I commonly tell married folks that they shouldn’t try to be a “perfect” spouse because they can’t. It’s much better that they be a “practicing” spouse.
Still, for perfectionist like me, that can be a difficult pill to swallow. Instead of feeling joy over progress made, we beat ourselves up because we didn’t do something exactly right.
I hope you had a great weekend.
In today's email I want share a few of items from the Start-Stop-Continue exercise I've been writing about.
First, I mentioned in the previous email that I stuck my foot in my mouth while doing this exercise. I messed up by bluntly telling Cetelia that I did not want to do anymore dinner dates with her. The reason: I wanted us to do more engaging activities (gun range, archery, dancing, zip lining, etc.).
A few days I wrote to you about the Start-Stop-Continue exercise. Its purpose is to help you discover and practice the attitudes and behaviors that are going to be most helpful to your marriage.
Cetelia and I have gone through Round 1 of this exercise for our marriage, and it led to some excitement about what we plan to do this year, as well as a foot-in-the-mouth moment by me. I'll tell you about that verbal miscue next week.
Have you done the Start-Stop-Continue exercise yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
Happy New Year!
As you think strategically about 2018, I encourage you to include your marriage in your plans. Consider using the Start-Stop-Continue exercise to grow your marriage.
Dr. Phil is renowned for asking folks what actions they're taking, then responding with, "How's that working for you?"
I want to augment Dr. Phil's question slightly, and put it a marriage context.
Please read & answer these questions:
I could go on all day, but I think you get the picture.
You're either making your marriage better or worse—it's never parked in neutral. Take stock of how your behaviors (spurred by your beliefs) are working for your marriage.
One of my favorite shows growing up was What's Happening!! For years I was told that I looked like Roger. Unfortunately I don't have a picture handy to prove it, but back then it was true.
Anyhoo, in that vein, today kicks off what will become a weekly occurrence: What's Happening!! Wednesday. This email will let you know what's happening with Marriage Works! in terms of events, sales, new resources, free items, and stuff about our family.
Using the picture above as a backdrop, let's assume that one week ago today the male trapeze artist was late with his swing, and missed catching his partner's hands. As a result, she fell to the net.
If her partner had a history of not catching her, it would only make sense that her trust in his ability—and perhaps his willingness—to catch her would begin to erode.
Still, if she is committed to being his partner, there's only one way to rebuild trust: put herself in a position to give him another opportunity to catch her.
While she definitely wants to keep practicing with the net, and probably should make other adjustments, she still has to give him an opportunity to catch her.
This is the only way she can rebuild trust in her partner.
Today's question comes from Johnny:
When your wife moves out to another place and she says that the reason she moved out was to get your attention? But I believe she moved out for freedom or another man.
Ladies: How often are you talking with your husband, and instead of listening, he's solving?
Men: How often do you get frustrated when you know the problem (and the solution), but your wife just won't listen to you?
Ladies: Your husband might be on to something, so give him a shot.
Husbands: even if you are onto something, your wife would prefer if you listened without fixing.
After all, it's not about the nail.
The first step is easy. The second step, not so much.
In every day life, the first step could be something taking a customer's order, showing up to a meeting, committing to a good habit, or accepting a job offer. Those are pretty easy to do. Following-through on those things—the second step—is where the challenge begins.
Kevin B. Bullard, Marriage Works! Founder