Category Archives: Behavior

You Can Work With What You Know

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Expectations are an area in our marriage that can really trip us up.  One of the big problems in relationship, whether new or old is the problem of unexpressed expectation.  We all have them, but unless you both are aware of them it makes fulfilling each others needs considerable more difficult.  We simply take it for granted that the other person know our wants and needs.  Unless you are both mind readers there will never be a meeting of the minds.  Another problem occurs when our expectations for our marriage are unrealistic, then a series of potholes will litter the matrimonial highway. We can easily lose sight of God’s design for our marriage; we can forget all the qualities that first attracted us to our spouse; and we can forget just how special our mate really is. We can get so caught up in our differences (often the things we found endearing at first) and forget that our spouse’s strengths offset our own weaknesses and vice versa.  We begin to focus on how our partner can be fixed rather than understanding how God created them different from us. We focus on our feelings rather than the practice of love.

When it was all said and done, the apostle Paul had one expectation: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20).  Paul’s expectation was that Christ always be honored.

Now let’s do an experiment.  Go someplace where you can be alone, someplace comfortable and with no intrusions. You may both complete the following exercise in a personal journal or notebook.  Each of you sit for about fifteen minutes, silently.  Once your mind is clear of outside interference make a list of six expectations you have for your mate,  the future of your relationship or anything else that you’d like to see your spouse do more often.   Really give this some thought.  Consider how these expectations would make you feel if they were tended to.  Now that you have completed your list, go back and reread it.  Do you find more negatives in your expectations list than positives?  Has your lack in expressing them to your spouse led to certain expectations being unfulfilled?  I then suggest that you both sit together and share your lists with one another, discussing together the unrealistic ones and coming up with a plan to put forth the effort to address those that are attainable.  Working toward meeting the needs of our partner displays a great sense of selflessness, the foundation of a healthy marriage.  Remember, we can work with what we know.  Be blessed!

©2018 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Assertiveness, Behavior, Beliefs, Communication, Expectations, selflessness, Unity

What Do You Want to Do?

bike riding

Finding things to do together as a couple shows your spouse that you are interested and find value in the time spent together. This is a wonderful way to increase intimacy in your marriage. If you do not currently participate in activities together, begin to find like interests you can share. In some cases that may be a tall task. Perhaps you have difficulty finding things that interest you both. I had absolutely no desire to see the Meryl Streep film The Devil Wears Prada when it debuted. Mind you, I love movies, but this was not my idea of an evening’s entertainment. I chose not to operate in my feelings but to step out of the box and do something for my wife. When she asked, I bit the bullet. “Why sure, honey. I’d love to go see it.” We went out for dinner then off to the movie. I simply changed my mindset. I wasn’t going to see The Devil Wears Prada, I was taking the opportunity to spend some time with my wife. It all worked out just fine, and the movie wasn’t bad either.

Practicing selfless love is a great way to grow your relationship. Although the activities may be fun, it’s more important that you begin to view them as time you get to spend with your spouse. This will make the activities that are not so interesting to you personally just as enjoyable. You can alternate activities, taking turns picking what you will do. Husband, you agree to take in the new chick flick or some such activity, then next week the wife agrees to go to the NASCAR races. Remember, the activity is not as important as the time spent together.

Here’s a little exercise that might just stimulate some activities that you and your spouse can partake in together. Prepare a list of twenty-five activities you really enjoy (or might enjoy) and would love doing with your spouse. Again, these activities may be ones that you have never attempted but think they might be interesting, or simply things you already like to do. Remember, the goal is to use this list when we are having difficulty finding  things to do together. Once you have both completed your list of activities, make a photocopy of it. Exchange lists with each other. Your mate will love it when you plan a day doing something they really enjoy, and this will show them how much you care for them. This will also eliminate the statement “I don’t know…what do you want to do?” when you begin to plan date nights. Now go out and have some fun!

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Activities, Behavior, Communication, self

Success is Our Goal!

Success

When couples work together to reach mutual goals, the level of intimacy increases in the marriage. A great deal of satisfaction comes from accomplishments made as a team.  Look at the excitement and energy on display when a baseball team wins an important game.  They train, struggle, and sweat together to take that championship. Listen to the guys sharing about their last backpacking trip and the satisfaction expressed that in spite of fatigue, terrain, or weather conditions, they made it to their destination together.  Observe the young couple who scrimped and saved prior to getting married just so they would have enough money to make a down payment on their first home. The joy of accomplishment is beyond words!

