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Forming New Habits For Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
September 22, 2022 6:00 am

Forming New Habits For Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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September 22, 2022 6:00 am

Dr. Randy Schroeder returns once more to Focus on the Family to discuss habits you can integrate into your marriage! Jim talks to Randy about pursuing the daily essentials of affection in your marriage, promoting emotional closeness, and leaving and cleaving properly. (Part 1 of 2)


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If there's one word that points out the difference between a happy marriage in an unhappy marriage is plain happy, successful couples plan to go to church aside. They plan to give each other meaningful had many focus today. They plan how we gonna connect tonight when we got up, turn off the technology and look each other in the eyes and just talk. They plan for dates together to strengthen their marriage relationship insights from Dr. Randy Schrader you'll hear more as he has some very practical advice to strengthen your marriage, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller and your hostess focus Pres. and other Jim Daly Jon, I think everyone wants a happy marriage. I hope that in the there may be some listening or viewing that their marriages are at this place where it's not about that assist the matter being together and sticking together and working to cover some great material today that's going to give you the handles to do better in your marriage if you're in a serious situation. Please call us and John will give those details. This is going to be that kind of tuneup program for marriages that might be struggling a bit, but there on the right general path again.

If you're in a much more difficult place. Give us a call and we can help you there. We are going to cover some great content. You know the Bible recommends a different path to happiness than what I think we in the Western world.

Think about when it comes to happiness. Proverbs 45 says get wisdom, get insight and Proverbs 19, eight says he who gets wisdom loves himself. In other words, if you want to enjoy life and have a shalom.

A peaceful life. Find practical knowledge for living. I think it all starts with our marriages. You want peace in your life. Have a peaceful marriage and everything else kinda cascades from there. So I'm looking forward to our program right and Dr. Randy Schrader has been here before. He's a pastor of former seminary professor and marriage and family counselor, and his wife Ginny had been married for over 45 years and they have two children and six grandchildren. And he's written a number of books other one will talk about today is called simple habits for marital happiness, practical skills and tools that build a strong satisfying relationship. Contact the ministry today for your copy of that book are numbers 800 the letter a and word family or click the link in the show notes Dr. Randy it's great to have you back.

Well, it's great to be back and I look forward to our providing simple yet very effective habits for couples to improve and strengthen their marriage.

I love what you said on earlier programs that we've done, you've written a book for parenting in the book on marital happiness here that we can talk about again.

Today we did a previous program on this about working to cover some of the other information here, but you basically said you structured these books as a counselor would engage with client and that people can read these books in there to get all the information that you would've spent thousands of dollars on in your counseling settings and that's a great way to look at that. Well it is free counseling and like I said earlier, I was a professor for 25 years at seminary and taught marriage counseling and premarital counseling and that information is in the book in the simple habits for marital happiness looks it. It's the only marriage book out there that looks at all seven areas of a marriage from how do you apologize to each other how you forgive each other how do you stay in love after the honeymoon, what habits keep you in love after the honeymoon. How do you build emotional closeness.

How do you communicate effectively. How do you guard your relationship from all the temptations in the world.

How do you have respectful discussions and help the financial guidelines. What financial guidelines help you save budget and spend together so you are right Jim, thank you for joining us on the family order the book today is great and I'm so excited when we get really good resource like this is so sound fundamentally okay for the skeptic the person out there going. It's not about happiness it's about joy and it's true. I mean, being a Christian, you want a joyful life.

But happiness counts to so just hit that for the purists that are listening that of Dr. Randy life is about Lloyd not about happiness well know marriage is consistently happy art that is happy every day I should say consistent marriage satisfaction is the goal you know you we can have ups and downs and and yet the habits couples can have a strong satisfying relationship.

80% of our behaviors or habits, and couples that hand of a successful mint happy marriage at hand of a gratifying relationship because they have daily healthy habits. They share loving words, loving actions every single day and that keeps that relationship consistently happy.

