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Monday, September 02, 2013

improving your marriage with a simple kiss...

Do you remember what happened after you heard at your wedding ceremony, “You may now kiss your Bride”?
One of the best memories of our wedding ceremony was by far ‘the kiss.’ First of all, my groomsmen dared me to hold the kiss until Cara pulled away; I won that bet! When we heard the minister say, “You may now kiss the bride”, Cara and I looked at each other with big cheesy smiles, and we stepped away from each other and gave a big High Five! I then lifted up her veil; puckered up and planted the longest kiss ever! It was great.

Whether your wedding ceremony kiss was simple, creative or fun, I believe the kiss needs to remain a constant throughout your marriage relationship. If your marriage is going through some rough spots today, a simple KISS may be the best thing that improves your relationship

If the last thing you want to do today is relive your wedding day kiss because you and your spouse are experiencing conflict, try this simple KISS instead!

K eep a standard! Couples who have a difficult time working out their conflicts, most of them if not all have not implemented a standard for their marriage relationship. A standard of values are important especially when couples face hard times because it provides a firm foundation even when the relationship falls on unstable times.     

One of the standards Cara and I have in our marriage is the importance of moving from want to must. What we mean by this is, “Is the conflict we are experiencing towards each other right now moving us towards a simple want or towards a necessary must?” 

The main reason why couples keep their fights going is because they remain stubborn and are not willing to set aside the need to be right or justified. If you try to navigate your relationship with a ‘want to’ mentality, the standard of your marriage will sway like the wind. On the other hand, keeping a standard of ‘must’ outweighs our topsy turvey emotions and keeps the importance of the marriage on solid ground.
I m in pain. What do I mean by this? While we all would like to think that we are indestructible particularly in times of marital struggle (especially men!) the reality is we are all human and not immune to being hurt. This means that we can put the cape back into the closet and just be real with ourselves and with each other.

One of the hardest things to do is to be honest with our emotions. A marriage based only on feelings of bliss and delight is a relationship that wavers because there are days that your spouse is not so fun to be around or you are not in the rosey, flowery mood to be with. 

When your marriage can handle the admission of “I’m in pain” from time to time, your marriage relationship will greatly benefit. Whether its work stress, parental frustration or marital boredom, emotional honesty doesn’t have to linger into unmet expectations in your marriage anymore!       

S hared responsibility. Similar to admitting that you are in pain from time to time, taking ownership of your part in a marital challenge is also a difficult thing to do. Simply put, we would rather blame another person or place fault on the situation. In the context of your marriage relationship, the last thing you want to do is look in the mirror and point at you.

Whenever both spouses own their part, the process of resolve takes place. Admittance is the beginning of change. Answering the question, “What part did I play” is always a good question to ask rather than avoid.  

One of our first fights in our marriage happened in the first year. I can’t recall how it all started, but Cara and I were definitely not on the same page on one particular day. As I was sitting in my recliner, we got into a tiff and Cara grabbed a shoe and hucked it at me. I avoided the flying object and quickly grabbed the TV remote and hucked it at her. She side stepped the flying weapon, it hit the wall and completely shattered. We both froze and looked at each other in that moment and thought, “What if our kid was walking across the room and got hit?” In that moment that we both took full responsibility and made a pact that we would never throw things at each other again; and we’ve stuck to this rule ever since.

You can never go wrong by swallowing your pride and owning your part in a marital tiff. Shared responsibility says that you will look at YOU first and not allow a disagreement turn into an uphill battle.       

S ay I’m Sorry. A nice end to a simple KISS is to say, “I’m sorry.” Saying I’m sorry is a tangible solution to complete Shared responsibility. Saying sorry does not mean that your spouse needs to be sorry first before you do. When you seek to win in your marriage by saying sorry first, your relationship grows and strengthens.      

In my marriage coaching sessions, I often ask, “What is your marriage worth to you right now?” I get a myriad of responses but my comment around this always remains the same, “If you dig a hole of NOT saying sorry, eventually you will bury yourself in the conflict and you will no longer be heard.  The best thing about saying sorry is it will save you and your marriage every time.

A kiss goes a long ways in your marriage and doesn’t have to stay at the wedding altar.  You can do hugs, you can do High Fives and you can even do the hip bump in your relationship but nothing beats the simple KISS. 

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!


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