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January 6, 2021 1:00 am
Dr. Marcus Warner and Reverend Chris Coursey, authors of the book "The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages," reveal four habits that will make your marriage happier. Find out more about the habits of playing together, appreciating one another, listening for emotion, and nurturing a rhythm.
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We've all had the experience of our marital communication breaking down at some point Chris Corsi says one of the reasons why is because there are times when we tried to provide the other person comfort without providing first validation validation is you say what you see, while you are really overwhelmed right now. I can see it. I can hear it and then comfort is like what we need. When this happened. So what would be helpful right now. Let's go for a walk or let's get a sitter because were going out tonight or so validation basically sets the stage for comfort and if I offer the comfort without the validation that it's just I'm going to minimize I'm kind of trying to fix it.
This is family life today. Our hosts are Damon and Wilson on Bob Lapine. You can find us firstname.lastname@example.org there are ways we can improve our communication and by doing so improve the level of joy in our marriage to talk about that today with Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. Remember back number months ago. It was a actually Labor Day we we have the day off and didn't have anything planned and so I had promised Marianne that we would do two things that day. The first thing was working at the front hedges trimmed up was hot I did not want to trim the hedges on the hot day.
But we went out there together. We trimmed up the edges and then the second thing was, there's a little room in our garage. That's kind of the junk room and she wanted that pull everything out clean that out real seminarian is Mike with only 10 this is Labor Day you're supposed to rest what I was thinking of right and I was thinking have and Wilson come do that with you.
The two of you would to grant. This is Dave and I can stay inside and watch something on TV but I did that with her and and about halfway through this cleaning up the room. I just realized this is like my wife's best day ever. I'm going to do something a shower she's like this is wonderful. Just that were able to get this stuff done doesn't doesn't make you feel good. I said no. Makes me feel sweaty is what makes me feel. But it is fascinating how those kinds of times together can start to open up things relationally. We were working like we want. Had fun. It's not like we went out and and had a date. Together we just did a chore together and all the sudden she's the eye I could see the joy increase. I am married to the same woman that my wife loves that I love working with all the kids are out in the yard and were working looking everything like you're all miserable eating that for me that fills me up and I will say for Dave when we go play something some sports are whenever he is like a little boy 10 years old and we will laugh will compete and I think that happens in marriage is. We miss those times there were talk about how to get those times back this week as we talk about the habits that lead to a joy filled marriage and we got Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi joining us this week to talk about this guy's welcome back good be bad thinking good to be here. Marcus is a conference speaker and author who has them for more than 30 years worked with organizations on leadership issues, family issues, recovery issues.
He is president of deeper walk international Chris leads thrived today on nonprofit that again works with leaders and and works on relationship issues. They work together to create this book, the four habits of joy filled marriages and how 15 minutes a day will help you stay in love and in reading this and even talk about doing the chores together and think about how we can remember marriage getaways.
When couples carve out time to say let's be together and do things together even if one of them goes, that would not be my favorite way to spend a weekend or a day there something that happens when you're doing stuff together that starts to open you up and we see that happen at the weekend. Remember, yeah, I mean. Bottom line is your pouring energy into what you would probably I would. We would also is most important really ship in our in our life and so often other relationship get all the energy and this doesn't so you pull away from about 48 hours.
He said I'm gonna give energy in you said about we've been a part of this 30 years, every single time we see God show up and just literally change people's marriages. But I do find it itching on the on the back of the of your book says what separates happy marriages from miserable once. Surprisingly, it's not healthy communication is not conflict resolution skills. It's actually how often you experience joy. So let's talk about that as you say, there's four habits to finding joy in your marriage. At four habits so to make it easy to remember.
We use the word plan like you need to have a plan to grow the joy in your marriage. I like this guy. I like how he thinks LA LA and so have a number one is P's play together right which we've all you stop and think about who your friends are grown-up of the people you like playing with when you get first get married you're convinced I'm going to feel joy with this person forever because I love doing things with them. I love talking to them you know we have so much joy together and so playing together and making sure that stays on your schedule that it stays a priority that you're finding ways to grow the areas which you can play together.
So for example I know a couple and he was really in a NASCAR she was really into HDTV yeah and so he they made an agreement, he would start watching one HDTV show that his wife likes so that they would have that in common they would expand the area where they could share some joy. She went out about the complete idiot's guide to NASCAR. I serially see that she did and then they bought tickets to a NASCAR event and went together and she came back with great joy and the fact that she knew more about NASCAR the most people.
