Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Commitment’

Laughter, Listening and Liking each other in Marriage

I posted something today on my facebook page about laughter and it got me thinking about marriage and laughter.  There are many reasons why a marriage fails – even those that start out with good intentions.  Oh sure, there are outside forces that hit you blindsided – we all know about those things – and finances (or lack of them) can also be a key contributor to failure.  But more than these I believe that at the very root of the issue is this:  Married couples forget to laugh. Now I’m not talking about the little chuckle you get from something funny one of your kids did today – or a funny email or status update on facebook from one of your friends – or even a great humorous story – I’m talking about laughing with each other – sharing a joke together – or a secret and poking fun at the other and finding it so funny!  When was the last time your spouse made you REALLY LAUGH? When was the last time – YOU were funny and not so serious?  Life is serious enough without adding to it – and sometimes you just need to take a ‘chill pill’ and just laugh.  Laugh at the absurd – laugh at the ridiculousness of your situation – laugh at the irony of life – enjoy your spouse and find something together to laugh at!  A healthy married couple smiles and laughs all the time.

Another reason marriages are in trouble is this: Married people forget how to listen. You’re so used to that person – after a while if they’re not saying anything worth listening to – we tune them out. It is an art form to learn how to listen well – but well worth it.  We were a marriage that had forgotten how to do this – I didn’t feel I had my husband’s full attention anymore – he had forgotten how to listen to me and meet my emotional needs.

Develop a healthy sense of humor with your spouse and listen to them – really listen. If you listen long enough – believe me – you will bond with them again – you’ll be able to share secrets and find that laughter too.  It will be there – decide that YOU will not wait for them – decide that you are going to turn your marriage around.  Get your ‘mischievousness’ on!  You will ignite something in your spouse – a passion that you forgot was ever there.

And finally – I think the reason that marriages are in trouble is this:  Somewhere along the way – you forgot to like your spouse. You say, “Oh – but you don’t understand – I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them” – You may even say that you ‘love’ them – in the traditional Christian way (of course) and if push comes to shove and they really tick you off and you’re at the end of your rope you might consider murder – but NOT divorce – NEVER!  You say, “Not me!   This would never happen to us!  But I don’t have to like them – I’m committed.” HOGWASH!!  You are setting yourself up for a failure with this attitude.  What if someone comes into your life that really likes you – admires you – and treats you like your spouse doesn’t? There’s a fine line between tolerance and indifference – don’t be foolish.  It happens all the time.

I like my husband.  I didn’t always feel this way.  Oh I suppose I got used to him – he is an excellent man in every way – good father – wonderful friend to many – but for me – I had forgotten to like him.  So like many of you out there – I had a choice to make.  Do I want to start over and learn how to like him again – find the laughter and the reason that I picked  him in the first place?  Can it be done?  We’re used to each other – but do I really like him?  It took many months of talking and really listening to each other to discover that we were solid as good friends – even if we hadn’t been married to each other.  We had to rediscover that again – we had to ‘date’ again to make that connection – and we DID!  And you can too.  I can honestly say now that I not only love Greg – and am committed – but I also like him.

I found this very cute and humorous video on marriage from the comedic and married team of Stiller and Meara – married over 50 years.  It’s adorable and has some great truths in it – they use laughter in their relationship and they have also found that they actually like one another after all the years together.

God Bless

A Modern Psalm… (via Cindy Holman’s Blog)

Written last year at this time – this Psalm is still applicable for me today. Enjoy!

I am here – waiting.

Lord I know you hear me.

Many times I cry out to you

I’ve seen your provision

I’ve seen You

I’ve seen people come and go in my life

Things you’ve allowed to touch me

Joy and happiness

Painful things that brought me to my knees

You’ve been there

You’re always there

How long Oh Lord?

How long is my mind confused?

And lost in this madness?

Come and surround me with your presence

So I can feel you

Breathe you in

And know That you a … Read More

via Cindy Holman’s Blog

9 Types of men you should never date (or marry) (via Eavesdropping in the Boys Club)

I recently ran across this article and have re-posted it so you can read it for yourself. This man’s blog is very interesting and he makes many good points about men and women. In this particular article he cites the 9 different types of men that women should never date – and  I added – never marry!  I really love articles from a man’s perspective – because no one knows men – and can get inside of their head – like another man!

There’s a reason why marriages last in a day and age when more than half do not. I have been married to my wonderful guy for 29 years in September. Why has it lasted? Are we just too stubborn to admit defeat?  Well we are stubborn – but not the kind you think.  Are we in “la la land’?  Sometimes.  Is it always blissful and happy?  Not always – but it’s always interesting. If it gets too dull and lacks spontaneity – we try to create some.

