Of our three businesses we own together, the one area that Chris and I come together in every week is couples counseling and it’s our FAVORITE! With my license and education paired with his decades of experience as a pastor working with couples, we complement each others counseling skills in a way that I believe is exceptionally powerful. It’s all God. To have Chris there, to bear witness to him at work, with his perspective and safe mentoring of the men we see is a rare treat that couples just don’t get when they see just me or just any singlular counselor – female or male. We have seen God such incredible things. It’s holy work and such an honor to do with him. We have learned to work really well together, and we are always fired up about walking through life with couples in a way that encourages them to build the kind of legacies that break chains.
We recently finished our first round of Gottman method clinical training for couples therapy, and I am so in love with it! We have already seen this practice work in beautiful and deep ways with our married couples, so today I wanted to share with you one tidbit of powerful marriage truth that could change your married life. But, first, it must change you. And me.
From 35 years of research with over 40,000 couples, Dr. John Gottman says THIS is the #1 predictor of divorce.
Can you guess it?
Love languages not being spoken??
CONTEMPT: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.
This… in married couples – people that say “I do” and choose to spend their lives together, making promises of commitment and then turning around and basically saying “you’re worthless”? Yikes.
And I hate to say it, but sisterfriend, we wives are *usually the worst at this, too. So, let’s fix it.
Contempt looks like this –
That look and tone that says “What the hell are you doing?”
“WHY did you do it THAT WAY?”
“What is WRONG with you?”
“I cannot stand you, I hate the way you do every little thing you do.”
Notice, I said “look and tone”. That’s not even with words, y’all! We women have this unfortunate gift (my husband says it’s not a gift, but a curse) that with our own words and tone and comments we can completely crush a man’s spirit more than anyone else in the world can affect them. Ugh.
BUT! Hallelujah, there is an upside. We also have the power within our words and tone and looks to make that man feel like he can do absolutely anything! Like a Superman, like a powerful contributor to our homes and this world, like they have wisdom and capabilities that are valuable and powerful! THAT is how a husband wants to feel!
Contempt looks like eye rolling and sighing and shaking your head. (So, basically I’m a pro at this. )
ANTIDOTE: a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.
To cure yourself of contempt – the antidote is APPRECIATION and communicating your needs. Under all that eye rolling is a desire and we grow in contempt when our desires or expectations are not met.
First of all – we need to let our husbands be who they are. Acceptance. If you want to be a real WonderWifey – don’t just accept – EMBRACE him, just as he is.
Second of all – we need to let the Holy Spirit do the Holy Spirit’s job.
And then we need to *gently communicate what that underlying desire is so a conversation can happen.
So, there it is! Appreciation & Communication > Contempt. B O O M.
This week we turned 6 as The Johnsons and I am still working on this contempt thing – but, man, it is so fun when I get it right!!
Every year I just have to watch these videos around our anniversary time, just to reminisce… MELTS ME to pieces.
I cry. every. time.
I want my wife life to always say “I STILL DO”, not “you’re worthless”.
Reminisce on why you married that fine man of yours. Let go of what he lacks and appreciate who God has created him to be.
CONTEMPT IS CRAP. That’s our mantra for the day, wifeys! Meditate on it, own it, rock it, live it!