Marriage – Family of Origin

     This is one of the most underrated areas that couples face. Study and fill out the two Family-of-Origins sheets (FOO). They cover everything from how your family handled disagreements, how they celebrated holidays and how they handled finances.

     Balancing what you liked about your FOO with what your spouse liked about their FOO will be an interesting revelation. This balancing act has two aspects to it.
– closeness…you’ll need to balance separateness with togetherness. Realize that your wife needs to spend time with godly girlfriends just like you need time with godly guy friends (Psalm 13:20 & 27:9). You both also need different hobbies. You cannot meet all of her needs and she cannot meet all of yours. Neither of you were meant to. But you both need time together, just the two of you. Have a regular date night. Go to dinner, bowling, do a hobby together, go walking or to the park.
– flexibility…you need to balance stability with change. Have a weekly schedule but be flexible enough to change it when the need arises. Having a plan doesn’t mean you’re inflexible, it means you’re smart (Proverbs 14:22 & 16:9). Remember, if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it.

     It would be good to have a weekly meeting where you both talk about what was good and bad about the last week. Then, plan ahead for the next week. Maybe even start looking a few months down the road for some of the major things you both want to do or accomplish.

                                 Closeness Exercises;
– have a regular date night
– plan and dream together. Create a list of things you want to do in your life. Share it with your spouse and have them do the same.
– compliment your spouse daily (Proverbs 15:23 & 25:17).
– have a different hobby than your spouse.
– have a set of godly same-sex friends.
– have your own regular time with God.
– if you have kids, have an activity that just you do with them.

                                  Flexibility Exercises;

– add more consistency, traditions and rituals. Research shows that routines and rituals are associated with higher levels of marital satisfaction and stronger family relationships.
– be spontaneous. Take your spouse out for lunch or dinner. Or bring her flowers for no particular reason other than you love her and are grateful for her.