Working together toward a common goal creates a sense of belonging, teamwork, and accomplishment, there is no doubt.  It is important to benchmark goals and have smaller intermediary goals on the way to the grand finale of goals.  By doing so, momentum will remain high because we can see our efforts beginning to pay off, thus increasing the likelihood of attaining our end goal.

 Setting Goals Together  An acronym that helps to summarize the basics of goal setting is as follows. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.  You may have heard this acronym or something close to it in one form or another, but it bears repeating.

 Goals should be Specific. The problem with the goals many people set is that they are so vague it is difficult to determine the direction the goal setting is headed.  Leave for your destination without a map and only a vague idea of where you’re headed and you will end up traveling all over town and wasting a great deal of gasoline and time in the process—to say nothing of the frustration and anger that will result. A map shows us exactly where we are headed, and we’ll know when we arrive.

 Goals should be Measurable. It is helpful to have a way to benchmark our productivity as we move toward a goal.  In this way we can assess from time to time and see if we are indeed moving along the right road. When a goal is measurable we are also encouraged by the small plateaus we hit in striving toward the desired end.

 Goals should be Achievable. We should not set financial goals so high that we will never meet the mark. A family with a combined annual income of $50,000 should probably not decide to start saving $2000 a month toward a down payment for a new home.  They will become disheartened by the second month and give up the goal entirely.

 Goals should be Realistic. It’s great to be a visionary, but if you set your goals too lofty you will never be able to attain them. You will simply become frustrated and give up.

 Goals should be Time Sensitive. We should make sure that we designate a certain amount of time for accomplishing our goals. This too will help us to benchmark our progress. Short-term goals are usually ones that you can successfully accomplish in six months to one year’s time. Longer-term goals will usually range from one to five years.

Again, your goals can be personal ones, something you would like to accomplish. Maybe the completion of that college degree you have been working on, or joining the gym to take off those last ten pounds. They can be goals focused on you and your mate—perhaps saving some money so that you can attend an upcoming marriage retreat your church is sponsoring. Goals can also be family oriented, such as putting together a big family vacation.  When we are working toward the same goals as a couple or family, we get to share in the benefits of accomplishment.

I pray blessing on you and that God give you the strength to do what’s right.

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Commitment, Expectations, Finances, Goals, Obedience

Take Off the Blindfold: Is Your Selfishness Destroying Your Relationship?

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When you think about the word selfish, certain images (or people) probably come to mind.  I want to take a few moments and address selfishness in terms that you may not have considered before.  Where does it come from? How early does it begin to take root? Can something be done about it?  Let’s draw out the aspects of selfishness and develop a different perspective of its meaning through a brief scenario.

Imagine a child about two years old, with no discernible expression on his face. He sits quietly in a corner watching the hustle and bustle of the room around him. Father comes into the room, looks at his watch, then sits on the couch. The child rises and moves toward his father, arms outstretched. The father suddenly remembers the task that needed to be completed before he rushed off to work. Up he bounces, moving quickly past the child.

The child’s expression is distinctly noticeable now. His big brown eyes look sad as he lowers his arms and whimpers quietly. His eyes light up as he notices Mother, who has stepped out of the bedroom. His arms extend once more, craving a hug, some sort of affection from his mother. She stands by the couch and continues chatting on her cell phone. She proceeds down the hall into the darkness, as if not even noticing the child. The child’s arms and head both lower. He drops to the floor and sits quietly. Can you imagine what the child is feeling at this moment?

Dad is very involved in his work, keeping food on the table and a roof over the family’s head. Mother wants to do better, but Dad is so obsessed with his work that she has sole responsibility of the household, to say nothing of the fact that she too holds down a job. It’s tough to make ends meet these days. In fact, Dad is so caught up in his work, spending time with his guy friends, and keeping up with the latest sports scores that Mom feels neglected. His lack of attention makes her feel unattractive.

As time goes by, Mother becomes more irritable and less interested in making the marriage a go. She certainly can’t do it by herself. She can feel everything slowly slipping away. Some of  her downtime leads her to partake in a drink or two. This is a convenient way of numbing the pain. The frequency of her drinking increases as her disillusionment increases. Everyone is so caught up in themselves that there doesn’t seem to be much time for that poor child. All he wants is some love and affection, the security of someone who cares.

