Hi everyone. I am Shawn Maguire and this is the new vision counselling podcast, a place where we help you discover what better looks like for you, and then equip you with the tools and resources to create it. Today we’re going to be talking about something that is really big to the success of marriages. It’s actually the part two of a two part series and it’s the four marriage killers and the antidotes to treat him, the Ford marriage killers and the antidotes to treat them. So there’s a guy named John Gottman and he came up with these four horsemen and the four horsemen of the apocalypse are what John Gottman talks about destroying every marriage. So if you have any of these four horsemen, your marriage is in dire straits and you need to get help. Now, whether that’s books, a pastor, a friend, going to professional OKC Christian marriage counseling, you need to activate and do something today.

Now, I’d like you to take, if you’re not driving, if you’re driving, don’t do this, but take a blank sheet of paper and put it on the top. Take Action now and that will help you start fresh and begin this process. Now, if you haven’t listened to the first one, go back and do that, but I’m going to briefly go over the first, the part one that we went over and that’s criticism and that’s verbally attacking the personality or character of the person verbally attacking the character personality. The person. Now, you know in Oklahoma City, in Edmond where I live, there are so many people that man are just so critical and this is a huge part of it. Now contempt is number two. If you see criticism or contempt in a marriage, it’s huge red flag that the marriage is in trouble. So a contempt is really attacking the person’s sense of self worth and it’s an intent to insult or abuse that person.

It’s not just going after something, they’re doing an action. It’s actually going kind of a conservation, a hatred towards the person of who they are. That’s a really deep. Now let’s jump into part two, part two. You know, he says really big and as a OKC Christian marriage counseling counselor, I see so many Christians coming in. I see so many people that are different face coming in and they all experience problems when they have this as a part of their marriage. And it’s defensiveness. Think about somebody when when they get into a fight, they put both Duke’s that they both, both fists in the air in front of their face. And that’s the position, a posture of defending or attacking. Now this is an interesting one because there is a huge element that word’s a defense, but it could be, they could be labeled as victimizing yourself and say, no, you know, life happens to, you know, against me.

People are attacking me, people are taking advantage of me, which is really prevalent in today’s society. Unfortunately, instead of seeing where they’re at fault and areas that they can improve on, they spend all of their time, if not most of their time, fighting, defending, and attacking without considering the real issues that can make their lives and the lives of so many others better. So in OKC Christian marriage counseling and Oklahoma City and Edmond, one thing I see is the defensiveness is it’s victimizing either yourself or other people. And in an attempt to fight off a perceived attack from somebody else. And then here’s the twist, reversing the blame so that it’s on the other person. This happens if you’re a parent, you know, this happens with kids as well. I know that one of my kids, when I confront him on an issue, he’ll say, but dad, you know, you don’t really say the right things, or, dad, you ate ice cream yesterday, so why are you getting mad at me that I’m having two helpings of this?

And it never goes anywhere productive when somebody brings up an issue and then immediately that person fights back. Because what happens is when I confront you on an issue, if you can front me back, well then now were spun out. We’re, we’re, we’re not dealing with the issue that we can solve. Now you’ve attacked me and now we’re fighting now. Now it’s, it’s, it’s blows back and forth. So what this looks like is, I remember I had a couple, and I won’t use real names, but I’ll use real scenarios and I’ve counseled for 25 years. So if you’re listening to this and you’re a patient, there’s a high probability out of the thousands of people I’ve seen, it may not be. So this one, this one couple comes in and the guy is, he brings all these books and you know, I get books and assignments and because I want people to invest outside of OKC Christian marriage counseling to change your life inside and their life moving beyond counseling.

So I give you so many opportunities in Edmond, Oklahoma City and around any the country where I’ve counseled OKC Christian marriage counseling to change your life. And so this, this, this guy brings all these books in and he talks about he’s really committed. But then as we’re going through the process and I’m asking deep questions about, you know, what did you do with this? How did you deal with the situation with your kids? We talked about how you could talk to them together and he just sits there. Just, just looks at me and I’m like, are you motivated? Yeah, I’m motivated. I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a 10 out of 10 I’m all in. But when I, when I go deeper, the guy just sits there and looks at me and, you know, I had a couple of more time. I remember this guy was, um, so much just he would start with sitting there and not doing anything.

