Hi, I’m Shawn Maguire and this is the news and OKC Christian marriage counseling, that live podcast, a place where we help you to discover what better looks like for you and equip you with the tools to create it. Well, today on episode number 41 we’re going to be talking about four keys to amazing communication and marriage and really it’s the four keys to unlocking amazing communication in marriage. You see, I know so many people come into marriage with all of these false expectations of how their spouse should act and a misunderstanding or really lack of understanding of how they act, of the way that they communicate to the other person. I know that for me this was profoundly huge starting out because I identified my wife as the problem and I’m going to help you if you’re willing to listen and this will be a great podcast to take notes on, and if you’re not able to take notes cause you’re driving or exercising, no worries.

Just go back and listen to it again when you have some opportunity to write things down. Well, the first element is really before we jump into the keys, it’s thinking about what, what comprises what makes up a great marriage. You know, they’re doing OKC Christian marriage counseling and individual counseling and Christian counseling for over 25 years and the Edmond, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and really even in Florida and Tulsa area, I’ve discovered that the best way to start a marriage is to become a champion of that person that you’re married to. Or the best way to have a great relationship is to really champion the cause and the identity of that person. So you have goodwill, you’re intentions are positive and good, always faith filled and loving. Even if that person acts in a way that you don’t like because you’re a champion for them, you can absorb through grace the way they’re acting.

Now again, this, this before the majority of you. Now, if you’re in an abusive relationship, this mostly will not apply to a lot of what you’re going through. Some of it is very applicable and your best move is to reach out to get professional help today. So the first key is to value the difference, value the differences in your relationship. You know, so many times we’re taught to settle for tolerance, be tolerant of this, be tolerant of that. The problem with tolerance is we never really go beyond tolerating it. We just tolerate the way people act. And in marriage, tolerance can become an irritant. Irritants can become a cancer and cancer can kill the marriage. Now, don’t settle for tolerance. You know, in OKC Christian marriage counseling, I always move to help people go beyond tolerance, to acceptance, to valuing, to enjoy it. And when you do that, you have a different kind of relationship.

Do you have a different kind of a marriage? And if you stay with tolerance, the best you can ever do is to go through different phases of becoming irritable, less irritable, more irritable. And that’s just not a great way to live. It’s not a great way to do relationships. And I don’t think your kids want to grow up in a home that their highest ideal is to tolerate the differences between you and your spouse. So let’s move be on tolerance. You know, when I first got married, I thought my wife was defective in so many ways because of the way that she was raised. I didn’t realize at the time, even though I had read all these books to become a marriage counselor, even though I had been around a lot of OKC Christian marriage counseling and Oklahoma City, Edmond and all the different places that I’ve counseled, I still, when it becomes a personal issue, missed, missed so many different areas and I thought that her introversion was something that needed to be fixed and I didn’t value the way that she brought the difference of being more quiet, less outgoing and public.

Now one on one, she’s fantastic. But when we, we would go to restaurants, we would go out on vacation or go to these places to go fishing and I would be social butterfly and I would go from person to person and really just engage and enjoy. She would shut down. And even in our individual conversations she would say, no, I really didn’t feel valued because you are engaging with these people or that embarrassed me when you were laughing and making jokes and really just being the center of attention in which my goal wasn’t to be the center of attention. I love to celebrate people and I feel like that’s part of my calling. Well it, it is for somebody like my wife who spent so much time not wanting to be in the spotlight because she wasn’t proud of kind of the way that she was raised or her past, or maybe the insecurities were exposed or maybe the other part that is just something that is healthy is people drain her one on one.

She can grow and, and it’s, it’s healthy and she recharges when she’s by herself. But people can be a drain even though it’s, it can be a healthy thing. And I didn’t celebrate that. I didn’t value that at the beginning of our marriage. And so a lot of our arguments and passionate fellowship was over this very issue. And then for her, she thought I was broke. She thought I was just wanting to be the center of attention and I was selfish and the reality is early in our marriage, part of that was true. I didn’t want to be the center of attention. I was a lot more selfish and, but then the other part of it was I just enjoy people and all different way than she did. So we took time to get to know each other and the process and that allowed us the opportunity to go deeper into our relationship.