The family behaviors continue through the years. The little boy continues to reach out to his parents for that love in a variety of ways. Nothing seems to change for the long term so the child, now ten, comes to accept his fate. He begins to close off. He stops expecting. Many of you can feel for that child and understand his plight. Some of you may be able to relate on a very personal level.

How do you think this process develops over the years?  What do you think this dynamic looks like in adult relationships, in marriage? Do you think that it is important to adjust your perceptions of the adult world as you transcend your childhood upbringing?

A failure to update your script results in a child’s need for self-sufficiency in order to overcome the pain of not receiving what you were entitled to as you were growing up (love, affection, nurturing and affirmation, hugs, acceptance etc.) turning into adult selfishness. When I say adult selfishness, I  mean that you still view the world through your childlike perceptions.

In a marriage it is essential to develop an attitude of selflessness. Let’s take a few moments and think about the state of your current relationship. It’s easy to say that when we are steeped in turmoil and conflict that the entire problem is the other person’s fault. Perhaps your spouse has done some things that have hurt you very deeply. You are two different people and you are bound to do things that ruffle one another’s feathers. Fact is, it takes two people to make or break a marriage. It’s an issue of dynamics. I want you to meditate before the Lord and be honest. Ask Him to show you the areas in which you have helped to create or facilitate the current dynamics of your marriage. This will be a demonstration of taking responsibility for your part in moving the relationship in the direction it is currently. Taking responsibility is a major step toward change and healing, it is also a step toward growing beyond our own selfishness.

You’ll find more insights, exercises and techniques to work through selfishness in Marriage By Design which can be ordered through Amazon.com and B&N.com, more information available on this site.

You will be blessed as you grow your marriage.

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. 

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Filed under Behavior, Beliefs, Family of Origin, Misconceptions, Selfishness, selflessness

Appreciation is Much Appreciated

appreciation

Supporting your spouse is an important element in creating a satisfying marriage.  Whether it’s a matter of simply validating your spouse by listening to what they have to say or financially backing your wife’s new book—and everything in between—your spouse needs to know that you are an active partner.  You do not have to agree with everything your spouse says, but the very least you can do is hear them out and weigh the pros and cons of their proposal.  Many things will require seeking the Lord for direction, so take that time and be encouraging to your partner. Remember, it’s not all about you; your spouse has a thought process that is just as valid as yours.

In the same vein, it’s important to acknowledge the efforts of your spouse.  All too often we take our wives or husbands for granted.  Does that sound familiar? Perhaps you heard it from your spouse this week. Don’t do that!  The world offers plenty of opportunity to tear down your mate. Acknowledging good behavior is one of the most effective ways to elicit change in a person. Think about it. With children, how do you get them to do the things you want them to do? Whether it’s doing their chores, being polite, or sharing their toys, we encourage them when they do what is right.  “Thank you Johnny; Mommy really appreciates it when you take out the trash.” “Susie, that was very nice of you to let your sister play with your doll.”

Positive reinforcement makes such a big difference.  And it’s not just the children; we all appreciate it when our efforts are recognized.  The best way to encourage long-term change in our loved ones is to acknowledge them and make them aware that we appreciate what they are doing.  Leave it alone and don’t say anything and you have ensured that the positive behaviors will stop in short order.

Take a moment and assess yourself.  How well do you do in the acknowledgement department?  Do you offer is freely or do you have the tendency to take your spouse for granted?  Investing in your mate is a great way to increase intimacy in your relationship.  In what ways can you make improvements in this particular area of your marriage?.

Be Blessed!

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Communication, Love, Respect, Thankfulness

Going Through the Fire…Together

Overcoming

There are many ways to build our foundation of intimacy as a married couple.  One that some don’t consider is the refining process that occurs when couples go through trials, crisis and life changing events together.  Going through trials together certainly builds intimacy in a relationship. The interesting thing about trials is that they often force greater reliance on God, thereby offering an opportunity to grow in our faith.

