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Monday, August 26, 2013

creating a more confident marriage...

One of the funnest things I enjoy during my marriage coaching sessions is what I call “leaving the light on” moments. This phrase comes from the mantra of Motel 6 which is, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It is great when what we discuss translates into the relationship and into the home. Whenever that "light" turns on, it makes my job that much more fulfilling and well worth it!

Recently, I was coaching a couple and explaining the importance of having a confident marriage. I explained marriages that veer off into dangerous terrain and rough roads possess relational qualities that can be best described as passive, uncertain and skeptical. I went on to explain that the opposite of this kind of marriage possess a strong quality of confidence. As I continued,  the wife interrupted me and yelled out, “Wait a minute! Confidence belongs to individuals, not a marriage!” I respectfully disagreed with her and proceeded to explain further on what it means to have a confident marriage. Eventually, the light turned on for her and her husband and their marriage is seen as a positive example today.

Here are 3 great tips on how to have a confident marriage. I hope the "light" will turn on for you as you read these tips and then transfer them over into your marriage relationship.

1)    Look confidence straight in the eye! The worst conclusion a couple can make is when either one or both of them say, “I have nothing more to give.” A marriage that loses hope is one that loses necessary motivation. Whenever hope and motivation runs out, it is very difficult to recover.  A practical exercise I give couples in order to gain and solidify marital confidence is to both hold hands, stare into a mirror and say in unison, “I will not give up on you! I will not give up on us!” Do this 5 times; both in the morning and before you go to bed. Do this for 7 days straight and you will be amazed the kind of confidence you will discover in your marriage!     

2)    Expect confidence versus results. My oldest son is a good baseball player. Sometimes, he admits that he lacks the confidence necessary to be a good hitter. Like many young baseball players, confidence is the biggest hurdle to jump because young pitchers have the ability to throw the ball faster and sometimes with wicked movement. Recently, my son had a baseball game and went 0-4; 3 strikeouts and 1 groundout. After the game I asked him how he felt each time he batted. He told me that even though he didn’t have a hit, even with three strikeouts, he felt the most confident he had ever felt since playing the game of baseball. True confidence is found regardless of what happens, or not.                  
I believe this story applies to the 2nd great tip on having a confident marriage. Marital confidence does not waver based on some expected results. For struggling couples, a lack of confidence exists because there is a desperate need for immediate change. When change doesn’t happen quickly, frustration, discouragement and a lack of motivation supersedes confidence. Indeed, results do play a factor on being confident but true confidence is not found based on whether you are experiencing certainty or uncertainty. When your marriage is confident, you both understand that your relationship value and marriage identity does not waver depending on the outcomes. Marital confidence is the result of inner strength among both spouses. Whenever issues and troubles arise, you are both able to get in the batter’s box together and confront life’s curve balls as a team, even if that means you strike out one and awhile.  It doesn’t matter where your marriage has been, every spouse wants words that lift up rather than tear down. As a team, build up your spouse today by telling him or her how you appreciate them and what they do to strengthen the marriage. Do this on a regular basis and watch your marriage relationship confidence grow exponentially!   
3)    Find Confidence without changing your spouse. What is common among many of my marriage coaching sessions is how the spouse seeks to change the other spouse. I hear, “Well, if he just brought home flowers once in a while, then our marriage would be much better” or “If only she would let me have at least one night a week with the guys, then our relationship would be happier.” These common statements lead to marital doubt, not marital assurance.  True marital confidence is not found in what the other should do. Rather, strength in a marriage is found on looking in the mirror and asking yourself, “What can I do today to bring certainty to this marriage.” When both spouses are actively doing this and implementing it into their daily marriage relationship, watch your marital confidence increase!

Marital confidence is a necessity for a regularly maintained marriage relationship. Confidence, security and trust in your marriage goes a long way. As you implement these three great tips, watch how that light stays on for you--a bright marriage that naturally shines!

Rob Lane
Marriage Mechanic

Rob is proud that his wife Cara plays an instrumental part of what he does. They have a combined 20+ years helping individuals and couples with their relationships and marriages. Rob has a BA in Christian Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is an Online Psychology Professor for Grand Canyon University. Rob is also certified marriage counselors in the PREPARE/ENRICH program. He is a non-denominational ordained minister and officiates wedding ceremonies. Rob combines his experience and education along with his unique approach that is sincerely relational, empowering, hopeful, honest and compassionate. To learn more about Rob, The Marriage Lane and his approach read here.

*Lead photo created using the app A Beautiful Mess, available for sale here in the iTunes app store! Thanks ABM app for the creative tool!


  1. #2 and #3... Right on!!!

  2. So glad you found #2 & #3 helpful! Thanks for reading!


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