Trust in Marriage – Consistent Truth Built Every Day

Trust in Marriage – Consistent Truth Built Every Day

Trust in marriage – consistent truth – where does it come from? Over the years we’ve been watching husbands and wives interact. Deep conversations are important to growing a meaningful life filled with trust. And deep conversations are one thing we suggest and write about on a regular basis. However, the everyday, seemingly mundane interactions each week also build this truth and trust. These regular check-ins and planning sessions can have a purpose!

Make an impact for your future by planning your week. 

Planning your days – together – makes it easier to be truthful and consistent.

Consistent Truth

Two of the many things a husband and wife can share are

  • a daily routine
  • and an understanding of how the other spouse will react to normal occurrences.

Daily Reality – Trust in Marriage

It’s about consistency; two people in a marriage share the reality of everyday life.

And if there’s a specific reason one of you travels or lives separately?  Then catch up with each other’s day at a specific time. Yes, it’s much harder for those husbands and wives who are deployed but they still communicate about their days when they can. (This is probably more difficult than I realize, but I’m still stating it. Sorry.)

Sharing life – that’s a part of what marriage is all about. And that’s where trust in marriage grows.

Most days and weeks in a household look similar.  Predictable.  Normal.  They may or may not be a healthy normal, but it’s possible to anticipate how a week will go.  Even if we don’t hang a family calendar on the wall anymore, many husbands and wives will share and/or sync their digital calendars. And, in case we need to state it, we recommend having full access to your spouse’s calendar whether it’s digital or paper. 😉

Trust in marriage happens through planning. Planning your days - together - makes it easier to be truthful and consistent.

Ask each other: “Where will you be? What will you be doing?”

We must ask where we are and whither we are tending.
Abraham Lincoln – 1809-1865 Sixteenth President of the USA

Where are you? What are you doing? That’s one kind of constant. It’s the daily reality of living together in one environment. 

It’s not intrusive to know what your other half is doing and where he/she is going! It builds trust because what we’re involved in matters and has an impact on our spouse. As husband and wife, we are one flesh!

go further - get more out of marriage - with marriage coachingPrepare and Enrich – Building Trust in Marriage

Rob and I are facilitators for the Prepare/Enrich program. It’s been used for premarital preparation, but there’s so much in this program to equip couples married decades. One of the exercises has the couple fill out an assessment of what they spend time doing in a regular week. It can be very enlightening!

There are only 168 hours in a week… do you know where they go? Maybe planning your days and weeks starts with a little introspection?

If you see value in mentoring, Rob and I are available – reach out! We have the Prepare/Enrich program, Values in Mariage, a Biblical DISC program and more we can leverage to enrich your marriage. We can talk via Zoom, Skype or phone to explore some mentoring/coaching options. Click HERE.

Build trust in marriage every day.

Trust builds when there’s a predictable order to the day.

If couples are proactive in planning their weeks, a greater control over consistency emerges. And the trust in marriage grows. Of course, we can’t plan everything. However, if there’s a framework, husbands and wives can trust they know where their spouse is and when to expect time together.

Rob and I are still working on planning our weeks – however, there’s a normal flow to a week we can count on. (Now, being productive in that week is a whole ‘nother thing…  😉  Planning will help with that, too!)

Trust in Marriage--Let the truth of your days build the trust in your marriage.Have you created an “ideal week” plan? 

Can you anticipate what your week – or your spouse’s week – will look like? 

This spring I worked through a program to order my evenings so my days would have a better impact. It brought to light where my behaviors needed to shift because they weren’t serving me well – it’s a valuable course.

(This is an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase we receive a small amount at no cost to you – thank you for supporting Robert and me. We appreciate it very much.)

When you plan, do you have resources you use? Share them in the comments, please – we’d love to know!

Let the truth of your days build the trust in your marriage.

Sit down with your spouse this weekend and plan out next week. 

See how it feels.

Planning to build truth and trust in marriage - What needs to happen with your week-

Thankful to link with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart

 

5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected

5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected

It’s autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves are turning bright yellow, red and orange, then falling to the ground. We see pumpkins in the fields, and on door steps in suburban neighborhoods. The season to buy! buy! buy! is creeping up on the calendar.

