Glad you have joined our Safe Haven 7 week Marriage Challenge.
Welcome to an amazing community of couples working hard to go from a difficult and disconnected marriage to a more loving and happier marriage.
We are excited you have decided to give your all to improve your marriage!
Marriage Challenge Week 1: Develop A Vision For Your Marriage.
Lost the Vision for your Marriage?
Getting along in marriage is hard work and unraveling arguments and hurt feelings can be a daily necessity. Marriage is a mix of wonderful, loving times as well as hurt-filled and difficult arguments. And too often it is easy to forget all the good in your marriage and focus on ‘what I don’t like about you!’
When you do, your laundry list of all the wrongs of your spouse and disappointments of your marriage get the most of your attention. Or you get stuck in the routine of your family life … from the time you wake up to the moment you go to bed you are running on the treadmill to do what needs to be done.
With no intentionality of what kind of marriage you really want to grow. This leads to the vision of your marriage becoming fuzzy. Causing you to forget what you love about your spouse, what is good about your marriage and how you want to love each other well!
What are the Key Ingredients of a Safe Haven Marriage?
What kind of marriage is a good and healthy marriage? It is one where both spouses trust each other, are there for each other, are emotionally connected and relate to each other in a considerate manner. Research shows that couples long for a meaningful connection with each other. At the heart of most arguments is a couple’s longing to be heard, understood and connected. Here at Safe Haven Relationship Center, our couple marriage intensives help couples heal hurts and foster a safe haven marriage. As an example of what kind of vision to have for your marriage, I outline the building blocks of a Safe haven Marriage.
The 3 key ingredients of a Safe Haven Marriage are: Trust, Availability and Responsiveness. Let me explain.
1. Trust– When you and your spouse trust each other, it fosters safety and connectedness. There are two kinds of trust, one is dependable trust and the other is heart trust. Dependable trust is where you are both reliable, do what you say you will do and follow through on your responsibilities. Heart trust is where you trust each other with ‘you,’ your thoughts, feelings and dreams. You know you will each be there for each other and the end of the day you are each assured that you love and care for each other.
2. Availability– You show up for each other physically and are ‘there for each other.’ Remember, it’s hard to have a relationship with someone who is hardly around. When you are together, say for the evening, to foster a safe haven marriage, it is important to also be emotionally present. Turn your full attention to each other. This makes all the difference, helping you each to feel seen and valued.
3. Responsiveness– How you respond to your spouse will either open your hearts or close them up! To foster a safe haven marriage, you weigh your needs with your spouse’s needs and respond in the best interest of the relationship. You are not a doormat placating your spouse in order to keep the peace, neither do you steamroll your way forward. Instead, a safe haven marriage considers both spouses and decides what is in the best interest of ‘us!’
The Marriage Challenge Week 1: Develop a vision for your marriage! Keep it in focus everyday! Let it guide how you relate and react with your spouse.
Steps to Developing a Vision For Your Marriage:
1. Sit with your spouse and come up with 3 phrases and 3 sentences that describe the kind of marriage you want to foster and nurture.
2. What is most important to you and your spouse in your marriage?
It could be things like: honesty, kindness, laughter, dependability, hospitality, an ‘us’ focus, togetherness, spiritual, passion, emotionally connected.
3. How do you each want to relate to each other during the day or when times get difficult?
For example: putting each other first, staying connected, making time to talk each night, slowing down before reacting, finding time to be playful
4. What does your marriage look like when you are doing well? What are your strengths? What do you both value and want to see as part of your marriage?
AN EXAMPLE of a MARRIAGE VISION STATEMENT:
This is the vision for our marriage…. We will try live it out each day in practical ways…. "We want to go from dry, difficult, disconnected to a safe haven marriage. Our vision is to be trustworthy, show up and be emotionally there for each other, and respond in a kind way that considers each of our views! We will be patient, considerate, ready to constructively problem solve our issues, complain respectfully, work hard, do our best, play often and pursue a love filled meaningful life. At the end of each day we can be assured that we love each other and will work through hard times together."
Steps To Living Out Your Vision For Your Marriage:
1. Write out your marriage vision and put it where you can read it daily!
2. Let your marriage vision guide:
i. your attitude toward your spouse
ii. your tone of voice, and volume of your voice
iii. the way you react when irritated, tired or hurt
3. The marriage challenge question:
Does the way we live and react nurture our vision for our marriage?
Or personalize the question:
Am I acting consistently with our marriage vision?
4. To better align your attitude and behavior with what you want to see happen your marriage…
a. Stop yourself when you find you are going sideways.
b. Remind yourself “we are working toward a more loving and peace-filled marriage…being irritated and critical will only make my spouse defensive and our marriage prickly. That’s not what either of us want.”
Thank you for joining us for our Week #1 Safe Haven Marriage Challenge...
Stay tuned for next week's challenge. You don't want to miss it.
It has something to do about YOU....
Dr Sharon May
and the Safe Haven Team
NOTE: If you are stuck, hurt and disconnected in your marriage, or are in a destructive marriage and need more help than this Marriage Challenge, please research a local counselor or email us for information regarding our Safe Haven Marriage Intensives. Couples come for 2 to 5 days for a concentrated time to make sense of their hurt, stuck and disconnected marriage and begin a journey of healing and renewed connection. You don't have to suffer in a broken marriage, have hope, a Safe Haven Intensive might be a meaningful way to start your healing journey. Intensives are available in person and via ZOOM.