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Maximizing the Happiness in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
October 28, 2021 6:00 am

Maximizing the Happiness in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 28, 2021 6:00 am

Shaunti Feldhahn reveals from her extensive research some simple attitudes and actions that can help your marriage thrive. (Part 1 of 2)

Get Shaunti Feldhahn's book "The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages" for your donation of any amount: https://donate.focusonthefamily.com/don-daily-broadcast-product-2021-10-28?refcd=1164001

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Focus on the Family shot he felt on shares the secrets of extremely happy marriages looking for here is to find out what same emotional impact on that. I love you guys. In this study, we finally found it.

Thank you. You'll hear how simple ideas like say thank you can maximize the happiness in your marriage posted focus presidents and other Jim Daly and I John four John I really excited to hear this message from shot to felt on today and next time because she offers some great ideas that she learned from couples who have exceptional marriages is the great, her premise is simple. The best way to have a good marriage is to find out what the extremely happy couples are doing and emulate them and in her work as a researcher Chante has been able to survey thousands of married couples and then take the time to dig deeper into the relationships in which both the husband and wife independently reported high degrees of satisfaction in their marriages delicate approach to what she did there and all that research. I ended up in Chante's book the surprising secrets of highly happy marriages. We've got copies of that here.

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As you can and call 800 the letter a in the word family or look in the show notes for all the details in John before we start Chante's message, let me point out that this advice is for people who have generally good marriages and just need a tuneup that it is not for people who are in a marriage that could be considered abusive and of course if that's your situation. We would invite you to call us for free one-time consultation with one of our caring Christian counselors. We really want to help out if that's the case again. The numbers 800 the letter a in the word family adheres Chante felt on speaking at a convened conference for Christian business leaders in Southern California.

It's today's episode of Focus on the Family coming on happy marriage for all of you are will pretty much everything here hearing influencer you have is telling the people in the last session you think guests and by God is being put into position to really influence others to influence the people who work with you to influence our culture in a way that a lot of people don't have one of the things that means for you is that you also really need to be attuned to being an influence in how your personal life rhymes and because we all know that, especially as believers, especially as those who try to follow the ways of Christ.

We all know that our marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ and the church.

We all know that our marriage is supposed to look like the closeness that the treaty have with each other that you know God says this is me and Jesus and sometimes it feels like sometimes it doesn't.

And so I've been studying what are the things that make you feel like that one of the things that are can allay the really really great foundation because sometimes when you issues in your marriage feel like a snowball that just feels really hopeless. There a lot of it looks like really big issues almost insurmountable. How are we going to solve this, and I look so overwhelming that sometimes it's easier to cut it just back off and focus on worker focus on the kids or whatever it is I'm not necessarily be able to focus on putting a strong foundation back underneath us and when we are in. Like I said we are having marriage issues can seem thinking overwhelming, it can seem like is all the things that we have to do instead. There is a principle here that is credibly important about looking for the bright spots in ceiling with those role models. The people who have happiest marriages have to teach us the first and the most important thing that the research found that actually is a prerequisite for a happy marriage.

We don't think you can be happily married.

Without this that is that these happy couples chose to believe the best of their spouses, intentions, even when they were legitimately hurt happy couples chose to believe the best of their spouses, intentions, even when they were legitimately hurt everybody gets hurt every couple even married couples hurt each other's feelings. I love what one guy said we are interviewing them and they said you know you got to realize that even the most godly Christian husband and wife can be a jerk sometimes everybody hurts each other's feelings. Sometimes issue is what you choose to believe about your spouse's intentions towards you when that happens because it is natural. It is a human tendency for us to naturally think and Lenny like putting myself in a wife's point of view. If Jeff has medically hurts my feelings is a natural thing to subconsciously thinking of Canada's whole like he knew how that would make me feel and he said it anyway you subconsciously what you're thinking is he doesn't care about me.

We found that statistically the vast majority people do care couples didn't do that, they switched it. So instead, when the hurt came it was how, but no no I know he loves me.

