Marriage Moments will include questions and/or exercises to start conversations. They will provide an an opportunity to know yourself and your partner better. Check in with your LifeMate to see if this is a good time for them to answer these questions. If it is not a convenient time schedule a later time that would work for both of you. When you are the listener, show up with an interested and curious attitude. Be careful not to interrupt. After one of you has answered the questions, turn the tables and give the other partner their chance.
Have fun getting to know each other better!
There is only one way to free my partner in our marriage. When we set limits on ourselves, we create a relationship in which our mate can become free to choose and grow. When we set them free to be themselves, we limit some of our “natural” tendencies.
What are the things that you do that remove your mate’s freedom? Let’s list a few that are often used in relationship. Can you find yourself anywhere on this list?
• Complying to seek approval
• Playing God
• Denying the truth about my own shortcomings
• Distancing from my mate and breaking emotional connection
• Not following through on my areas of responsibility
• Refusing to hear or accept a “no”
• Lacking compassion and empathy for my mate’s reality?
• Judging my mate
• Shaming and punishing my mate’s poor choice
• Not honoring my mate’s right to disagree
• Pushing my mate to change his/her mind
• Using guilt or shame on my spouse?
• Using sarcasm
• Using threats
• Using active or passive anger to attempt to control my spouse
• Using physical abuse
• Using verbal abuse
• Stonewalling my mate and shutting down when I don’t hear what I want to hear
All the questions and choices on the list that you have just read are attempts to take away our mate’s freedom. Circle the ones that you recognize to be true of you.
Choose one action that you are going to ask the Lord to help you stop doing. Tell your mate that you are willing to be willing to work on this item. Give your mate permission to tell you if you stumble into that choice again. Promise that there will be no negative consequences to your mate if they speak up. All you will say is “Thanks for making me aware of that.”