Posts Tagged ‘Tips for happy marriages’

Transforming a Troubled Marriage

In Divorce, Marriage, Religion on March 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

By Rachel Allison

Have you ever had a life-changing conversation with friends?  A conversation that blindsided you to the point where years later that conversation remains seared in your memory?  I can think of one.

Several years ago, I was having lunch with two good friends.  During our conversation, Lori began sharing with us her plan to leave her husband.  They had seven young children.  It would be an understatement to say that I was surprised.  We knew her husband.  That fact only made her announcement more unbelievable.  The second “whammy” came with Beth’s response.

She looked Lori squarely in the eyes and said, “For years I had been planning on leaving Greg as well.  I mentally documented every selfish, inconsiderate thing he had ever done.  And believe me, I had enough stored up to justify a divorce.  I promised myself that the day my youngest left home, I would leave too.”  Both Lori and I stared at her in disbelief.

“But you’re still married.  And your youngest left two years ago.”

“I know.  That’s why I’m sharing this.  Greg never knew how I felt.  He had no idea so we just kept going through the motions of being a happily married couple.  Life has a way of mellowing all of us.  Was it Greg who mellowed and became a more attentive husband, or was it I who grew up and became a more tolerant wife?  I have no idea, but putting off my decision and my announcement to leave gave us both enough time to mature and learn to appreciate and need one another.

Shortly after this conversation with Lori and Beth, I was reading a religious publication on strengthening marriage.   I would like to share parts of it simply because the advise will be useful to share with friends or family, if not now, in the future.

The article told the story of a troubled marriage.  The wife had fallen out of love with her husband.  She admitted that his long hours at work and on the golf course were partially her fault.

She realized she had two options:  to divorce or to stay in a miserable marriage.  Both options seemed wrong.  Her third choice was to stay with Mark and fall in love again. She tried for weeks, but she only met with frustration.

She turned to God in prayer…and the words that came to her were, “fix yourself!” Humbled, she prayed for guidance.  She realized that she had been cataloging only Mark’s faults, and she determined to mentally list ten positives about him each night before going to bed.  Then she began listing ten good things for every negative thought she had.  After weeks of this, things began to improve.  First, she began to realize that Mark wasn’t the jerk she thought he was.  Second, in the absence of all of her criticism, Mark started changing many of his bad habits. She began enjoying her time with him, and consequently, he started spending more time at home.

For months she had prayed every day asking to feel the love that Christ felt for Mark.  Her prayers were answered.  The love returned, and her marriage, though not perfect, is much better now.  She continues to focus on the positive…and to pray.

In my faith, we are taught that when the Spirit of Christ is present in a relationship, it will improve.  The Spirit of Christ has a way of purifying us.  I have learned through experience that there are sure ways to invite the Savior to be a part of our lives and relationships:  positive thoughts, positive words, positive actions, and selfless service.

My friend Beth personifies all of the above. Just like the woman in this story, her prayers drew down the powers of heaven and changed her and her husband, and saved her family.

“Marriage pays huge dividends!” Strengthen Yours.

In Marriage on February 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

The truth is, marriage is beneficial for both personal and national economic stability and is critical for raising well-adjusted children.  Such is the sentiment of  Chuck Stetson, CEO of National Marriage Week USA which is appropriately proclaimed the week before Valentine’s Day   This annual event is a great time to celebrate this most important institution.

We at United Families International want to celebrate with you – to encourage those who are married to take the time to strengthen and nurture your marriage and to those adults who aren’t married, to recognize the important place marriage plays in a healthy society and that promoting (and preparing for) it benefits everyone!    First, we wanted to share some positive things that have been in the news this past week regarding marriage.

1.     The French Constitutional Council, France’ highest authority on the French constitution, ruled last week that disallowing same-sex marriage does not violate the country’s constitution.  The Council noted that lawmakers had already agreed that the “difference in situations of same-sex couples and couples made up of a man and a woman can justify a different in treatment concerning family rights.”  France currently has in place a form of civil union and the court ruled that that is enough for same-sex couples to form a “normal family life.”  What a change from the outrageous rulings on marriage that have emanated from some U.S courts.