I know he cares about me. So he must have known how that would make me feel he wouldn't have said it in a switch in their brain. Same thing with the husband. It's a common thought for husband subconsciously to think nothing I do is ever good enough for her K and no no I know she appreciates me so she must not realize how that makes me feel that switch is what is 100% necessary to have the most happy and abundant marriage and it actually matches with some of the studies that have been done that I think are fascinating. There was a study that was done by a professor at the University of Maryland and they did this with a group of college students. I love college students because for 20 bucks they will submit themselves almost anything in the clinical setting like you do almost experiment on these kids and so this study ended up being called the power of good intentions K and what these college students did is what the scientists dead if they have these students hope that they had these kids hooked up to all these electrodes to measure their physiological responses and he also had a device that had a cord that would run behind a partition and it would administer an electric shock like a painful electric shock to the skids and the kids were told one of three different things about the person on the other side was hitting the button that was administering electric shock. Some of them were told that you know they know that this is going to administer a shock but they think it's can help you win money if they do this so sort of good intentions towards them right this second group was told. Oh gosh, you know that button. It's sort of in the wrong place and people dissipated accidentally. I'm sorry. You know, sort of. It was random. It wasn't intentional was on unknown.

The group was told that the button you know causing some pain right so not good intentions, a level of the voltage to the shock with exactly the same across all three groups exactly the same physiological responses were totally different. If the people thought they were trying to help them win money. The shock registered the pain registered at a fairly low level if they were told that it was an accident. It was a little bit higher and if they were told it was on purpose. The pain was higher. The physiological response was worse just because they thought that person had bad intentions. It works the exact same way in marriage. Your feelings will be hurt.

You need to choose to believe that they didn't mean to do it that way that they care about you and the good thing is that's not just wishful thinking. We found on the survey that something like 99.37 something something percent of people deeply care about their spouse even by the way, this might shock you. It's sort of shocked us, even in the most struggling marriages, even in the marriages where they were at the mall, sort of desperate place in their marriage. It was something like 97 point something almost everybody cares. The key is whether you choose to believe it. So let's move on to the next topic. The next the next issue is that we found that one of the secrets of the most happily married couples with something that again. They didn't really realize that they were doing. Some people were doing this on purpose, but often it was just sort of something they had discovered worked and was just a part of, sort of daily life on and that is that the wives all did to do the same five little things for their husbands and husbands tended to do the same five little things for their wives and so what band was each spouse did these little things without half the time even realizing that they were doing them or they were a big deal. What was opening in the heart of their spouse is. It was building up this feeling subconsciously is also conscious, building up this feeling that my spouse cares about me and building up this reservoir of goodwill. So when those inevitable shocks happened it was easier to believe the best of their spouse because they are cared for the whole cared for. So what were those things we don't have time to get into all of them right here but let me just mention a couple on each side. The D happy why for the husbands. They tended to tell their husbands. Thank you a lot. We had been looking for years and years and years after having discovered in the study of man on something that is no surprise to any man but as a surprise to most women that men have a completely different insecurity running out of the surface than we women do, and that if we went and if our insecurity, our question is like am I lovable and does he really love me. The man's question is more am I able like in any good at what I do and there's a lot of insecurity around that and we as women don't realize you big strong man looks look strong and confident and on the inside you're kind of like I want to be a great husband but I'm not sure I know what I'm doing now SMEs can find out. I have no idea what and so the need of men is to feel appreciated and respected. Like my wife trusts me and I thought okay that's good you known learning and for women only. That my husband needs to know that I respect and that's important. I love to hear I love you so I need to say to my husband. You know the pain well so I would follow my husband around us and be like oh honey, I respect you so much, and after a while my poor husband would like.

I'm sorry that just like I know what you're trying to do, but it doesn't have the same ring to it and so I been looking for years to find out what can a woman say to her husband that has the same emotional impact on him that I love you dies on a woman. And in this study, we finally found it and it's thank you and it makes perfect sense. Ladies, because if a man really has so much self-doubt that really is in our big strong man is the question really is. I want to be good at this time. Not sure that I know what I'm doing then what could be more powerful than saying I noticed what you did and it was good and I appreciate it and that's what thank you sats it hits all these notes and it's the little things of life, not to silly the big ones. It's thank you for noticing the light bulbs were out and changing them. Thanks for coming home early to take the kids to soccer. You know, when I wasn't feeling well. Thank you for I know you are tired and you took the kids out of the yard and you play ball anyway are such a good dad.

