Beyonce’ & Jay-Z! Jordan & Pippen! John Stockton & “The Mailman” Karl Malone! Bill and Melinda Gates! These great partnerships didn’t just happen overnight. It took years of hard work, understanding and cultivating these 8 powerful ingredients that make their partnerships truly magical. In order to make your marriage truly as powerful, you need to make sure it has these elements.
- Complementary Strengths – No matter how educated and powerful you are, you have weaknesses. One of the great ways to make your marriage powerful is that you identify the strengths of your partner and work together to reach your mutual goals.
- Common Mission – Your marriage can be truly powerful if you have a common mission. A common mission can help you get back on track when the daily grind of life steers you of course.
- Fairness – In a relationship their is an instinctive need for fairness. If one partner or the other feels fairness is lacking it can erode a powerful partnership.
- Trust – When you are in a strong partnership there is a sense of vulnerability that comes with it because you have to share your whole self to your partner. You have to be able to fully trust that your partner will not use what you have given them to their advantage, but honor it.
- Acceptance – When two people come together from two different world views there is bound to be friction from time to time. In order to ensure this friction doesn’t increase to major conflict we have to be able to accept these differences.
- Forgiveness – Your partner is not perfect and neither are you. Mistakes happen. Without forgiveness, the natural instinct to seek retribution for our partners mistakes will overtake the partnership and the marriage won’t survive.
- Communication – Is the lifeblood of a strong marriage partnership. It helps prevent misunderstandings, assumptions and helps marriages effectively and efficiently.
- Unselfishness – When you think a bout your partners needs before your own become second nature can make your marriage trans formative. It’s very gratifying when you see the needs of your partner met.
If you feel you are missing one or a few of these ingredients and you need help on how to acquire them, please contact me for a free 30-minute consulation at email@example.com.
Dear 29-Year old Keith,
Tomorrow when you wake up you’re going to have a brand new title Mr. Keith Dent married man to Priscilla Gordon. I know that you have already been dating for a year and a half, but this will be different.
The vows that you just echoed to all of your guests at the wedding will take on a meaning that you can’t even comprehend.
Your view of marriage will be challenged many times over. It will make you question your choices, but in reality it will make you question your abilities as a husband and a father.You are used to a patriarchal marriage that was full of energy and was captain of the ship. Your wife will not share these same views. She’s an independent woman who was raised to speak her mind when things look out of whack and she will do so often. Don’t worry, it will be for your own good. Even after twenty years of marriage she will still continue to reiterate that you were the only man she would’ve married.
With that said, here are five things you will have to look forward to in your marriage journey.
Sharing in Caring.
This is maybe the most important thing you will learn. You’re wife is very generous, especially with the people she loves. She will expect the same from you.This will be evident when she buys you a honey bun as a surprise.When you eat the whole thing without offering her a bite, it won’t taste so good.
Your expectations as a husband will change.
Her strength and upbringing will be an advantage especially when you figure out that corporate America isn’t for you. When you take that job delivering papers to support your family she will never look down on you. She will support you every step of the way. She will embrace your hard work and will do her part because teamwork makes the dream work.
Your children will challenge you in so many ways.
When you were growing up, your dad was the true leader of the family. He was the breadwinner, the planner and the disciplinarian. When he spoke, you listened. But, when you were younger you didn’t develop your own voice. You won’t have to worry about that when it comes to YOUR kids. They will laugh at you and question almost everything you say. Be prepared to teach and coach. It will be worth it. Your children will be your biggest legacy.
You will learn conflict and love are part of the deal.
When you first meet your wife’s family, especially her sisters you will be thoroughly entertained. They can be loud, opinionated and most of all competitive. They will never let you live down the times they beat you down in a game of Taboo and Street Fighter. Even though they fight with each other, you won’t be able speak ill of any of them. They will teach you that conflict is okay and that’s what being in a family is all about.
She will help you laugh at yourself.
You are going to end up making so many silly mistakes from going to concerts on the wrong night to not remembering when summer camp for your youngest son is two years in a row. Your wife will know how you beat yourself up over these things. She will help you laugh at yourself. You live, you laugh, you learn and you buy Luvs will be one of her favorite sayings.
