With my sister’s wedding now just ten days away, I wanted to share with you all a poem I wrote for her Fiancé, my future Brother-in-Law, on how to make her happy. I think you will find this poem is applicable to many relationships, not just theirs. And perhaps, at the very least, it will warm your heart.
How To Make My Sister Happy
First off, she loves you,
so just stick around.
When she gets carried away,
you hold her down.
She likes fancy things
so every once in a while,
splurge a little on her.
Gifts make her smile.
Listen to her.
Consider her needs.
Put yourself second
and remember to breath.
When she asks for space,
respect and believe her.
The love you will gain
is based on how you treat her.
So treat her with kindness
and forgive her with ease.
Enjoy every moment.
Love her good for me, please.
Every couple argues. The difference between a happy couple and an unhappy couple is the way in which they argue. In fact, according to Relationship Expert John Gottman, the single strongest predictor of whether or not a relationship will succeed or fail lies in the way the couple deals with conflict (Gottman, John Mordechai, and Nan Silver. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. New York: Crown, 1999 Print). Thus, in order to grow and be successful in our relationships, we must adopt healthy coping strategies for the difficulties that exist in them. Compatibility is not always key, but dealing with incompatibility is. Here I list 10 ways that happy couples argue differently.
- Commit to dealing with the problem. Often it can be easiest to run from conflict, especially if you’re a conflict avoidant person. But remember, this isn’t about you or whether or not you feel like dealing with the problem. It’s about what your relationship needs; so put those needs ahead of your own. Both partners must be fully committed to tackling their problems because running from conflict, won’t make it go away.
- Attack the problem, not the person. You have to remember that your partner is on your team. Always support one another, even when you don’t see eye to eye. Don’t take your frustrations out on the other person. Keep your focus on the problem and attack it together. When it comes to relationships and being right, always choose your relationship over being right.
- Practice intentional listening. Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Even if you don’t understand where they are coming from, you can still respect it. Intentional listening means devoting your entire self towards the other. Turning your body towards them, looking them in the eyes, turning off the TV, and putting away your phone. These are all characteristics of intentional listening, which will ease the defensive barriers between you. It demonstrates that you actually want to hear what your partner has to say and breeds the sort of supportive environment that’s necessary for conflict resolution.
- Encourage honesty and transparency in communication. You can’t bite your partner’s head off for voicing their opinion and then expect them to continue to be honest with you about their feelings. Both verbally and behaviorally, encourage them to be honest and transparent with you. You do this by making them feel safe, with your words and actions. By letting them know, I will love you anyway.
- Get all of the facts. Nothing can be more damaging than jumping to conclusions without first getting all of the facts. Don’t waste your time or energy attacking the wrong problem. And before you go searching for a solution, make sure a problem actually exists. Check and double-check your facts.
- List all of the options. Approach your relationship problem just as you would one at work – objectively. Make a list of what your options are. This helps to keep emotions in check, personal bias out of the equation, and keeps your focus centered on the solution. While it might feel a bit silly, it’s never harmful to form a list of your options. It helps to clarify that the two of you are on the same page and demonstrates your commitment to finding a solution.
- Choose the best solution together. As you begin to decide on a solution, remember that you’re a team. Tackle this problem together; the two of you vs. it. Prioritize your relationship over being right and strategically choose a solution that benefits you both.
- Look for the positives. It can be easy in an argument to start focusing on the negative. Choose instead to look for positives. What can you learn from this situation? How can you grow from this conflict? In every challenge, there’s an opportunity. Find it.
- Let the other person save face. Even if you are right and your partner is dead wrong, you only destroy ego by causing another to lose face. You have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. After all, what matters most is not what you think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Always preserve the dignity of others. In an argument, always let the other person save face.
- Never withhold love. No matter how bad things get, never withhold love from your partner. Of course, you can tell them how you feel and express yourself, but make sure your love underlies it all. Love is the single most powerful change agent on the planet. So if you want to make some changes in your relationship, you’d be wise to never withhold it.
