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STRENGTHENING AND ENRICHING MARRIAGES TO KEEP FAMILIES HEALTHY AND TOGETHER

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YOUR SPOUSE IS A GIFT!

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With Christmas coming up, many of us are focused on the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Between trying to get all the presents wrapped and make sure that the Christmas dinner is planned and perfectly prepared, we often forget one of the biggest gifts we have in our lives... our spouse.

Your marriage and your spouse are a gift to you, just as you are a gift to them.

This holiday season try to remember that marriage is a commitment to your spouse to love, respect, and cherish each other. Just as your appreciate a gift and give thanks, you should appreciate your spouse and express gratitude. Marriage is a chance to open up completely to another person, an opportunity to create emotional intimacy by opening up to each other. Just as we unwrap gifts with excitement, we should feel the same eagerness to "unwrap" our spouse and create that emotional intimacy. 

Put aside the busy schedules and pressures of the holiday season and make time to connect with your spouse. Don't forget that their love, companionship, and commitment is a wonderful gift!

Marry Christmas!

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At Great Marriages, we are thankful for:

  • Volunteers who give of their talents to help others in our community
  • Donors who make what we do possible
  • Passionate people who want to see our community thrive by strengthening and keeping families together
  • Resources we have to offer the community to grow in their relationships
  • Love
  • Family
  • Faith

Thankfulness and gratitude are key to happy relationships!

When we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we feel needed and encouraged. Gratitude is an integral part of healthy relationships. The key to sparking healthy relationships with gratitude is to take the initiative: “Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Gordon. Start with small and easily achievable goals, such as giving your spouse five compliments a day, or simply smiling at them more often.

Gratitude is a skill that you cultivate—nurture it in yourself, and soon your will see positivity radiate back at you.

Source: Susan Heitler

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Source: Andrew Merle

Need ideas to get you started in practicing gratitude?

  • Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for
  • Tell whoever you are with at the end of the day the 3 things you are most grateful for
  • Tell whoever you are with right now (significant other, friend, family member, etc.) the 3 things that you are most grateful for in this moment
  • Start a gratitude journal - Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about
  • Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you - oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged (and yet it happens far too infrequently)!

THE IMPORTANCE OF LAUGHTER IN MARRIAGE

Have you and your significant other ever found something to be funny and you reach a point where you feed off each other? Laughter is contagious. It’s also beneficial to life and marriage.

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Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduction of stress and tension
  • Stimulation of the immune system
  • An increase of natural painkillers in the blood
  • A decrease in systemic inflammation
  • Reduction of blood pressure
  • Lifts your spirits
  • Brings couples closer together
  • Can help keep a relationship fresh.

There are other medical benefits than the ones listed above. Through laughter, muscles release tension and neurochemicals are released into the bloodstream, creating the same feelings the long-distance joggers experience as “runner’s high.”

Humor brings more than just physiological benefits to a husband and wife. Humor helps us cope.

Humor relieves the tension that can build up between people. It also will bond you with those you laugh with. Research has found that laughter produces Oxytocin, a chemical in the brain also referred to as the bonding chemical.

Learning to laugh a little more just may save your life, not to mention your marriage. To paraphrase Henry Ward Beecher, “A marriage without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road.”

From Simple Marriage


5 LOVE LANGUAGES

Have you ever felt like your and your significant other are just not connecting? Are you trying to show love but they just aren't feeling it? According to Dr. Chapman, there are five universal ways that all people express and interpret love. Through his more than 30 years of couples counseling, Dr. Chapman has noticed specific patterns in the way partners communicate — and it turns out that most of the population express and interpret love in the same five ways, according to his observations. The 5 Love Languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch