Archive for the ‘MARRIAGE’ Category

Bad Communication in Marriage isn’t to Blame | 6 Realities that Threaten our Marriages

October 30

Okay, sometimes it is, but too often communication in marriage is blamed for what are other, deeper lying issues that steal the joy, contentment and depth of our unions.

Without proper acknowledgement and the time needed to work through them, they carry the same weight of leading our marriages astray as poor communication.

Please don’t think I’m throwing you under the bus here, because in my own marriage, I’ve been guilty of a few… or more!

So lets explore together as friends….

6 realities that threaten our marriages and relationships

 

Marrying Who We Like Now

Let’s just start by nipping the “you’ve changed” statement in the butt now. That and “you aren’t the person I married anymore.”

Why? Because they’re ridiculous statements that are completely irrelevant in marriage.

Indeed we fall in love with the person of today, but the fact is people change. Life moves on, circumstances shift and we inevitably grow into the people we were meant to be.

We mature, life’s experiences shape us and we must love them unconditionally through that. The choice comes now.

Be willing to accept the person of today, while embracing the person of tomorrow.

Marry someone not for who they are now, but for who they’re determined to become!

Communication in marriage

Marriage as a built in best friend

If we’re brutally honest, we many times feel lonely and see marriage as a cure for that; a built in friend who will fill our every moment with joy. Because it’s their job to complete us, make us happy and fulfill our every need, right?! Wrong.

The reality is, we can be lonely in an entire room full of people or sitting on the couch next to someone we’re disconnect from emotionally. 

If you’re feeling desperate to fill the loneliness hole, seek out new friendships, hobbies and activities. Try serving and loving on someone one; It’s instant joy!

The right person is waiting, but incorrect motives can cloud our judgement and lead us into marriage for all the wrong reasons and expectations.

Marriage and the Shame Blame Game

As much as we hate to admit it, each of us carries baggage. We’ve spent the better part of our life running from the pain and doing everything in our power to mask the guilt or shame for things of the past.

In marriage, two lives become one and inevitably our dirty laundry gets cleaned, whether we like it or not. And while it’s necessary for complete unity and trust to share our whole selves with our spouse, we many times handle ourselves in inappropriate ways.

We blame our spouse for our baggage, as if they created it. Either through words [spoken or unspoken] and actions [done or failed to do] we act as if they are the cause for our pain and our poor behaviour. We demand they fix whatever they’ve caused in us, when in reality, we’re making them pay for something that was never their fault.

Taking out our pasts on loved ones or defending ourselves by saying “this is just the way I am,” isn’t the answer, nor will it build strong and lasting marriages. 

Sometimes the best remedy is a simple confession of our pasts in a safe and non-judgmental environment. For others, therapy is a wonderful option. Many times, it’s personal therapy that needs exploring over couples treatment, because once we learn to love ourselves with grace and acceptance, we can extend that to others, including our spouses.

Choose openness instead of defensiveness, forgiveness instead of spite, apology instead of blame,and grace instead of power.

Marriage and the White Picket Fence

Lets be honest, we all have expectations for our lives. If we were to grab a pen and paper we could likely write out our story book with every twist, turn and happy ending. But life and marriage are messy, not to mention hard work and ever changing.

When things stop working perfectly and life is far from easy, we can start to blame our partners for where we’re at. 

“This isn’t what I wanted or how I imagined my life to be.” 

Whether in a mansion or a cardboard box, driving a rolls royce or a beater, you’re in this for better or for worse.. together!

It’s time we stop pointing fingers and instead start seeing our spouses as partners in crime. If there’s anyone I rather go to hell and back with, I’m sure glad it’s you!

Marriage and Keeping Me Happy

How many times have people told you marriage is about sacrifice and putting someone before yourself. Probably none.

At it’s core, marriage is the ultimate gift of service, unconditional and many times without thanks.  But instead, society tricks us into thinking it’s our spouses job to meet our every need- to keep us happy.

But it’s not about our expectations being fulfilled or marrying the right person. 

It’s about being the right person, even when they don’t deserve it.

The hope and true joy in marriage, is having your love returned in the same way; but someone has to start and he with the most knowledge goes first!

 

Marriage in the wake of a Disposable Culture

We live in sad times, when everything and everyone is disposable!

Nothing is built to last and value is placed on all the wrong things. Everything is vying for our attention and escapism is ramped. It’s about the newest and the greatest; the most beautiful and desired.

Focus and a return to normal has become a rare art form; boredom and familiarity have become the enemy. 

… and it’s leaked its way into our marriages.

We must understand that marriage is not a contract we can try out or find an expiration on. It’s a covenant, made for life.

We must work at it, day in and day out, committing to love the one we’re with rather than lusting after what “could have been.”