Thank you thank you thank you and we have no idea how much that fills up a man in every way that he needs to be felt. These happy couples the wives half the time they didn't even realize it was such a big deal to her husband but was one of the main reasons why they were so happy. Another thing that the wives tended to do for husbands is let's just say that he knew that she desired him sexually.

She had shown him that she desired him sexually and that was actually something that either it was something that was a big deal to her. So is a big deal thumbs a couple or she knew that it was something that really mattered to her husband so she was making sure that she was thinking about making that a priority. And I wish we could go into more of the detail about what physical intimacy means to her husband. We just don't have the time for that here, but suffice it to say that we women think of it as in marriage as being primarily a physical need, and it turns out that statistically for men actually.

It's the importance of it is primarily an emotional need to feel desired by his wife, and then that gives a man a sense of confidence and a sense of well-being and all the other areas of his life and that's something that is so unknown to so many of us as women.

Women were flipped on this.

There's plenty of couples where is the wife who has a higher libido, but in the majority of cases, this is an area that absolutely towels are husband. I care about you and gives him not certainty as sort of a buffer against the shocks of marriage. Okay so flipping at those little things of the wives tended to fit husband like you said there were more of them. I wish we had time to get into them that the next a parallel on side of things is what the husbands tended to do for the wives and this is an area again where sometimes it was just sort of subconscious thing, but the pins tended to show their wives physical signs of affection when they were out in public and it's not like I'm doing this because I want sex later. It was literally like the husbands would reach across and take their wife's hand when they were walking across the parking lot or when they were sitting together at church or they were at dinner. There were some public place and they were sitting together.

Husband would just reach over and put his arm around her in church as a quick aside when you see the other person do these things that I've been mentioning later.

You know when she looks for something and says thank you or your sitting at church. He puts his arm around you ladies or guys you not allowed to say you are only doing that because she told you to believe the best see how this works believe that that was something that they feel about you being martyred in the tell you thank you for loading the dishwasher like major day. She just had no idea that she that he didn't know that that much to have that sense of being encompassed in public as your mind that we just don't know that these things matter. So believe the best when your spouse tries those things and and guys just be aware were talking about these little things they really do another another little sign that and that really matter to show your love for your wife with things like texting her or leaving a voicemail during the day.

Just as almost that you know you have that flashy and pretty busy at work but every now and then, like a flash comes across your brain of how much you care about her new what the women said is it literally will take 10 seconds and send that text message right when you're thinking of it to say you know I can't wait to come home to you.

I love you so much seconds, but the wind and said things like, I saved that voicemail you know it because it is a little thing guys but it really does matter. So that's one of the types of things that the happy husbands tended to do for the wives.

Another thing is going to sound kind of funny but every woman in the room knows how much this matters guys you realize that, but when you had a bad day or the two of you are a little bit lives you you men can sometimes walk around with the black cloud hanging over your head something is triggered in your wife that you have no idea. Is there and it's a really important principle and if you can grasp this changes everything. Just like if women can grasp just how much self-doubt is inside their man and speak into that changes everything. See guys what you don't realize about your wives is that she doesn't feel permanently loved just because you said I do for you when you get married. The question of whether she loves me as kind that's sort of like you to come up in your head. Really, guys. You know, just because she walked down the aisle and you said your ideas like staying like there is no switch in a woman's brain that gets flipped to the position. She asked this question just like you do that is still there. Your question is like I said in my able my adequate do I measure up at night any good at what I do. Do I have what it takes.

Question is in there. It's probably the result of the fall rate, it's just in there for you as a man for her.

The question is am I lovable my special my beautiful and that does not change just because she got married to you in marriage. It just morphs to does he really love me. What he really love somebody like me, and if there is an issue if there is a black cloud of doom following around. If you've had a conflict. That question gets triggered and it's rising up and it's that argument over breakfast and it's roiling and it in her guide and it's this. Are we okay nothing is right with the world until that is resolved. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about right. It is such a subtle read to believe potent feeling. So guys just think about it this way when you have that argument over breakfast you. You are emotionally there is a problem you're like mad work you've got to get to work. You got a client meeting you got ago you get in the car you back in the driveway to go to work as you're driving away. What happens to the thought that argument guys click disappears is gone right ladies in your mind is a gone. It's guys what is underground question has risen up and that are we okay is going to be roiling in her guide until she is reassured a powerful message of love to your wife is what the happy husbands did, sometimes without even realizing it was such a big deal which is when you've had that conflict to say something like before you walk out the door to say something like look on angry black cloud of doom on angry. I need to get to work. I need some space.

I can't even talk right now but listen, I want you to know we are okay.

It's a huge issue for your wife and even huger if you will recognize that the black cloud of doom itself can cause that insecurity and work to pull yourself out of that funk and shake it off so that when you come back after work or when you come back an hour later from your workshop or whatever it is that you're okay again. That is a priceless priceless signal of love. Even though you didn't realize that it was so write down the words we are okay and that's huge.

And just like thank you is from man is a really enlightening marriage tips from sheltie held on today on Focus on the Family. This is eye-opening stuff.

John and I think if our wives were in the studio with the sled.

So yes, and I so appreciate showing his ability to break down these ideas for a great marriage into simple concepts that all of us can use every day and I know for June and you know if we have little disagreement I can say don't worry will be okay and that really assures her that were good and I know that I really feel good when she thanks me for doing something simple like taking out the trash that we guys like to be heroes, even in those small ways you can.

It's a simple thing of encouraging each other in the small stuff. When Dino says hey thanks for fixing better would retake the address shown to community a better example.

I feel like you I'm a better husband, Dolores, and it's such a powerful motivator and the opposite is true. To if we feel like we can't do anything right in our wives eyes that we lose heart, and we basically stopped trying. We just feel defeated and that is not a good dynamic to have been a marriage.

Let me remind you that today's program was intended to encourage those of you who have a reasonably healthy marriage that just needs a little tuneup and a great place to start is our website.

We have a free marriage assessment that is a quick quiz designed to help you see the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship, and we've taken that it's an easy assessment may be 5 to 7 minutes. It really has some great insights for you and that will link over to it in the show notes know if your marriage is in serious trouble.

Please give us a call for free consultation with one of our current Christian counselors we have marriage specialists who will give you a call back. Spend some time with you on the phone and then refer you to a like-minded counselor in your area.

If that's what you need it were here to help in our number again 800 the letter a word family and I should note that our counseling team might recommend that you attend one of our hope restored intensive's. They have an 80% success rate with marriages that are in dire straits. Sometimes, often times, actually on the brink of divorce. That's right, in the hope restored is a truly unique ministry to marriages using a four day intensive strategy that can replace years of weekly counseling and that's made possible through the support of our donors who are able to do ministry and help marriages with their monthly giving to Focus on the Family so let me invite you to join our team to an active supporter of marriages by making a monthly pledge.

It doesn't have to be a large amount gets that consistency that helps us month-to-month. And when you make a pledge of any amount I'd like to send you a copy of Chante's book the surprising secrets of highly happy marriages, and if a monthly commitment won't work for you right now we understand that we can send the book to you for a one-time gift of any amount. The book really does make a great follow-up to today's presentation.

In fact, there was one online reviewer Jim.

I thought this was funny. He called himself grumpy old guy. He said the book was one of the most useful and succinct marriage books he's ever read. I'm going to quote him here.

He said no filler or fluff, just great ideas for husbands and one that's that's the endorsement right. Get your copy of Chante's book from us today. You can do that when you call 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or donate to and request your copy of the surprising secrets of highly happy marriages will have the links in the episode notes and if you enjoyed today's program.

Please tell a friend to listen in.

Next time as Chuck continues offering practical encouragement for your we found that no matter what the happy couples how they viewed each other all the things that they did. One of the primary things that they considered about the other person was. They consider their spouse as their past on behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team listening today to this Focus on the Family podcast take a moment please leave rating a podcast or spread the word about this helpful conversation on John Fuller inviting back next time. Once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was convinced that nothing could change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time.

We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing. The counselors created the safest environment we could imagine so that let us really talk were on a much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation@hoperestored.com