Tools for your marriage can all be found in the Marriage Boot Camp Book – Defeat the Top 10 Marriage Killers and Build a Rock Solid Relationship by Elizabeth & Jim Carroll
MIRROR – “What I heard you say…” This tool will stop the misunderstanding before it has a chance to start a fire. Stop and focus on what is being communicated. Put your own opinions, feelings and logic on hold for the moment and let your mate know that you truly hear them.
VALIDATE – “I value your opinion/feelings…” Make sure that, even if you don’t agree, that you VALUE your mate’s point of view. Let them know that you can see where they’re coming from and that you value their opinion. Say, “I can see how you would see it that way, your thoughts make sense to me, and are important to me”.
HOPE – Hope is in our connection being restored. Even when you’re mad as hell you can still communicate your hope for your relationship. “I’m mad right now, but my hope is that we can get back to our friendship and our love.”
It is said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that someone else dies! Make forgiveness a daily practice. Make the choice to release those who have offended you. Don’t try to make them pay for their crimes as this will backfire. Remember, forgiveness is for YOU!
Know that there is conflict in every great marriage. Do not try to run from it, learn to fight well and fight fair. First things first – descalate. Make sure that you are both calm before you tackle the good fight. Then follow the Rules of Engagement and follow the steps of Marriage Boot Camp Conflict Resolution.
Find out which of the 5 Love Languages (Physical touch, Words of encouragment, Quality time, Gifts, Acts of Service) speaks to your mate the most and make a point of speaking your mate’s language! Also, communicate how you want to be loved in a clear way. “What does getting your love language look like” is a great question to ask and answer!
What are your top 4 needs? What would your mate need to DO (be specific!) that would fulfill your needs? If you can’t answer these questions and communicate them to your mate, they will have a difficult time fulfilling them! Make an honest effort to communicate your needs and commit to meeting your mate’s needs and wants on a regular basis.
Make it a point to connect daily and create moments together. Whether it’s a check in over coffee, or going to the gym, church on Sunday, or West Coast Swing dancing, make sure that you are creating a life together! Make it a point to have two 15 minute dyad sessions per week. Celebrate your wins! Discuss everything that is working. Tackle your challenges. Discuss any issues that may need to be addressed.
If you have anger issues, addictions or have experienced childhood trauma these are impacting your life and relationships today. Get help. Come to a Boot Camp seminar (again!). Find a local support group, a great counselor or coach, or find a 12-step program. Don’t settle for the status quo. Get passionate about life! YOU CAN DO IT!
Find your way through conflict in a way that gives you the best shot at your own “happily ever after!”
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT – FIGHT FOR STRONGER CONNECTION
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