All in all your marriage will be one of the most important fulfilling relationships you will ever have. It’s a tremendous blessing that you met Priscilla at Jasper’s wedding. Look forward to twenty more years of a wonderful journey.
In my last post 3 Ways Straight-Talk Can Help Your Marriage we discussed how to regain trust from your spouse. This second behavior is about demonstrating respect.
This is probably one of the biggest ways you can outwardly show trust and the easiest way to damage it.
Respect is the intrinsic value you place on your partner. The higher the value the higher respect you will have for your spouse and vice versa.
You may be wondering how my lack of respect can correlate to how much she trusts you. It could summed up in something as simple as a restaurant selection.
Let’s just say as a couple you alternate between who selects the restaurant for dinner. When you pick the restaurant, you’re wife always gives you the approval for picking the restaurant even though she might not be all the way excited about it. When it’s time for her to pick and you say, “I don’t care!” You are telling your spouse. I don’t really care about you!
That was always one of my wife’s pet peeves. She hates people who don’t have an opinion. So imagine what our marriage would’ve been like if I never gave any feedback on a restaurant selection, or anything else for that matter.
It only takes ONE defining moment to lose the trust of a spouse because of disrespect.
So how can you get it back.
Recall your home training. The little things you do can speak volumes. By saying “Please” and “Thank You”, picking up your dirty underwear and sharing thoughts and your precious stuff can have a huge impact.
Treat her better than you treat other women. – It sounds easy enough, but what if she has seen you holding the door for other women, especially in a work environment. She sure as hell is going to want to experience the same level of treatment, if not more on a regular basis.
Think about the specific things she has asked you to do, but you have stopped doing, or haven’t done at all. It may be something as minute as telling her you’re going to be late coming home from work, or buying a card just because. When you have been in a marriage for a long time as I have, you can take the little things for granted. But, in reality it’s the little things that maintain a marriage.
Respect can go a long way to rebuilding your trust and rebuilding your marriage.
If you feel your spouse has lost respect for you marriage, what are some of the things you need to do to get it back? If you feel stuck, please email Coach Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you aren’t receiving the respect you know you deserve. Find out why by asking info@Strive2Succeedcoaching.com
How many times have you betrayed your spouse’s trust. If I asked you that question, you probably would say, “Only a few times, but it wasn’t that bad.” Man, you are fooling yourself.
If I asked your spouse, she would proabably surprise you with the the number of times you have betrayed her. There are instances she just didn’t mention, because it was expected.
One major reason is that we gain our spouse’s trust through our action and not our words. How many times have we missed the boat on that (me included). It could be as simple as forgetting to lock the doors at night, or something more egregious like cheating on your spouse.
Trust must become a verb in your life. What you say will not have the impact you want if there isn’t action behind it. You can tell you wife, you are working on compromising, but if you continue to undermine her point-of-view then you come across as insincere. You can say you put her first, but if you don’t do them, your word have little meaning and trust is destroyed.
Believe you can change.
Countless marriage have been saved, even transformed when the person that violated the trust was able to restore it. It take a change in mindset. It will help if it become a sense of purpose and you spare no effort to please your wife and enjoy her.
Build up the Trust Bank
You have destroyed trust by withdrawing from the trust bank, now you have to put it back. This may take longer than you expect. One reason is the usually the withdrawals are larger than the deposits you put back in and your deposit may also not have a great a value a you realize. For example, if you have the tendency to be late for events that involve your spouse, then all of sudden you turn that around and start to come on time, you may expect a thing to be all good. What you fail to realize is you not coming on time, may mean something deeper than you know yet.
And above all else, try not make anymore withdrawals that will erode the progress have already made.
Over the next few week we will examine 13 plays you must do to build back her trust.
If you feel you have exhausted all of your opportunities and you still haven’t regained her trust, contact me at email@example.com. We will come up with a game plan get her trust back and have the relationship you want and need.
