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September 23, 2022 6:00 am
Dr. Randy Schroeder returns once more to Focus on the Family to discuss habits you can integrate into your marriage! Jim talks to Randy about pursuing the daily essentials of affection in your marriage, promoting emotional closeness, and leaving and cleaving properly. (Part 2 of 2)
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Bracebridge positive energy in a marriage, and it's interesting to me every counseling session. I've done thousands and thousands of counseling session every session. I begin with a couple I have them appreciate each of Dr. Randy Schrader joins us again today on Focus on the Family and thank you for joining us I'm John Fuller and her hostess focus presidents and author Jim I think we both agreed the conversationalist. I was so helpful are so many great little deposits of wisdom that Randy provides in this book.
Simple habits for marital happiness.
You can just start taking the J's getaway to make things stand out and be remembered great hooks. It's perfect. We discussed simple choices that really strengthen your connection with spouse who does want that things like saying thank you and reconnecting for two minutes at the end of the day saying I love you when you leave the house saying I love you when you go to bed at night you think of those is just no fluff couples that practice those habits have happier marriages and doesn't take a lot but it's thoughtfulness the counts and I'm looking forward to another part of the discussion and if you missed anything from the previous conversation were available on YouTube. You can find us wherever podcasts are at stop by our website number is 800 the letter a in the word family were a check to show notes for the link and Dr. Randy Schrader is a former seminary professor.
He's a pastor and marriage and family counselor.
He's written a number of books and I were going to come back to one that's as Jim said very, very accessible and very practical is called simple habits for marital happiness of the subtitle is practical skills and tools that build a strong satisfying relationship. Randy welcome back to focus. Well, it's a privilege we with you and I look forward to talking more about habits that lead to successful every marriage okay let's start.
I will pick up less time and hopefully folks are so much great practical information in the broadcast yesterday picked it up like John said smart phone apps. A great way to get it but let's pick up from last time. Listening can be a man's worst enemy I were kind of thinking of things were not fully.
I mean the other night. I did this Jean asked me where fast food restaurant.
She said can you give me a cup of ice. I went got the cup filled it with ice and filled with water and I brought it back and said no and I just want a cup ice.
I go back I throw the ice were underway and bring her the cup back on dry for five agree on a 9 Hour Dr. so maybe in my mind was just spongy and she said oh my, I just want a cup of I think you let go get that. I think I got it out since the other two ways didn't work for us here, but I mean it was like a listening block.
I literally had never done something like that before, but I was, not computing. It happens to all of us and that yellow we need to strive to be world-class listeners and I think a good way to do that is to ask two questions of our spouse in THE first question is kind of a warm-up question you knows could be how was your day today in the follow-up question really makes our spouse will special in value. Okay. And so the two consecutive question guideline helps a lot of relationships and helps us listen well because a lot of times individuals we see this even in life. Why ask a question to you and so you said how was your day and you say well did go real well and rather than say what didn't go well they start talking about their day and so two consecutive questions really forces spouses to express interest in their partner and that makes a difference in relationship. I like that you cancel a woman who corrected her husband all the time. I think this is very instructive to you because I think everybody could see a little bit of that in your relationship.
I would think you mean it happens with Jean and I the question is how often this had happened and to what degree, so this is a great illustration of unhealthy correction.
Yeah, and there's a difference. I would say between constructive correcting or criticizing EN expressing wants and needs are expressing expectations but a major predictor for unhappiness separation and divorce is criticism where one spouse is just critical and complaining all the time and they're never satisfied, and often their perfectionistic there.
They can be critical of themselves critical of their spouses critical of their kids and in fact this couple that I mentioned in my book. She criticized her husband all the time for everything she criticized him on how you ate ice cream if you can believe I get out of the way out the side of anybody I had a great men that's dangerous there been any. It's good you just want to get it get it now. Your tummy and soak it in. She criticized him how he put the translator in the trashcan and so that I may make a little more sense. If so, I suggested to the couple. I said let's try to experiment.
I said because he was just beaten down and out and it criticism will do that and so I suggested for one week. They both avoid criticism, constructive corrections, complaining and immediately the husband said that's a great idea to go two weeks no article 3 weeks anything.
I'll go home on and the wife said that's a dumb idea. I need to continue to correct him when he does things that I think are not right and she would not do it now.
She also had adult kids that struggle them and they been married over 25 years and it she was constantly criticizing pretty much everyone her family.
Can I ask you this because you know it's a great example of what not to do as a counselor. Where did she learn that because it's counterintuitive is not a healthy way to do human relationship. Certainly not a healthy way to do marriage but do you ever find a commonality there as a child what she was seeing because I think we we grow up learning these habits from our own family of origin so often think what you think her childhood was like wow yeah and you hit the nail on the head.
