Friday, January 29, 2021

Project 141: RELATIONSHIPS (Part 2..."The Worksheet")


It is absolutely necessary for you to read Part 1 BEFORE you get into this article. Get it? Got it? GOOD! I "set the table" for this continuation of those thoughts found in that article.

This part is going to be a little bit different than I had originally planned to incorporate into this section on "Relationships". I do that. My mind says, "Hey, let's delve into THIS a little more" and, next thing you know, I've started making my article longer than planned.

I did record a podcast yesterday that combines both parts 1 and 2 of this part on "Relationships". You can find that podcast HERE

Right off, let me emphasize that I am NOT an "expert relationship counselor" or anything like that. I have done quite a bit of marriage counseling from when I was in ministry and I also have 39 years of marriage that brings with it a lot of "first-hand" knowledge in this area.

Again, be sure to go back and read the first part of this series before going any further. This is simply another suggestion that you may want to take a look at and consider in the area of doing something to improve your relationship with your spouse. 

KEY THING TO CONSIDER: Should you go through the information for this "worksheet" by yourself or with your spouse? Here's what I suggest...

If your relationship is currently in a "contentious state" (problems) then I suggest that you do this on your own and be completely honest in all of your answers. Make sure you understand that this exercise is an "inward focusing" exercise. In other words, this is not something for you to do to "point fingers" at your spouse and play the "blame game". If you are not willing to look inwardly during this exercise then, friend, I suggest that you just move on and do some serious thinking about how serious you really are about your relationship.

Blunt, huh?

Now then, IF the two of you are working together on improving your relationship then, you may consider doing this together as long as you still understand that this is an inward-looking exercise and not something designed to "lash out" or try to hurt the other. 

So, here we go and I do suggest that you listen to the podcast on this as well. The verbal along with the written many times make things a little clearer and easier to understand.

Take a few minutes, get out a piece of paper and divide it into 3 columns. First, write down on the left hand side of your paper (1st column)  all of the things that you remember about your spouse that caused you to "fall in love" with them. Then, make a "middle column" and simply answer "yes" or no" to the question: Is this the same? Are those traits still there? (or however you want to word it). NOTICE: I did not say do you FEEL the same way about that...I asked if those traits were actually still there. BIG DIFFERENCE.  Then, make a 3rd column and answer the question if the "change" that has supposedly taken place is due to your spouse or you. In other words, IF there was a change, WHY was there a change?

 Here's an example I put together just to help you out. Make this YOURS and make sure it applies to YOUR situation and, again, MAKE SURE YOU ARE TOTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF!

Let's just use the first entry as an example. In the example above, one of the traits that is listed as something that you "fell in love with" early on was the fact that they were "good looking". Great! Now then, in the 2nd column the question is asked, "Does this trait still exist" or "Is this still true?" The answer I listed - purely as an example - was, "Yes, but different". In other words, "Yes, they are still good looking but in a different way" which leads to column 3 asking, "If there IS a change then, What changed? Who changed? Why the change?" and the very simplistic answer I listed was, "AGE caused the change". 

I'm not trying to over simplify this but to simply give you some ideas. Your "reasons" as to the "why/who/what" may go much, much deeper and that's o.k. Use as much space as you need to write down what you honestly feel and think on this (and ALL of these areas). But, it is very important that you also look at yourself in this and also ask if YOU have changed in this same area as well. In other words, "Hey, have YOU looked in the mirror lately?" This is both PHYSICALLY (you've gotten older as well!) and also taking a look at who you really are on the inside (has your love matured over the years or are you still stuck on things such as "good looks"). 

The real "dig down deep" part of this worksheet is column 3. If you are filling this out by yourself, then say absolutely whatever you feel without worrying about hurting the other's feelings. If you do this, make sure that they DO NOT read this right now!

But, if you are going to do that then, friend, you MUST zero down and look inwardly and ask WHY you feel this way and you may want to do a LOT of "self-examination" on this and see what YOU need to change in this relationship. 

Bottom line: NEITHER OF YOU are the same person that you were when you first met. And, to be honest, you should be glad that you are not, IF you have matured and grown in your life. 

When you do this exercise, I suggest that you ask God to help you "see with new eyes" as you look at your spouse. In other words, sometimes people get fixated on how things "used to be" and, once again, as a reminder, NEITHER of you are the same person that you were before. It's easy for us to get critical of our mate due to things that have taken place over the years that also have impacted us as well. 

Let this worksheet be a GOOD thing in and for your life and relationship. If you approach it the way I suggest and, if you ask God to guide you and help you through the process, I believe it can do just that.

Until next time, remember, YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


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