title bp marriage

"Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener!"

OK, let's fix that partner of yours so your marriage will be better. Ready? Here's how you fix your partner: Fix yourself. Now hold on...stay with me. This will be painless and quite liberating, I promise.

Let's start with a quick question: What is your partner's love language? Specifically how and when does your partner feel most loved?

If you're not sure, then that gives us a great place to start.

At the root of every bad to mediocre marriage is a partner who doesn't feel loved and appreciated. This also applies to every other relationship in your world. What do your kids need most? To feel loved and to feel like they matter. Your employees? Sure they want a big paycheck, but what they want most is to feel appreciated for what they do and for who they are. We all want to feel valued.

If you don't know your partner's love language, then put on your to-do list to pick up Gary Chapman's "Five Love Languages". Become a student of your partner.

"But I'm the one who doesn't feel loved!"

I hear you. When I was in the landscaping business, how do you reckon we got rid of those big ugly clumps of crabgrass weeds growing in the turf? We ignored them! We just focused on feeding the grass turf, and then those weeds were eventually and naturally choked out by the healthy grass.

Let's not dissect and pontificate and analyze your relationship right now. You're going to find that the answers to most of your relationship issues will emerge when you simply get back to the basics. Trust me on this one.

No matter what's happened, no matter how far gone your marriage might be, no matter who did what, start HERE. Be the partner that your partner deserves. Stop trying so hard to make them a better lover and get busy making yourself one. Life's a boomerang. What you put out comes back to you. Be that change that you want to see in your marriage.

Just do it, and ask God to bless your intentions with favor. You'll begin witnessing miracles as you set aside your ego-based agenda and put love into action.

Here's a roadblock that keeps most of us stuck in neutral whenever there's an issue. It's our ineptness in speaking our truth. Let me explain.

Rewind back to 20 years ago. My wife burst into my office at midnight. She was obviously irritated with my late schedule, and understandably so.

As she slung open the door to my study, she howled, "You work too much"!

 I turned around and, with an annoyed tone spurted right back at her, "Why don't you turn around, go out, then try that again? Only this time tell me the truth." Now guys, let me inject something here. Don't do what I did. Never fight back at a woman scorned!

Nonetheless, I fired back at her. "Why don't you come back in and tell me that you miss me rather than telling me what I'm doing wrong?"

Good point. Bad delivery.

At that point in our marriage, the word "graceful" was no longer a part of our conversations. Can you relate? But what I had suggested to her spoke volumes. It dawned on me how our opinions can inject such toxicity into a conversation. "You work too much" and "I miss you" are coming from the same place of upset. But one delivers that message from anger, and one from love. And delivery has everything to do with effectiveness. Am I right?

The end package is either from your Opinion or your Truth. My opinion tells you what you need to do (bad idea), while my truth tells you about my experience and my need.

Her opinion was that I work too much. Her truth was that she misses me.

Now you and I can debate till the cows come home what's right and what's wrong, what's justified and what's not. But the bottom line is, your spoken truth brings healing, your spoken opinion often brings contention, hurt and eventual isolation.

Here's the million-dollar question I'll give you at no charge. But you owe me a beer on this one, OK?

Preface every interaction you have with your partner with this question: "Is what I'm about to do or say going to bring me what I truly want?" Now, if you don't know what you want, then we need to take you all the way back to first base. But here's your hint. Some of the things you want are connection, love, peace, healthy marriage and happiness. That's what we all want. And spouting your opinion has been blocking you from having these beautiful things.

Here are the key differences between your opinion and  your truth:

  • Your opinion is ego-based, your truth is from humility.

  • Your opinion wants to win,  your truth wants to restore.

  • Your opinion is typically about "them", your truth is about yourself.

  • Your opinion reports what they did or said, your truth shares how and what you feel.

  • Your opinion wants to win, your truth wants to resolve.

  • Your opinion can lead to discourse and division while your truth leads to reconciliation.

  • Your opinion is self-serving, your truth seeks connection and to serve.

  • Your opinion evokes a reaction (debate) while your truth invites a response (understanding).

This is something they forgot to teach us in school, and yet it's at the core of so many of our relationship issues. Whenever I couple-counsel, 90% of what I do is to simply ensure that the dialogue stays on truth and off of opinion.

My mama used to tell me that anything can be solved with good communication. She was right. And I'm convinced that, at the base of any effective communication is the recognition of this critical truth vs. opinion concept. So start monitoring your words and practice speaking your truth. I promise, the truth truly will set you and your relationship free.

I suggest you start here...

You're here for a reason. Let's not dilly dally. Life is too short for such gobbledygook. Click here and Rob will get you started.