Sunday, February 1, 2015

Team Us: Marriage Together * Party Giveaway #1

As a counselor, it doesn't take long to discover a two letter clue that a couple is headed down a rocky path.  And that would be continued references to MY children.  MY house.  MY money.  MY future.

The word OUR is nowhere to be found.

It's a subconscious thing.  No one plans on clutching onto that two letter word with such force.  Quickly it morphs into a protective shield ... or a weapon aimed to strike. 

A series of rough patches along the way have altered the lovingly pledged commitment.  Endless disappointment, lousy communication, non-existent boundaries, breached trust, and broken promises erode the marriage, leaving gaping wounds in their wake.

You never see a healthy marriage when a lone ranger mentality is prized. 

So ... I love the whole idea of marriage as teamwork.  I'm no sports aficionado, but it doesn't take a genius to grasp that in this most key relationship of life, playing on your own is not a winning solution.

Let's be champions of pro-active work that shores up and strengthens a marriage before it breaks down.  Like ...

>   Classes for couples, married or engaged, who need help discovering what a healthy marriage looks like. 

>   Mentoring by wise others who are a few steps further along the path. 

>   Counseling before the crash and burn scenario.  {Here's how to find a good counselor.}

>   Following outstanding marriage blogs written by life coaches like Beth.  And mentors like Sheila.

And yes, this.  Books.

I like that Team Us: Marriage Together is realistic.  Ashleigh Slater talks about marriages that are intentional, grace-filled, and laced with humor.  One of the things that appealed most to me was that her husband Ted throws his two cents in here and there along the way in big, bold, highlighted paragraphs.

They're on the same team.
 

 
Conflict that creeps in almost unannounced.  Hard times and job loss that can really do a number on even the most solid coupling.  The heartbreaking struggles of parenting.  Friendships that build or tear down your commitment.  This is about doing life together, no matter what.  An intentional, focused, daily collaborating, working as a couple who purposefully link arms and hearts ... keeping their eyes on the goal. 
 
Just like your favorite sports team.
 
I have one copy of Team Us: Marriage Together for a reader who leaves a comment on this post by Friday, February 6th at 10am {eastern}.  Sorry, US only.
 
Next up? 
 
After almost 39 years of marriage ... and thousands of hours sitting in the counseling office listening to brokenhearted men and women, I'll be sharing 8 random observations on marriage.  And 2 powerful questions that just might change the way you do life together.
 
See you then ~
 
 
 
 
 

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February's the start of our 8 years together as an online community!

Be sure to subscribe before you head off
and you won't miss a single post ... or giveaway!

And head over to the sidebar to read the most current
From Hither to Yon  : :  Shareworthy Reads

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visiting with Beth & Mary & Holley

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 heart balloons courtesy of hyena realty at freedigitalphotos.net

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

40 comments:

  1. Being "for one another" is such a fundamental practice and commitment a couple must make. My husband and I are very independent spirits so this is often a challenge for us, Linda. But I love what this new book you're highlighting is challenging us to do and be.

    I am also very grateful for the shout out and continuous support from across the many miles. We may be teamed up with our husbands, but I'm also teamed up with you, my friend, in this effort to encourage and strengthen marriages. Forget about the Superbowl! We've got a winning team in our marriages and in our blogging communities!

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    1. Go team!

      I love how you worded this commitment, Beth - 'for one another.' Those beautiful 3 words mean the difference between a marriage that thrives and one that slowly fades. In this crazed world, with so much that threatens to pull spouses apart, claiming this 3 word covenant and daily living it out is the key to a relationship that will stand the test of time.

      *** Dear Readers - BE SURE to check out Beth's Sunday afternoon videos. They quickly have become a delightful, informative weekly visit 'round here. I wouldn't miss them!

      ;-}

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  2. Team Us sounds like a fascinating read. My husband and I have been married for 3 years, and have learned tons about how to make things work. We still have much to learn though, especially with the additionof our first child which has brought tons of joy into our marriage, but also additional stress. I always enjoy learning tips on marriage from more established couples.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep ... little ones sure are a gamechanger! Sometimes we're afraid to say that they bring stress and other negative emotions along with all that joy, but that's the real life truth, isn't it.

      But when all is said and done, most of us wouldn't have it any other way. I hope you'll find encouragement and support here, my friend, that will let you know you're not alone!