And you know, we’re starting to reach more of our potential of, I didn’t always, when we went on dates, I made an effort to sit in places where I would not see other people or I would sit and position myself in ways. Robert just say hi quickly, but not go into a conversation with somebody in tandem. My wife really felt like that honored her. And then also she would, she would even put qualifications when we’ve walked around her neighborhood and she would say, look, just say hi. Don’t get into an engagement because this is our time to connect. And then they derail that because we lived in a neighborhood that was very social, knew pretty much everybody on our street and on other streets and it would really turn into a social time instead of a one on one as connecting time. And so both of us gave and we get to know each other better and we celebrated the differences a lot more and trying to fix each other.

The second part, which is a great transition, the second key is to seek to understand. So oftentimes we spend so much of our time demanding, whether they’re passive aggressively or directly, I am more direct. A lot of people are more passive in the way that they ask for what they need, but seek to understand your spouse. Because when we fight so hard to be understood, we’re putting that person or spouse or the person in the relationship with us on a defensive posture with their, with their hands up by their face because we’re trying to get them or forcing them to understand us and they’re trying to force us to understand them. And neither one of us get our needs met. We feel more at a loss in the relationship. We feel more, uh, lacking. And you know, I see in OKC Christian marriage counseling so much when people begin to lower their barriers in Oklahoma City, Edmond, even though we’re, you know, we’re in the Bible belt and people are more given to taking time to get to know each other.

I see this profoundly impact their relationship. When we stopped trying to make people understand us, we’re spending our time and energies trying to get them to listen to us. People feel understood and you’ll start to lower your barriers. And when that happens, then there’s an availability to start creating intimacy. If you go for the heart and you go for spending time on the couch, we’re spending time on a walk instead of going on a a time of why they don’t understand you. You know, oftentimes I see this, there was this guy named rex and he would spend so much time in OKC Christian marriage counseling saying how his wife, Shelby didn’t understand them, how, you know, she didn’t understand how he was a man, how he needed it to be supported, that all she did is stay on with the kids all day while he went out and had all this pressure from work and had to travel and instead of really giving her a space to have our own problems, giving her a space to really be a mom and have the issues that she’s struggled with all day with these young kids, not having engagement with people outside the House that are adults to where she got her emotional needs met.

He was so focused on, he worked 12 hour days and he made all this money that he really made her feel like she was irrelevant. And so she was fighting to be relevant and he was fighting to get respect and validation for what he did to sacrifice and earn money for the family, that they both were missing it and they were on the verge of disaster on the enter counseling.

And so I tried to help wreck, see that it was so much more important to be with the person that he was talking to and his wife, Shelby, than it was for him to make his points are, you know, hit all the bullet points of why he needs respect, how she devalues him. And then I helped Shelby to see that he needed to feel respected. You know, marriage counseling has been such a great platform, but you don’t have to just go to marriage counseling, especially with people in Oklahoma City and Edmond, what I encouraged them to do, if they can, if you know, if they don’t need marriage counseling to level, then they can go to friends. They can go to their pastor, they can go to other people that can encourage them and love them and they can get into life groups or community groups. And if you know, walk through books like marriage on the rock or some book that helps you understand how to value the person that you’re with.

So remember it’s more important to be with the person then the fix them. This is staying on the topic of seeking to understand. And then the last one is, you know, we talked about it before just to embrace the differences and embracing your differences. Keeps life exciting. It keeps life moving forward. It keeps life going in a way that you don’t get bored. And then you look outside of your relationship to meet needs because you see on TV or social media, other people have something that you feel like you really want. And I’m just going to tell you that’s not true. That’s not true at all. What you, what you have is the best that God wants to give you. So the third key is respond. Don’t react, respond, don’t react. You know, I often personally need five seconds back in my relationship with my wife or with my kids because my natural tendency without God is my filter is to react immediately to situations.