 

 

Truth is, there are many more and I don’t claim to be an expert or have every answers. But too often, we blame communication for the struggles in our marriages. It’s time we look a little deeper and start asking ourselves the right questions.

Is communication to blame or could it be something else?

Photos courtesy of Top to Bottom |
Ronnie Lee Hill, Matt Kennedy (2), Life Studios (2), Dragonflight Photography

 

So Much More than a Piece of Paper

June 25

I’d bet my bottom dollar you’ve heard it said before. Or perhaps you’ve said it yourself.

“It’s just a piece of paper.”

Marriage that is. The wedding,  just a slip of paper from the government making things official…

Countless times over this viewpoint is shared by well meaning people with a genuine love for each other. But to be frank, it makes me sad, even angry some days.

 

Marriage isn’t a contract,  it’s a covenant.

Contacts are meant to protect people from getting hurt and in almost all cases, it has an “out” clause. They are used to test out new arrangements and can be altered and changed as stages progress.

In short, contracts protect each party from the other and they’re rarely, if ever, for life!

A covenant, on the other hand, is cut between people and binds them together as equals. It declares that each will make it their life’s duty and mission to fulfill the promises of the agreement and will carry the covenant forward to their last breath.

Covenants acknowledge that circumstances will never be perfect and when one falls, the other will carry them.

Together they’ll weathers the storms of life. There are no test runs.

Ways to love your husband Tweet: Love knows things won’t be perfect but together we’ll weathers the storms of life. 

 

You see when we view marriage as a contract, we’re putting ourself and our needs FIRST. We’re making a Plan B  should things not satisfy and giving ourselves an escape goat.

We’re saying without saying it, “I’m in so long as it suits me and my every stipulation is met.”

But life is messy and marriage is the glue that binds us. We’re bound to get hurt as we learn to love more fully, to stumble and fail at all our promises. But that doesn’t mean we walk away when things get hard. If anything, it’s when we lean it!


Tweet: Marriage is a fight for what matters most. A choice to stay, every single day. 

Like gems,  it’s the journey that refines us, and polishes our sparkle. We’re never perfect cuts right from the get go!

It’s falling down 10 times and picking yourself up 11. It’s choosing to love the person of today while embracing the person of tomorrow.

‘Cause it’s not by being perfect or having our every need meet that our marriage will flourish. It’s in the fire. There, we build character and see what we were made for…

To serve without limits, to put others first and give our lives away in love.

Ways to love your husband Tweet: Marriage is so much more than a piece of paper; it’s loving the person of today while embracing the person of tomorrow 

Think about your marriage vows. What promises are you declaring? What covenant are you making?
It’s not another item on your check list of life’s to-do’s. It’s the greatest commitment you’ll ever make.

 

 Photos courtesy of Dragonflight Photography, The Nickersons and Life Studios
 



15 ways to love your husband

June 4

Men and women were created different; one pink the other blue, each responding to life through it’s own coloured glasses.

Too often we accuse each other of being wrong, trying desperately to force each other to do things how we’d like it done or act the way we would. But here’s the thing; we were each created with purpose and intent. Not wrong, just different.

The key to a successful marriage falls on two words: Love and Respect.

Woman need to respect their husbands and men, to love their wives. To each, it’s their primarily way of feeling valued. While yes, woman need to be respected, they primarily need to know their loved. And for men, while knowing their loved is important, they value greater knowing their wife respects them.

 

Whether your single, dating or married, here’s what the men in your life want you to know, but won’t say…

15 ways to love him… the way HE WANTS!

  1. Say what you need to say without talking down to him

  2. Tell him you’re grateful for him going to work

  3. Cheer on his successes in business or and in sports

  4. Allow him to dream, by humouring him and not shooting down his dreams immediately

  5. Admire the responsibly he feels for your life and your safety

  6. Praise his commitment to provide for you financially, regardless if he’s the breadwinner

  7. Tell him he’s strong while squeezing his muscles

  8. Praise his good decisions and go quiet about his poor ones

  9. Honour his authority in front of others and talk later in quiet about disagreements or frustrations

  10. Thank him for his advice and knowledge rather than telling him he’s always trying to fix things

  11. Value his ability to listen by telling him you just need an ear to listen

  12. Tell him you like him and he’s your best friend

  13. Do activities with him without talking, or simply watching him

  14. Encourage him to spend time alone doing something he enjoys

  15. Look your best every once and a while for him alone, not just when you’re going out

 


Ways to love your husband Tweet: 15 ways to love him… the way HE WANTS! http://ctt.ec/Z8aca+

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about why these make men feel loved [i.e.: respected] and the secret to a lasting and fulfilling marriage, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of “Love and Respect” today

Dave and I have worked through this book both independently and with a group of couples. We’ve laughed and cried our way through it and found an even greater level of joy and depth to our marriage.