      Delete
  3. am glad we grew up with things "together." At our house, when growing up it was always "our car, our checking account and our savings account. I just never knew another way and I am kind of glad. It works for us. thanks for the reminder. it's a good one.

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    1. And maybe life was much simpler then. And all the complexities, choices, and demands of this generation make marriage and family life all the more difficult to navigate today.

      Just a thought. I'm glad you've prompted it, friend ...

      Delete
  4. Being together is vital in most cases, but not all...and I'm living one. (Or 'dying' one, Ha!)

    Having a nastily terminal condition requires adjustments that are undoubtedly indivdual to each couple, but for us it's called for some separation of focus. It isn't a "this is yours, this is MINE" sort of thing. Rather, it comes from different life paradigms we apply in facing one's own private Alamo.

    I regard this as a challenge, and something to be beaten back with every bit of strength and viciousness I can muster. Illness is an enemy; there is NOTHING good or positive about it. So I flog myself as hard as I can. to the point of exhaustion and collapse, because I know that tomorrow will be harder, and I have to keep up my tolerance for pain and setbacks, to keep my head in the game.

    My view does lack both subtlety and some of the trappings of faith. My wife is more attuned to the thought of letting go, and leaning into Jesus' arms. She's told me I should relax into the pain, and not fight so hard against it; I can't. There's simply no way.

    This disconnect between us does build a wall. She sees me as suffering needlessly, and perhaps she's right; at any rate, it is something she does not want to watch too closely.

    There is another factor, and that is engagement with the world. I can no longer work outside the home, and I find far greater comfort in reading for leisure than I do in mass media. I'm no longer really a part of the world; television programmes (and especially advertisements) simply underline that fact. When my wife watches "American Idol", I leave the room. It's bad for my morale.

    The result has been separate but parallel lives. There's little affection lost; less, I think, that if we would each try to fight against our deep-rooted discomfort and prejudices.

    www.blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com

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    1. I've had the humbling privilege of dialoguing with dozens of couples where one is battling a life-threatening illness. So, please know that as much as possible, I have a bit of a taste of where you're coming from, Andrew.

      I was struck by your words, 'This disconnect between us does build a wall. She sees me as suffering needlessly, and perhaps she's right.'

      So if we were sitting together, I'd ask you how you feel about that wall. What it's like to have it there between you. And what can you do, by God's strength, to take bricks out of that wall, despite your pain and fear and frustration.

      What is your legacy that you want your wife to fondly hold close when you die? What do you want her to cherish about your last season together?

      For sure, so much of this terrible illness is beyond your control, man. And that's a terrifying thing. I can only encourage you to discover at this point in your marriage, what your woman needs most from you. And live that out for her as a sacrifice of love.

      Dying well is the last great accomplishment we can live out. So keep on writing, man. It is your lifeline. To God. To yourself. To us. And you sure do it well ...

      http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2012/02/legacy-retreat-10.html

      Delete
  5. Wow...........ouch...........

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    1. Yeah, I know, I know. These are hard words. But they are penned with grace.

      Much.

      Delete
  6. Marriage is hands down the HARDEST thing I've ever done in life. I'm so thankful for you, Linda. For being willing to pass on your nuggets of wisdom. Lord knows we could all use them!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No truer words have been spoken ... this lifetime commitment is no easy thing! Anyone who even begins to infer that marriage is all hearts and flowers is living somewhere in a distant fairyland.

      And if there's any wisdom that comes to the table, it's only because of God's grace in teaching me some real hard lessons along the way.

      Truly!

      Delete
  7. I want to read this so badly! :) Thank you for hosting a giveaway for the chance to win a copy!

    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your name's in the hat, Heather ...

      And welcome to Creekside!

      ;-}

      Delete
  8. Since this is the 2nd review I've read on this book today, I'm thinking I MUST get my hands on a copy. Sounds fabulous. And looking forward to what's up next! Much love. xoxo

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    1. So cool to see that this little book's finding its way out there, Beth! Let's spread the word that we don't have to go it alone ... that we can be team players in this great big huge challenge called marriage.

      Hope your Monday's not too terribly snowy!

