Bishop TD Jakes Marriage Tips

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What is the biggest mistake young couples make when first married?
Young couples can get swept up in the euphoria of romantic love without ever realizing that love ebbs and flows through the seasons and stages of life.
‣ The giddiness of new love can easily mask the fact that the bride and groom don’t really know one another when they take their vows.
‣ Many young couples spend more time planning the trousseau, honeymoon and matrimonial ceremonies than they do contemplating what “til death do us part” really means.

They say their “I dos” without ever asking the hard questions
‣ like whether they are compatible financially, if they have the same outlook on life, common goals, or whether they are equally yoked spiritually.
‣ When they come down from their bliss they can become disillusioned and discouraged by the desolate state of their union if they don’t learn to navigate the twists and turns that a marital love can take.

What are a few things that would save many marriages that appear to be failing?
Young couples can get swept up in the euphoria of romantic love without ever realizing that love ebbs and flows through the seasons and stages of life.
Marriages can fail for any number of reasons, from lack of attention to lack of skill.

Unrealistic expectations
‣ Sometimes individuals place unreasonably high expectations on their partners.
‣ They want their mate to “complete them,” to be their “best friend,” “their everything” — which is a heavy burden to place on a partnership.
‣ The only place where two halves make a whole is in geometry.
‣ Marriage requires two whole individuals to become one.

Too many cooks in the kitchen
‣ There is such a thing as the sanctity of marriage.
‣ When couples allow outside forces to shape their values, and opinions of their marriage they place themselves in jeopardy.
‣ Don’t let other people design a marriage that you can’t live with.

If you think about divorce, does that indicate your marriage is in trouble?
In the face of any impending disaster, the experts will always tell you to identify the exits. Whether you are on an airplane, in a restaurant, tall building, parking lot or open arena, the way out is always clearly marked. In marriage, there will always be an exit ramp. One actively chooses to stay on the highway and to steady the course.

However, if one partner threatens the dissolution of a marriage as a manipulative ploy, the exit ramp may be closer than one imagines.

When a fight starts, what should each spouse do to keep it from escalating?
Reflective listening is one technique that marriage counselors teach married couples as a means of not only resolving the issue at hand, but as a way of really listening to hear what their partner is saying. By repeating what you heard, you learn to listen with intention of understanding in lieu of lining up your next retort, the next zinger.

Your partner then grades the retort, with 10 being a perfect score. The partners work back and forth until clarity is reached. At that point, the listening partner asks, “What is your wish?” The receiving partner then offers a clearly defined deliverable. Taking turns, the couple learns to resolve issues without escalating.

What must you “let go” in order to have a successful marriage?
Unforgiveness is the cancer that will destroy any marriage.

What misconception do men have about marriage?
Men can believe that the lovely gal they proposed to is the same woman they married and built a home with. Women go through changes and shift from the sassy girlfriend to stately mother without missing a beat.

What misconception do women have about marriage?
Women foolishly believe that they can change a man. Men are basic. What you see is what you get.

Should marriage always be hard work? Should we always have to work at it?
Like a garden, marriage requires constant upkeep and maintenance.
Tilling the ground may be hard work in the spring, but breaking up the fallow ground allows you to get rid of the accumulating weeds and turn over old soil six to eight inches beneath the surface, so that fresh earth is allowed to come to the top to breathe which enables you to replenish the nutrients depleted in winter so that new vegetables and flowers can flourish. In the summer, only watering is required and fall is harvest time.

Why do silly fights (e.g., the toilet seat) sometimes turn into huge fights?
Sometimes small matters mask bigger issues.
You have to get to what’s really eating you. Other times different things have different meanings to each partner. For example, an upright toilet seat for a woman may be a sign of disrespect. She may feel that her man doesn’t care if she falls in in the middle of the night. For a man, it may be a matter of convenience or ease of use – the way nature intended.

Why do couples fight about the same things over and over? Why are they so hard to resolve?
Experts say that nearly every marriage goes through a power struggle. Sometimes ongoing fights are a sign of that battle for supremacy. Ongoing fights are a signal that the couple has not gotten to the heart of the matter and pulled it up by its root.

Marriage expert Harville Hendrix, PhD says that “conflict is growth trying to happen.” Healthy tension is a natural part of the maturation process. Couples need to find healthy ways to resolve those ongoing vexations in order to thrive and grow.

What is your message to newlyweds or young couples? What must they do now in order to have a long successful marriage?
To young unmarried couples.
You can’t build well with poor material. Too many young people select the wrong partners. We live in an era where we peruse CARFAX® before purchasing a used automobile and submit to a myriad of inspections before buying a home, and yet rush to judgment when selecting a life partner. It makes no sense.

Slow down to observe character over time.
As scriptures say, “you will know a tree by its fruit.” Look carefully at family dynamics of the future in laws. How do they relate to one another, treat others? Do they have high emotional intelligence, do they resolve conflicts peaceably?

Discover the future partner’s value system
Philosophy about money, debt to income ratio. Do you agree on children and how to raise them? Are you on the same page spiritually? Do you like the same things, do you have good chemistry – do you like each other? The old carpenters used to say, “measure twice, cut once” to mean make doubly sure before you commit.

Which tips are most helpful to you?

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