Time management, Communication and Problem Solving Skills are three skills we are not born with, but critical in terms of success in marriage. Managing time with and without our partner, ensuring timely and open communication and pragmatic approaches to solving problems with our partner are areas that we need to develop together to ensure our marriage is sustained for the long term.
All Relationships including those with your spouse and children (and others) tend towards entropy, disorder and dissolution. Marriage and divorces can be disastrous for those concerned, especially for children. Being intentional and principle centred can revitalise and enrich your marriage, ensuring your marriage is sustained and endures.
Adapted from the late Stephen R. Coveys book, Principle Centred Leadership, the following 8 ways to Enrich Marriage and Family Relationships provides a guide to principles that are important to marriage. Each principle requires reflection, discussion and action.
These eight principles help to make marriage last:
Principle 6 – Refined 3 vital skills: Time management, Communication and Problem Solving Skills:
- 1. Time Management: Successful couples have a plan for time with and time away from their partner. They have an honest and regular look at short and long-term plans and progress to plan. They know what they need to achieve, they know what each other is doing and they understand that they may need to adjust their behaviour or strategy to ensure that they reach their goals.
- They chunk down the larger tasks to smaller, more achievable items and this keeps them motivated from start to finish, because they can see progress. They build in time for contingencies and they learn from experience.
2. Communication: Communication is the answer to a successful marriage – but you already knew that! Whilst the absence of communication may be a leading cause of divorce, fulfilling your wedding vows is easier if your marriage is based on open communication. Learning to communicate well with your partner and often is not as easy as it sounds, but it can help resolve problems before they start to affect your marriage.
3. Problem Solving: Couples that are compassionate and share recognition and power are good at solving problems. Whilst challenging, they resist criticism and contempt. They are rarely defensive and never stonewall the other.
Drop the usual win-lose mentality and think abundance for both you and your partner – cooperate for mutual long-term benefit. Choose the positive response and imagine hope and faith. Learn from experiences and be open to changing you position and attitude… discover the better way and the intimacy that it creates.
Imagine a relationship where both are equal and can make suggestions. Listen to your partners comments and desires. Be direct and express your needs clearly – when you need space, say so. If ever your point of view is different to your partner, they try to understand and then aim to reach a reasonable compromise.
Manage your time, talk about plans and goals regularly. Communicate effectively with your partner, developing the habit of listening carefully and really understanding your partner BEFORE giving your thoughts. Its about seeing how your partner sees the world – through their heart and mind. Listening with empathy and have the courage to really stop and listen, to consider, to restrain, respect and act with reverence.
These principles can bring immense intimacy and love to your marriage. Refined these 3 vital skills: Time management, Communication and Problem Solving Skills. Reflect, discuss and act on these with your partner today.
Principle seven, next week…
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The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.
The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.
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