We do not want to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.2 Corinthians 1:8-9

Sometimes the challenges that couples go through are incredibly difficult.  When two people are on the same page and working toward the same ends, the pain is considerably reduced by having someone to share them with. It is essential that couples be willing to share difficult circumstances with one another.  Men are notorious for stuffing situations so as not to trouble their wives.  Let your wife see inside you and understand your troubles; let her encourage and support you. If something is bothering you, odds are that you will make it known whether you say anything or not.  When you become quiet or grumpy, your spouse will suspect that something is wrong.  This leaves the spouse to feel responsible for your behavior when it may have nothing at all to do with them.  If there are only two people in a room and one of them is obviously upset, it stands to reason that the remaining person must have done something to offend the other.  This is often how people think, whether it’s accurate or not.

It is often very helpful to receive input from a source that can give you a perspective that perhaps you can’t see, being so close to the problem.  Utilize the gifts that God has given your mate.  Minimally, there is a cleansing process that occurs when you lay out the difficulties that you are struggling with rather than trying helplessly to filter through the emotional frustrations of carrying destructive baggage on your own.  Whether the crisis is personal in nature or one that plaques you as a couple, remember, at some level you will both be affected in one form or another so work it together.

When couples have the opportunity to work problems through to resolution together, they feel a great sense of accomplishment and it strengthens the marriage and increases intimacy.  You guys signed on as a team, play like one!

I pray blessing on you and that God give you the strength to do what’s right.

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Assertiveness, Behavior, Commitment, Communication, Emotions, Transparency, Trials, Unity

Control Yourself!

 

control-yourself

Have you come to place in your relationship where some assessment may be necessary?  Fact of the matter, you should be periodically assessing your marriage.  It’s much easier to work through the issues in a relationship while they are small and manageable.  For some reason, many people wait until the violations are so deep that coming back from the damage is a very difficult proposition.  Mind you, I did not say impossible!  Has the reality of your marriage left your marital expectations in the dust?

If this is the state in which you find yourself, you may be asking, “How do I not only achieve some relief but hopefully move this ailing union forward?”   I want to encourage you, it may be time to stop addressing the seemingly endless negatives about the other person.  Our tendency is to gather as much evidence as possible to support the reason you feel the way you do about your spouse.  This only feeds the negative attitude.  At this point it is important to find and focus on the positives.

You need to periodically identify what behaviors were occurring when things were better; in other words, what was I doing differently (or, doing right)? Notice that your spouse is not being addressed here.  There is good reason for that. One of the keys to a healthy relationship is that both parties involved take responsibility for their own attitudes and behavior.  I am more interested in you than your spouse for the simple reason that you do not have the ability to change them, only yourself.  If, however, you begin to take responsibility for your own behavior and focus on positive improvements, it certainly can affect the dynamics of the relationship.

Ponder the following scripture. As you do, listen to what God has to tell you. This may take more than a few minutes because sometimes our own hurts prevent us from wanting to hear what God has to say in a given situation.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.              -Jeremiah 33:3

What does this scripture speak to you?  Go someplace where you can be alone, someplace comfortable and with no intrusions.  Now make a list of six expectations you have for the future of your marriage.  Once your list is completed, go back and reread it.  Do you find more negatives in your expectations list than positives?  What current behavior(s) might you need to change to move the marriage back to a time when it was more fulfilling? Ask yourself what positive behaviors you did in the past that you are no longer doing.  Once you’ve identified theses behaviors you’ve complete half the job.  Yes, the other half is implementing them without expecting anything from your mate at this point.  “Well, why should I do it if they won’t even acknowledge it!”  Why?  Because it is the right thing to do.  Now that IS YOUR responsibility!

I pray blessing on you and that God give you the strength to do what’s right.

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

 

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Filed under Behavior, Beliefs, Character, Communication, Emotions, Expectations, selflessness

Oh, What’s the Difference?! (Part IV)

boxers 3

To sum up what we have discovered about the key differences between men and women, it can be broken down into traits that seem to be “hard-wired” in the sexes. Men thrive on appreciation; women love the joy of anticipation.  The guys are competitive, women are cooperative by nature. Men lean toward a “fix-it” mentality, women like to express themselves.  Healthy men seek to take responsibility; women tend to respond to the dynamics of the relationship.  Guys do it once and do it big, ladies prefer smaller investments more often.  Guys sacrifice, women share.  It isn’t an issue of which way is better, it is part of our design. Although it is not one size fits all, these traits are pretty consistent.  Family of origin issues, life experiences and unhealthy beliefs can all skew the traits that we choose to exhibit for fear or lack of trust.  Even within the model we can pervert these characteristics based on our personal unhealthiness.  However, all things being considered, we can learn much about relationship behavior and areas in which we need to grow.