In that context for the person listening. Let's assume it's the wife is listening right now or viewing an sheep can't imagine that you know that some things have deteriorated in their relationship. They haven't put basic fundamentals and play answers, kind of on autopilot. Is there really hope for them.

There is definitely hope I Jim and Jon I have help more than probably 2000 couples achieve a consistently satisfying marriage.

The same thing for most couples is every almost 100% of couples want to have a happy marriage. But they don't have the specific words in actions and knowledge to get there and that's what is lacking motivation is great if you don't know how to do it and what to say and how to say it and what to do on a daily basis, then it makes having a happy marriage almost extremely difficult or impossible. Why think we have laid the groundwork. Let's get into the four daily essentials.

These are things that again. You mentioned early in the book for couples, take us through the first two of those four essentials well before daily essential habits are are essential. They need they need to happen and what I have seen in troubled relationships couples stop saying I love you and in fact complacency is the dreaded disease that can really damage your marriage relationship. They become complacent and they also love your everyday so the first daily essential habit is whoever or whatever spouse leaves the home they need to say goodbye.

I love you and make a difference if they're going to work there going to the grocery store there going to the hardware store they say goodbye. I love you, and then the other spouse needs to return her gets to return is not a need to execute to the privilege.

I love you have a good day or drive careful wherever you're going and I there's a practical rhyme.

I will never leave the house without hugging and kissing my spouse and saying I love you and and so that's the first essential. The second one is good night I love you. A lot of couples don't go to bed at the same time, or if they do know one will rollover first to go to sleep every night. Whoever goes to sleep. First will say good night I love you and in this spouse can return good night I love you and so therefore I love youse every day, which overcomes that dreaded disease or part of it of complacent.

That's good.

I appreciate that the third one is really about habits and developing those good habits and you say the first five minutes of the day number three comes into play. I'm keeping your eye going, but not good you were arriving all over the place that day.

Yeah. So the first five minutes of the day set the tone for the day, not only for an attitude but also for a marriage relationship and so couples need to avoid the seas.

I stress that the parents I stress that to couples the correcting, criticizing, complaining, condemning you, I've heard thousands of spouses that you know I wake up in the first thing I see here is you forgot to put your coffee cup in the dishwasher last yards of the criticism and so the first five minutes. Spouse doesn't have to be bubbly, joyful, but they need to avoid the seas so they begin the day positively.

That is a habit that needs to be in place were today going deeper with each of these so for people going.

I want to hear more about that. We will in a minute. So hang on habit four is how you in the day with your spouse, other than I love you call it that, to within 20 yes or it spending two minutes together within the first 20 minutes at the last spouse arrives home after work or whatever and so it doesn't some spouses like to unwind. I like to go change your clothes check the mail do that so it doesn't have to be immediate, but at some point in those 20 minutes they need to reconnect emotionally.

They need to make that either I heart connection the eyes of windows to the heart. Couples forget that the new look at each other's eyes.

Spent two minutes checking out how the diesel they went for both of them and giving a meaningful hug and kiss. That is a daily essential habit is to give a 10 second hug 10 second kiss every day a meaningful hug and kiss happens in those two minutes within the first Wednesday is pretty reasonable to minutes if you invest in your marriage but I'm guilty. I don't do that every day I did some days and probably need to do more days, so I let you you you entire line. Not all spouses are imperfect, even on a marriage expert. I don't know perfectly that the truth that complementing your spouses powerful. I think we know that sometimes you know I think we get a little wounded, so we pull back on that I would say it is had to be a severe wound but maybe just a little neck and then we don't want to compliment you for the next 24 I hope it's not that I've given a lot of thought as I but I guess many couples, lose that art if I could call it that. What causes couples to stop appreciating one another. It is that complacency and just laced stop being a good find. You know they say okay good find yes I learned that they're not good finders. They it's too easy to slip due to our sinful nature and become fall finders and so couples need to complement each other every single day and I think it's good. I always define gratitude is saying thank you it's good to say but bit healthier I would say to say I appreciate that lifts a spouse up and that is praise praise creates positive energy and a marriage and it's interesting to me. Every counseling session I've done thousands and thousands of counseling sessions with couples. Every session I begin with a couple I have them appreciate each other.

