The Different Kinda Sunday

Joe and I are sick. Who does that? Who gets sick in the bleak mid spring time? Apparently we do. We woke up this Sunday morning feeling like the walking dead. Our church starts at 1pm so we had some time to recuperate and eventually started feeling good enough to go to church.

Our calling is to be nursery leaders, however. There's signs posted allllll over the nursery saying something along the lines of "STAY AWAY, SICKOS!!!" We obeyed the signs, called in a sub, and got to spend this Sunday in the usual meetings, Sunday school and what not. We don't loooove the Sunday school class... but our neighbors are teaching a marriage and family course that we DO love. We were excited to go to that today.

Today's lesson was on communication, and thus we learned about communication. I thought there were some awesome things shared so I want to share them with the blogosphere.

1st Step: Eliminate Destructive Ways of Talking to Each Other

  • Criticism
  • Contempt (Insulting or demeaning your spouse)
  • Defensiveness (Meaning, making excuses rather than looking for solutions)
  • Stonewalling (Withdrawing physically or emotionally from the relationship)

I've found these things to be so destructive. This was something discussed in Relief Society as well, how can we keep marriage sacred when things about marriage are treated as so unsacred? We are so quick to gossip to our friends about our spouses. Most of the time they are things that could be solved within the marriage using clear communication, but we get bored with friends and turn to criticism, thinking that if so and so doesn't hear, it won't hurt them. While they may not be hurt directly by the words that were spoken, the marriage will suffer simply because it is not held sacred, and is something that can be complained and gossiped about so easily.

2nd Step: Use Good Communication Skills

  • Listen to each other. A beautiful quote that was shared reads "Learn to listen, and listen to learn."
  • Ask questions that invite your spouse to talk. 
  • Share intentions. When approaching difficult topics, lead by telling your spouse what you hope to come of what you are about to say. Say things such as "I love you and want us to feel closer to one another..."
  • Use "I" statements. Take responsibility upon yourself and don't make assumptions for your spouses' actions. "I feel..." rather than "You make me feel...."
  • Agree with the truth. When you receive constructive criticism, take responsibility for the truths of what are being said. This will calm the arguments and increase your credibility!
  • Praise your spouse. This enhances communication, and has a positive effect on conversations. Of course!
Marriage is such a special thing. People always say that it takes teamwork, and this is SO true. People are giddy and happy about the team part. Team sounds fun. Work is what people forget, and when it comes to work, people raise their hands and say "This isn't what I signed on for!"

I just love this class because it helps introduce a gospel perspective into our relationship, which is such a BIG part of our relationship. I recommend it to anyone, if you have a course of it being taught in your ward. 

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