And then when I would address an issue with him, he would say, yeah, but if she would do this and he lists all these things that she did wrong, well then I would do this. It’s the, if aunt, you know, if my spouse, let’s say his name is Bob, would love the kids better lead the kid spiritually would do this, then I would x, Y,Z , fill in the blank. And this guy, actually, this guy actually Bob called his spouse at work one day and she, you know, she was in professional where she’s very, you know, uh, high up and confronted Bob or Bob confronted his wife Ashley, that the kids weren’t listening to him because, and she’s seen dynamic. He’s, he was kind of a, Maddie stayed home with the kids while she worked because he didn’t do or she didn’t do a good job leading me in that home that he was, she wasn’t a great spiritual leader.

All this ridiculous stuff. This ladies at work trying to create a career, providing for the family and Bob’s job is to raise the kids to be there when they get home from school and he’s confronting her. I’m not doing the things that are her, you know, his responsibility. So sorry, I’m getting my role’s confused because it was such an opposite situation. A lot of times the wife will stay home and the man will work and we never got anywhere productive because Bob never saw outside of his own beliefs of what he thought things were like to allow facts to interject, to show them what life really was like and so they never moved forward. Because here’s the solution. When defensiveness is one of the four horsemen, it’s take responsibility. Take ownership boy in America today. How different our society, Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians would it be if we would simply take ownership for the things that our party does for the things that are our kids do.

Instead of defending our kids without a warrant and basis because they’re acting out. We would take responsibility and say, you know, my kids should not have made fun of your kid and my kid should not have done this. Or in a marriage, in marriage counseling, one of the first elements is taking responsibility for what you brought to the table and maybe you feel like you brought only 5% of the issues to the table. That’s where I started in marriage. Well, spend 100% of your time focused on the 5% and dealing with them. Now, some of you may say, well, Sean, I’m in an abusive relationship. Well then a lot of what I’m saying is true in your marriage about why it’s being destroyed, but some of the antidotes I gave will not be warranted. They will not be indicated for your marriage. I would say you need to get, if you’re going to abuse, you need to get into OKC Christian marriage counseling today.

Make a phone call. As soon as you’re done listening to this, make a phone call. I’m not talking to you except for to identify these four horsemen probably are all present and your relationship and you need to get help. So taking responsibilities as a solution. The next one, man, this is so much not talked about even where I’m at in Oklahoma City, Edmond, but it’s, it’s really not talked about a lot. It’s called stonewalling and John Gottman talks about stonewalling is a time when you withdraw and to avoid conflict and you can vape, but but you also don’t just avoid conflict. You convey your disapproval and disliking you, distance yourself and separate yourself either emotionally or physically in the relationship. Now, this is so toxic. You cannot build intimacy without proximity. He said, what do you mean Shawn? Well, there’s no emotional connection or very little emotional connection and if that connection only happens over conflict and that if that connection only happens once in a great while through sex, then you’re not going to develop a healthy relationship that can withstand the trials of life and that it’s even worth continual investment on either part and one of you will typically bow out where maybe you’re a Christian who’s committed and you’ve been to marriage counseling and you’re going to stay the course.

Well that person basically has emotionally divorced you and is treating you like an enemy, not an ally in any way. I remember there was a time when this couple came in and man, she just locked down and she would say all these things about being committed, but she was locked down and I would go deeper and they she, she never would give information. She wouldn’t go deep. She was used superflex yeah, I’ll go to a Bible said y’all do this, y’all do that. If I brought them to a place where there are crisis of where they were at, was exposed and the guy finally looked at me and said, Shawn, what are we doing? What are we doing? Wah. I don’t get, like she said this whole sessions, it’s just super obvious to me that she’s not going to participate. She has a participated over the course of our marriage, it’s been all me.