She was sitting with him because you read this book so again this is an example of growing the areas where you can play together. I have to tell you we have a mutual friend, Tim Kimball and his wife Darcy have never forgotten them saying this I said when we were dating Tim said one of the things that really attracted me about Darcy as she loved Monday Night Football. We would get together and watch Monday Night Football she left. She was so into the game and Darcy said one of the things that attracted me about Tim is when I was cutting out dress patterns. He would help me cut out the dress patterns said that when we got married. My interest in Monday Night Football went completely away his interest in helping with the dress patterns. Why is it that when were dating, we got all this energy for this and after were married. All of this joy together stuff just evaporate at least stop playing together.
Yeah. And part of the reason is dopamine actually so dopamine is when I do something that's new. Your brain X he has a novelty detector and so when you doing something new and somebody joined you in that it feels good and you want to do that. But over time you don't get the same feeling when you when you do this, so maybe you shift interests or hobbies to other things. The nice thing about relational joy is, no matter what it might be that that you're doing.
The goal is are we glad to be together while were doing it and for play. For example, yell the brain is exit wired for play and so plays often a reflection of the joy in our marriage so so marriages with a lot of joy. You will find that their playful and they're playing in there.
You know there regularly doing things but as his joint level start to drop because it's easy to start joy. It's harder to sustain joy over the long haul. So when that joy starts to fade. You'll notice I'm couple can get into a rut and so learning something new ad as a couple would ask to be really beneficial.
So, my wife, for example, is wanting to go swing dancing and I am not a dancer whatsoever, but she's older I've seen is not pretty, but it's something new and it's something that we can do together and so were going to do it just because that's hate plays good and you laugh you smile, you have some fun and you're doing it together. Those are the ingredients you want and it sounds like play needs to be intentional.
The examples you use and people said we are intentionally going to create space play and that brings doing and what we have found is what talk to couples that are struggling and I asked this question when you guys doing to play or to have fun or to laugh together. Nothing right and they don't even know how to do that again.
So you're saying is what you said Dave we need to make it to be an intentional part of our relationships well and this applies directly to your sex life as well so we exit put sex under the category of play and the ideas that people like what were we going to find a better sex life will if you're not playing together.
Chances are that's not going to do very well either because then it just becomes a task that you gotta get over and now gotta get through and so it brings up a whole another realm of issues we have some good friends of been with family life. Actually, long time billing for months.
They are masters of playing exactly. So when I was talking to them about that. There were be writing this book into buildings and he's like, what was your first habit I said it's playing together, he just jumped out of his chair.
I could for people know they got 12 kids of a mirrorlike 50 years they they live a more joy than almost anybody I know and he said yes we been very intentional about building play into our calendar is one of the first things a goes on the calendar. When we set out our agenda for the year when I when I read this section of your book. I thought one of the reasons our marriage I think is healthy as I'm married to a woman that wants to play. A lot of mean it gets a point when our boys were little.
I get in the shower and almost every other shower and ice bucket south some water would come flying over and is out of the shower on their wife for my wife and my little boys run out of bathroom.
I'm happy synergist Mike I get to the point where I was like locking the door. They had little things open the door and I hear most giggle and run out and it was just play there really was and I yet would yell get mad that I'm realizing this is a good thing.
They'll get aroused by ice was a good thing. One of the things were working out too long over down the basement working out and she just says let's wrestle you take me down like we will likely be alone around and grabbed me and Lynn are just laughing what is wrong with the breathing. What you said about the brain. I never had any understanding right now. The joy bucket.
The joy center migraine is actually still growing and that's a beautiful thing I had no idea they want your wife and husband to be your play friends as well as just you know your business partner in terms of the brain behind the joy is that there is in your front of your brain something called the right orbital prefrontal cortex, which is the we call the joy bucket joy bucket that you joy bucket basically is the part of your brain that grows with the experience of joy and rest, yet he maybe we've seen a baby in a grocery store and the baby locks eyes with you and it gets really excited and you you share joy and and the baby gets so excited that they finally just turn away and they stop looking at you and then a couple seconds later they look back in their singing.