Hopefully you can see why it is so important not to provoke your spouse in these very sensitive and very important areas. Wives, do not belittle your husbands; it causes very deep damage. Rather, use this newfound awareness to reach in a positive way the man with whom you chose to share the rest of your life. Edify him. Show him that his presence does make a difference, and that he is important to both you and the family.

Husbands, establish trust in areas where you may have failed in the past. Show your wife that you will be the leader, and a leader worth following. Let your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no; be a man of your word. Show your family that you will do your best to earn their trust. You will make your family a priority. Both of you, practice the art of grace and mercy as you strive toward protecting one another’s hearts.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”     Matthew 12:25

When we understand and appreciate how our differences complement one another, God’s design becomes clear in his creation of men and women. God’s intent for marriage also becomes clear.  The differences between us are what contribute to the fullness of a marriage. We can each learn to grow in areas where we are weak and our spouse is strong. The requirement is accepting those differences and coming to embrace them.

Men and women, husband and wife were designed to be together from early creation.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”… So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.    Genesis 2:18, 21-22

This passage shows two things: Eve was taken from Adam therefore something in Adam was missing. Eve was that missing something, Eve complimented Adam’s life. Secondly, for those who think that women are inferior, note that woman was the final creation, the crowning achievement, if you will. Husband and wife are designed to complement one another as the two form one in marriage.

If there is pain in your past you have an obligation to get the help you need. God wants your marriage to thrive and this can only happen by cleaning up the filter with which we view life.  Take the pain to God, lay it at the foot of the cross and do not pick it up again, practice the art of forgiveness, grace and mercy so that those people who have hurt will no longer have claim on your life.  See a counselor if necessary, it is nothing to be ashamed of and there are times in our lives in which we can all benefit from a caring ear. Get the help you need, it’s good for you and it’s good for your spouse and family. There are some great counselors available through the American Association of Christian Counselors at the following website:

http://www.aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/

Great blessings in your relationship!

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Beliefs, Character, Communication, Counseling, Differences, Emotions, Forgiveness, Grace, selflessness

Oh, What’s the Difference?! (Part III)

Differences

As we move into the third part of this ongoing post, we will continue to flesh out the common traits that can help us understand better how our spouse thinks and some of the motivational factors that lead to our behaviors.  These are not characteristics that need to be “fixed”, they are traits that should be embraced and considered elements that will grow us in greater ways than we might ever have experienced individually.  Granted, not every person will fit perfectly into this model, but I think you will find more things in common with these descriptors than differences.  Let’s continue our journey of understanding our mate.

Men tend to give of themselves completely. They are willing to sacrifice it all, much to their own frustration and regret. Men are prone to leave nothing behind and may resent those to whom they’ve given it all. If a friend asks us to help them move, we’ll say yes regardless of how we may actually feel, regardless of how tired we are or how much we already have on our own plate, and regardless of how many things we have already done for that person in the past. Men are less likely to say “no”. The reality is that if men do not learn to say “no” when they should, they may develop bitterness for those being helped. They may spend all day griping that they are now obligated to help instead of helping out of a loving heart. Fact is, they probably didn’t want to help in the first place!

Women typically do not deplete themselves to the point of resentment. More often than not, wives can master the concept of sharing without giving away the store. This is a simple issue of knowing how to develop boundaries. People have argued the issue of boundaries as being unscriptural. Looking at the Bible, God seems very clear about what he considers acceptable and unacceptable. Are these not boundaries? God calls us to set boundaries so as to maintain loving relationships.

These characteristics delineate a clear difference between men and women, husbands and wives. When all is peeled away, the heart of a man lies in his ability to feel competent. A man has an ingrained need to know that he makes a difference, whether it is in his job, in his relationship, or within himself. The dysfunctional behavior of workaholics defines this very well. For many men, it is much easier to feel effective and competent in the workplace than in a marriage. The job only has a minimum level of relational depth required, and a man can still be effective. It is much more difficult for a man to feel that same level of expertise at home with his wife and family because the investment is so much greater, yet men often feel like they have less control.

