One Word that Can Change Your Marriage: L.I.S.T.E.N.

Couple listening

Do you ever lay awake at night feeling distant or disconnected in your marriage? The truth is if you keep doing what you have been doing, you are going to get the same thing.

Do you want to have a more resilient, robust marriage? Do you want to begin to take some simple steps to turn things around?

You always have a choice to make a decision. You can do nothing, or you can choose to begin using some of the tools contained in this article to start improving your relationship within the next few hours.

These six insights are the results of 47 years of being married and sitting with couples as they worked through their issues as a relationship specialist.

Because I want your marriage to have a renewed sense of love, passion, and purpose here is a simple process that you can begin as soon as you finish this article. You can begin, literally right now, to build a more resilient marriage.

Here is a low-cost, high yield way to refresh and energize your relationship? While the focus on this article is on your relationship, these practical-proven tips will work in your day-to-day living.

I am going to take the six letters of the word LISTEN and show you how to add almost instant energy and purpose in your day to day actions.

Let’s jump in!

L – Lean forward and look into your partner’s eyes. I am not talking about a staredown, because that can get pretty creepy pretty quick. Instead, be intentional about looking into their eyes. FYI, it is reasonable to look into someone’s eyes and look away, so I do not want you to feel weird. However, studies are showing that more people struggle with this because of the blue screen of electronic devices.

I – Use “I” statements as opposed to “you” statements. This is a tough one for so many of us. Yet, while tough, it is a skill that can be learned, click here for a free PDFon how to learn to trade in the old inflammatory “you” statements with uplifting “I” statements

S – Shared Responsibility. The blame game started in Genesis chapter 3 and continues until today. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard clients say something like, “I wouldn’t do “x” if she didn’t do “y”? Let’s face it most of us find it pretty easy to blame someone else, like our spouse, our parents, our in-laws, and God only know what else for the problems in our relationships. The hard truth is that it usually takes two people to screw things up, so rather than becoming an impotent blamer, assume responsibility for the issues you are struggling with and share the responsibility for it.

Dr. Jack Allen, a friend of mine, puts it this way, “If you make a mess, take ownership of it, confess it, then CLEAN IT UP!

T – Tenacious. Absolutely refuse to be wimpy and whinny. Lean into the relationship, face the issues with courage, be committed as a couple to work through the situation. The key concept here is resilience. Get help if you need it.

I am an old Tom Petty fan, and for years I have used his song “I Won’t Back Down,” as a personal theme to be tenacious in my marriage and in my own convictions. If you haven’t heard it in a while, here is a link to the video.

E – Encourage. The word means to give courage, hope, and confidence. Here is a secret that I have learned as both a therapist and a man married to the same woman for 47 years.

Men need three things: To feel needed, to feel competent, and to feel respected.

Woman needthree things: To feel valued, to feel cherished, and to feel secure.

If you think about these three needs, you will find that it will be easier to be an encourager.

N – Negate the negative. Make sure not to overthink the negatives in your relationship, if you do you will self-destruct! Instead, be intentional about looking for the good.

I want you to take a couple of minutes and listen to a vintage song that deals with the power of having a positive attitude. Here is Paul McCartney’s & Diane Krall’s version of Accentuate the Positive.

I know that was quick, but I also know that this little six-letter tool kit can enhance all of your relationships.

Here is my challenge for you. Pick the one that you feel you need to work on in your marriage to just do it.

I’d love to hear how this helps, so please feel free to comment.

Looking for some help in your relationship? Email John about getting a free marriage 30-minute marriage assessment.

Interested in doing a Couple’s Personality Consultation? Simply email John for more info.

Some Ancient Insight:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

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