Regardless of how happy and fulfilling your marriage or relationship is, inevitably you will encounter difficulties and disappointments along the way. Often times it is either because you have become emotionally malnourished, you both feel unloved and/or unimportant, your relationship needs a tune-up, or perhaps the magic has faded. Most marriage partners fail to do the ongoing maintenance of the relationship to keep it healthy.
To rebuild a relationship that has gotten lost over the years, you must have a clear, compelling picture of the relationship you want. Then you both must commit to become equipped with the skills and habits to creating and maintaining that renewed and nourishing relationship.
A relationship lives in words and action, much like a play. If your relationship has become its own version of a bad play, then to make a better play (relationship), you must write and practice good scripts.
One way that you can create good marriage scripts is by figuring out what you and your partner want out of the relationship. In essence, it is time to “rewrite the screenplay.”
- What do you want me to know about you? What do you want/need from me? (Attention, time, listening, etc.)
- Here’s what I want you to know about me… Here’s what I need from you…
- How would you say our normal conversations work?
- What is our predictable screenplay?
- What are the road blocks to improving our marriage? (Self pity, score keeping, name calling, guilt trips, indifference, withdrawal, etc.)
- What are we going to do differently going forward?
- Listen to me and then listen some more (and look interested).
- Pay attention to me and BE with me… because “I am who I’m with.” I am largely defined by my relationships.
- Empathize more and quit giving me advice (unless I ask for it).
- Hold me, cherish me, show me I’m the one! I must be the dominant source of your happiness.
- Look good, lose the weight, and dress up, because how you look is critical to me.
- Pay attention to me and DO with me… because “I am what I do.” I am largely defined by achievements.
- Sexual gymnastics (complete with howling at the moon).
- Treat me like a king! I must be a big deal in your eyes.
A BAPTIST COWBOY
A cowboy, who just recently moved from Texas to Wyoming, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of beer.
He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each mug in turn.
When he finishes them all, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.
The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, “You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time.”
The cowboy replies, “Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is an Airborne Ranger, the other is a Navy Seal, both serving overseas somewhere. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I’m drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself.”
The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.
The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs of beer and drinks them in turn.
One day, he comes in and orders only two mugs.
All the regulars take notice and fall silent.
When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, “I don’t want to intrude on your grief, but I want to offer my condolences on your loss.”
The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.
“Oh, no, everybody’s just fine,” he explains,“It’s just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking.”
“It hasn’t affected my brothers though…”