MARRIAGE MAGIC: Things That Make Your Marriage Work
By Sherry Suib Cohen
Dennis & Tina Korte
Mel & Patricia Krantzler
Marriage Encounter bag of tricks
At a Marriage Encounter weekend, you might receive this in a bag:
* A rubber band…to remind you of hugging-for times when you need to hold each other close to your heart.
* A candy kiss…to remind you to kiss your spouse, your kids and your friends. I Peter 5:!4 refers to the kiss of peace.
* Stationary…to remind you to write love letters to each other often.
* Kleenex…to dry another’s tears (or maybe yours), to remind you to be compassionate.
* A Band-aid… to remind you to start the healing process for hurt feelings-your own or your spouse’s.
* A warm fuzzy…to remind you that everyone needs gentle comfort when the world seems cold.
Our love rituals
There are certain love rituals we unfailingly perform for each other that help keep our marriage afloat.
* If one feels cold while watching television, the other gets up, finds the thick woolen socks and pulls them on the cold one’s feet. (It’s not enough just to get the socks.)
* If one takes a briefcase to work, the other writes a note and tucks it inside.
* If one partner is to go away overnight, he/she leaves a note on the pillow.
* If one has to work in the office on a Sunday, the other brings the newspaper and goes along for company, and is quiet.
* Even if wildly busy, one stops a moment to telephone the other during the workday.
* Hold each other soundlessly for one minute at these times: when you come together again in the evening, when one feels nervous and when company leaves.
* Even if watching a great movie on the VCR, one stops a moment to go hug the other, who is reading in the next room.
* Sleep curled together like spoons.
* Regular touching.
* When one feels angst, the other makes up a glorious, happy-ending story starring the angst-ridden. It always starts with “Once upon a time,” and it usually comes true.
Grace in marriage
To help you recognize the grace of intimacy in your own marriage, we’ve asked other couples to describe celebratory moments of intimacy that encourage them when they need a reminder of the hope that is theirs. Here are some of the great responses:
* Watching my wife as she prepared breakfast for me and the kids, being struck by her commitment to our life.
* My husband calling to say he had taken the afternoon off so we could have some uninterrupted time together just to “be.”
* My husband walking in the door after having a huge problem at work. That morning I’d knelt in my garden and prayed for him. The moment our eyes met, I knew the prayer had been answered.
* Discussing our future, struggling through our diverse hopes and dreams or our life together.
* After 46 years of marriage, sitting side by side silently watching the ocean at sunset.
* Putting the kids to bed early, building a fire, spreading a softblanket in front of the fireplace, listening to the “Moonlight Sonata” a dozen times and letting nature take its course.
Kindness, asking and pleasure
Be kind to each other. Even a simple “thank you” helps generate mutual respect.
* Avoid mind-reading. Ask her or him what they’re feeling.
* Eliminate the “Make me happy” virus. If you’re unhappy, don’t lookor your spouse to change that. Seek out things that give you pleasure.
(The above material was published by MARRIAGE, July/August 1993)
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