Steven: Ok, we are in the process of discussing the Building Blocks of Marriage: #1 is Commitment, #2 is Communication, #3 Trust, #4 Respect, #5 Love, #6 Healing, #7 Forgiveness. We’ve talked about commitment. You guys are fully committed to each other, which is great! A marriage without a commitment to work through the tough times is a bad relationship. Commitment is the sole reason why a spouse is willing to compromise or sacrifice today. Husband is willing to sacrifice today because Wife is willing to sacrifice next week. Today we are focusing on communication. Nicole, summarize for me how you feel about the communication in your marriage.
Nicole: He doesn’t listen well. I feel like I am talking to a wall. I try to be proactive in talking about an issue and it doesn’t matter because he has already made his mind up. I have built up a lot of resentment because of our lack of communication.
Michael: Our communication is not that bad. Most of the time, we end up laughing.
Nicole: Laughing in disagreement. Like agreeing to disagree.
Steven: The most common flaw in communication is that while one person is talking the other person is thinking about what they are going to say, so they are really not actively listening. It sounds like you guys are missing each other. I suspect that you’re talking at each other and are so focused on making your point that your partner’s point doesn’t resonate with your spirit. Your first responsibility in a debate is to explain. Your first responsibility in a conversation is to understand. So you have to figure out what it is you are doing. Are you debating or conversing?
Michael: I think we are conversing. Take for example, my mother. I try to listen to Nicole and say to her that she needs to ignore my mother. I am not choosing her over my mother but I can’t control my mother.
Steven: What you are saying sounds defensive. You are putting all of your effort into explaining and a very limited amount of effort into understanding. To understand, you have to stop and place yourself in her shoes. No problem can be solved without you first understanding her side. I am not saying that you have to agree with her side. I am saying that you have to understand her side. If you did, then you wouldn’t still be trying to explain.
Nicole: You are saying that I am more important but when your mother calls, you drop what you are doing to go and do whatever she needs.
Steven: Michael, your words have to match your actions. That will show integrity and allow your wife to more easily trust in your love for her. Nicole, I don’t hear any concern for his predicament in your voice. Take a moment and breathe in your man. You know this is a difficult situation for him right?
Steven: Nicole, it is your turn in the CONVERSATION to focus more energy on understanding then you do explaining. Show some consideration for the difficult situation that your husband is in. Don’t lower your standards, never accept being second in his life, but at the same time, be considerate of his situation. Right now he needs your support and encouragement more so than your disappointment or frustration. Love is patient. Speaking of love, let’s review your #LoveCapacity scores.
Steven: Nicole, your #LoveCapacity score was a 7. This means that you love your husband at the level of friendship. Here is the definition of the result you received.
7 – Friend: You trust yourself more mentally than you do emotionally. This lack of emotional vulnerability causes a lack of passion in your relationships. Logic and reasoning can only get you so far. Starting a relationship has always been easy for you, but in order to build a relationship that will last a lifetime, you have to feel love and not just think love. To expand your #LoveCapacity, you will have to step outside of your comfort zone of thinking your way through a relationship.
Nicole: I am surprised at how accurate your #LoveCapacity quiz is. That description is dead on. I am afraid to give him all of my love. He doesn’t know what to do with it. I could be more vulnerable if he wasn’t a momma’s boy.
Steven: Michael, your #LoveCapacity score was a 5. This means that you express love like a chameleon. Here is the definition of the #LoveCapacity Score of 5.
5 – Chameleon: If you do not know what you want, do not date. If you know what you want, don’t change what you want based on the person that you are dating. Your #LoveCapacity will expand when you gain more relationship discipline. (For example, not dating the hot guy or the hot girl when your heart craves someone more intellectual.) You need to put in the work of defining what you want out of a partner before jumping into a relationship.
Michael: That accurately describes me. I have been told that in the past that I am kind of hot and cold or that I am either off or on in past relationships.
Steven: There is an off and on in a relationship. There is no off switch or easy button in marriage. Days that you don’t bring you’re “A Game” are bad days. Not saying that you have to be perfect, just saying that you have to bring your effort. The #LoveCapacity quiz is merely level setting how you are currently receiving and providing love. I am not so concerned about one score being lower or higher. I am concerned about you accepting your score and helping you expand your capacity to love.
Steven: #LoveCapacity is about how big your container of love is. So Michael you are loving your wife the best you know and that’s not good enough. It’s not good enough because your observations and experiences mold how big your container of love is. The greatest tragedy to man is to have not witnessed a man love a woman when he was a boy. So Michael, your job is to reengage and re-learn your wife. How does she receive love? What is important to her? What are some of the things that she complains about that you can fix right now? Observe her. Improve your communication. Maybe it’s an additional phone call a day to ask how her day is going or an additional text expressing love. Loving her MORE in a way that she can receive and understand has to be important to you.
Steven: Nicole, if you would have taken this quiz three years ago before you guys got married, what would your score have been?
Nicole: Honestly Steven, I believe I would have scored a 10.
Steven: It’s common for women to start off their marriage with a #LoveCapacity score of 10. Women want to give all of their love to their man. The average woman craves and fantasizes about loving at the highest level. But then once the honeymoon is over and the wife finds out that the husband is not capable of loving her at the same level, the #LoveCapacity of the wife begins to shrink. You can’t stop loving the way that you know how Nicole. Get back to loving freely and unconditionally. I know it’s tough, but you have to understand, husbands learn the most about love from their wives. If you start putting out a B.S. love in return you will be given a B.S. love. Love is a gift that I believe God blesses women with innately. Meaning, I just think that women know how to love until a man messes them up. Don’t withhold your love. Consider returning to what your fantasy of love is and Michael will learn how to love from you, and ultimately you both will benefit. See you guys next week.
#DINAOP – The Divorce Is Not An Option Project
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