You know our parents did the best job he could. They had virtues and flaws. It's good to recognize there positive attributes and bring those pop Tribbett attributes into our adult lives and into our adult relationships, including our marriages, but whatever flaws that he had.
We want to try to overcome those flaws and not bring them in our personal life, our relationships, and I'm sure we need to create new flaws. I like it is enough leave the bed. She actually learned it from my firm, I will accept you. Let's move on the husband side to another extreme husband's in that situation or whenever there's that critical spirit those things that you're mentioning husband, Stan, we tend to just withdraw. We did it as little boys, and we do it is adult boys and when were being criticized.
We just go into a cocoon here while Wawa Wawa and we stare at the TV watching our football game or whatever, speak to that isolation emotionally and how dangerous that is. Yet it it is very dangerous. In fact research studies have found there's four patterns that lead to divorce and withdrawal is one of those patterns think that's a typical husband I you correct me if I'm wrong, but I would just think that more husbands withdraw the than wise wife yes go on the attack. Not yet. You're right, and in husbands have a tough time discussing things nowise like to discuss things even hurts and disappointments and so yeah, you're correct. Husbands have a tendency there, what's really important I think is to go to Ephesians 4 speak the truth. God tells us in love and so we need to use what I have a speak the truth love formula. The first step is to identify words and behaviors when I heard you say this or when I saw you do that I failed and it's always good to use, hurt and disappointed. Never underestimate a couple can should never underestimate the power of words. Do not use words like angry or mad or frustrated or resentful always. I suggest a couple she's hurt or disappointed.
So it's when I heard you say this when I heard you correct me all the time. I feel hurt and disappointed because I feel beaten down and so the fourth step is offer solution. Like they say in the business world don't blame you probably should have a solution. Well then offer a solution now the wife didn't have to agree of the husband and have to grief the solution but that speak the truth in love formula overcomes what you just mentioned Jim withdrawal so that they do talk about their hurts and disappointments in your offer solution regularly asked this question to so often with the Christian context to committed people. We will evaluate the fact that we don't disagree monitor we don't ever argue as a spiritual virtue and I would think in a counseling environment as a counselor that's admirable, but then you start asking yourself how deep is this going is that they can live at that level there obviously not occasionally bumping into each other emotionally, which means they may not be interacting as deeply as they should so speak to that, or maybe even give an illustration where the couple is saying you know what is Chris and we we get that kind of response here when we have a guest on who says you know our marriage was rocky with your Christian and your in your marriage. You shouldn't have Rocky and we've never argued.
I mean I can remember getting some of the correspondence. Her focus and I thought wow that marriage might be in as much trouble as the other one they just don't know it exactly. You said it excellently, and they are not emotionally close you were going to have hurts and disappointments maybe were not good enough hugs from our spouses or maybe we want them more conversation and I givest enough conversation for again 25 years I was a seminary professor, a member a seminarian in my class were going to talk about you.
How do you handle those hurts and disappointments, and he raised his hand no dimmer 25 years, a seductress that my wife and I have never had a disagreement and I would get embarrassing for the whole class I just it will that's nice. Thank you.
After class I feel sad because he does not have a close relationship. We can we can respect each other's differing opinions differing viewpoints we can respect each other when they with our spouses sure hurt with this.
But that keeps us close to do that talking together about what we can do to make it better and I think it's it's kind of when you have that that a healthy intensity in the relationship.
It's actually because it's what God intends them yet.
We are two imperfect people, but you should be colliding here and there where working that out healthy and a healthy contact and I would say the colliding putting quotes. It is respectful yet, not yet. You want to you want to be respectful disagree. Yes, disrespect no. Let me also ask you some will be familiar with this rule.
But remind us the I messages you mentioned that a few times I observed where the I messages versus the EDU messages well and that that's cutting it that speak the truth in love. You went when I see you do this or when I hear you say that you know I feel at heard or disappointed and we should never, we need to members begin with you and less with an appraiser spouse and Ferguson. You're a wonderful Christian wife for your wonderful Christian husband.
We want to avoid you use attacking.
That's a three letter word to forget the word but forget that when and why also is attacking. And so we don't want to do that he, Randy, you mentioned in the book when you disagree with your spouse you recommend the soft start up now being Irish. I don't know if anything, he would advance soft start. I wanted to write to the issue. Let's go. Let's tackle it advance soft start on it.
That is absolutely essential.
And again. I've done a lot of marriage research, reading, and harsh beginnings lead to harsh endings, almost 100% of the time. It is a proverb now and it sounds like you and harsh endings often lead to divorce and also we need to have soft start ups as you just ask about and that what I should do exactly the final harsh beginning first year you always you never your stupid your dumb we need to talk.
I got an issue we got a problem you know that's a harsh beginning in the other spouse of immediately puts up a defense wall is so soft start. It is I need your help. As Christian people. The three of us want to be helpful for others.
That's why you do what you do serving our Lord Jesus here at Focus on the Family and so I need your help is disarming and I can't tell you how many couples it said that made a huge positive difference in our marriage relationship to use those words. I need your help now. If it's not a good time to discuss the other spouse can say this is just not a good time. Spouses need to be in a pleasant mood, a decent mood so that I have the energy to look for solutions rather than attack and blame at any other islands call it the terrific three couples need to have discussions after nine morning before nine at night.
They need to always sit down they need, so they're not standing and yelling each other and they always begin with. I need your help in those three simple yet effective habits. I would say those alone. Besides all the other habits in the book have say probably 500 marriages from divorce and I that he dealt with that. I counsel himself that have said to me that treated those three simple yet very effective habits.
Save this save your marriage from divorce. Thank you, Randy. Also, let me let me move to another guy in a today at such a taboo metaphor, but the rifle approach. What are you going after with the rifle approach Debbie carefully talk about that yet that that is another guideline in. In fact, I have the 16 guidelines on how couples can have respectful discussions and that besides the stance of the nines. Always sit. I need your help. Another guideline is take the rifle approach rifle as a single bullet. A shotgun shell has a lot of pellets in it, so couples need to focus on one hurt or disappointment. Okay, not a bunch. Not a bunch because I and couples have a tendency to not just focus on issues at the time that they'll then go back in the past and and just bring other things up.
So whatever the her disappointment is just focus on that solitary issue. We also encourage couples to engage in dialogue, not monologue. This is probably a good parenting tip to mean but the kind of the monologue doesn't get you very far.
It did. The monologue makes the other spouse still talked and they feel almost treated like a child that they're being talked down to it, and someone who does. A monologue was to go on and on and on. There needs to be a nice ebb and flow. When couples have respectful disagreement discussion. It's kind like a tennis ball you go out to get exercise, husband and wife in the hit the ball nicely back and forth to each other so they can keep it going and run around and get exercise and help their heart rate and in that.
Likewise, that's what needs to happen with the marriage relationship that dialogue needs to be there were a spouse says three sentences. The other spouse echoes I heard you say, is that correct this spouses another three sentences. I heard you say, is that correct and then they exchange roles.
This spouse becomes the speaker that spouse becomes the listener with an echo I heard you say, is that correct. I saw physician and his wife and he would go for five minutes.
Talk about a monologue is almost a mini sermon and in his wife.
He said I need to do that and I said will guide you need to die is funny hearing that. Yeah, I sit back as if you keep doing that your wife is moving further and further away from you mostly. You know, so that is feeling at least feeling attacked and she's feeling taught that it in the wife that spoke up and she said that's it. I don't feel that he's talking with me. He's talking at me and I encourage the doctor give up his monologues and start going to three sentences or less are for you will just be brief and immediately their marriage improve.
They started having real healthy discussions. Understanding each other's viewpoint, perspective, and it was just remarkable how quickly their merit.
I ask about that because you know again the discipline of doing this. It's kind were restarted.
It was hopefully a little bit humorous but it is that it's a discipline that you have to have and so often when you go to counselor and use the eye words and you're trying to impart into this couples these principles that work because you gotta slow down the gotta think about what you're about to say.
You gotta try not to be harmful. Aim for a good outcome and that practically Randy was so hard and I get this year in the heat of the moment.
I mean it's emotional and you're trying to respond and you feel under attack in it's like your brain has a hard time going to this place called adult think about what you're doing. How do you discipline yourself to back up in the emotional moment and say honey okay… Stop for minute and let's recalibrate this discussion and I I think that's a good good point Jim and I God doesn't use the word discipline but God uses the word self-control and through the spirit right so in a sense I would say self-control. Self-discipline there synonymous for thinking but I think what happens in whites simple habits for metal happy to submit a huge difference is so often couples just read in books about concepts and principles and so you can't slow yourself down because you do not have the ability to slow yourself down it without specific words and actions and knowledge. And so having the these habits allows a spouse to develop self-control. Unbelievable how parents can develop self-control and spouses develop self-control when they hear the tools is so good at let's move outside of that husband-wife relationship. The other one that can impact a marriage from outside his unhealthy friendships and describe what you see there, and some of the counseling sessions that you've had and how does a couple build a proper fence around those more toxic relationships. I would think to mean when the one spouse sees it in the other one doesn't. That's hard. Yes, that is, then it's an internal battle, you know honey Susan is not a healthy person and she's leaning on you but I love Susan Susan so wonderful okay take it away yet well and back to God's word. You know what is God's word say in Proverbs of a wise walk with the wise and become wise.
You walk with foolish people and you can suffer harm and so God is telling us in his word. Watch your friendships, your friendships can hurt your Christian walk. Your friendships can hurt your Christian marriage and so identify those friends because friendships should build up a marriage not tear down the marriage and it's not just friends it could be family members, and I've seen family members tear down a Christian marriage, Randy. While I was reading the prep and looking at the book last night actually and doing the research I needed to do. I was talking to Troy and Jean. They were in the kitchen. I was in the living room reading and I got into that. I was reading that part about putting change in a five coins in your right pocket and then every time you criticize your critical of your spouse take coin outputting her left pocket and then during the day. If you complement your spouse or maybe your child and the parent context. You take that coin out your left pocket put in your right and that the end of day. How many coins you have any right pocket which is the goal that's great. They both said that is brilliant, wet, and it's a little different.
I was you I want starve the positive Jim so yeah every time they complement their spouse then they get to move a coin from the right pocket to the lay okay. Get out the upset over to start out. We want to start hopefully complementing not criticizing. Start out complementing and hopefully the goal. With only five coins quickly now. Sometimes women don't have pockets in their pants, and I say you'll put five coins when you're home on a kitchen counter and every time you complement move it over to the left side and start putting the five coins over here, but when they criticize or correct or come clean now they gotta take this coin and bring it back.
They they don't get to keep it over here in the left pile and so what it really helps a couple find out. Am I a good finder or Amaya fault finder you know how often I attempted how using the season so often the couples come in and say you know my spouse is just not the I say let's do the five pointed you ran it again.
That's a great one of the many great concepts you have in your book at the close. Here let's make sure we hit this and address. I think the theme the thread of what we've been talking about that, a happy marriage is not spontaneous and so many couples when they get married they live on that vapor of the honeymoon and that may last a year or two and then you get into the, the normalcy of life and the children come along in the job emotions and responsibility and got the house payment.
Now all that stuff yeah yeah and the critical nature of that to make sure that you are putting effort into your relationship. It's not spontaneous. It does take thought. It does take dialogue.
It does take love to do this better and for us in the Christian community. We should be the best at this because through the spirit as you said over and over is really the basis for how we should deal with one another, and couples will say it's easy for me to do that with my friend, is not so easy for me to do that with my spouse and I am so happy that you brought this up. We got to talk about this because if there's one word that points out the difference between a happy marriage in an unhappy marriage is planning a marriage Institute. I think it was in Philadelphia do something I read probably over 30 years ago. Detroit wanted to determine what is the difference between happy and unhappy marriages and what they discovered the difference to be was that one word planning.
Happy couples playing and time together were as unhappy couples let their good times happen by chance, you know, happy, successful couples plan to go to church or Sunday.
They plan to give each other meaningful had many focus today. They plan how we gonna connect tonight. When are we gonna turn off the technology and look each other in the eyes and just talk what they plan for dates together to strengthen their marriage relationship is so yeah your exam. Glad you brought that up. That is the key is planning now.
That being said, we need to know how to the words and the behaviors and the knowledge to plan for happy marriage. You still have to have that yeah yeah planning is key and Randy. I mean you have packed the book with so many very simple, practical things to say and do in your marriage that get you the result that your heart is yearning for that kind a deep relationship is need to get your head moving in the right direction and lead the way in so many ways to make sure the heart is blossoming and I can't stress that enough funding.
This is one of the best resources I think we've come across when it comes to marriage and if you want to again correct a marriage that isn't in desperate trouble, but you can do things to move it into a far healthier position. This is one of the top resources we could think of.
And if your marriage is in a more difficult spot. We want you to get a hold of us, and these principles will help and I'm sure Rand is going to shake his head. These are the things that can turn around your marriage but you may need a little more intensive application right now we have hope restored and get in touch with us. It's a four day intensive and an 80% post to your success rate.
Really, many of the things that Randy has talked about. They help teach you to apply to your relationship and it's one of the best things going on at focus, but we want to get Randy's book into your hands. If you make a gift of any amount monthly is wonderful to join us in the ministry to help more and more marriages be strengthened and Christ or one-time gift will send you a copy of the book is our way of saying thank you if you can afford it were Christian ministry were to get this in your hands and trust that other believers will cover the cost of that and donate as you can when you call 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459 or stop by the website will of the link in the show notes for all these resources and an opportunity to support Focus on the Family.
Have a restful weekend plan to be with us on Monday as we discuss how you and your spouse can be more intentional about adding some funds to your marriage. Go for a month and not have a real in-depth conversation except about the bill or maybe trouble your kids in school pouring into that relationship does conversations are so draining.
You can end up feeling like wow this is really time on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.
Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting back is once more help you and your family thrive your marriage read stories of the content in front there are thousands of stories just like from Focus on the Family's legacy community folks to leave a legacy gift to their well dressed other estate planning tool helped have a copy family. Use your resources to help families for generations to come. Find out more focused legacy community.com that's the case, legacy community.com