If you have ever watched, or played a basketball game, there is a place on the court that is called “The Paint.” It’s the rectangular area on the court contained within the key. The key is the area that encompasses the middle of the floor underneath the basket. It is often shaded, which explains the origin of the word, and always has a semi-circle attached on the short side opposite the basket.
In a basketball game this is the area where the big boys play. It’s also one of the most important areas on the basketball court. There is lots of bumping, shoving, and pushing in the paint. It’s also the place where you can get rebounds and score easy baskets. If you can’t master this area in a basketball game, you are less likely to win.
Being in a marriage there is similar to Playing In the Paint. In marriage, there are seven qualities that make it similar to this important part of basketball.
- When You Play in the Paint, you have to know your strengths. Dennis Rodman knew he was a great rebounder, and he worked on his craft to make sure he was an asset to his team. In marriage, you need to know your strengths as well as the strength of your partner, to ensure you are pushing each other to be their best self.
- When You Play in the Paint, you have to be able to trust your teammate. The Boston Celtics of the 80’s are considered one of the top frontcourt tandem of all time. They had ferocious grace and skill, but their best characteristic was they had each other’s back on the court. When you are marriage, you are competing against so much; work, the kids, outside pressures, that you have to be able to trust each other no matter what.
- When You Play in the Paint you will get angry. Some of the biggest fights, visible or not will happen in the painted area. It happens when you are in close proximity to each other. Marriage is no different. You are in close proximity to you spouse for the rest of you life. It’s normal. The most important part is how you handle your anger.
- When You Play in the Paint you have to be able to talk. It’s the job of the other team to screen and shield you from their player, so they can score. In order to play defense effectively, you will have to be able to communicate. In marriage, communication is the lifeblood to any marriage in order to establish goals and avoid any obstacles that may get in the way of being fulfilled,
- When You Play in the Paint you create an identity. The Detroit Pistons of the 90’s where also called the BAD BOYS, because they were known for playing hard nosed basketball and inflicting pain on their court to help provide and edge. In marriage, you want to create a set of core beliefs and principles that you will live by. This will clearly help move in the same direction as your marriage progresses. It was also help you establish a set of principles to pass down once the kids arrive.
- When You Play in the Paint you have to be able to defend. Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, aka The Twin Towers, made it almost impossible for offiensive players to score down low. In marriage you have to have a great defense if you are going to make it. In this instance, defense means the ability to handle your finances. If you struggle in this area, you will struggle in marriage.
- When You Play in the Paint you develop a special bond. The chemistry among the members that play in the paint can be very fulfilling. This play is taken for granted in a typical basketball game today, since centers are no longer the focal point of the team. In reality, these players are the unsung heroes of any team. In marriage, your sexual bond, is very important, but it is often taken for granted especially when the children, your career and take precedent. By paying attention to this important aspect can help you keep your marriage fresh and interesting.
Excerpts from this blog is taken from Coach Keith’s upcoming new book In the Paint, How to Win at the Game of Love. If you are interested reserving your copy, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the final installment of the Attachment series, we will deal with the subject of conflict resolution. One misconception about marriages & great relationships is that these couples’ don’t have conflict. Quite the contrary! It’s not the that they don’t have conflict, they just have the right tools to handle it. According to Attachment researchers conflict can serve as a way for couples to get closer and deepen their bond, not drive them apart like in anxious/avoidant relationships.
Individuals have a distinct way to deal with conflict that could be helpful to individuals that have a different attachment style.
These five distinct practices can help diffuse and resolve conflict.
- Show basic concern for the other person’s well-being. (Our happiness is dependent on the other and vice-versa.)
- Maintain focus on the problem at hand. (When there’s a willingness to resolve a specific problem, people feel that they’re being heard and it brings both parties closer together.)
- Refrain from generalizing the conflict. (By keeping the argument restricted to the topic they avoid making disparaging remarks and blowing things out of proportion.)
- Be willing to engage (When you are both willing to stay and deal with the issue do you find a resolution that you can both live with and the process helps them be more in-tune with each other.)
- Effectively communicate feelings and needs. (Effectively expressing your emotional needs is even better than the other person magically reading your mind. By being an active agent it opens the door to a more emotional, richer dialogue.
Why can’t insecure couples adopt these practices.
