On Love and Laughter

This past weekend, Adam and I attended a Marriage Conference at our church titled Love and Laughter, Marriage Getaway.  It was lead by the two authors Ted Cunningham and Gary Smalley.  We both really enjoyed it and I think we both learned a lot about how and why each other thinks the way we do!  Here is a recap of my notes:

What is fueling our feelings of disappointment, hurt, anger or resentment? Your spouse comes home – late again – why does this bother you?  You see, what has been discovered through the years is that couples do not fight because of in-laws, finances, communication, or children. Couples fight because of something far more significant. = FEAR

This is not the kind of fear that prevents you from turning off the lights in a room or walking down an empty street.  But relational fears like rejection, disconnection, being controlled, failure, invalidation, worthlessness, or unhappiness.


Once we can identify why we get upset then we can start changing the way we respond when our “buttons” get pushed (buttons like feeling devalued, unappreciated, worthless, etc.).

Couples are not miserable because of finances, kids, or in-laws. The reason couples become miserable is because of hot buttons.


Now is the part where we have to help each spouse identify his or her major hot buttons. This is not a complicated process and really involves simply learning how to ask the question, “So why does that bother you so much?” The more we ask that question the more you will encourage an individual to dig down deep to a hot button.

Everyone has a hot button that bothers them:

Rejection
Judgment
Control/Disconnection
Loneliness
Failure
Powerlessness
Being misunderstood
Being scorned
Being invalidated
Feeling defective
Inferiority
Worthlessness
Feeling devalued
Humiliation
Abandonment
Feeling unimportant
Feeling Ignored
Neglect
Condemnation
Feeling unwanted
Danger
Feeling disliked
Mistrust
Despair
Unhappiness


The important thing to remember is that we can not change their hot buttons. What we can change, however, is our reaction to a hot button getting pushed.

We want to connect, but we fear we are not attractive enough (or competent enough or smart enough or whatever). We want to be accepted, but we fear we are not good enough. We want respect, but we fear the other person will look down on you. We want to control our situation, but we fear we are powerless.

Can’t  you see how our fears actually reflect our wants? When you feel your wants won’t be fulfilled, you experience fear:

We can’t live without ________. So we fear ________ ( fill in the blanks)

Acceptance – Rejection
Grace – Judgment
Connection – Disconnection
Companionship – Loneliness
Success – Failure
Self-Determination – Powerlessness
Understanding – Being misunderstood
Love – Being scorned
Validation – Being invalidated
Competence – Feeling defective
Respect – Inferiority
Worth – Worthlessness
Honor – Feeling devalued
Dignity – Humiliation
Commitment – Abandonment
Significance – Feeling unimportant
Attention – Feeling ignored
Support – Neglect
Approval – Condemnation
Wanted – Feeling unwanted
Safety – Danger
Affection – Feeling disliked
Trust – Mistrust
Hope – Despair
Joy – Unhappiness

Even with this long list,  all of our deepest desires stem from our desires for connection and control. Our deepest fears, then, are the fear of losing connection and losing control. (how true is this!)

We need to begin listening  beyond the words down to the feelings. We generally feel more understood, cared for, and connected when the communication focuses on our emotions and feelings rather than merely on our words or thoughts.

HERE ARE MY FAVORITE POINTS:  EASY AND TO THE POINT

WE CANNOT CHANGE ANYONE BUT OURSElVES.  WE NEED TO LAY OFF TRYING TO CHANGE OUR SPOUSES.

MANAGE OUR EMOTIONS –> WE ARE IN CONTROL OF THEM

60% OF OUR THOUGHTS ARE NEGATIVE—> WE CAN CHANGE THIS, THOUGHTS ARE CONSIDERED UNSTABLE FOR 30 SECONDS

UNRESOLVED ANGER IS ALWAYS BURIED ALIVE AND IT WILL RESURFACE

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE

THE WORD FINE IS DEFINED AS = FEELINGS INSIDE NOT EXPRESSED

I hope you enjoyed my little recap!  I will be posting soon on our new adventure!  We have started training for a triathlon!!  Until next time:)

1 comments:

Jessica April 21, 2010 at 8:30 AM  

LOVE your post! Marriage conferences are just eye opening! I hope you guys are doing well!