Are you still there what you do this again. And what happened was basically there joy bucket got full they couldn't handle any more joy it would. Actually, I must become traumatizing to them at that point to have more joy so they had to look away and and and that's the rest time so just like when you lift weights you not actually growing your muscles while you're looking the way to growing your muscles and the rest time in between your actually damaging your muscles in a while you lift and so than they recover in the same way. We need joy and rest. That combination that rhythm that grows the joy bucket in your brain, and the bigger the bucket gets, the easier it is for us to return to joy from upsetting things, and the more natural it is for us just live out of a place of joy rather than fear and and you can see God's signature and how this works because so much of the brain works on a use it or lose it cycle so you either use it.
Over time, or your brain says hey we can get rid of that is were not using that silver season so certain things grow during this window of time, but it won't grow later. However, with this joy bucket. The Marcus is talking about. It has something called fetal biochemistry which means it can grow over the lifetime and it grows in response to joy filled relationships and joyful moment.
So every time that baby looks and see the smile on someone's face. This is the part of the brain that's just like working out and getting stronger and stronger. We had my 96-year-old grandmother living with us and so we would do a version of these exercises every night at the dinner table and it was amazing to watch my young sons building joy but then overhear my grandmother who was in her 90s building joy because her joy bucket can still still get to work out as long as there's relational, authentic, genuine, glad to be togetherness, so it's not happiness. It's not like were forcing at were faking it till we make it oh no this is I'm genuinely glad to be with you and I'm glad that work together so playing together is key to joy. That's the P Bob what's well is going well in the plan are SOL is listening for emotion and this is based on the idea that are (a) operate differently left brain tends to listen for problems right brain tends to listen for emotions so you think about a lot of times we were listening to somebody if were listening and left brain fashion as soon as I hear the problem, I'd lose all curiosity about where the rest of this is going. So my switch shuts down. I might become non-relational and now at this point all I want to do is talk about your problems so your problem and I largely want to solve your problem so that you will go away and it's really sort of a selfish motivation to to solve your problem because I don't deal with this any longer than I have to wear hats when I'm listening for emotion. What I'm doing is I'm listening to. How is this affecting you is this making you angry. Is this making you sad this make you feel overwhelmed and in despair.
Is this making you feel joyful and excited hi, what's the emotion and if I find that if I'm listening for emotion and I can validate the emotion I don't lose my problem-solving capabilities right I could find listening for emotion. I will always be able to come back and do the problem-solving but it doesn't work the other way around. If I'm listening for the problems only and under the problem-solving.
First, I will never get to the emotion so we want to listen for the motion. First is the is the skill that's involved. I think a lot of us don't understand how to do that you do exactly said I I'd have done that, and I'm a tell you what.
When I read your example.
The couple before they got married about him want to build a house. Tell that story because that helped me understand old that's what it means. Listen for emotion. Yeah, we had this premarital counseling appointment and the couple that was that there for the counseling. I asked him do you have anything that you argue about, and they both looked at each other like that. We know that is and so why should do it in front of me while you got 1/3 party present and they started to arguing over you know whether not they should build the house before they got married or wait until after they were married to build the house.
This guy was an engineer he literally pulled a piece of paper out of his back pocket with seven bullet point of reasons why it made more sense to build the house before they got married. I said all right, well, I've had enough on here will take a timeout. Why don't we do this time to give the guy the assignment you listen to your wife explain this to you now all I want to do is listen for the motion and name it accurately so she goes into this explanation well, you know, I'm just concerned that if the you're building a house were to get to the like.
One of the biggest days and in my life and I'll find myself you know going through is in that she was she's got all over the place should listen for little bit but I got done nothing of back my mind will fear she's clearly afraid. I said so what emotion did you hear he goes anger. Unlike Willow was so caught me off guard was so obvious she was feeling fear him.
Like I told him so. You are either very intuitive.
A really bad listener and he said I think I'm really intuitive and is like okay where did you hear anger and he said she knows she's losing this argument, which tells me something close to my right brain is shut down and I'm told him I left brain not only my problem-solving mode but I am also it. Life is all about winning and losing. It is not about my relationship with you. It is about was and when this and that is a clear sign that my right brain shut down and pulling (so I'm like I was try this again. This time you tell her what emotion she think she's feeling and to his credit, he hit a home run.
He did a perfectly so well that that she started crying and like how I feel seen.
