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Love Challenge Day 12 – How to Prevent Pain and Have Healthy Communication

I have been studying a lot about conflict resolution/relationships. My supervisor and his wife had 2 sessions with us on feedback loops to deal with conflict/communication in marriage.
Their method is that you sit knee to knee.
One person who has the issue uses only I statements about how they feel. No you statements are allowed.
I feel___________when you __________or when you said _____________.
The listener responds with:
I hear you saying that you feel ________________when I ______________________.
The speaker gets to clarify further if needed and adds positive comments of understanding.
Yes, I feel ____________when_______________. I realize you don’t need___________or are working hard so you are tired (or some kind of understanding of why it is happening).
The listener repeats again and then asks is there anything else you need to tell me about this?
Speaker responds.
Then the speaker tells the listener what they need from listener (to listen only, to do some specific thing in the future, to apologize…)
You stay on one subject, no one feels attacked, and you reach resolution.  It was awesome when they demonstrated it. The author of the Mars Venus books suggests doing a feeling letter and response letter. Another method of a similar thing but in writing instead of verbally. They have many topics on relationships on their website also. Check out the links.
If we all learn this feedback loop process, we can model it for future generations so that they will grow up knowing how to deal with conflict and not get messed up with what my supervisor calls A&I people a..hole and idiots who are blamers (it’s your fault you feel that way) placaters (pleasers) or distractor (someone who always finds an excuse for the people you are upset with rather than validating your feelings) computer (someone who deals with emotions with data rather than emotion). What we want is to become levelers.
Also, it is important to know men think with one side of their brain at a time and women with the whole brain. I’ve been told a hormone released in the womb causes this separation of male thinking. Women don’t have that hormone released in the womb. Men look at one piece of pie at a time. Women look at the whole pie. In other words, men think in present tense. Women think in past, present and future all at once. That’s how God made us. It is designed that way so that women will nurture children and men can go to war to protect. God is warrior and nurturer. Men and women each have part of the attributes of God and together in unity become one having both sides of God in the relationship.
Our differences can cause conflict or mesh together. It takes work to learn how to allow them to mesh. We work on education, jobs, our cars, our yards…we have to work on our relationships. What car will keep going without work? Flat tire due to a nail? You would get the nail out and patch the tire. Tire flattens again? You would replace the tire. You certainly wouldn’t leave the nail in and continue to drive. You couldn’t, because eventually the car would not go any more. It would sit still somewhere on the journey. Stuck and damaged. If you want to continue on the journey, then you would fix the flat. You would patch, replace, oh yes, you would do whatever it takes to continue and make it ride smoothly so that all passengers are comfortable.
Oh, also, women have 8 times the blood flow to the emotional part of the brain as men. That is why we are more outwardly emotional.
Women like to talk about the relationship with their partner when they feel it is a good relationship and worth working on. Men hear this as complaint and go into fight or flight. They either retreat into a cave or say really harsh and mean things to women. Women yell. When we understand that there are going to be feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, and needs in a relationship then we have accomplished step one. The next task is to find a way to communicate about these negative issues without damaging the relationship or one person’s ability to be loved by the other.
Know your partner’s love language (what speaks love to them? quality time? words of affirmation? physical touch? acts of service? gifts? – I think some are more important to some people than others, but honestly all should be present in healthy relationships.)
Try the verbal feedback loop to discuss feelings and hopefully to avoid hurtful conflict.
Or try the Feelings Letter/Response Letter in the links above.
We get into relationships because we can’t imagine life without this person who makes us feel so good. Let’s continue to make one another feel good as the relationship continues.  Healthy relationships are possible if both people are levelers. Be a leveler. Find a leveler.  We can teach younger generations how to communicate in a healthy manner and hopefully have better relationships and fewer break ups.
And if you need to form new habits to show love…Love Dare. Simple yet incredible tool that should be in all relationship toolboxes.
Get out the tools and fix the flat. Replace the flat. Continue the journey with all passengers comfortable along the way.
Blessings on your relationships! If one person learns this in the smallest way, I feel I have done something that matters.
Kim Crawford
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Love Challenge Day 11 – Love Seeks Resolution

Love is not a feeling.
Love is a choice.
Love doesn’t end because you are angry.
Love should remain through all emotions.
Love is proven during the conflicts, not when it’s easy.
Refusing to seek resolution can confuse your heart, damage your relationship, hinder growth, stifle intimacy…
Seek peace. Go.
Why is it that when we date we say, what can I do for this person, yet when we marry we say, what is this person not doing for me?
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Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger..Ephesians 4:26

Run to them, fall into their arms…embrace…talk in whispers – unless it is to scream how much you love them, reach out and hold their hand, look them in the eyes…these moments are the ones that count….run to them. How much greater this gift of love is, than your petty annoyances.