Do you have any plans for the holidays? And if so what about time for you and your spouse?

How will you keep your marriage strong?

As fun as the next few months will be, there will also be stresses. I don’t need to make a list, do I? I’m sure you can fill in the blanks with all the mishaps and misunderstanding from other years.

What’s your strategy to stay connected and aligned with your spouse during the next two months? It’s not enough to “wing it” in these busy days ahead – you need to have a plan.

And every plan works well if there’s a bit of fun incorporated!

Quick! Can you mark in some dates with your spouse in November and December? Yes. Really quick – before all the holiday invitations start to show up.

Demonstrate to your spouse how much you value her/him by making it a priority to spend time together.

How can you spend time together – really inexpensively – to stay aligned and in tune with each other? Keep the dates cheap, but fun. Simple, but fun. Private, but active. And allow you two – husband and wife – to slow down and talk about what’s going on in your lives; to catch your breath and stay connected.

Make memories together – as a connected couple!

5 Autumn Ideas to Stay a Connected Couple

Here’s the criteria:  fun, cheap, private and active.

1. Sparklers in the dark.

adding a spark of fun 5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected with your SpouseBuy a package of sparklers, and go outside after the kids are in bed and it’s dark. Light those sparklers, and play! Run around the yard, write your names in the air, and kiss under them. (Use good judgement and watch out for your hair/clothes – those sparks can ignite!)

Set up your camera with a timer – create fun photos to share with family & friends. Capture your memories of the evening!

2.  Plant some bulbs.

Plant some Hope - 5 Autumn Dates to Stay Connected to your spouseThe leaves might be falling off the trees, but it’s also time to plant some hope for spring:  daffodils, crocus and tulips!  Buy a few bulbs, and dig in the dirt one morning or afternoon to plant them. Talk together about next spring, and your hopes for that time. Digging in the dirt is therapeutic!  If you don’t have your own yard, talk with your church, or a local daycare to see if they’d mind you planting a few bulbs.

You can enjoy the moment and still look to the future when you’re planting some bulbs!

3. Do an outdoor movie.

Do you remember outdoor drive-ins?  (Robert and I visited an outdoor theater in Canada on our travels.) You might be able to find a drive-in theater in your area – here’s a link to find one in the USA –  but even if you can’t find one, it might be fun to try in your own backyard, or driveway!

Just take your laptop, and a DVD out to your vehicle, bring some drinks and some snacks, add blankets, and snuggle together!  Or you can have a fully outdoor experience by pushing two loungers together and zipping up two sleeping bags to snuggle in as you watch your movie.

Remember those teenage years? Oh, the fun you can have under the blankets, while watching a movie! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

4. Hot chocolate (oatmeal) and a sunrise.

Yes… Yes.  I know you love your coffee in the morning. So do we! But if you’re going to get up to watch the sun rise, maybe your spouse needs a little more incentive. Try a version of hot chocolate oatmeal in your slow-cooker! I’ve put some recipes on a Pinterest board for you try!  Start it cooking before you go to bed, and it’ll be done by morning. Some of the recipes are with stevia & coconut milk, others incorporate yummy extras like cherries, or pecans & toasted coconut.  (Click here to go to the recipes.)

Take your hot chocolate oatmeal outside, and watch the sun rise – start the day together.

Follow Robert & Lori @’s board Oatmeal Overnight in the Slow Cooker / Crockpot on Pinterest.

5. Bake some cookies.

Why do we only think to bake stuff with our kids? Put your kids to bed, then, why not make it a date! Just you and your spouse – to bake and decorate cookies together. (And you might playfully add some decorations to each other… you’re alone, remember?)

It doesn’t matter if the two of you aren’t “bakers”! Get some prepared dough, and just do the decorating. It’s about having fun together.  If cookies aren’t your style, then try chocolate bark. Here’s a recipe post about making chocolate bark to get you started – it’s really easy.

And if you don’t want to eat all the cookies, then deliver a package to a senior or single dad/mom who might appreciate a little gift. 

Put a few of these date ideas on your calendar.

