Monday, December 8, 2014

Marriage Monday: Learning MARRIED: A little help please!

First let me say that Every Single Day, I thank GOD for my husband.  Being single today is hard.  Harder than most people think.  There are a lot of good single people out there but unfortunately, there are a lot of single people out there who are single for a reason.  Don't believe me?  Ask your single friends about their last date from Hell.  I bet most of them will tell you about the last date they actually had.  :(

I came to a realization very early on in my marriage (I have been married 3 months so everything is early on right now but this was about week 3) that I had no clue how to "be" married.  You see, I had been a "me" all of my adult life and now I needed to start thinking like a "we".  This was all new to me, even though my husband and I lived together first, I was still doing my stuff.  

So at some point I decided I needed to find some help on just being married. This stuff doesn't exactly come naturally and relationships, all relationships, are hard.  I mean, all relationships are really hard, family, friends, kids, and husband and wife.  You only have to look at the divorce rate to know that marriage isn't easy.  

So, I turned to a sweet and awesome couple I know and asked them for some books.   Thanks Donny and Katie for helping me out on not only on recommending books for me but also on making me feel, not so alone in learning how to be married.     I admit, I came into marriage thinking everything was going to just be natural.  Living with another human isn't natural automatically, it takes work.   Especially, when one or both of those humans are stubborn, know it all's who have been doing things their way for a long time and not expecting to change.  GUILTY!

Anyway, Donny and Katie individually sent me a list of books and being the cutest couple on earth, they of course sent me the same list without knowing it.  (Seriously, y'all).   I completed one book so far in the Donny and Katie healthy marriage series of books.  (Okay, that's my name for it, like it or not) and that book was AMAZING!

   The first book they recommended was The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  I read this book very quickly and part of it is because it is an easy read.  The thing is, it makes so much sense.   I realized very early on in reading that my love languages were physical touch and gift giving.  Now, physical touch doesn't mean getting busy for all the guys out there reading thinking, "Oh yes, that's me!"  It means hand holding and kissing that doesn't lead to getting busy and just cuddling.   Yep, that's me.   Next is gift giving.  Much to my husbands dismay, whenever I come home from the store, I usually have a little something for either him or my step-daughter.   Nothing big, mind you but a little gift.  Gummy bears or peanuts or something I know they like.  It drives him nuts but I realized immediately, that's me saying "I love you and thought about you while I was shopping."   Now, I am not going to share his love language but know that they are not mine.   It took a while for me to figure him out but when I did, I started adjusting some of my behavior to speak his language.  Not only has life gotten easier but it has made us closer.

I also did some research and found a lot of books with high recommendations on Amazon.  How we Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich is one of those books.   Now, to be honest, I just started this book so I can't give you a ton of input on it yet, however, it gets 4.5 stars on Amazon and that is always a good sign to me. 

Finally, I discovered iTunes has a LOT of podcast material and since I have a good little commute everyday, I have enjoyed the ability to listen to several on my way to and from work.   Here are the three I am enjoying most:

Ohana Baptist Church Marriage Classes podcast:

I am not Baptist, I am Catholic but that makes absolutely no difference when I am listening to the pastor in this series.  The pastor is funny and speaks in a friendly manner that is inviting and captures your attention.   A little background.  This is a class he gave at his church in 2004.  The class is based on a handbook they provided and some of the audio is hard to hear because you can't hear the questions but you still get this amazing weekly or daily pep talk about God's plan for marriage.  I highly recommend this series.  

Save the Marriage podcast with Lee Baucom PhD.

I am not going to lie, this is my favorite.   The podcast is enjoyable, easy to listen to, covers a vast amount of information and situations and even though it is called SAVE the marriage it doesn't mean you have to have a troubled marriage to learn.  In fact, Dr. Baucom mentions a few times that he does the podcast with the idea of teaching people how to have healthy relationships before their marriage needs saving.   The latest podcast, by the way, has Dr. Gary Chapman being interviewed about the 5 Love Languages.  The interview is funny, insightful, and I wanted it to go on and on.

Marriage today with Jimmy and Tammy

This is a series I just started listening to but I have to tell you they seem cover a variety of personal issues that effect the marriage and it is done, again, from a biblical basis so they are teaching family values with a sense of humor and the information is spot on covering subjects that trouble most people in today's society like fear, anxiety, and insecurity.  

One of the things I found most interesting in all of these classes is how they all agree on the basic principal that making a marriage work, in the end, is a lot healthier than letting it fail and falling into a pattern of marriage and divorce which seems to happen, a lot.  The failure rates on 2nd and 3rd marriages are even higher and people tend to get on a merry-go-round searching for a 'soul-mate' who understands them perfectly never realizing, that person doesn't exist.  I mean really, do you even understand you perfectly?  I don't.  
 *With the knowledge they are not recommending you stay in every situation.  Abuse is abuse, pure and simple.

Alright, that is my list.  So what books or podcast have you found most useful in making your relationship healthier?   Any relationship, parent, friend, husband-wife, kid.   Seriously, I am going to need that kid one soon.  I have an 11 year old now!


Katie said...

I'm so glad we were able to help you! Although I think you give us too much credit... Lol. Our marriage certainly isn't perfect, but none is. We don't communicate the same way, so that's difficult some times. But the key is that we both know that the other person is never INTENTIONALLY doing something that we perceive negatively. It's usually innocently motivated, just not what we would have done or said. Donny and I both have different love languages too, and it does require some effort to make sure that the other person feels loved. But it is worth it. :) I think it's great that you're putting this much effort into your marriage! Anyone who says it's effortless is insane.

Laura @Simply Me, The way I see it said...

That is a really smart observation and if I could just remember that when he is driving me crazy, I would be ok! LOL Congrats on 2 years!

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