And I sat back and I said, now you’re at a position to make a decision because you’ve owned the relationship of where it’s at and now because you’re not lying to yourself and pretending things are different than they are, you can make a decision now. You see that your wife has emotionally divorced you and and real not give you any affection, will not give your kids that intimacy they need and has all but everything she’s done checked out. Even though they s you still live in the same home and if you build a wall, you know currently Donald Trump wants to build a wall because he wants to keep out illegal immigrants. Whether you believe he should or he shouldn’t, or how that should come to be. The point is the wall of designed to keep people out. Now it a marriage that will destroy a marriage because let’s, let’s do something that wall also, let’s just imagine it limits the oxygen intake and a and an organic being like humans without oxygen, we begin to die.

It will keep nutrients out and we’ll keep all the things that we need for life out. And if that happens, no matter how much marriage counseling you go to, no matter whether you’re like whether you live by me at Edmond, Oklahoma City or you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma or you live in Timbuktu, you will watch a marriage no matter how great it started, die sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Now the solution to this is self soothing through physical means. Physiological. Self soothing is what John Gottman would say from the love lab to take a break and spend time doing something that suits you and even at times can be distracting. So go get a couple’s massage. Go take a vacation at a place where you guys enjoy. You know, one of the things that people do to help forge attachments is you put lotion on each other’s hands.

You put lotions. When you massage it, it’s just an, and you’re looking at each other’s eyes. We do it. How awkward is that? But that’s the point because you’re motivated to bridge the gap. Also realize that you can’t build a marriage if you build a wall. So part of the seating is taking down that wall and allowing intimacy to come and look. When you allow somebody to get close to you, it’s not if you’ll get hurt, it’s when you’ll get hurt. Because we’re humans and we make mistakes. Even our best intentions oftentimes can end up hurting people’s hearts. And that’s where the intimacy and being able to resolve conflicts in healthy ways allows you to grow and build an amazing marriage. Guys, I hope this was helpful. There is so much more I could say about all this and there’s so many specific examples I could give, but I wanted you to give you a start.

The four horsemen that will destroy any marriage before apocalyptic horseman has. John Gottman would say, our criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling, and the antidote for criticism is a gel startup. Start kindly start lovingly. The antidote to soft contempt is to build a culture of appreciation. We’re instead of looking for ways to tear the person and dismantle their identity, you’re looking for ways to build them up. You’re thinking of ways to build them up. You’re feeling ways to build them up. The third is defensiveness. They to is take responsibility. Assume if you feel like you’ve only got 5% responsibility, take 100% of that 5% and focus on working on that. The fourth is stonewalling. Allowing yourself to build a wall, choosing to build a wall, and instead of build a relationship, you cannot do both. At the same time, the solution has physiological self soothing Gottman would say, and that in anywhere, like I said, Oklahoma City, Edmond, around the world that will begin rebuilding the intimacy and allowing you to experience the humanness of touch of connection again.

God bless you. I hope this was really helpful. Hey, if you liked this, please go to our website. Uh, our Google and rate review us, write us nuvision counseling.live. And also if you found help from this, go to our Instagram or our Facebook. It’s New Vision Counseling Okc. We put it encouraging quotes on there to motivate and spur inspire you on and share that with others. We’re hoping to grow an opportunity through social media, through counseling where people see that you don’t have to stay where you’re at. That through actions, through trusting God, through bringing other people that are right and health and into your life. You can metamorphosize and change the way you experience and you live life so that life stops happening to you and life begins to happen for you. And if you need more help, you say, Sean, I need somebody to come alongside me. Great. We have a team of counselors who marry biblical principles with cutting edge counseling techniques to invite you in. They want to be invited into your story today. So reach out to us nuvision counseling.live and contact us and we’ll get in touch with you soon. Have an amazing day. Remember? And it was in counseling. We help you discover what better looks like for you, and then equipped with the tools and resources to create it.