      Delete
  9. Linda,
    Congrats on your almost 39 years ...Thanks for encouraging us to remember "Our" vs "My"...I'm always reminded of how we both need "God" to be part of our marriage....blessings to you this Monday :-)

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    1. Yes, yes, Dolly! A cord of 3 strands is not quickly broken. HE is the One who gives us strength, who gives our marriages meaning, who holds us close during the stormy seasons.

      Amen.

      Delete
  10. Looking forward to your posts about marriage. I have noticed on TV during interviews how often the MY is used when it should have been WE. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep, it's a subtle yet strong message we send, isn't it ...

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  11. That's one of the things that I like about my marriage - my husband and I never refer anything as MY. Everything is OURS. Although I'm happily married, I do know that there's always room for improvement in any marriage, therefore I'd love to win this book. :)

    SeasideMermaid@twc.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Absolutely! There's always room for some kind of improvement or growth. I know of NO ONE who's arrived on this!

      I've put your name in the hat, HilLesha!

      Delete
  12. Team Us sounds like the type of book every couple needs. Both my husband and I had to walk away from previous marriages that were not salvageable. We have been married almost 5 years and we need to "team up" to make this marriage solid, and with God's help, it will be

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You hit the nail on the head, Teresa. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing. Praying for you right now that you will sense His loving championing of your marriage.

      I'm grateful you found us today ...

      Delete
  13. Amen! Mariage is HARD. But it's also worth the work and the fight. I love how something as simple as changing a pronoun can bolster a marriage and make both parties realize that they're supposed to be fighting on the same side AGAINST the incursions of the world and sin.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good point, Anita ... maybe it's a bunch of baby steps, day in and out, that take us down a healthy marital path. Yes, even changing a pronoun.

      Cool.

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. Oooh Oooh Oooh I want to know what you have learned about marriage! Can't wait! :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're so cute! I'm working on the post even as we speak ...

      ;-}

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    2. Awesome! We can all learn from you :)

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    3. We're all learning from each other, aren't we! It's all about iron sharpening iron ...

      Delete
  15. WoW! Cograts Linda. 39 years Amazing. God Bless you and your family.

    http://purposefulandmeaningful.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. God is good! I've been blessed with a remarkable man to share life with.

      Thanks for your kind words, friend!

      Delete
  16. I love coming here because you're here and this wonderful community that you foster with your words and encouragement. I do not need a copy of the book but love hearing that a "We" or "our" makes a marriage strong. Love you friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a grace, pure and simple, to have you visit. Maybe especially today?

      So grateful that you're a part of my world, friend ...

      Delete
  17. Clicked over here from your comment at Beth's just because ... I was missing you...and found such a treasure in these marriage tips and resources you share. AND...how very kind and encouraging of you to link to my site. You bless me, my friend. And I look forward to reading your marriage insights. Hope all is great with you and Tim. Love and hugs...AND Happy Blogging Anniversary. Keep up the great work. xxoo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm so glad we connected, Sheila ... perhaps my email to let you know that I was sharing your link with our readers got lost in cyberspace!

      You'll find that the marriage insights are the ones I shared with your gang a few years ago, just a bit adapted. I'm excited about digging them out of the archives!

      My best to you ... and your man!

      ;-}

      Delete
  18. I love this. I found you on Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart and am so glad. I have seen my own marriage shift from "us" to "my" and back to "us" again. Through God's grace He brought us through our difficulties, but I will be watchful for that "my" to show up again so I can nip it in the bud.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For sure, this can be an oh so subtle clue, yes?

      I thank God with you for bringing you through the rough patch. We all have them along the way ...

      Thanks for taking the time to share a bit with us, Crystal!

      Delete
  19. Hi Linda, What a wonderful post on keeping marriage together. It does take strong daily teamwork, and we have to be vigilant. Good marriages don't just happen. The 'My' syndrome is something that needs to be taken care of right away. Couples shouldn't be afraid to get help when they get off track. I love that you also recommend life coaches and mentors along with counseling. They can all be such great resources for couples needing assistance. I'm a Christian Life Coach who enjoys working to help couples save their marriage. It is such a rewarding passion and calling. I just don't advertise this currently on my blog. Blessings to you and have a great day.

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    1. I'm so glad you put your hand up and let us know you're there, Kim! It's can be hard for couples to find a people helper that both can really resonate with ... and one who has good training, great coaching skills, and real life experience to draw on.

      May God bless you in your work, friend!

      Delete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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