 

 

Photography credit top left to right and down: Life Studios, Studio Jeanie, Studio Jeanie, The Nickersons, Dragonflight Photography

 

 

Questions every couple should ask before marriage

May 16

There was a season in our relationship that was hard. Very hard. I wasn’t sure if what we had was real love or simply lust in disguise.

We were the best of friends, we just “worked” together and everything about us as a couple seemed to fit in place perfectly  Not to mention we were gaga for each other. All signs were pointing to engagement.

But even after we were engaged, a nagging question remained.

It wasn’t a surface thought that lingered daily at the forefront of my mind, but this deep ponder in the recesses of my heart and sub conscience.  I could feel it’s weight when I slowed down long enough to be bored; in the quiet of my solitude. When there was no one else around or nothing to keep me busy and distracted.

What if I got fat?

What if I couldn’t have sex anymore?

What if I told him ALL of my ugly- the stuff I hate to even admit to myself?

What if I had a stroke and wound up with a completely different personality?

What if I got hit by a car, burned in a fire or became handicapped or paralyzed?

 

…..Would he love me then?

While I’d quickly assure myself, “yes, of course he would,” I truly wondered. We can ask these things but rarely do we consider them as a very real possibility.

In our own circle of friends, we can attest to more than one of the above circumstances. They became a very real reality in the lives of people we know. And let me tell you, they never expected their life would turn out that way; they never fathomed how difficult and heart wrenching it would be!

What if your life looked like this tomorrow? Would you honestly make the same decision she did?

Marriage is so much more than your wedding day or a party to celebrate two people. It’s the joining of two lives as one and a commitment to love each other through thick and thin. Truly ponder your marriage vows…

… In sickness and in health
… In good times and in bad
… To love ALL the days of your life.

More than anything, marriage is a gift – the gift of joy found in service; the giving of our life,  the putting of someone else before our own needs and loving selflessly, as Jesus did for us.

Can you truly make this commitment with integrity and sincerity? Have you considered what that may look like?

While marriage is precious and beautiful, reality can also look bleak and desperate some days. There will be seasons when you have to consciously decide to love each other, to push through and not give up. To accept that the greatest joy is in the in-between moments- the small glimpses of Glory amongst a thousand more tough ones.

In all the excitement and fairytale talk, someone needs to ask the hard question.

…. Will you love them even then?

…. Will they love you even then? 

Be brave, be courageous and dare to consider it with your fiancé.

 

 The inspirational couples shown above captured by ShutterHappy Photography, Jamieson Dean Photography + Citygate Films

 

Summer Bucket list Challenge | Happy Family Movement

May 29

Recently, I walked away from the world for 168 hours! That’s 7 days free of social media, tv and the internet. What I discovered most was how numb I’d become to the obsessive noise, opinions and seeking of influence, that surrounds me each and everyday.

In the solitude of my own life, I rediscovered the joy I had at my fingertips, even in the most mundane, simple graces of everyday. I was able to enjoy the things set in front of me, free of comparison, negative self-talk and the lies that say “what I am and what I can do, is never enough!” It’s amazing how easily we allow social media and the world’s influence to steal our joy and focus….

In reflection of this, I was reminded of the Happy Family Movement– a project set out by Becky Higgins of Project life, encouraging families to create joy-filled environment that will change the world. Whether you have kids, are a family of 2 or are single and dating, it’s time we cut loose a little, live out loud and love, with everything we’ve got!

Join KME in the Summer Buck List Challenge and bring the Happy Family Movement to your home!

The summer you’ll never forget is waiting! It’s time to make memories you’ll forever cherish- ones that’ll matter when you take your final breath! Here’s my families Summer Bucket List….

  1. Picnicking at Belcarra

  2. Kayaking from Rocky Point to North Shore

  3. Theatre under the Stars

  4. Camping with Dave’s Family

  5. Go berry picking at an Orchard

  6. Fly a Kite

  7. Make Home-Made Ice Cream

  8. Hiking with Kailey’s Family

  9. Fish and Chips at the Pier

  10. Go to an Outdoor or Drive-in  Movie

  11. Bike Ride the Chilliwack Dykes

  12. Go Horse Back Riding

  13. Boating with Kailey’s Family

  14. Go swimming (actual) with Dave + get my Hair wet

  15. Complete one summer bible study on my own

  16. Go Roller Blading

  17. Lawn Games with Friends

  18. Play tennis as a couple

  19. Go to a Farmers Market

  20. Enjoy our Patio

 

Now it’s your turn! Take the pledge by telling me in the comments below, one of the first things you’re putting on YOUR summer bucket list.

I’m cheering you on, my friend! Let’s get started….