Last month we went to FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage conference. Even better, we had friends there as well with the same goal as ours. Better marriages. I left with some things to think about, and six books to read.
One can never have too many books.
Here are some takeaways that I hope benefit your marriage.
I enjoyed the part on how we communicate differently. Casey and I are complete opposites in this. I get to the point, she takes the long way around.
She tells me what she feels about this and that, and I’m like Dragnet’s Joe Friday, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Since I’m naturally quiet and listen, I take turns (usually) in a conversation, where she randomly says stuff in the middle of a conversation or interrupts. I jokingly call it ‘conversational Tourette’s’.
The point is, we’re different and have to adjust for the other.
A big part, perhaps the biggest part, of communication is listening. Most want nothing more than someone to care enough to actually listen to them. Roosevelt, one of the speakers, said we need to have a divorce.
He smiled, and finished the thought with ‘divorce your phone.’ Great advice, we can’t focus on each other if our phone is distracting us. It sends a value message.
Another part that resonated with me is being a safe place for my wife. Does she know I will listen without trying to fix (as that’s a guy’s nature), but to just listen with acceptance and understanding. Ask questions and repeat what she said so you can be sure you understand.
An important point was to focus on what is being said, not the way it is being said. Refuse to return fire, even if it hurt.
Choose your words. Think before you speak. One I particularly liked was not everything you’re feeling needs to be expressed.
It’s also important to make sure you’re understood.
Finally, to speak in a way that encourages. Sadly, I’m better at encouraging others than I am my own wife. This is something I have to work on.
I thought about summing up the weekend in one post, however, it would be to long and the information needs to be chewed on. Next week I’ll continue with what I learned about unlocking the mystery of marriage.
Our friends’ blog posts about Weekend To Remember:
- And they lived Happily Ever After
- WTR – Day 1
- WTR – Day 2 Part 1
- WTR – Day 2 Part 2
- Marriage after Dark – WTR Day 2 Part 3
- WTR – Date Night
- WTR – Day 3