Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Strengthening Marriages: Get Real!

Part II of a four-part series by Greg Wells.

Principal One: Say what you mean; mean what you say.

Say what you mean: It’s often much harder to state what you really want or desire from your spouse, but doing so will save much heartache and frustration in the long run. If you will work to be authentic in words and deeds and avoid playing emotional “games” with each other, it will go a long way towards saying what you mean. An example of this would be instead of making an under-the-breath remark about how long it’s been since you’ve had sex, tell your spouse you miss him/her, and would like to spend some time making love tonight.

Mean what you say: How many times have you had your feelings hurt by something your spouse said in a moment of anger, only to have him/her say later that they “didn’t really mean it, they were just blowing off steam?” While sometimes that’s simply an excuse for ugly behavior, we can say things in a moment of passion or frustration that we don’t fully mean. Phrases like “Maybe we should just get a divorce” or “I hate you” are sometimes easy to say, but hard to take back. It’s much better to take a deep breath and silently count to 10 (or 100!), giving yourself time to really think about what you are saying, than it is to respond immediately and later come to regret the damage that’s been done.

Tomorrow: Principal Two: Fight fair. No hitting “below the belt.”

Greg Wells is the Director of Counseling Services at 121 Community Church and the counselor at 121 Counseling Services. An ordained minister, Greg is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife have been married for eleven years, and work together raising their two daughters. Greg counsels on variety of issues, including trauma/abuse and intimacy in marriage.

You can contact Greg directly at: counseling@121cc.com.

(Photo by elventear. See flickr.com for restrictions.)

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