Is this what God intended? He made me from your rib, and yet it is you who is making me… humbling me, destroying me… and by doing so, revealing Him.
My dear, though at times it is painful, I promise that I will love you as sure as He has loved me. I will no longer barter or bargain for your love. I will no longer expect, demand, or trade for your love. I will… simply… love… Offering myself to you, again and again at this altar called marriage. And I will do this to my death, though my death it may very well bring…
…God risked Himself on me and so I will risk myself on you.
I think our society puts too much pressure on romantic love, and that’s why it often fails. Romance can’t possibly carry all that we want it to.
Did I marry the wrong person? This is a common question in today’s world. Or often, people will believe that they married the right person back then, but justify their marriage breakdown with, “He/she is just not the same person that I married…”
But did you know that the human body essentially recreates itself every 6 months? In that time frame, nearly every cell of skin, hair, and bone dies and another is directed to its former place. So, guess what?! You are physically not the same person that you were last August!
Should we be surprised then that our partner of choice changes too? Of course not.
The unity of marriage is not designed for you to have the perfect roommate. And you will always marry the wrong person, because the one you marry will always be a sinner. But alas, marriage is designed to teach you how to wash another sinner’s feet. If only you will stick around long enough to properly learn.
When you say “I do,” you are essentially committing to make the choice to love that person, today, and every 6 months for the rest of your life, even as he/she inevitably changes. In other words, “This isn’t the same person I married” is not a justifiable reason to leave. In fact, it is no reason at all.
You’re born alone and you die alone. You can’t bring anyone into this world with you as well as you can’t take anyone out of it when you go. It is your journey alone.
Yes we meet people along the way but it is only two lives running parallel, not intertwining. Enjoy these experiences but never believe you were born for someone or meant to be with one individual person you’re whole life because quite frankly, you will be sorely upset when reality comes to light.
A close friend once told me that finding someone you love is like finding a beautiful wild flower. We want to pick it and take it home with us to keep, but it soon looses it’s glow. It wilts and becomes unhealthy and eventually dies. To truly appreciate someone we love, we must allow them to flourish and grow in their environment. Visit them in their beauty but not displace them…”
Why It Hurts to See You Fight (A Poem on Divorce. From the child within me.)
It hurts me to see you fight.
I wish there was something I could do.
Anything to stop the war
Silently waging between you two.
The silence is what hurts the most.
You pretend everything’s fine.
Telling me it’s just an argument,
When it happens every time.
But I can see the bitterness
behind the words you say.
Using your tongues as weapons,
Piercing all that’s in your way.
So every time I watch you fight
I get hit with daggers too
They soar to my left, wrong, and right
Because I’m standing between you
It’s a heavy weight to hold,
Your parents’ wounded love.
It feels my urgent duty
To protect what I’m a product of.
When you fight I choose no side
As I feel for both of you.
I don’t notice who is wrong or right,
I only look for truth.
And the truth is that you’re both amazing,
just the way you are
I’m overwhelmed with love each day,
I love your flaws and all.
I wish you could see eachother
The way that I see each of you.
Some days they seem forgotten-
The countless attractions of you two.
Maybe if we focused hard
On all the good in us,
We’d forgive all of the little faults
And see things like Jesus does.
A lot of people seem to enter relationships in order to be saved. They’re hurting from something deep within and when a man or woman comes to their “rescue”, they jump right in, thinking that they’ve found “the one”. But the problem with marrying your paramedic is as soon as the accident is over, your relationship will crash. In essence, you’re replacing one accident with another.
Men are taught for 20 years to “be a man” and control their emotions. Then we marry one and expect him to learn how to show his emotions over night. Be patient with your man. Undoing something that is 20 years in the making, takes time.
God didn’t design marriage so that you could have a flawless roommate for life. No, the primary purpose of marriage is to help you learn how to wash the feet of another sinner.
Remember that God has a higher agenda for your life and He ultimately uses marriage to make you more like Him.