Individuals who are anxious, or avoidants have several aspects that make it difficult for them to adopt these conflict resolution principles.
An anxious partner will have their basic concerns about their partners responsiveness to their needs about being rejected or abandoned. When a conflict arises, they experience many negative thoughts and react by using any behavior to get their partner’s attention. Their response is often dramatic, but ineffective.
An avoidant person is also concerned about their partner not really being their for them, but they will deal with concerns in a totally different way. They will suppress their need for closeness by shutting down emotionally and adopting a sense of independence. The more personal the conflict becomes, the stronger their urge grows to distance themselves from the situation.
Secure Principles can work for any relationship.
If you or your partner has an anxious/avoidant attachment style, you will have to work harder to make the relationship work especially when conflicts arise. Being centered on your own needs and hurts can cause a lot of trouble. You must keep these truths in mind when dealing with conflict.
- A single fight is not a relationship breaker.
- Express your fears! Don’t let them dictate your actions. If you’re afraid that s/he wants to reject you,say so.
- Don’t assume you are to blame for your partner’s bad mood. It is most likely not because of you.
- Trust that your partner will be caring and responsive and go ahead and express your needs.
- Don’t expect your partner to know what you’re thinking. If you haven’t told him/her what’s on your mind, s/he doesn’t know.
I hope that this series will help you restore your faith in relationships and that they shouldn’t be left to chance. Relationships are one of the most rewarding of human experiences above and beyond other gifts that life has to offer. If couples can understand that a mismatched attachment style can lead to a great deal of unhappiness in relationships and work hard to tend to each other’s relationship well-being, you will give yourself the best shot at finding deeply, gratifying love.
Material based on the book Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YOU Find and Keep Love.
In part 2 of 5 Lessons about your marriage kids learn by example is dealing with integrity. As parent, we can’t always choose the type of influence we have on our kids. We can influence them negatively, or positively. So the best thing we can do is to remain true to ourselves. But we must realize how our integrity plays a part in influencing their lives.
Integrity to our spouse.
In your wedding vows, you usually shout, or some of you reluctantly utter these words, “I take you to be my husband or wife to death do us part.” Currently, only a little more than half of us take that part of our vows seriously. We live in a society that says, “If it’s broke, don’t fix it, get a new model.”
There may be circumstances that you choose as the reason to get divorce, but you may be showing your kids that if it’s okay to quit divorce, then it’s okay to quit almost anything in your life.
When we decide to get married and then move on to have a family, we are making not only a promise to our wife/husband, but to our kids that we will do whatever it takes to keep the family intact. Since we as human beings aren’t perfect and make mistakes, we may have to work very hard to ensure our children that we won’t hold those mistakes against our spouses.
Integrity in our promises to our kids.
Another way our kids learn about integrity is when we make promises to our kids. If we promise to take them on vacation, attend their extra-curricular activity, check their homework, we better keep those promises. When we break them, it shows our kids that integrity isn’t important and it chips away at the type of integrity they should have for themselves. .
Integrity for people in authority.
Finally, the way we talk about people in authority; our President, our public officials, our bosses show our children the type of integrity we have for them. We can teach our kids about integrity not just by what we say, but what we don’t say. Has there ever been a time where your kids repeated something negative you said about someone else?
Are you living a life of integrity for your kids? As an iLoveStrong reader, what are some changes do you have to make to ensure you do?
Today is a special day! Not only is it Dr. Martin Luther King’s Holiday, but it’s also the public swearing in of our re-elected President Barack Obama. What both of these men have in common is their strong sense of families. So I decided to take some of Dr. King’s favorite quotes and apply them to relationships. I had to take liberty with a few and add my own spin to it. I hope you enjoy.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
On Understanding your partner:
“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong”
On the State of your Marriage:
“It does not matter how long your marriage lives, but how well you do it.”
“The ultimate measure of a marriage is not where it stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
On Connecting with your spouse:
“Whatever affects one spouse directly, affects all indirectly. You can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
“The quality not the longevity, of one’s marriage is what is important.”
On Success in Marriage:
“There is no gain without struggle.”
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”