Take action. Make a date – for your autumn dates! 

Any other ideas?  Leave a comment and share!  I’d especially love it if you could add to the slow-cooker oatmeal recipes. If you have a recipe you make with/for your spouse let’s chat!

5 Autumn Date Ideas to Stay Connected - Sparklers after Dark - Planting Hope - Chocolate Oatmeal and more!

Thankful to link with:

Proverbs 31 Wife   – A Little R&R Wednesday – Hearts for Home

Encouragement in Action – The Tutu Project

Encouragement in Action – The Tutu Project

Sometimes life *sucks.

How can you encourage your spouse through those horrific, and life-altering experiences – when you just want to join in crying?

Here’s an example of a man who did encourage his spouse – regardless.

He provided Encouragement in Action!

Bob’s wife, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Linda says, “My focus is on real life – and moving forward in life.

And he helps me do that.”

What’s Bob doing?

Since 2003, when Linda was first diagnosed with breast cancer,

he’s been taking photos of himself… in a pink tutu.

Photos that’ll make his wife laugh.

And his mission grew from taking a few photos just for his wife, to her sharing those photos with other women as they received their treatment.

Then it grew to become even more:

  • a calendar
  • and book, “Ballerina”
  • cards
  • prints
  • a pink tutu just for you
  • and more!

Now Bob’s encouragement for his wife, is encouraging so many, many more lives.

To raise awareness and money for breast cancer, you can donate and download photos for your social media accounts… Like this one:

Tutu Project DonateDownload-Twitter-Plane-TheTutuProject-5-3

 Check out the Tutu Project

Here’s the link: http://thetutuproject.com/about/

Want to Dare2Tutu with Ballerina Bob? 

#Dare2TUTU  

It’s the hashtag, and with the image of Ballerina Bob to include in your photos… 

dare 2 tutu

 

Now, the next time you believe life just is too heavy – too heartbreaking – too messed up…  think of Bob. In his pink tutu. And his mission to make his wife laugh.

It’s encouragement in action.

You can do it too!

Have courage.

Encourage.

Encourage your spouse.

 

Hope Faith Love Prayer Action

(*My Dad used to say that a lady would never use this word. I’m sorry, Dad. In the face of cancer, this is the only word which I could use.)

16 Reasons a Date Night is the Best Choice

16 Reasons a Date Night is the Best Choice

Date Night, for a husband and wife, can descend into a silent, mediocre meal, surrounded by strangers, with nothing better to take home than the bill. Why bother?

Here’s both the Big Picture and the Practical wrapped up in 16 reasons…

Take Back Date Night!

16 reasons a date night is the best choice for you and your spouse:

  1. Quality Time = Quality Marriage. Dedicated time for a date night with each other starts with a promise of quality time. (one the of the five love languages) 
  2. Be a Keeper. By being proactive, use date night to do something new, and stay connected all through your years of marriage. There’s no reason to fall out of  love (or “like”) with each other! Here’s a link to a post about what we’ve seen in couples married many years. 
  3. Stress Away.  No… really! Let that stress of daily life GO! Arrange a date night to let go of stress – music, physical activity, laughter, quiet contemplation while viewing a sunset or whatever works to recharge. A date night is the perfect opportunity to de-stress. 
  4. Reach Out and Touch. Physical touch is another of the 5 love languages. It’s priceless. (and not all about sex – but always could include intimacy!) Use date night to escalate the power of touch – from holding hands, to caressing a face, to massaging shoulders, to kissing, to…  (Yeah. You get the gist, right?) Play a bit. Only go further one step at a time – use an hour to go no further than touching each other’s hands, and the next hour to only touch above the neck, and the third hour to only use your mouth... elsewhere…(are you smirking yet?) 

  5. Stability in Change. There’s nothing so constant as change. Your life is going to change. Guaranteed. You will change. Your spouse will change. Your kids will change. Everything is always changing. (Tired yet?) Use date night to remain stable, emotionally and relationally,  in every change you encounter. 

