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Marriage 2.0 cont...

Last week I started writing about my wedding coming up this weekend and shared some of the wisdom that my fiancé and I have been diving into before getting married to be as best prepared as we can. I talked about some of the gifts of marriage that we can choose to be to each other. The gift of love and respect, the gift of forgiveness and the gift of sexual intimacy. These are beautiful gifts we can bring to each other every day. Go back to read this blog if you missed it.

I want to take a different tack this week by looking at what we need to consider giving up for our marriages to thrive. Marriage often requires individuals to prioritize the needs and happiness of their spouse over their own desires. This doesn't mean completely sacrificing your own happiness, but it does involve considering your partner's feelings and needs in decision-making as much as possible. The following are some things to consider thinking about surrendering.

The need to be right.

Letting go of the need to always be right or to win arguments is important. Sometimes, it's more important to maintain harmony and understanding in the relationship than to prove a point. I often remind clients to ask themselves, 'Do I want to love, or do I want to be right?'

The need to be understood.

The need to be understood is a natural human desire, and it can be challenging to completely give it up. However, you can work on managing this need in healthier ways to reduce its impact on your life and relationship. Accept that you cannot control how your spouse perceives or understands you. They will interpret your words and actions based on their own filters and experiences. Trying to control this is often futile and can lead to frustration. Make an effort to understand your spouse before seeking to be understood. Empathizing with their perspective can lead to more productive and meaningful conversations. Ask questions, actively listen, and validate their feelings and thoughts. Instead of fixating on being understood, focus on improving your communication skills. Be clear, concise, and honest when expressing your thoughts and feelings with your spouse. Use "I" statements to express yourself without blaming or accusing your significant other.

The need to have expectations met.

Unrealistic expectations, especially those influenced by fairy tales or idealized notions of marriage, can lead to disappointment. It's important to have realistic expectations and be prepared for the imperfections and challenges that come with any long-term relationship. Have expectations that are super easy to meet. Set each other up to succeed. Avoid trying to catch your spouse out falling short. Shame and guilt destroy a relationship in the blink of an eye.

The need to hold grudges.

Holding onto past grievances can erode a marriage over time. It's crucial to learn how to forgive, let go of resentment, and work through conflicts in a constructive way. How can you learn to hold short accounts. I love the term, 'fighting naked'. Meaning when you have conflict you cannot bring up things from the past. The conversation has to stay about the immediate challenge you are facing. This also encourages couples to face the problem then and there. If it has been longer than say 48 hours since the issue, find a way to release it and move on.

I love this quote below from C.S Lewis about marriage. I have adjusted this quote to read about yourselves rather than other people. Feel free to download the PDF and print it out for your fridge as a reminder.

Keep the LOVE on friends! Choose LOVE every-day!

“They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each o
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