We believe that God blessed our marriage – but that it still is up to us to bring change and rejuvenation to our relationship. We don’t accept the ‘norm’ and the ‘contract’ of marriage – if that was all we had – I wouldn’t stay with him – ‘contract’ or not – and I was brought up in a Christian home where murder is okay – but not divorce. No – I stay with him because he is my best friend – the best husband and father in the world. He has proven his love for me many times – even when my own feelings changed.  Even when I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  And external circumstances blindsided me.  It was then that I truly had to evaluate for myself why I was staying with him.  What was marriage?  Do we just stay together even when we have changed?  Even when feelings for each other are altered by life and circumstance?  Because as a Christian I have always considered it wrong to leave?  All of these – and none of these.  I struggled to find the answers as we all do at some point in our lives – and there has to be something more that keeps people together than just a ‘commitment’ and a promise – which can be broken – and is broken everyday.  I had to have time to find the answers for myself of why I chose this incredible man.  And it took some time.  Life brings many changes to us – mid-life has its own set of issues and questions – and suddenly the mundane and ordinary did not look very appealing to me.  He stayed by me – listened to me – supported me – and tried to understand my tangled emotions. And we talked it out for months – me explaining – him listening – together we made a conscious effort to be new and improved partners in this thing called ‘marriage’.   He was willing to change – move forward in health – and be a better husband to me. And I observed how patient he was – his willingness to love me beyond my many questions.  I was not willing to settle for a ‘loveless’ or ‘passionless’ marriage.  Some are.  I’m not – plain and simple.  It’s easy for others to say, “it doesn’t matter how you feel – you made a promise and have a commitment”!  But for me – that’s not enough.  I will not settle for anything like that, ever.  It’s not in my nature to just ‘settle’ and resign myself that’s how it’s going to be.  I found that the change had to come from inside me. Happiness is a choice. And as we grasp a hold of that concept something takes over in our lives – joy!

Now I’m not going to tell you to get out of your miserable relationship that keeps you in bondage – if that’s the way you like it – or have resigned yourself to – but it’s not for me!  If people are miserable and not feeding good things into each other – or building each other up and bringing out the very best in each other – and are unwilling to make it work – or to keep it exciting and fresh – then you’d be better make a decision – and I hope it will be a decision to work on getting the ‘passion’ and ‘love’ back into the relationship – otherwise – get out.  Don’t stay in a ‘loveless’ relationship.  Do something about it!  Decide you’re going to find that joy deep within your self as you turn the thing around!  It’s there waiting for you.
I believe that there are men out there like my husband – kind and gentle – giving and gracious – but women settle every day for less.  Why do they do it?  For the excitement?  Maybe.  But excitement does not last.  But if that’s what she’s looking for – the signals to men will be very easy to read. I believe every woman needs to have very high standards and not compromise or try to ‘explain’ his bad behavior away. A man votes with his feet. You should be able to tell how he feels about you by what he is willing to do for you. You should be the most important person in his world – and he should desire to move heaven and earth to be with you – to protect you and hold on to you.
I want to encourage you today – don’t settle. Set your standards high!  Choose a man who will stand by you – not one who runs away at the first sign of conflict in the relationship – one that sticks in there for the long haul – no matter what.

God Bless!

Below is the article – enjoy!

9 Types of men you should never date I get really good letters from women from around the world and I do my best to answer them all. Sometimes I receive one and it inspires me to write a post on it. Last week I was written to by a 19-year-old girl from Russia whom asked me this question. “Are there certain types of men women should not date?” That was a very good question and after thinking about it for the last few days I decided to create a list for her. However, since I figured i … Read More

Hymn To The Fallen

This day is dedicated to the brave men and women of our country.  Thank you so much for serving and sacrificing yourselves to defend our freedom.  You will never be forgotten.  This video is dedicated to you.

The following is taken from “Saving Private Ryan” – and is my favorite.  Enjoy and God Bless our great country.

I Am Expectant

I was being deep and reflective this morning and posted something on my status update on facebook – something about “feeling a new expectancy” and feeling pretty good about it – when all of a sudden – facebook being what it is – a number of comments came through teasing me and asking if I was “PREGNANT”!!  I laughed at this and it became a joke that Greg and I have been having much fun with today to and from the gym where we both work out.  But being that as it may – I was keenly aware of how the word “expectant” has everyone always assuming that it means a woman is expecting a baby – or in other words, “pregnant”.  So I looked up the word and here is what it said:

Pregnant

adj.

  1. Carrying developing offspring within the body.
    1. Weighty or significant; full of meaning: a conversation occasionally punctuated by pregnant pauses.
    2. Of great or potentially great import, implication, or moment: “It was a politically pregnant time in Poland” (New York).
  2. Filled or fraught; replete: “This was, from the Party’s point of view, both deplorable in itself and pregnant with danger for the future” (Robert Conquest).
  3. Having a profusion of ideas; creative or inventive.
  4. Producing results; fruitful: a pregnant decision.

I like that there are different meanings for this GREAT word that describe so much!  But it is also a complicated word – and you don’t just go throwing it around in a sentence.  I can’t imagine, for instance – using it in a sentence when teaching my Junior High theater students, “Oh Monica – I see you are pregnant with great ideas!!  Let’s see if we can make that happen!”  Can  you just imagine the looks and laughter I would get?  And yet – to be “pregnant” is an adjective and has such great depth of meaning.  It is highly overlooked because of the bias surrounding it.