 

What can you do to initiate peace? Seek to understand, not to be understood, and your anger might dissolve long before the sun sets. For those who refuse to seek peace with your loved one, then examine your heart and motives.

If you are in conflict with that special person, run. Go. Find them. Don’t waste a second. Ask forgiveness. Forgive. Kiss. Embrace. Make it right!!! Go!

Don’t wait until it is too late.

It is better to say whoa than uh-oh. Don’t let your anger damage the relationship until you are saying, uh-oh, what have I done? I’ve lost them. Say whoa on your anger, rather than uh-oh I lost this person I love.

Go.

Kim Crawford

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Love Challenge Day 10 – Romantic Date Night

This year, day 10 is falling on Sunday. Have fun this Sunday afternoon! Get out of your rut. Be amazing!

Picnic under the stars

Drive somewhere new in the car

A little slow dance adds a little spark

Ride the carousel in the park

Go out and dress up so she’ll feel like a queen

I bet she just might think you’re really keen

One flower says I love you as much as bunch

Surprise your sweetie with an unexpected lunch

Write a love note requesting a date

Watch a movie and cuddle until it’s late

Tell her how you feel, even if it’s not easy

I bet you just might, in return get a squeezy

Make a memory that will last forever and longer

There is no way this won’t make you stronger

Play some music and sing along

Put forth some effort…you won’t go wrong.

Have fun!

kim crawford

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Love Challenge Day 9 – Love Greets with Love – Power in this one – don’t miss it!

 

 

“Did you know that you can tell a lot about the current status of a couple’s marriage (relationship) by the way they greet one another? You can see it in her smile, hear it in his voice, and sense it in the tenderness of their touch. Or lack thereof” (Love Dare, Kendricks, p. 41)

That says it all I think.

The Kendricks explain the loving investment to your relationship when you greet warmly:

“Throughout history, the Jewish people demonstrated an understanding of the power of an effective greeting. Used more than two hundred times in the Bible, the word shalom (meaning peace or tranquility) was a word intentionally employed to greet others. In the story of the prodigal son we learn ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.’ (Luke 15:20). What kind of greeting would cause your mate to feel like that? Countless widows and widowers could tell us with tears in their eyes what it would mean for them to have one more chance to greet, kiss, and hold their spouses again. Since we each have no guarantee of tomorrow, every new day with our spouse is a gift from God for us to cherish and enjoy.”

“Think about your greeting. Do you use it well? Does your partner feel appreciated? Do they feel loved? Even when you’re not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and help turn things around by the way you bless them when you greet them. Remember, love is a choice.”

It is a wonderful thing for someone to express they have thought about you, miss you and are excited to see you. It speaks love. It builds trust.

Challenge:

Decide ahead of time a way your partner would love to be greeted. Try it and see what happens. Continue it and I think it will strengthen your relationship.

It is an amazing feeling to feel wanted by the person you want, and that no matter how long you have been together, you love when they are in your presence once more.

Kim Crawford

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Love Challenge Day 8 – Love loves deeply and knows the meaning of loving deeply…

1 Peter4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, receiving gifts, and quality time are Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages [http://www.5lovelanguages.com/]. He has narrowed our needs down to these 5 categories and teaches that one must know their partner’s greatest need in order to love them in the way they will perceive as loving. Basically, if someone does not like gifts and you buy them all the time as an act of love, then you may as well be speaking a foreign language. Some people do not need physical touch (affection). Some people would rather you take out the garbage rather than say loving things, etc. I agree that we all have greater needs in some categories than others (and some may not need anything from one of these categories), but I think most of us love them all to some degree. My opinion is this – if you are serving your loved one, loving them like Christ loves you, loving them with that 1 Corinthians 13 love, you will demonstrate all 5 love languages.

I think 1 Peter 4 speaks to loving through affection, words, actions, gifts, and time. If you are offering someone some of all of this on a consistent basis, then I would qualify that as loving “each other deeply”. The text states this type of love will “cover over a multitude of sins.” It is so true that we can overlook many frustrations when someone is giving to us in a deeply loving manner. The text goes on to say we should “serve others…speak the very words of God…serve with the strength of God” meaning spending time with your loved one, offering to help with things that need to be done (willingly and without complaint), offering words of love and adoration (at least 1x daily), giving thoughtful gifts (not expensive – thoughtful), and offering the physical touch they need in order to feel loved (and yes men, this one is greater for women – we love to hold your hand, snuggle, your arm around us, hugs, etc…most of us, anyway.)