It's amazing to me how difficult that is spouses.

Now I'm seeing troubled marriages yeah are marriages that are struggling and want to get stronger yet for a husband to Stella's wife. I appreciate and then I asked the wife will you please always say thank you for the compliment and husband will you please say you're welcome if you give the complement and that those three niceties are taught that interest on habit is just unbelievable.

It is a let us hear complement give us an example of how you would do that yourself and your marriage. I appreciate you stopping at the grocery store and picking up a gallon milk and thank you for the compliment you're welcome and if we need to go overboard on politeness every troubled marriage that's common sense lightness is missing and so going overboard on politeness and complementing it needs to be a compliment and I think it's extremely healthy to use the words I appreciate you two men mentioned that you exercise to stay healthy and a lot of people take vitamins to stay healthy. Well marriages need the appreciation vitamin to stay relationally.

Health it is an essential. That is terrific tells failure even rule. What is that this another practical one that is a big eye I see so many marriages that one spouse as my spouse is complaining about all our life issues. Every person on the face of this earth has different issues going on now. It could be something like the brakes on the car need to be changed okay and who's going to take the card the shop to get the brakes changed but couples can have 50% of their life positive by not talking about problems on even dates when I think of the word.

Even I think of smooth, calm, tranquil, and so on.

Even dates they avoid problem talk because some spouses have the tendency just to complain about everything everyday so there can be no complaints. You know just has to be positive and then on the dates couples can talk about and kinda complain about work and complain about life issues and its they should only last for 30 minutes at the most an hour so the rest of the evening together is positive.

His coffee casual conversation when I see and I've been for slave scene, numerous cases of adultery. The betrayed spouse wants to talk about the affair everyday and rather than help the marriage get on the road to healing and I helped numerous marriages get over affairs and have successful happy marriages. They just don't want to talk about that adultery everyday.

They do it every other day on the dates rendered that odd or even what jumped in my mind is Jean and I are in the airport and you know she accidentally drops the suitcase on my toe and I got the first thing this is an even day will love. Why would you have drafts that I might and if it's not day what you doing drawing that I might tell that we always had to watch your tone of voice and body language. Yet you admit you're correct that even I guideline is not the rule.

You know something big comes up you know that it you know. But it does help couples have 50% of their life positive that's good. It's good and it's good. Remember be practical, but I love that Lisa contains that negative emotion. Let's move in that direction cover habits that we need to avoid the start with a hard one, which is sarcasm in the head and gives them feel that he will be okay. It's okay to get to clients or you I like your sense of humor day that week we all can be sarcastic and yet sadly 90% of our sarcasm is usually negative insults. The Greek word for sarcasm is tearing of flesh we can give us an example in the counseling session. I remember were, let's work with husbands them in the husband seem to be very good at sarcasm what it is how I just some people catch it well just cook all the time and he/she really done cook all the time sets, hidden anger, I went to JW and then exit 1 just teasing you know right. I didn't really mean it and that's what happens with sarcasm. It devalues the spouse. It puts them down and in the other spouse will say we just can't take a joke think it's deflating to the other person. But if you deal with humor it is and and and I I saw a couple had a son who had very low self-worth, lack motivation struggling in school struggling making friendships and often when I probably hundred percent of time when I counsel like children.

I asked parents. Are you sarcastic with your kids and in almost hundred percent the time they say yes and I say from this day forward never ever be sarcastic with your kids again and never be sarcastic with your cells in your marriage.

In fact, they were struggling in their marriage and troubled relationship.

I remember there saying well.

Dr. Schrader, we won't be sarcastic with her son.

Since you asked for that, but that's the way we relate to each other. We kinda jabbed each other and I said will you will you please not do that well.

They stop their sarcasm with their son and what happened, he became motivated develop self-confidence did better at school and just turned around just from there were other ideas as well that I gave them parenting's simple yet very effective habits, but they continued to do that in their marriage relationship ended their marriage and racial relationship continue to struggle.

Yes, it interesting that I decide not to lie to themselves in the gene really help me one time. This is long, long time ago in our marriage but I could throw the funny dig and should I dismember saying to me. You know that really doesn't help me and it's it's stuck with me. You know like I thought it was funny and I don't think it particularly for guys I don't think a lot of guys know that it hurts yes to me it sounds bizarre that we would realize that, but we thought that was a 10 on the left meter unite and we think that's the achievement and then when your wife poses silences please not do that in public. It really demeans me but I didn't guided me to do that yet night, Jacob. It's an emotional slant kind of an emotional went to a spouse now. Can there be healthy sarcasm.

Sure, 10% of the time, but most the time the three of us and everyone needs to just watch out with at sarcasm because it can really destroy a relationship it on yourself. So is a good way to do it yeah point the sarcasm in your own actions that the Bible discusses leaving and cleaving manner.

We concentrating on that one nowadays, and Jesus never stalked about no other forms of marriage. He said you know a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.

You know, oftentimes in-laws can play a role in the relationship. So what's the difference Trina in a healthy close relationship that is normal and then that overly attached person to their parents and the husband and wife same. And that's a little odd that over attachment and internets. That's a great question in the. I always say without a healthy leaving emotionally and physically. Lotta adult children would live within one minute of their parents. It's hard to have a healthy cleaving to one spouse ends and so that leaving and cleaving is absolutely essential and what I have found is that it's kind of 1/2 to if an adult child says I have to talk to my mom today I have to talk to my dad today and it's not just wants it's three, four, five, six, seven, 10 times a day. I mean, I've seen marriages with the individuals in their 50s been married over 25 years and they feel like they need to see their mom or their dad every single day or talk to them. I remember I had a couple drove two hours to come see me for marriage counseling because they had heard Emily couples. I helped achieve a satisfy successful marriage in one of the things I noted is that she was overly attached to her mom and I said, I think it's good you and your mom have a loving relationship. What would you think about maybe just contacting your mom once in the morning once in the afternoon and in versus what I should not 10 wow it it it. I remember she said she said Dr. Schrader.

She said I don't think that's biblical and she said I want to, you know, talk to my mom over and over and over throughout the day. Fact every night after dinner. The first thing she did was contact her mom rather than sit down and talk to her husband and that course.

He never came back to see me because she thought I was full of baloney and yet that was what was hurting their marriages because she was she didn't have a mom. She had a mommy and I've had a lot and so she needed to break that biblical cord that emotional umbilical cord and cleave to her as well and then having the cascading effect of something like that is the husband finds news, weather and sports and he just lives there and she's on the phone and and sadly what I have also seen that just news, weather and sports another person has an affair with another woman you write so that those with the rail and you know not to say that that that is the woman's fault that a man would act that way with nouns on M&A 5% Friday so we said that under that avoiding the bad habits banner you know we got this new thing relatively new thing called technology and you have to manage that in your marital relationship because you can avoid gene. I got to dinner.

We look across the restaurant. Different couples and they both get the phones out there.

Not really talking to each other there just looking at the phones.

So what are some good habits in the technology area and one of the bad habits to avoid great question and I think couples need to do what I call quiet connects and I actually have that in simple habits for marital happiness, and I got that from a couple that I saw in counseling. They several years ago. Quite a few years ago. We hand the power go out almost our whole town and that this couple that I was counseling said what they did when the power went out. It was late in the afternoon as they lit candles and set in the living room and they talked for several hours about their fun memories of when they were dating about some of the fun things they did on various vacations about what vacations they want to do in the future and after doing that. They came in and they said that should we're going to do that once a week have no technology cell phone the other room tablets in the other room TV off and were just going to sit there and look into each other's eyes and talk about fun things that happened during the day, and fun things were looking forward to doing it, just have coffee casual conversation, and so from then I started suggesting to all couples.

