Romance


Do you know what makes you happy? Do you know what makes your spouse happy? My husband and I attended a couples seminar yesterday, sponsored by our church. The speaker was a man named Mark Gungor.  The title of the seminar was “Laugh Your Way” to a Better Marriage and he was hilarious. My husband and I have been intentional about attending couple’s seminars whenever we can, because it keeps our relationship fresh. It is like hitting the reset button in our marriage. It is a reminder to do the things we need to do, to make our marriage happy, and not do the things that make it unhappy. Mark reminded us that if we are living a life that gives us purpose and meaning, we will be happy.  It is also important for us to know what makes our spouse happy. If we do not, we cannot be supportive of what their dreams are.  By knowing our spouse’s dreams, it gives us insight on why they do the things they do.  It may not make sense to us, but it does to them.  I always say, “Knowledge is Power” and the more we know about our spouse, the more we understand what makes them happy. Do you know what makes your spouse happy? Mark Gungor, has a “Flag Page” on his web site, www.flagpage.com, that allows you to see what you are good at and what words you need to hear from your spouse that will make you happy. There are 56 positive traits that you can choose from, that most describe who you are. It was fun to do and it was accurate on describing me. If you would like to check out Mark Gungor’s Flag Page and discover what makes you happy in your life and also your spouse’s, go to www.flagpage.com.  It will be a lot of fun. Do it together. Vickie Parker,...

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Tomorrow my husband and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. Through those years, we have had some really great times and some really bad times. We raised three children and they have been such a joy for us.  They have given us eleven grand children and we love them all.  They range from 2 months to 23 years old. We have moved twelve times and had numerous jobs. We have been without and we have had abundance.  We lost our retirement during the recession and will probably have to work until we die. We have been blessed with good health and we love to bike on the weekends and enjoy the outdoors. We spend time together and  find things we like to do together. God has always been a big part of our lives and we would not be together today if it was not for Him. We have had two years of counseling to help us work through our stuff and figure out how to adapt and accept each other. We have both changed and grown in a positive direction. This last weekend we went to a couples retreat with 7 other great couples and had a wonderful time. We all had a chance to tell our stories of how we met and we laughed as each story was unique and special. I would say that we all bonded before the weekend was over. We went Geocaching one afternoon and took a walk to some beautiful falls on the McCloud River one morning. Staying connected to others has been a vital part in keeping our relationship on track. Couples that isolate themselves have a higher rate of divorce, because they do not have anyone to help them when times are tough and we all experience hard times.  We need people to reach out to and to reach out to us. Staying in love is a choice and in order to do that we need to always turn toward our spouses emotionally even when we do not feel like it.  If we do not, walls get built up and we turn toward other things and people to meet our needs for love and validation. Being married is hard work, but the rewards of doing the work and putting our own ego aside and thinking about the other person helps the relationship stay healthy and safe.  We are responsible for building the safety in our relationship and what we say and what we do when times are hard has a huge impact on how the other person responds to us. We need to be kind and thoughtful and guard our...

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A question that comes up often in counseling is “Can I be happy with the person I love if I do not feel sexually attracted to them?”  The Greek word for sexual love is “Eros” and that kind of love is based on feelings.  We all remember what our first crush was like and all the feelings that were going on in our bodies.  It was pretty exciting.  The problem with that is, that kind of love is dependent on feelings.  What happens when that goes away and our spouse is no longer attractive to us?  What is left? Another form of love is  “Agape” love. It is the kind of love we show someone even when they do not deserve it.  We love them because of who we are, not for who they are.  It is a kind of selfless love. Agape love is not given out of how we feel, but given out of our will.  It is sacrificial, like the love that Jesus has for us.  When we were still sinners, He died for us; Romans 5:8. It is an action type of love. The third form of love is “Phileo” love.  This type of love is the kind we have for our closest friends.  When we say my spouse is my closest friend then we love them with Phileo love. You love them with a strong emotional connection.  You can show #Agape love to your enemies, but you cannot love them with Phileo love. When we love our friends with Phileo love we will stick by them through the hardest of times. The fourth kind of love is called #“Storge” love and it is the kind of love between a parent and child, siblings and hopefully between husband and wife.  It is a deep love that connects family and gets us through the tough times.  That is why when there is strife in a family, it is so destructive.  It tears us apart emotionally and we can have feelings of betrayal, abandonment and rejection.  It can affect our entire life.  When children do not get the proper nurturing from their parents and are abandoned at a young age it can affect the way they see relationships for the rest of their lives.  Recognizing it and getting help can heal the deep wounds. Being physically attracted to your spouse with “Eros” love is great, but that is not what is going to keep you together when the tough times come.  A much deeper love is needed for a successful relationship and that takes time to develop and foster. That is why it is so important to make...

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