This week’s podcast and email is on Resilience in Marriage. Again if you would rather listen and download this to your phone, scroll down to the bottom and you can download to your phone and listen while you clean, run or drive!
Last week we talked about teaching resilience to your kids and the things you could do daily to do this. If you want to know how you as a mother can help your children be resilient go to last weeks podcast titled How to teach resilience to your kids or scroll down to the bottom of this article to find a link.
I want to continue this week on the resilience topic.
I feel this is an important topic that helps you to dig deep and grow through difficult times to make you a more happy and successful individual.
The Importance of Resilience in Marriage
In the book The Resilience Breakthrough I mentioned last week, Christian Moore shares a story about when it took everything inside of him to not fight back and by not fighting back his resilience grew.
You might ask how in the world does this have to do with marriage…hang on! This is some great stuff.
Christian was working as a counselor in a group home with some pretty rough kids. One day Christian was in charge of making sure everyone cleaned and vacuumed their room and if they did they got to go bowling. Everyone eagerly did so except one boy who spent his time swearing and insulting Christian. Christian pulled the van around and everyone got in the van while Christian was trying to get this boy to finish up because he was holding everyone else up.
As Christian was facing the van the boys in the van screamed at him to turn around. As he turned this young man was coming at him with a bat, but didn’t get what he expected. This young man made that terrible noise just before he spit on Christians face (UGH! I can’t even imagine).
As the spit was running down Christian’s face he was boiling inside. He describes feeling so much anger throughout his body especially as it hit his lip. Lots of things were going on inside his head, but this is when he flipped the switch.
(If you remember from last week, flipping the switch is when you make a conscious decision to change.)
Christian flipped the switch and as he wiped the spit off of his face he validated what this young man just did. He calmly talked with him which was not what the boy was expecting and as a result the young man called him weak and a sissy!
What Christian said next is what I find so important. He said if 100 people were standing in a line and you spit on them all of them, 99 of them would probably punch you back. That one person that doesn’t is 10 times stronger than all the rest!
It’s easy to fight back!
It doesn’t take any strength or back bone to fight back.
Its human nature to protect yourself and fight back.
IF YOU ALWAYS HIT BACK YOU HAVE NO FUTURE!!
This taught this young man something that day and his attitude changed from that day on. This is what resilience is all about. It is doing something hard that will ultimately make you stronger. Now let’s tie in marriage into all of this. I want to give two examples of two different marriages.
You have been married for 15 years, and over the last couple years have been very rocky! When you talk with each other it ends up in an argument. It feels like you are roommates rather than a married couple. A person has 2 options in this scenario. You can choose to be resilient or not.
If you are not resilient you may continue down the road you have been going. You stop trying to make your marriage work and get further and further apart. Divorce is always an option on your horizon.
Now if you are resilient you look at this situation and ask yourself what has happened to your marriage? When did we start drifting apart and what am I going to do about it? You start taking all of this hurt and begin turning that energy into service towards your spouse. You begin talking and listening and most of all you never give up knowing your marriage is the most important relationship you have.
The difference between the two examples above deals with the ability to “flip the switch”. It’s doing something hard in order for something else to grow. Here is an example on flipping the switch.
During the first year of my marriage I remember a time that I was so upset at something my husband had done. I didn’t want to talk to him and I was sure he was the one at fault and I was prepared to give him the silent treatment until he apologized! My husband was in the living room and I was sitting on my bed in our little one room apartment. As I was sitting there I looked up on the wall and saw a poem I had there and started reading it.
It’s by Christian D Larsen:
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”
Once I read this poem I decided to “flip the switch”!
A that moment I didn’t care whose fault it was! I didn’t care who needed to apologize first and realized I was capable of helping this situation. I apologized for my mistakes, which he then quickly apologized and then all was well! It doesn’t always go this smoothly, and there are times your resilience isn’t reciprocated. That is ok! You will be the better one for it.
That my friends is what is called, “flipping the switch!”
A strong marriage requires work everyday, and each time you “flip that switch” your marriage gets stronger.
I want you to ask yourself what is the most important thing to you in your life and how are you treating that most important thing? I find it ironic that the most important people in our lives are often the ones we don’t treat the best. There are times I talk down to my kids, but I would never do that to other kids.
There are times when I don’t pay attention to my husband as much as I should, but that is where my heart and soul should be going to.
If you focus on your marriage and spending time with your husband, your family will be strengthened because you two are the core of your family and your kids will see that!
If you would like a FREE PRINTABLE on the poem above to put on your mirror you can find it here. Promise Yourself Printable
Last weeks podcast on 9 Ways to Teach Resilience to Kids