Let's have quiet connects and I think we can do that also.

In the car you rather than listen to music or listen to a podcast and not talk to one another. My wife and I turned the radio off and I suggest all couples turn the radio off and talk to each other.

Now you can't look each other in the eyes but you can still emotionally connect to that building up conversation relationship yes or regulates that cover a couple of other elements right at the end here. Memory matching I found that to be kind of interesting.

What you cautioned couples about meant what is it and what have you cautioned couples with it. Well, that I guy say avoid the 2M words and so one.

Like you said Jim is memory matching our memories are always excellent and always the truth from our perspective is somewhat what can I see it over and overheard a lot of marriage relationships and I'm forever saying it when I counsel couples is couples essay.

This is what you said no. This is what you said no. This is what it's kind of a contest gets a contest you know and and and would couples learn to say were not good memory match. Our memories are excellent. From our perspective were just going to adopt the phrase no memory matching second you want to avoid mind-reading like I mentioned earlier know my wife almost 1/2 a century. You know, we know each other pretty well, but if we read each other's minds and were right that can be kind of annoying I think so and so it's better to ask what are you thinking Janesville right that it can just lead to heartache and any other thing we can be wrong and that can really be frustrating if we thought we had our spouses mind Reading it was wrong. I saw you a couple whose husband was on a business trip and his wife went through a distressing event back home.

She called them up. He was compassionate did a terrific job because I ask you what he did.

He listened.

He was empathetic, sympathetic, and he asked his wife he said do you want me to cancel the business meetings right now and drive home. I'll do it and she said no she said I have a supportive family.

She said you can just stay in and then come home and your business meetings are done.

When he got home she had taken out a six month lease on apartment and moved the house and even though she did not ask him to come home.

She said you should've read my mind that I really wanted you to come home while and he came to three sessions by himself and I talked about the importance expectations making your expectations known. She thought the idea of expectations was done. She said I should not have to make the expectations known. I've seen other spouses. It said that to if were close. You should read my mind and that is mind-reading is a no no Randy, this is been so good and again I could see how you know you have packed so much into the book and that really is a goal of taking everything you've learned in your counseling sessions and with great examples. Some tough ones from couples that were struggling but laying them in there so we could read them and see how to not repeat those mistakes. What a wonderful book simple habits for marital happiness and you know one way to start that assessment is to come to Focus on the Family's website. John will give those details in a minute but we have a wonderful marriage assessment there. I think we had over a million people take it and just takes 67 minutes to go through the assessment. It'll tell you where you doing really well in some areas you need to work on and in addition that obviously covering the material today. Randy's great book.

We can make that available to you. If you can make a gift of any amount will say thank you by sending a copy.

Randy's book if you do that monthly. That's great one-time gift is fine if you can afford it. We want to get it in your hands were Christian ministry Rinne trust there will be other people recognizing that and helping us help you by supporting so whatever your situation, we want to get this great resource in your hands and donate as you can to the work of Focus on the Family and request Randy's book simple habits for marital happiness. The link is in the show notes or our number is 800 K family ready.

Thanks again for being with us always good to have. Thanks for having me back and I pray that couples will have stronger relationship and on behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time.

As we continue the conversation and once again help you and Your Family Dr. in Christ Focus on the Family. We know you want to see your grandchildren follow Christ that the legacy grandparenting summing. The only national conference on Christian grandparenting coming over 100 locations on October 20 and 21st. You'll find Winston direction and inspiration from speakers, including grandma and Miles McPherson. Register now for the legacy grandparenting stomach and legacy coalition.com/summit