somewhere besides your home.  You may find it easier to communicate out in the open.

*Implement touch in conversation.  Sometimes just the gentle touch of your spouse can have a great effect.

*Communicating is about partnering, not punishing each other.  Example: “Let me show you why I’m so right and you’re so wrong!”  

 

I loved this.  A fellow sitting next to us said “I wear the pants in the house….the pants SHE puts out for me every day!”  Ha ha….good man!

 

NAVIGATING CONFLICT:

*Passion always brings emotions to the surface.  It’s good to be passionate about something so you can express your emotions.

* “Stuffers” : People who stuff things in until they explode or run.  That is something Terence and I try not to do.  Early on in our marriage we promised never to run away from each other even while fighting.

* “Slice & Dicers” : People who use words to bring others down.  I try to think before I say something if it’s going to tear someone down.  At times I catch myself, other times I’m guilty without even knowing it.  Watch your tongue….it’s a powerful tool.

* “Martyr in the relationship” : Someone who uses the guilt trip approach.  Example: “Well, you got to do that last weekend and I didn’t get to do anything.  So why can’t I do this?”

* “Diffusion” : Bringing up other unrelated conflicts to defuse the current situation.  I can SO relate to this.  I feel like Terence uses this approach all the time!  Stuff I don’t even recall?  I tell him he must have an awesome memory because of the stuff he remembers….it just lingers.  LET IT GO.

OTHER POINTS DISCUSSED:

* Discover your love language.  Your partner’s love language.

* Let the little thing go.  Ask yourself “Does this really matter?”

* Confront in Love: Try not to use the words “NEVER” or “ALWAYS” Example: You always do this.  You  never do that.

* Get to the need: Misunderstanding what was intended?  Fear, anger, hurt, guilt, or shame?

Well, that’s not everything….but I think we both really enjoyed spending part of our weekend focusing on our marriage.  It’s something you tend to put on the back burner, especially after children.  That should never be the case and I hope Terence knows that no matter what happens, or how tired I am at the end of each day, & how stressed I am…..that he always comes first.  God, my husband, and Connor.  MY LOVES.

The couple on stage in the below picture have been married 51 years.  They are so adorable!  I just love seeing couples that have been married that long and still have a sparkle in their eyes for each other.  The husband was asked what his secret was for the longevity of their marriage and why they would even consider coming to a marriage conference. They probably already knew everything there was to know about being married right?

This was his answer:  “Well, by the time you’re my age and have been married this long you forgot everything you learned in the first place so it’s new all over again!” 

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