  6. Challenged to Grow. Date night, done well, forces the two of you to stretch. What do I mean, “done well”? Whenever there’s a opportunity, you have two choices: put in some effort or seek the path of least resistance. Your marriage will grow if you always put in the effort, and date night is a regular way to make sure you push yourself
  7. Inject Humor into a Serious Life. Robert and I are pretty serious. We feel we don’t laugh enough, and deliberately seek out opportunities to be around people who find laughter easy. What about you? Are you one of those easy-to-laugh couples? (Hey- want to hang out together?) If you do find it easy to laugh, share your gift with each other, and others! And if you’re like us, then use date night to watch YouTube videos, listen to comedians on Sirius Comedy channel, go to the bookstore and read each other funny comics – or the card store and pick out cards to make each other laugh! (Just read them and carefully put them away  – it doesn’t have to cost anything!) 
  8. “Yes, I’d marry YOU again!” Words of Affirmation. Assurance. Use date night to affirm your spouse. (That’s another of the love languages!) After you’ve been married for multiple decades (or even before that) and life becomes either hum-drum, or hectic, it’s deeply valuable to know your spouse admires you… still.  Or that your spouse values you… still. Or your spouse would choose you all over again! 
  9. More than. You are more than a man. More than a woman. You are more than a mother. More than a father. More than a grandparent, an employee, a minister, a clerk, a lawyer, a note-taker, a cook, a dog-walker. You are the other half of another person. It’s so easy to lose track of that fact. To mitigate its importance.  As spouses, you are One-Flesh. Made for each other. United. 
  10. Asking for Help. It’s not what you might think – I’m not suggesting you use your date night to go to counseling. Rather, have you ever considered a date night focused on prayer? I’m guessing your life isn’t all peaches and roses. I imagine you’re kind of like Rob and me – you’ve got problems. Concerns. Use an hour of date night to pray together – ask for help from the ONE who has all the answers and all the power. Date night doesn’t need to be (only) fun and games. You’ve already taken time away – you’re disconnected from everyday life.,, Date night is also there for the serious stuff. Make date night count – use it for the problem times too! 

  11. Be Unique! Unfortunately, it’s not common to find couples who are deliberate about making time for a date night. It’s rare to find husbands and wives who have a night/morning/afternoon date – alone – every week. Yes, it is sad. Heart-breaking. Especially when you talk with couples who are contemplating divorce and can’t remember the last time they spent quality time together. 

     Here’s a personal story – we have friends in Dallas – married many decades, who go on a weekly “date night”. Her work even knows not to schedule her on that evening, because it’s “date night”! In her role as the Director of First Impressions at a call center, she shares her view on the value of date-night… and she lives it! Couldn’t we all be like that?

  12. You’re a Team. Have you forgotten? Husband and wife are a team – tackling life together. Your kids are going to grow up – your buddies/girlfriends will shift, your employment will change… You. Are. A. Team.  Use date night to work together on a project, to overcome a fear, to plan a new outcome, and set goals. Oh, please set goals together! Here’s a post about setting goals as husband and wife. 
  13. Keep Each Other Young. Use date night to play. Use that time together to renew your playful spirit, and to find the kid hidden inside you both. Try board games from your childhood, or legos, or swing, or play hop-scotch, or…  
  14. Ask Great Questions. Robert just finished a great book, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger. The premise of the book is that by questioning, deeply, imaginatively, and “beautifully” we can identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. Use the power of questions to enrich your life together! Need suggestions for questions? Try our eBook!  
  15. Romance is ALIVE and well! Do you remember the “tingles”… those flutters, and quivers when you first saw your spouse? My first memory of Rob is hearing his deep, bass voice answering questions behind me in church. (I was 14 – he was 16.) Later, when we began dating, I would get this thrill, just to know he was going to knock on our side door, and take me out for the evening. When was the last time you felt the “tingles”? Have you dressed up for your spouse lately? Have you given her a gift? (Yeah, gifts are another of the five love languages.) What about trying a few new options in your intimacy, or an invitation to slow dance to a love song… a moonlight kiss, or a love note? A date night will keep the romance in your marriage alive!  
  16. Connect and Communicate to Encourage. We all long to feel understood, don’t we? We all need to feel affirmed. Each spouse – husband or wife – wants to feel valued. Date night does all of this – if you’ve decided to make the event (morning, noon or night) a tool to connect and communicate. It’s up to you. Each of you. Date night is the best choice to encourage your spouse, if you keep this in mind. 


