Building Strong Marriages
A Look into Our Marriage
My husband Michael and I will be celebrating ten whole years of marriage on the sixth of June this year!! We have three beautiful children together- Brady, Charlee, and Blaine. Blaine, our youngest, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy last year. This automatically throws us into the category of “Parents of a special needs child”. Although if you saw Blaine, you would have no idea. That is, of course, unless you were around long enough to see one of his epic meltdowns.
When the Going Gets Tough
“The greatest gift you can give your child[ren] is a strong relationship between the two of you.” -John Gottman, PhD
The Ingredients to A Happy, Life-Long Marriage
- Strengthen and maintain your friendship.
- Manage conflict well.
*Source: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
Do Small Things Often
Commit to spending time together every day (or as often as possible)— (20 minutes a day with no phones/distractions).
Find time for each other.
Build up a surplus in each other’s “emotional bank account”.
Remember that some things never change…try to take a step back and understand the other person’s perspective.
Focus on the positive (and communicate/share/positive reinforcement).
Treat your partner like you would a guest.
Don’t hack at your boat in a storm.
If you are too busy to work on your marriage, then you are TOO busy!
“The advice I give to couples who sail into a storm and are fighting is: Don’t hack at your boat in a storm. If you are in the middle of a crisis, don’t take the very support you have and start whacking at it, because that is dumb. You should love, nurture, and care for that other person or you are not going to make it through the storm.”-Parent of three children with disabilities
The Characteristics of A Happy, Thriving Couple
They prioritize and protect their marriage.
They don’t assume that they have to put 100% of themselves into their children. (I don’t think kids thrive when we put everything into them.)
They see each other as more than just parents.
They take time to connect each day.
They regularly have dates and vacations without the children — without guilt.
*Source: Today’s Parent
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work—John Gottman
Love Sense—Sue Johnson
The 5 Love Languages—Gary Chapman
Divorce Busting—Michele Weiner-Davis
Married with Special-Needs Children—Laura Marshak
Rise Together Podcast with Rachel & Dave Hollis
PS- Find yourself a partner who not only wants to be present for the happy times but also everything in between. Choose to be with someone who won’t walk away when things get hard, but instead rolls their sleeves up alongside you to work it all out as you endure tough times together.