Archive for January, 2008

10 tips for building a marriage

After talking about the marriage course recently, I receive my E-letter from Care for the Family which included 10 tips for building a marriage. I thought they were spot on so I have included them below. Let me know your comments.

  1. You don’t have to feel loving in order to be loving.
  2. Love your husband/wife even when they don’t deserve it. None of us does all the time.
  3. Choose to treat your marriage partner with respect! Even when hurt or angry, at least be as polite as you would be to a neighbour or colleague. If you wouldn’t be rude to them, why should you be to your partner?
  4. Recognise that – just like you – your marriage partner sometimes needs somebody to comfort them. Give a them hug, a touch, a reassuring word or listening ear.
  5. Make a decision to listen to, and understand your husband/wife – before you expect them to listen to you.
  6. Remember, it’s not what you said, but what they think you said that is the issue. In a conflict, keep to the issue in hand.
  7. Resist the temptation to say “. . . and while we’re about it, another thing is . . .” It’s extremely difficult to resolve multiple issues at the same time.
  8. Help and support one another in the ‘little’ tasks of life.
  9. On sensitive issues, and during disagreements, feed back what you think your partner is saying or feeling – before you say what you think or feel about the matter.
  10. Appreciate your marriage partner. Be specific about what you like about them.

 (c) Care for the family

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Children, Computers and the Internet

I am continuallyWhen toy computers were good enough! amazed how well aquainted my children are with computers and the internet. Even my three year old Matthew can find his way round the CBeebies website without help. I now find I am fighting for “computer time” with my offspring. Our solution has been to link our computer to the TV in the lounge with a kids sign on with a few games already set up for them and a parents log on that is password protected. That way I can see exactly what they are doing and have control. For those of you with older children though, who will want to surf the web on their for homework etc, a little more thought is needed as we have all heard the horror stories from chat rooms let alone dodgy websites. With that in mind Care for the Family have produced a supplement on just this topic. .You can download it from this link  as a pdf document. and it is well worth a read. They give advice on facebook, as well as general internet safety. Again it’s one of those areas as parents it’s better to be forearmed and forwarned!

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“Marriage Time”

As an addicted reader of parenting books, I don’t think I have come across any that are any good that don’t mention the importance of prioritising your marriage relationship. Sometimes, however, that seems an impossible task amongst nappy changing, homework, cooking, housework and for many, holding down  a job. The problem then is you get your one date night out in 8 weeks and the last thing you want to do is bring up any problems or niggles that you have. So when do you bring up the fact that you are tired of picking up your husband’s socks from the middle of the lounge each morning? Or the fact you really think at aged 6 your son should now be sleeping in his own bed, not with your wife!

Something Dan and I found really helpful was doing a Marriage course. It lasts for 8 weeks and covers all sorts of subjects. We didn’t really have any problems and had always prided ourselves that we were great communicators. How wrong we were! It soon became apparent that neither of us were really good listeners! I was a terrible interrupter. I never listened until he has completely finished, butting in with my reply or finishing his sentences for him. Dan is a fixer. He would listen to my download of the day and then try to “fix” me or the situation. Often he wouldn’t listen to the whole story because he was too busy working out the solution! ( and often quoted the bible which was even more frustrating!!). The course actually gave us space to share that with one another and help improve things which has been great. It also helps you practice making time for your marriage each week as there is homework to do.

It will take some effort to clear the space to fit in an evening a week for 8 weeks and organise babysitters but it is well worth it. Your relationship with your spouse is core to the family unit and needs preserving. Check out the Marriage course website for more details and a list of churches that run the course close to you. Dan and I attended the one at Holy Trinity Brompton who are the producers of the course. There you get your own little table and private dinner which is lovely. They also run courses on single parenting and recovering from divorce or separation which you can find at the same link.

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