The challenge today is to go to the link above and take the love language test, and ask your partner to take it also. Discuss the results. Get to know their true needs and meet those first. Make sure you are giving in all 5 categories though, and I truly believe you will see amazing things happen in your relationship.

Can you give all of the love languages in 1 day? I think you can 🙂

It all comes down to this: Love is not just being with. It is also giving to, doing for, speaking up, and reaching out. Just showing up is not enough. Love is a choice. You chose this person. Love is a promise. Love is a verb. Love has to love daily and deeply. It isn’t a hobby, a habit, or only there for when you need it or to fulfill certain needs. Love is a ministry. When you take someone’s heart in your hands, you are taking the greatest responsibility on this planet. When you have your children, they are yours. A part of you. When you take on a romantic love, you choose that person, therefore you are saying I choose you – and choose to understand how very amazing that privilege is to me. Love looks at a partner as a gift. A treasure. Do you find out how to take care of the things on earth you treasure? If someone gave you a football signed by your favorite team during a championship game, would you play with it out in the mud and leave it outside to ruin? If someone gave you a diamond ring that belonged to a queen, would you leave it by the sink, just to fall down the drain? No. You choose to take care of things you value as rare and precious treasures. The heart you hold in your hand is a greater treasure than all earthly things. Choose to figure out how to love them…every day.

Love me tender
Love me sweet
Never let me go
You have made my life complete
And I love you so

Love me tender
Love me true
All my dreams fulfilled
For my darling I love you
And I always will

Love me tender
Love me long
Take me to your heart
For it’s there that I belong
And we’ll never part

Love me tender
Love me true
All my dreams fulfilled
For my darling I love you
And I always will

Love me tender
Love me dear
Tell me you are mine
I’ll be yours through all the years
Till the end of time

Love me tender
Love me true
All my dreams fulfilled
For my darling I love you
And I always will

Kim Crawford

2.9.18 revised

07.13.14

 

 

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Love Challenge Day 7 – Love Believes All Things, Hopes All Things

Love believes all things, hopes all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Sam Cooke help us out with this one please:

“Accentuate The Positive”
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister inbetween

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
have faith, a pandemonium
Libel to walk up on the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the Whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
just when everything looked so dark

They said we better
accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister inbetween

[One more Time]

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
just when everything looked so dark
don’t mess, don’t mess, don’t mess
with mister inbetween

The Kendricks brothers from the Love Dare:
“In the deep private corridors of your heart, there is a room. It’s called the Appreciation Room. It’s where your thoughts go when you encounter positive encouraging things about your spouse. Down another dark corridor of your heart lies the Depreciation Room, and sadly you visit there as well. Emotional injuries fester here, adding more scathing remarks to the walls. People fall out of love here. Divorces are plotted and caused in this room. We have all sinned. Love knows about the Depreciation room but chooses not to live there. Your spouses true faults may be there. You may place negative comments about them there that are not true at all. Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. Only glance in the door of the Depreciation room to pray for your spouse. The only reason you should go in this room is to write COVERED IN LOVE in huge letters across the walls. Your spouse is a living, breathing, endless book to be read. Dreams and hopes have yet to be realized.”
Telling your spouse negative things will cause them to think you don’t really love them. We all want to believe our spouse (more than anyone else) thinks we hung the moon.
Go to your loved one and say, I realize I __________, and I am sorry. I want to do better. You can know I will _______________. Talk about giving someone hope. Knowing you are thinking about them, wanting to grow, and voicing the acknowledgment of what you’ve done and what you are going to do – wow – they will love it.
Here’s a great tip:
If you’re angry at a loved one, hug that person. And mean it. You may not want to hug — which is all the more reason to do so. It’s hard to stay angry when someone shows they love you, and that’s precisely what happens when we hug each other. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997Challenge:
Make a list of your partners negatives on one piece of paper. Make a list of positives on the other. Put them away in a safe place for another day. Thank them and tell them about 1 of the positives today.
Which list was more difficult?
“If there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
We are right before, the weekend before Valentine’s Day, Have you made your reservation? Planned your romantic date? Men, this is on you. This holiday is for women. Make sure she knows she is your sweetheart because if you don’t someone else might.
Kim Crawford
Revised 2.7.18
07.06.14
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Love Challenge Day 6 – Most important day yet! This is good stuff. Take the time to read this. Love is not Cantankerous – Love Seeks Understanding

Be a blessing not a brat. Be a joy not a jerk. Be a listener not a loud mouth. Be a peacemaker not a pain in the rear. Be safe not stubborn.

