The bond that connects a husband and wife is like Velcro. Our hearts and lives are intertwined. You and me become one, a team, an us, a we.
Together ‘we’ carve out a safe haven and stand arm in arm to face the joys, struggles and stressors of life. We don’t loose our individuality, we are still our own person, with our own personality, gifting, strengths and weaknesses. But we venture out into the world all the while knowing we have ‘home’ and each other to turn to.
I love how Gary Chapman says it in his book “A Couple’s Guide to a Growing Marriage”
“Marital ‘oneness’ is not sameness, it is rather that inner feeling that assures us we are ‘together’ even when we are apart. For this to happen, each partner makes the commitment to help the other develop as a person and to reach our potential as individuals and as a couple. Such ‘oneness’ is not automatic. Becoming ‘one’ is the result of many shared thoughts, feelings, activities, dreams, frustrations, joys, and sorrows. In short, it is the result of sharing life.”
This is so true.
May I suggest 3 ways to nurture ‘me’ and ‘us.’
1. Find time to take care of ‘you.’ If you are overloaded, unsatisfied and lacking sleep, you will be stressed and often disappointed and irritated. Aim to sleep well, manage your time, get your priorities straight and try to live a balanced and purposeful life.
2. Take care of the ‘us.’ It is important to spend time with your spouse for the purpose of connecting your hearts. Smiling, complimenting, being interested in your spouse’s life, are ways to help your spouse feel cared for and show the ‘us’ matters.
3. Face the difficult issues. Exploding and withdrawing are two ineffective ways of dealing with difficult issues. It is best to write on a 3 x 5 card what you want your spouse to understand about the difficult issues. Instead of fighting to be right, talk with the aim of being heard and understood.
And remember, your spouse can’t hear you until they feel heard by you.
But all couples, at one time or another, experience difficult seasons. Maybe one spouse loses a job, babies are born, parents age, money is tight, work and kids leave no time for the ‘us’ and the stressors of life become big. The way a couple argues hurts. And more often than not attempts to talk about the hurts and repair fail.
The hurts accumulate, causing a couple to emotionally disconnect. The couple no longer feels the ‘us’ or ‘we’ but rather the ‘you against me.’
The key to a healthy, happy & long lasting marriage is a couple’s ability to emotionally connect & perceive each other as a safe haven. But when a couple gets stuck arguing, hurts accumulate often leaving a couple emotionally disconnected. This disconnection is what is painful and dangerous for a marriage.
We know that most couples, at one time or another, face a painful and difficult season in their marriage. And with the right kind of help, most couples not only get through their difficult season, they come out stronger and closer.
I would like to introduce to you the Safe Haven Marriage Intensives we offer here at the Safe Haven Relationship Center.
The focus of the Safe Haven Marriage Intensives is to help a couple unravel their ‘fight cycle’ and heal their accumulated hurts so they can emotionally connect.
The aim of the intensive is to help a couple turn toward each other so their relationship can become a ‘safe haven.’ This is what makes the Safe Haven Marriage Intensives so successful.
We have done about 1,000 intensives, both individual couples and group intensives.
Often a couple waits 4 years before reaching out for help, and many couples wait 20 or more years. That is a long time without the loving, caring support of the ‘us’.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a difficult marriage, I invite you to email us and consider the possibility of attending a Safe Haven Marriage Intensive. Couples come for 2 to 4 days to Carlsbad, Pasadena or for a Safe Haven Marriage Coaching Intensive in Lynchburg, Virginia, or Knoxville, Tennessee.
If you would like an introduction to the Safe Haven Model, Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd offers a 6-week Safe Haven Marriage Coaching experience over the phone. A great way to start understanding how you argue, why you argue the way you do and how to change it, heal hurts and foster a safe haven marriage.
I pray you will nurture your marriage, taking care of ‘you’ and nurturing and caring for the ‘us.’
We would like to help you grow as a person so you can love, live and lead well.