I also looked up “expectant” – the word I used this morning on my status update.  Here is the definition:

Expectant

adj.

  1. Having or marked by expectation: an expectant look; an expectant hush.
  2. Pregnant: expectant mothers.

Now I really like this.  Have you ever experienced “an expectant hush’?  I know I have!  That is what I am feeling today.  It is a feeling that there are AWESOME things ahead – and somehow over the last year – I have lost sight of that.  I have some great friends in my life right now that are reminding me of this fact.  I am in daily communication with them as we encourage each other and keep each other grounded and full of expectancy and lots of love and laughter!

I challenge you today to be “open” to receive some “expectancy” in your own life.  Allow others to speak to you words of hope and wisdom.  Be open to love in ways you never thought possible as you give away some love to others today.  There’s nothing better for you – nothing healthier than a kind loving word between friends and nothing else that will make your heart “pregnant” with new ideas and challenges – as you spur someone else on – in love!  Two hearts that carry a heavy load are always better than one.  Find some laughter to help lift that load today.

God Bless

Making Marriage Better

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:3

Today Greg and I were having one of our “discussions” in the “talking room” over coffee. We were discussing a very heavy topic – “Christ and the Church” which led to the topic of how it says in the Bible that “marriage” is to be a model of that concept. However – it is a poor example – especially in light of all the bad marriages in our world today. It would be like trying to explain how God is like our “loving Father” to someone who has been abused by her earthly Dad.

But I believe this is a “picture” – just a glimpse, if you will – of how God intended for marriage to be – even though we are imperfect and fail at His model – over and over again. Why do we fail at it? Because we are flawed human beings – everyone of us at the core is selfish and wanting our own way. Our hearts are incredibly wicked – holding in them, secrets that pull us in directions that are in direct contradiction to what was intended for us. We are “prone to wander” – and we do.

Because of this selfish, willful nature – we become imperfect mates to our spouse and vise versa. It goes against our nature to “submit” – or put our own desires aside and prefer our mate’s desires and wishes – over our own.

We have all seen this happen – either in our own relationship – or in someone close to us. Feelings are marginalized. People are not validated. A marriage that may have started out full of life and passion – loses something over time – feelings change – life happens – people grow apart doomed to lead very separate lives. Lifeless, dry and empty. We have all heard the saying if we have been Christ followers all of our lives – “we don’t believe in divorce – MURDER yes!! But not DIVORCE!” And life continues on that “happy” note – lives of “quiet desperation” – seeking fulfillment and understanding from somewhere else – or from someone else – people of like minds – who validate us and encourage us in our daily journey to try and understand the life that has been “tossed” at us – and the “feeling” that may have changed for one reason or another.

But to “regard others as more important than yourselves” takes an act of my will. A daily discipline of my heart and mind. It means I still may want to have my own way – even hold things in my heart as a “secret” – but still – I will honor you – because I value you. I will even try to let go of those things that I want – and concentrate on loving you in the best way I can demonstrate it. And the “secret” things that I hold onto – the things I “stuff” so that you won’t see them – in time will not have as much of a hold on me anymore. And in time – by leading my heart – I will be able to let go of it entirely.

Ephesians 5:21,22

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

This is such a key scripture. We do it because we reverence Christ – not because we always feel like it. And in doing so – we become more like that model that He originally set up for us. Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her – how much more should we be willing to at least make an attempt at it?

Now do marriages fail in spite of this great principle? Yes. Usually because people lose sight of this model – are simply unwilling to submit to one another and give themselves – all of themselves – heart and mind in preference of the other. In those cases – there is usually no hope for that couple. And they usually live in a “cold war” situation – leading very separate lives – finding fulfillment elsewhere – or leaving the marriage entirely.

I want to challenge you today – just like you must be willing to be a friend in order to have friends – you must also be willing to prefer your mate over your own desires. It does not mean that you will hit the mark every time – that is impossible because we are human – but if our hearts are right – and we make the attempt to value that person in our lives – be the very best mate that we can be – then this is a start to making a better relationship – and a better marriage. Learn your mate’s “love language” and speak it to them every day. You will see a turn around very quickly in your own heart and attitude as you “serve” the other person in love – and you will find a sweet surprise of your own – that what you give away – will soon come back to you. And you will be blessed.

Have an AWESOME day – as you prefer one another.

God Bless

This Woman’s Work

Sung tonight by Michael Lynche on American Idol – a beautiful version of this song as originally sung by Kate Bush in “She’s having a baby” – a great movie about a young married couple having their first baby.  There is a very poignant scene in the movie where the young husband (Kevin Bacon) thinks he is going to lose both his young wife and baby while she is in labor – and this song is sung in the background as he is in the waiting room of the hospital – reliving his life with her.  It is very moving – and well worth seeing.  Here is the AWESOME version of this song by Maxwell.  Enjoy!

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