Let’s go straight to the Kendricks brothers (Love Dare):

“When under pressure love doesn’t turn sour. Minor problems don’t yield major reactions. A loving man will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and restraining his temper. A loving woman is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the prickly thorns. Ask yourself, ‘Am I a calming breeze or a storm waiting to happen?'”

“Why do people become irritable? There are two key reasons:

1. Stress – weighs you down, drains your energy, weakens your health, and invites you to be cranky.

Life is a marathon not a sprint. We must pace ourselves.”

Colossians 3:12-14 is a guide to helping one love through stress:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

2. Selfishness – This is the deeper underlying issue that causes irritability.

“When you are irritable the heart of the problem is a problem of the heart. Jesus said ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks'” (Matt. 12:34).

If you don’t want your words to negatively imprint on someone’s heart, or cause them confusion, then don’t say them because you are mad. They may forgive you, but hateful words may change their ability to feel you love them. It also may cause them to feel they are not the right person for you, or perhaps you don’t care enough to listen.

“Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule. Bitterness takes root when you respond in a judgmental way and refuse to work through your anger. A bitter person’s unresolved anger leaks out when he is provoked. Pride leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation. But when love enters your heart, it calms you down and inspires you to quit focusing on yourself. It then sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.” Kendricks

Challenge:

Choose to react to difficult situations with your partner with love rather than irritation.

When have you recently overreacted?

What was your real motivation behind your reaction?

What specific thing is your partner needing? What was their message?

Know that you aren’t perfect. And that is okay. Make a list of all the perfect people you know.

There aren’t any, and you are one of the imperfect ones, so know that your partner may need to tell you something, and it isn’t to break you down, but because you are 2 different people you are going to need different things and be hurt by different things.

Don’t take everything so personally.

Consider there may be truth in what they are saying, or at least it may be true to them. Instead of being irritated, be kind, humble, meek, compassionate…(Col. above)

“Some people are willing to put their life on the line and injure another person physically or emotionally to protect their ego and restore their injured self-esteem. Inflated egos are most vulnerable to the slightest pokes and scratches, which is a common infliction of defensive and confrontational people” Nadia Pershun, PhD

Let’s go to Dr. Barbara DeAngelis (marriage counselor) for some help on being too irritable with our partners. She says:

Marriage is ultimately the commitment to loving your partner and doing everything you can to make the relationship work.

If one partner refuses to face or discuss problems, and will not agree to any outside help in solving conflicts, they break the commitment in your relationship as much as if they had an affair. (Let that soak in a moment.) Yes, if you refuse to work through conflicts then you are damaging the intimacy as much as an affair does.

Perhaps they are scared; abused in childhood or previous relationship; they may have a wonderful, loving heart somewhere inside though. The fact remains that , unless he/she is willing to be an active participant in your partnership, there is no partnership. And you can’t make a relationship work alone.

I believe there are five commitments every relationship needs to survive and grow. These are commitments both partners should make:

  1. I am committed to learning everything I can about being a better person and a better mate, and I will do whatever it takes to make the relationship work.
  2. I am committed to being emotionally open to and with my partner by sharing my feelings.
  3. I am committed to being emotionally generous with my partner, not emotionally stingy, and will express my love and affection.
  4. I am committed to being honest with my partner and myself.
  5. I am committed to learning how to love my partner as much as he or she truly deserves to be loved. (And not be irritable and hurtful when they need me.)

Frankly, I don’t know how any relationship can be truly healthy without these commitments. Take Commitment #1, for instance, the one you and your partner are struggling with right now. If a partner isn’t committed to doing whatever it takes to make the relationship work, what’s the point of being in a relationship at all? Being committed to merely living in the same house with you and calling you a wife does not qualify as being a good husband. A good husband, or wife, fights for the marriage, and will try everything before giving up.

If you see issues as frustrations, and react angrily or with irritation, you may bleed your relationship to death. If your dog is hit by a car you will rush him to help to stop the bleeding. If your partner has a problem, rush to see what the issue is and strive to fix it.

More than anything, ask yourself…will my partner really want to be with me and feel loved if I act irritable every time they need me?

Kim Crawford

07.05.14