Intentional Romance 2.0

The best thing about a rainy day is curling up to a great book or watching a movie.   This time it was the sequel to the Big Fat Greek Wedding movie.   I normally don’t like sequels, but I really loved the original movie, so I thought I would give it a go.

I’m not going to tell you all about the movie and spoil it for everyone who wants to see it, but I am going to tell you about the one line in the movie that gave me a little shove, and reminded me that we (the majority of mums) need to make more of an effort in this area.

I am going to be completely crazy here and admit that I struggle with my many roles – you know – being a mum, running a household, etc and also wifing!!   It’s a common thread of conversation with good friends.  We all say the same thing, “what happened to us, we put our mum cape on and it never comes off??!!!”.

Being a wife is my favourite role and I want to give this role in my life MORE attention.   My favourite moment of each day is the moment hubby walks in the front door.

So, if you’re like me, and you want to give your most important relationship more time, then we have to make our relationships a priority.  We have to connect with our partners.  We need to keep that spark alive.

We live in a culture now where many people throw away relationships when it gets tough, or someone else looks better, but when I said my vows I meant for better or worse, and sickness and in health.   How do you keep the romance alive when times are tough.

Here are a few ideas.

  1.  Don’t make permanent decisions when you are angry.
  2.  Seek counselling when you can’t come to a compromise
  3.  Always seek to understand the other person.
  4. Time outs are okay as long as you have a plan to come back and talk to each other – same day!
  5. Don’t be scared to disagree with each other.   
  6. Plan times in your week to connect.   You’re a couple first, parent second.
  7. Resentment destroys marriages.   Always talk about feelings.
  8. Learn to really listen to your partner.
  9. Look for ways to show love to your partner.
  10. Kiss often

Imagine if the majority of couples did these things, the divorce rate in our country would go down dramatically.    Marriage is great, but it is also hard work.  Marriage is two imperfect individuals coming to live together for better or worse.    Yes couples will argue, but it is vital that they also come out the other side and commit to making their relationship work.

If there is any domestic violence it is vital that the perpetrator seeks help.   This usually only happens when the victim removes themselves from the situation.   While I believe that people can change, it is vital that the victim is cared for and counselled.   Relationships work only when two people can work together in a loving relationship.

Relationships grow and become closer when we work on them.   I have spoken about the Navigators council questions before, but I thought you might be interested in reading about them again, if you haven’t already.      In the States, there is a young couple (Jeremy and Audrey Roloff) who started a website called www.Beating50percent.com.   They want to help married couples stay married.   The Navigators council is now a book that you can buy, but we just use the questions and write in our own notebook.

Navigator’s Council:

1. What brought you joy this week?

2. What was something that was hard this week?

3. What’s one specific thing I can do for you this week?

4. How can I pray for you this week?

5. Is there anything that’s gone unsaid, convictions, confessions, unresolved hurt?

6. What’s a dream, desire or thought that’s been on the forefront of your mind this week?

7. Thank your spouse for something they did this week.

Once a month we ask two additional questions. We don’t feel are necessary to ask each week.

  1. How are we stewarding our finances?  (we talk about this a lot anyway)

  2. How is our sex life?

Conversation is a big part of our relationship – and it always has been!   We don’t always agree, but growth is all about how we deal with conflict. We are two individuals who have come together from two very different backgrounds.   Knowing when to push the point, and sensing when to not make an issue out of something is really important to the success of any relationship.    One of my beautiful friends said to me years ago (before we were married) to always remember to bring the big guns out on the Big issues, but not to worry too much over the things that don’t really matter. This advice applies both to our relationship with our spouse’s, and also parenting. A lot of people take the big guns out for the small things, and then they don’t do anything with the big issues.   We really believe that there are certain things in life that follow a set of rules and should NOT be messed with – it is vital to get some of these things in the right order if you want a long relationship with your spouse.   As ‘they’ say, love is a very important ingredient to the success of any relationship, but couples also need an arsenal of tools to help make relationships work.

Feel free to use the questions outlined above.   I don’t get a kickback for promoting the Navigators council devotional book, I have thought often that I should buy one online, but haven’t done so because our system has been working just fine without it.