Is it time for a date night? 

… to communicate, face-to-face…

… to connect emotionally …

Intentionally share yourself with your spouse. 

Date Night. With a purpose.

…arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. 

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,

in the crannies of the cliff,

let me see your face, let me hear your voice”

Song of Solomon 2:13-14

Is it time for a date night-

 

Hope Faith Love Prayer Action

 I’m sure you’ve already heard of the book by Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – but in case you have yet to read it… please – take the time!

Really. You’re relationship will be forever changed!

It’s the first resource that Robert and I recommend for anyone. Everyone. It’s easy to understand, and easy to do. Yup. It has the big picture and the practical.

There are 5 ways we feel loved – and one of them is our primary way. So many spouses believe they’re communicating their love, and yet the other isn’t “getting” it. This book will get you on the road to solving that problem.

Have you read it a while ago? Maybe it’s time to re-read it. Together. With your spouse!

AH… another date night activity?

Take Back Date Night
Thankful to link with:

Wednesday Prayer Girls 

 

Gratitude in Marriage

Gratitude in Marriage

When was the last time you expressed gratitude in your marriage

– and said, “Thank you.” to your spouse?

Gratitude in Marriage

Gratitude. Thankfulness. It’s important to tell your spouse how thankful you are. Sometimes we’ll say, “Thank you.” to a stranger, before we’ll say it to our spouse! Gratitude - saying "Thank You." - This is number 2 of 101 phrases to encourage your spouse – see the video of Alex and Alisane saying these phrases to each other – by going to “The Video” and also see the other posts in this series.

The Big Picture

Courtesy isn’t a luxury  in marriage – it’s a necessity. Courtesy – including saying “thank you” – demonstrates how much you value your spouse!

“Just as leaks in a dam reflect the potential of larger problems, giving up on courtesy in marriage reflects the bigger issue of not valuing each other. The consequences of forgetting ‘small’ actions remind us of how big those actions were in the first place.” –  Gary Chapman from Love as a Way of Life: Seven Keys to Transforming Every Aspect of Your Life

Sometimes it’s just forgetfulness that stops us from expressing gratitude. That’s easy to solve – get (back) into the habit of expressing how thankful you are… Practice!

But what if lack of gratitude is part of a deeper problem?

Could you have slid into a mentality of entitlement? (maybe?)  

Or have you stopped saying “thank you” because you no longer value what your spouse does?

Maybe it’s time for a bit of soul-searching… an attitude adjustment?

The Practical

Saying, “Thank you.” to your spouse doesn’t need to be difficult – it just requires a bit of attention to details.  There’s going to be a lot of instances – opportunities to say it… here are a few…

  • Gratitude. When was the last time you said "Thank you." to your spouse? Sometimes Encouragement starts with words...thank you for marrying me…
  • thank you for putting up with me…
  • thank you for doing the laundry…
  • thank you for making supper…
  • thank you for smiling at me…
  • thank you for listening…
  • thank you for making the bed…
  • thank you for cuddling with me…
  • thank you for such great kids…
  • thank you for taking care of the bills…
  • thank you for going to work…
  • thank you for being nice to my parents…
  • thank you for helping out…
  • thank you for being so generous…
  • thank you for choosing to do what’s right…
  • thank you for praying for me…
  • thank you for loving me…

I’m sure there’s more!

Leave a comment – about what will you say “thank you” to your spouse today?

Want some reminders about being thankful?  Download a PDF of these four scripture tags…

Download (free)

Print them on cardstock, cut them out, use them as bookmarks, hang on ‘fridge or mirrors, or tuck them into sock drawers, hang them from your spouse’s car steering wheel, or even more fun spots!  Take some action…

Scripture Tags about Thankfulness

 Thankful to Link with Reflect His Love and Glory at JannCobb.com

To see all the posts for 101 phrases to encourage your spouse and the video - click this picture.

To see all the posts for 101 phrases to encourage your spouse series and the video – click this picture.