Thursday, May 8, 2014

Livin' It Up in Marital Bliss

We're approaching our 14th anniversary this summer and it's been 14 years of "marital bliss"... Lol!

Ben and I are a great TEAM, but being a great team means we are also very DIFFERENT. He brings order, I bring chaos; I'm the busy one, he's the thinker; I'm very open and he's very private. Figuring out how to come together is a skill we're still working on acquiring. Not long ago he pointed me to a great marriage resource that I really feel has helped out our marriage a LOT, and if we'd apply more often we'd be doing even better! It's a whole concept that you can find on a website, MarriageBuilders. I want to give you a little summary of it and if it sounds interesting to you then check it out!

First of all is the concept of a LOVE BANK - everyday in every relationship we are making deposits or withdrawals. When we do what the other likes we make deposits, when we do what they don't like we make withdrawals. As long as our balance stays positive the marriage survives, when the deposits FAR outweigh the withdrawals then your marriage THRIVES.

Now there's only 1 problem with that... you have to be making the RIGHT kind of deposits to actually make it in the bank. What I like, and what he likes are more often than not, two different things. Herein we come to the individual's MOST IMPORTANT NEEDS, which vary from one to another. These needs are:
  •    Affection
  •    Sexual Fulfillment
  •    Conversation
  •    Recreational Companionship
  •    Honesty and Openness
  •    Physical Attractiveness
  •    Financial Support
  •    Domestic Support
  •    Family Commitment
  •    Admiration 
Everyone has most of these needs to one degree or another, the key is finding your spouse's TOP 5 and meeting those needs the best you can. If any 1 of their top 5 needs are NOT being met, they suffer and the marriage suffers. (There are great explanations and surveys on the site to help you determine which ones are yours.)

To improve your marriage you need to START doing more of what they like and STOP doing what they don't. They call these "don'ts" LOVE BUSTERS. You may want to check these out, because I was surprised at how MANY of them I do/had been doing and didn't even know it:
  • Selfish Demands
  • Disrespectful Judgments
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Annoying Habits
  • Independent Behavior
  • Dishonesty
One of the things I really like about the Marriage Builders concept is the POLICY OF JOINT AGREEMENT - which is basically that you don't do ANYTHING unless you and your spouse are both in "ENTHUSIASTIC AGREEMENT." There are so many things we can do with our lives and this policy helps to insure that the choices you and your spouse are making are going to bring you closer together. (So if my husband isn't thrilled about how much I play Candy Crush, it's against the policy!)

I've always been told that the gospel of Jesus Christ will help our marriages more than any type of counseling or popular notions. I really feel like these ideas helped me apply the things that Christ taught us... to be kind, loving, forgiving, patient, long-suffering, etc. Marriage takes work, but it brings the BEST REWARDS ever! Hopefully this will give you some ideas on making your marriage better, and sharing them with you has been a good reminder for me that I've got a few things to work on still too.

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