Does it ever seem like life should happen in reverse – that we should begin life tired, with aches and pains, only to get better and healthier with each passing year? Then, when we became young and spry, we would be very appreciative of it!
Sometimes, I feel the same way about relationships. They begin with great optimism, but as we gain experience, that optimism is often lost. How great would it be to start your relationship with tons of experience and then become more optimistic as life goes along? Unfortunately, that is not how life works. The idea of it seems nice, but it is not reality for anyone other than Benjamin Button. And though I miss the effortless optimism I felt in those early days, I would not trade it in for the experience I have gained in the meantime. Thankfully, optimism can be regained once it is lost. You can choose to be optimistic even through the hardest seasons of your relationship.
Please Teach Me
During my extremely in-love, ecstatic phase, I only wish I had been more open to instruction. Though I was not closed off to hearing advice, I may have been under the illusion that I did not really need it. I had been thinking about marriage for many years, I was studying marriage and family counseling in graduate school, and I thought I knew more than I actually knew.
At any rate, it would be nice to go back to that engagement season when everyone was offering advice, and take close note of what those experienced people were trying to instill in me.
Wise Couples are Open to Instruction (Proverbs 12:15)
Of the couples Eric and I coach, the ones who are truly excited to learn and grow are the ones we expect to have the greatest marriages. Couples who throw up their hands and say, “We do not want any advice,” make us nervous. It tells us they are closed off to being confronted about faults, hearing inconvenient truths, or making changes. It is the couples who say, “Here we are! Let us know what we need to do to have an amazing marriage,” who tend to go on to have amazing marriages.
If you are seriously dating or engaged, and you are opposed to receiving advice, explore that. There may be a fear somewhere, or you may have endured a bad counseling experience. Whatever your reasons for resisting, if you allow them to keep you from preparing for marriage, you may miss out on a tremendous blessing. Why go through needless and painful learning experiences later if you can take steps to avoid them now?
It is Time for Another Giveaway Blessing!
A few years ago, Eric and I wrote a book called, So, You Want to be a Fiancée?. We wrote it, in part, to help couples understand the usefulness of pre-engagement counseling and let them know what to expect in the process. Clients who have completed our pre-engagement program have expressed deep appreciation for the experience, and told us it greatly improved their relationships.
Eric and I wish we had gone through a program like this when we were dating! In fact, that was our catalyst for creating the program we have!
This month, we want to bless someone with a free copy of So, You Want to be a Fiancée? (.pdf). All you have to do to enter is download the free sample portion, and then contact us and let us know the most insightful thought you had from it or impactful lesson you learned! We will pick a winner within the next couple of weeks! Enter by September 12 to be entered to win!
Have a blessed weekend and stay cool!
Are you comfortable receiving relationship advice?