And this goes back to my childhood, I felt, I felt like I was not guarded how my mom had to work so much outside of the home that I had to figure a lot of my childhood out by myself. And if you’ve been out there in the real world, you know that elementary, junior, high and high school and even college aren’t safe places. And so having an understanding of why you react, we’ll help you on the process of learning to, you know, I remember this Guy John, he was such a reactor. Him and his wife Skylar, they would come to counseling and he would spend the majority of his time reacting to all of the things that she had done wrong. And the more Jordy of my time was spelled spent redirecting John of John. This is not a way to talk, John, to the point where we actually started recording our sessions because I, I hope that it, when he heard the way that his tone diminished the value of Skylar, then he would change his story.

Now, regrettably, this wasn’t John’s story because he was, he was so focused on proving his point that he had, he had to event all this venom by the time that he did and we spent so much of my energy redirecting and helping scholar diff develop really defense mechanisms so that he was not able to bypass and to diminish your value anymore, that they never got to the point where they could make change because he refused. He had to go through this process. About the first 15 to 20 minutes of every session, he had to just vent and then he would start with the apologies and cries, Skylar, forgive me. Forgive me, Skylar. I love you scout. It was sad because he never got to the point. Really. The first three he refused to do the first three. He refused to value that she was different.

He refused to seek to understand her and he refused to learn outside of counseling, how to respond instead of react, and so he’s continually subtracted from the marriage. Now, if you, if you do this, you’re fighting to train like navy seals, your muscle memory, and you meditate on these. You meditate on new ways to act, and I can do an entire podcast, really a series of podcasts on this one element of learning to respond and not react. It is that important in marriage counseling and marriage and Christian counseling, individual counseling, if you want to be the best version of you at work, the best version of you as a dad, whether you’re in Oklahoma City, Edmond, really anywhere, these are your moves. You know, there’s so many ways to practice this, but it’s unnecessary because it really is a life and death process. If you respond, then you bring the life to your marriage because you’re choosing how to act.

If you simply react natively then like me or like this guy rex, you’re going to, you’re going to take, or John, you’re going to take out your spouse and you’re going to hurt them. The fourth key is prepared. Prepare, prepare by in your mind, meditating daily. If on the way home from work you, you have this thing called a transition and if you don’t have a long commute, then make a long commute. If you need it that day or have that before you leave. Breathe. Think through how you’re going to act when you first walk in the door. I have an alarm that goes off on my phone and it’s set for a reminder, daily defined three positives and the environment. Before I say anything, three positives is my first move. So I hug, kiss my wife and kids and say hi to the dog. You know, it’s funny, the dog comes to the door and greets me before I ever get out of the car and then one of the kids typically follows.

But when I’m doing things well, I will have already had my transition time imagined. What I need to see and then began the process. And also the preparation is you might need to talk. If you have a hot topic, go call a friend and talk this through through a safe friend that supports you, your marriage in relationship and have that conversation vent to them so that your family, your wife or kids, they get the best version of you. So guys, remember the four keys are valuing the differences, seeking to understand, learning to respond and not react, and then prepare. If you want to do anything, well you will take the time to prepare. If you want to prepare, if you have a presentation to try to win some new business, you’re going to prepare. If you have a playoff game, you’re going to a prepare in a different way for that playoff game.

All it a lot of peas than you would normally. What better relationship could you ever, what? What better way could you ever spend your time then preparation to succeed in the relationship that you’ve committed the rest of your life to be successful in marriage? Now, for a lot of you, you’re saying, man, I’ve got a friend. This would be great for that person. Great. I’m so glad. Share this with them. You know, subscribe to our podcasts. He never missed one. Also, you may say, Sean and the podcast was great, but I just need more. I need more than this. Listen, we’d love to join you at New Vision counseling. We have a team of counselors that Mary Biblical principles with cutting edge counseling techniques and they would love nothing more than a join you and your story today to help you implement these four keys to help you take time to see the areas that you’re stuck in of why you haven’t been able to succeed to this point. But we’d all just sit on a couch and watch you struggle. Then we jump into your story with you and help you navigate this process so that you’re never alone again, and we help you create resources outside of us because that New Vision, we are a place where we help you discover what better looks like for you. Then we equip you with the tools to create it. Until next time, create an amazing day for the decisions of implementing these four keys to create an amazing communication and marriage and beyond. God bless.