2.    In spite of all the bad news surrounding the recession, in the U.S. marriage seems to be faring well.  The National Marriage Project, University of Virginia, is reporting on a new study/survey that shows that 38 percent of couples who were considering divorce or separation have now put aside those plans as a result of the recession.  “The Great Recession and Marriage” points out that even though the economic downturn has indeed brought considerable stress and harm to some marriages; it has also brought about a re-ordering of life and produced a deeper commitment to marriage for others.

When marriages thrive

The seminal work, “The Case for Marriage” (2001) synthesized much of the research that had been done to date on marriage and there continues to be an avalanche of studies and research on the importance of man/woman marriage.  Not being married can be hazardous to your health, to your pocketbook, and most importantly, to your children.  Go here and to see a condensed list of the benefits of a healthy marriage.  We also want to highlight United Families International’s compilation of studies entitled:  The Marriage Advantage. Please share the information with your friends and family.  Marriage can no longer be taken for granted.

When marriage breaks down or becomes irrelevant

Marriage breakdown costs U.S. taxpayers at least $112 billion a year – that’s a low-end estimate.   We would argue that a government cannot create enough social programs to compensate for the breakdown of marriage (or for the failure of marriages to form at all) – those governments that try, will ultimately go broke in the process.

If you want to see what happens when marriage is devalued to the point that a segment of society ceases to participate in it, take a few minutes and read through  “Nobody Gets Married Anymore, Mister.”  Read one school teacher’s account of what happens to schools and to communities when marriage disappears.  The author explains how the tragedy compounds with each succeeding generation. (Note:  72 percent of all African-American children are born out-of-wedlock)

In honor of National Marriage week

Simply knowing the critical effect marriage has on children and society doesn’t make having a happy marriage easy.  To succeed in marriage, men and women must overcome the most common weakness of humanity:  that of selfishness. We hope that understanding how crucial marriage is will help create some incentive to strengthen your love and commitment to your spouse and family.   Here are ten tips to help you do just that.  First for the husbands…

Tips for Him

Be Gentle – Your actions, words, and thoughts affect her deeply–be gentle.  Complements and suggestions reach the core of her being.

Eliminate harshness or criticism. Resolve any differences in private where you can be open, collected, and kind in your approach.

Be Open and Honest – Total openness is essential for a healthy relationship.  Becoming a predictable, blending of each other’s mind raises the level of trust and marital fulfillment.  Take time to talk.  By sharing your interests and feelings you strengthen your relationship.

Share the Leadership – Listen to her, counsel with her and often follow her lead.  Contribute to a faith-based home by leading out in prayer, religious study, giving service, and weekly family time.

Concern Yourself With Her –  Be genuinely interested in her hair, clothes, peer relationships, and on and on.  These things affect her life, so they affect your marriage–be interested in them.

Have Fun Together   Pressures will mount and more and more things will demand your individual time and energy, but life together was intended to be full and rich.  Make sure it is.

Tips for Her

Appreciate and Admire – Appreciate that he spends most of his time in pursuit of your comfort and happiness.  His confidence is increased when you express admiration and appreciation.  Look for his goodness and strengths.  Let him know he is your hero.

Be Attractive – Know what his appearance preferences are and wear them.  He has a responsibility to maintain his appearance for you as well.

Create Peace and Order – Organize your home.   Make it a peaceful place to be where you can listen and share each other’s burdens and joys.  Try to have at least one meal together every day.

Persuade in Kindness – Compliment, ask and wait.  Make sure he understands your needs.  He will fulfill them when he can.  Respect his counsel and advice.  Include him in your decisions.  Let him know you appreciate his leadership by honoring his manhood.

Keep Dating – Share his adventures, hobbies and interests.  Make time to have fun together.  Be fiercely committed.  Let nothing come between you.  Make yours a “forever” team.

Social science data new and old clearly indicates that happy marriages are the seed bed of society.  Join us in celebrating National Marriage Week by doing something to create and protect happy marriages–especially YOURS!


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