Thursday, 5 September 2013

Does Your Marriage Have a Barometer?

In their book The Marriage App Paul and Virginia Friesen suggest that couples would do well to have a way of assessing how they are doing as a couple.  They share their own personal example in the following:

Virginia and I find that how we take critique from each other is a barometer of our marriage.  When we are doing well and I am feeling respected by Virginia, she can critique me and I welcome it.  When we are not doing well, however, she could tell me something as simple as (You have a piece of lettuce in your teeth) and I would snap, “Why do you always have to be so negative?”


I think this is a powerful habit to incorporate into your marriage.  In fact you may want to have several barometers that provide feedback as to how well things are going between the two of you.  My wife came up with a really good one for us – are we laughing a lot.  Neither my wife nor I are big on telling jokes however we find a great deal of humor in everyday life.   If we look back over the course of a week and realize that we had very few laughs we need to ask ourselves “what’s going on?”  Perhaps we are taking ourselves too seriously or getting caught up in the busyness of life and neglecting our relationship.

I would encourage you to sit down with your husband/wife and come up with tangible indicators that could be used to assess how you are doing as a couple.  One of the most obvious barometers is what’s happening in the bedroom and/or other indications of intimacy and affection.  Are you kissing as much as you do when things are going well?  Do you hold
hands, hug or give each other shoulder massages as frequently as you do when you are feeling close. Perhaps when things are going well you pray together or read to each other but when tension or busyness set in those practices get ignored.

 Once you identify your barometers determine how frequently you will check them and who has the responsibility.  If you have more than one barometer perhaps you would divide the responsibility so that each of you is accountable to the other for keeping your marriage vital.


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