I feel understood. I feel recognized and she goes go ahead and build the house and when will timeout she he doesn't get on and he was convinced that he had only logical, rational reasons for what you do this, there was nothing emotional about it until she started asking questions, pulling it out of him began to realize that what he really wanted was to make his dad proud and once he put his finger on that emotion. Now they're both crying and I asked him and they ended up actually waiting until after the marriage to build the house, but it they got to a point where they had to keep the relationship bigger the problem in the way that you keep one of the ways you keep relationship bigger the problems by listening for the emotion and validating that emotion first and that way you feel seen you feel understood like wow I feel like you, he gets me a feeling she understands me now, and that's the ingredient right there that if I don't feel understood by you or you minimize you try to fix it were not even in the same boat and there's this isn't going to feel very good going forward. Know this is been talked about for years that guys are always trying to fix things were the logical ones and and wives are like. I don't want you to fix it.
I just want you to hear me.
Is there something about men and women, but men tend to gravitate toward this give an example of this is hearsay at this time had three boys under five came in Monday and crying. I told anyone else what is what happened and I said I feel like a bad mom. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing for like my life is out of control. I don't have a life.
I think I'm terrible at this and he's listening goes upstairs and I said I'll be right back any kind a piece of paper thinking he felt me a love note to encourage me and so I take it out of his hand. He said here and it's numbered 1 to 10 am I okay 10 reasons why I'm a good man, so I read Atlantic type number 1 Get More Organized Way and I'm thinking I must be reading this right number to use your time more wisely. Okay you get there so I take it I simply watch this I'm helping you said you think this is helping me and I took it and I ripped it up into little pieces and I threw it in his face and then Tenley said that I said that was from God.
I really said that all is from God, because I've been upstairs I prayed I felt that I give you to make you like better to do and to do it, but that was the day we can market where she said that's not what I'm looking for what Bob said you know I I thought she really did want me to fix it and I'm nice and I'm great at listening for emotion, but I started to learn early in my marriage.
It's like it's bigger than this. I never did this, though I never connected what you guys just brought to this thing is if I do listen and she feels her joy comes yes that's a motivator contingent message that said, you know that's what you had in that story you had good intentions button. The atonement was missing and the attunement is listening for motions going. Wow, I hear you're really overwhelmed.
This sounds awful so Marcus Knight call it validation and comforts of validation is you say what you see, while you are really overwhelmed right now. I can see it. I can hear it and then comfort is like what we need. When this happened. So what would be helpful right now.
Let's go for a walk or let's get a sitter because were going out tonight or so validation basically sets the stage for comfort PR VCR that and if I offer the comfort without the validation that it's just I'm going to minimize I'm kind of trying to fix it hard that the fourth area in your plan you play together you listen for emotion you appreciate daily nurture rhythm is the fourth one and we are failures at this because we have no time to talk about. We did not nurture the rhythm so folks remapped by copier your book to figure out how to financial planner I'm crushed is thank you for being here this is been so helpful and and I think very practical for how we can cultivate joy were grateful for your book and thanks for the time on family like to thank you but we really appreciate the opportunity we get copies of the book the four habits of joy filled marriages in our family life to resource Center can go email@example.com to order your copy or you can call one 800 FL today.
Again, the title of Chris and Marcus's book is the four habits of joy filled marriages have 15 minutes a day will help you stay in love, go to family life to.com to get your copy or called to order at 1-800-358-6329 2200 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today and I know many of you have the wondered about the weekend to remember getaways that we host here at family life. What's going on with those we have a started making plans for some spring getaways.
A limited number with limited seating and then fact, we expect most of these getaways are to sell out because of the limited seating in the social distancing will be doing at these events. There's more information about the few events were hosting this spring firstname.lastname@example.org. If this is something you been wanting to do or needing to do go to family life to date.com to find out more about the dates and locations for upcoming weekend to remember marriage getaways and for those of you who can't get to a getaway. We want to bring one to you. We have been developing a family life, dates to remember date box that includes everything you need for three great dates together as a couple will have more information about this coming up later this month will have it out in time for Valentine's Day. So keep your eyes and ears open for information about the dates to remember date box from family life and we hope you can join us back tomorrow morning to talk to an NFL quarterback Kirk cousins and his wife Julie find out about their relationship how it got started and how they deal with the pressure of living life in a sports bubble, especially when you have a season where things didn't go exactly the way everybody was hoping they would go will introduce you to Kirk and Julie tomorrow and be with us for that think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Payne see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today. Family life to day is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow