Today I’ve got a couple of updates for you guys and gals. This will be a weekly thing for a while, since there is still about a month left of “Puppy Kindergarten” and two months left of our “Ten Great Dates” bible study / dating experiment. <I know my life isn’t exactly a soap opera, and is probably pretty tame by most standards, but I don’t mind it that way. I hope you don’t mind reading about the tame comings and goings of an regular ol’ newlywed couple such as ourselves.>
Puppy Kindergarten: Session 2
On the agenda: Sit, Come, Puppy Socialization
*Sit: We didn’t have to work on this one because he’s got it down…go Huxley!
*Come: We played a game, and he did great because he’s already pretty good at this one too…what a star student!
*Puppy Socialization: Had a great convo about how to safely do this, good info since we have a puppy playdate coming up at the end of this week!
Mrs. H also gave us great tips on how to encourage Huxley to go into his crate by himself and how to keep him out of the kitchen when we’re cooking. Those two things will be our main focus for this next week…
Once again, he did an awesome job and we had a great (2 hour!) session. It’s fun to work at something like that together!
As you’ll remember, the husband owed me a date from this past weeks dating-study session. My being sick put a cramp on doing anything Friday night, so we decided that on Saturday we would head up to Ft. Worth to do our grocery shopping / a little “sightseeing” at Academy. (As we all know, that sightseeing turned into a gun-buying adventure…my husband hasn’t stopped smiling since.) We thought it would be fun to go to Starbucks in between the two, sit down in some cozy chairs, and enjoy a tasty coffee (hot for me, frozen for him) while discussing this weeks chapter. Sounds like a fun little date right? Something out of the norm for us (we usually just do the drive through), kind of has a “fall feel” to it…perfect plan!
And it would have been, if not for two things.
1) An argument over something little turned into an argument over something big and resulted in puffy eyes.
2) Our two separate trips into Academy cost us quite a bit of time.
Wanna hear the funny thing?
This weeks chapter was over “conflict resolution.”
Even though our Starbucks date did not happen, we still “resolved our conflict” and had a nice afternoon / evening shopping together. <I hope ya’ll don’t mind when I mention that the husby and I have disagreements sometimes, because, let’s just be real…everyone does. More on this in a moment….>
As an alternative, we decided to buy some caramel apples and promised to have a little “back porch date” on Sunday afternoon.
Looks yummy right?!
In the end, it was probably the best place to sit and have a much needed conversation about conflict resolution. We had no distractions, a nice breeze, and enough caramel sticking to the roof of our mouth that we were forced to think before we could speak. <Note to self: Buy more caramel.> We were able to discuss our feelings about the conflict we’ve been having, what it’s stemming from, how it makes us feel, and so on.
An all around adult conversation between two people who were coming from a calm, level-headed state and were ready to listen.
The authors of our book study would have been so proud.
Through all this talking (yes, I am one of those blessed girls whose husband isn’t afraid to talk about his feelings) we were able to pinpoint our two “biggies” or areas we want to work on. I’ll share them with you below, with a few brief comments. I only do so because the more I learn about this marriage thing, the more I learn that “there is nothing new under the sun.” So the odds are that if YOU are married, you’ve either dealt with these same issues or are currently dealing with them. I’m hoping that through this we can offer one another a few words of encouragement or loving advice. I feel like if more people were willing to talk about what’s happening in their marriages in a healthy way (not in a bashing way) then we’d see more couples thriving and not just surviving.
Our first biggie is all about tone. In fact, we can trace almost every argument we’ve had in the last 2 1/2 months back to the tone in which something was said. It seems like more often than not the result is hurt feelings and a snowball effect…before we know it we’re in an argument that neither of us wanted to or set out to have. Hence the conflict.
Now for the solution…
Stealing a line from another book I love called “Love & Respect,” I know that my husband is generally a well-intentioned person and that his words and actions are not usually meant to hurt me. So following that train of thought, when he says something to me and I perceive a tone, there is a better option than to assume he meant the tone and to automatically go on the defense. I could actually give him the benefit of the doubt and say something like “Babe, did you mean to say that with a tone, or am I misinterpreting what you’re saying?”
If he says he meant the tone, then *ding*ding* it’s on! Hehe…I kid, I kid. That’s a whole different barrel of monkeys.
More often than not, the answer will probably be no…in which case the situtation has been diffused before it ever had a chance to get ugly.
The other thing that we’re going to be working on is overcoming our own selfish wants and desires and learning to put each other ahead of ourselves more and more everyday. That goes against human nature, but it is the way God has called us to love one another, so we are praying that the Holy Spirit will reveal our selfishness to us and help us to overcome it. I like to say that we’re just working out the daily kinks of “two becoming one.”
Marriage reveals so much about who you really are on the inside, and I believe God uses it to rub away at our rough edges and imperfections. It’s not always easy and it doesn’t always feel good, but I have faith that Chris and I will come out better, stronger, and more in the likeness of Christ for the struggles that we go through. That’s what God is up to right now in our marriage…
So what about you? What kinds of things are you doing to help your marriage thrive?
If you haven’t been out on a date in a while, that’s a great place to start…and I’ve even got a website you should check out for some fun, easy, and CHEAP ideas for a date night. My sweet momma recommended it to me, and now I’m passing it on to you. So get out there and show your beloved some love!! 😉 http://loveactually-blog.blogspot.com/
KEEP CALM & THRIVE ON!