The level of depth necessary to maintain a relationship between a husband and wife should be considerably greater. Men can easily get intimidated by the mastery that many women tend to have in the art of communication. Women can talk about anything at any time. For men, it’s like the old television series Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.” Many women can paint a vivid canvas of emotions and responses without a second thought. As men, we prefer to deal with actions rather than show our investment in the relationship through emotions. That doesn’t mean men don’t have feelings and need to learn to deal with them in a healthy way.

For women, it’s a bit different. When you examine the deepest layer of a woman’s heart you will find the key issue of trust and security. A woman needs to know that she can trust her husband to keep her safe, do what’s right, and protect their family. This is why when a husband does not display the character qualities of a godly man (wisdom, truth, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, and patience), it disrupts the flow of a marriage and undermines the very foundation of that marriage. Transparency is very important to a woman for it shows that her husband cares and prioritizes the relationship. Your wife wants to know how your day went, she wants to be involved in the household decisions, she wants to see her man take the initiative in resolving issues that need to be dealt with.

Here’s a challenge for you.  Examine yourself and make a commitment: what behaviors will you work on changing to better protect the heart of your mate? Ask your spouse if you are unsure of behaviors that may have hurt them in the past. The time for change is now!

Next time we will see how the differences between men and women fit together like a puzzle with intent.  This is all part of God’s design for marriage and very important to keep in mind as we grow throughout our relationship. Join me for the concluding part of the post, “The Differences Between Men and Women”.

Great blessings in your relationship!.

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Character, Communication, Differences, Emotions, Grace, Respect, selflessness, Transparency, Unity

Oh, What’s the Difference?! (Part II)

Boxing 2

With the understanding that we can all work with what we know, we shall continue to shed some light on common traits amongst the sexes that are more often than not “hard-wired”. These traits can cause frustration if we do not take a graceful stance toward the one we love. These differences are designed to enrich our relationship, not produce a thorn in our side. By demonstrating a selfless attitude rather than one of arrogance and superiority these characteristics will grow you both and increase your capacity to love.

Let’s continue with the guys, men have a “fix-it” mentality. They like the challenge of addressing a problem and coming up with a quick and effective solution. When men can do that they feel good about themselves. This causes a great deal of irritation for most women. Women like to express themselves. They process information and emotions inside by discussing them. It’s not always an issue of needing a “fix”; they just want to be heard. So guys, a freebie: accept that you are married to a grown woman, and she doesn’t need you to fix her. Your wife is just as capable of making decisions and doing the right thing as you are. If she really needs your help with an issue, let her ask you! Husbands, you would benefit by being quiet more often and listening to what your wives have to say. Although it may be difficult, just try it and see what happens.

For husbands there is a great desire to take responsibility for the relationship. Men want to be the “take charge” kind of guy for their wife and family. Understand that the term responsible is in reference to a relatively healthy man. In dysfunctional relationship dynamics where the man has a great deal of baggage from the past, the husband may well be just the opposite and behave in a very irresponsible manner. Women, on the other hand, are quick to respond and more sensitive to the dynamics of the relationship. Wives like pouring back into the relationship.

Guys do it once and do it big. They invest wholeheartedly for an impacting result. Women prefer smaller investments more frequently. An example of this would be the husband who once a year spends money at the florist for the biggest, gaudiest bouquet of roses he can find, throwing in the box of chocolate and the overpriced teddy bear for good measure, thinking this makes up for anything he might have missed along the way. Quite possibly, if you asked your wife, she would much prefer to get one rose once a week on her pillow as a reminder of how much you love her, instead of the circus display described earlier.

Hopefully, now you are beginnings to see how the building blocks work together, how our differences can complement one another. Our differences are not the enemy. We will continue to elaborate on these differences in part three of the post, “The Differences Between Men and Women”.

Do you see yourself in some of the traits listed above? What are some of the ways that you can demonstrate more grace in maneuvering through the differences between you and your spouse? What might the result of your actions be?

In the third part of our post we will continue to flesh out the common traits that can help us understand better how our spouse thinks and some of the motivational factors that lead to our behaviors. See you next time!

I pray great blessings on you and your family.

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

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Filed under Behavior, Character, Communication, Differences, Emotions, Expectations, Grace, selflessness