Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000080B
00:03 Welcome back to "Marriage in God's hand."
00:05 We're talking today about mottos
00:08 that successful couples have used
00:10 in order to make their marriage work.
00:11 And by the way, if you would like
00:13 to follow us on Facebook you can.
00:15 There's a Mad about Marriage page there that you can like.
00:18 You can go to our web page madaboutmarriage.com
00:20 You'll find the Madly in Love blog,
00:22 and other videos, and other resources to help you.
00:24 We're on Twitter as well.
00:25 So you can be in touch
00:27 with the Mad about Marriage resources in that way.
00:29 And that's where basically we got these mottos,
00:31 we just ask people on Facebook.
00:32 That's right.
00:34 What are your mottos for marriage?
00:35 We talk to our Facebook friends and said,
00:36 "What are your mottos?
00:38 What have you found that makes your marriage successful?
00:40 What works for the two of you?"
00:42 I've got 5,000 very close friends on Facebook.
00:44 Yeah, we're tight.
00:46 You know, all over 5,000 friends
00:47 and of course, then you got
00:48 the thousands of people that follow our
00:50 Mad about Marriage page
00:52 and the other pages that we have as well.
00:53 So, it's a great place to connect
00:55 but also to share resources.
00:57 And we are able to do that on Facebook, Twitter,
00:59 Google Plus, you name it, that's good.
01:01 But so far, we've gotten two mottos and that is,
01:04 the first one is from this day forward
01:06 I owe you another 85 years.
01:07 I'm gonna be with you 85 year.
01:09 So, it's a forever marriage.
01:10 A forever kind of marriage.
01:11 And then the second one is,
01:13 "I will never intentionally hurt you",
01:15 and that's actually our motto.
01:17 That is our motto.
01:18 One that has worked for us for many years.
01:20 Now, there's another on
01:21 that we thought was very worthwhile.
01:24 And this one is called the assumption of good will,
01:27 holding an assumption of good will toward the other person.
01:31 Basically, when we do our marriage seminars,
01:33 we have people come to us all the time.
01:35 You know, they'll kind of come to the end of the seminar
01:37 and they'll say,
01:38 "You know the principles that you teach are wonderful,
01:40 I love all these things, they really make sense.
01:43 I wish that we could apply them in our marriage,
01:46 but my spouse just doesn't care to make any changes.
01:49 My spouse doesn't really care about our marriage,
01:51 I'm the only one here who cares."
01:54 And that's a really lonely feeling.
01:56 It is a very lonely feeling.
01:57 But I think if we can turn that around
02:00 and instead of saying, "I'm the only one."
02:03 If we can say, have it, how, excuse me,
02:06 if we can hold an assumption
02:08 of good will toward the other person,
02:10 and toward the marriage.
02:12 An assumption of good will basically says,
02:15 "All right, I want the very best for this marriage.
02:18 I will do whatever it takes to make this marriage work."
02:20 "I would never intentionally hurt you."
02:22 That's right.
02:24 "If you ask for something
02:25 that I'm reasonably able to provide,
02:27 I'm going to do that.
02:28 I'm going to meet your needs
02:29 as best I am able in this marriage.
02:31 I want the best for you.
02:33 I want the best for the relationship."
02:35 So, that's the first part but the second part is,
02:37 I assume that you want the same things.
02:39 That's right.
02:40 A marriage tip, or marriage principle,
02:43 or marriage seminar, or anything else
02:45 is not really going to work for you,
02:47 unless both of you have the assumption
02:49 of good will toward the marriage,
02:50 you're both saying that.
02:52 You know, we may approach this in different ways.
02:55 We may have different logic.
02:57 We may get to the same point, you know,
02:58 by a very different path.
03:00 But the bottom line is we both want this marriage to succeed.
03:05 We want to have intimacy.
03:07 We want to have closeness.
03:08 We want to have longevity in our marriage.
03:10 We wanted to be stable.
03:12 We wanted to bring joy.
03:14 That's why we got married.
03:15 So, we both want the same things,
03:17 and I have to assume that you want that as well
03:20 before things begin to come together.
03:24 You know, there, I think there are practical steps
03:25 that we can take in order to get there but,
03:27 but a part of the practical stuff,
03:29 I think is changing our thinking
03:30 about the other person.
03:32 You know, in other words, for me, for this woman to say,
03:36 "I'm the only one who wants
03:37 anything good for our relationship."
03:40 You know, she may be right, but she may also be wrong.
03:43 She's doing some mind reading into her husband.
03:46 She's doing what we call negative interpretation.
03:49 And it's so easy for us to do that.
03:51 You know, that comes from work from the prep marriage people
03:54 but they...
03:56 Stanley and Markman out of University of Denver.
03:57 That's right, and they identified
03:59 negative parents of communication
04:01 and this is one of them.
04:03 That we negatively interpret what the other person says.
04:06 They may say or do something and when we look at that,
04:08 we say, "You say this, but what you really mean this.
04:11 And I know what you mean."
04:13 It takes a great deal of mind reading to do that.
04:14 I've got to say, all right, you're saying that
04:16 but I know inside what you're really thinking,
04:18 what you're thinking,
04:19 then we have something far more negative.
04:21 Now, the truth is,
04:22 even as long as we've been married,
04:24 you cannot read my mind.
04:26 Sometimes I think I can.
04:29 We really, we do think that
04:31 because we've been married a long time.
04:33 When couples have been together a long time,
04:35 that's what they think, right.
04:36 You think, I've been with this man so long
04:38 I know what he's thinking.
04:40 I know what he's going to do next.
04:42 I know exactly what's going through his mind.
04:44 And really we're doing the other person a disservice
04:47 when we, when we say that.
04:49 And we-- often it's a negative way of communicating as well.
04:52 Absolutely, when that woman or that individual
04:55 because we've had this happen more than once.
04:57 Not just a woman but a man has done this
04:59 as well in other places.
05:02 When they come to us and say this,
05:03 "I'm the only one who cares."
05:05 They had now already read something negative
05:07 into their partner's intentions.
05:09 And I think that a part of success is backing that up.
05:13 All right, you may think you have evidence
05:15 that supports this premise,
05:17 that your partner really doesn't want to try.
05:19 Really doesn't want anything to be better.
05:21 And really isn't willing to give to this
05:23 and that may or may not be true,
05:24 but you can't read their mind.
05:26 And so, it's better to take
05:28 a positive assumption about them.
05:30 To take their words at face value,
05:32 and just to assume,
05:33 I want the best for this relationship
05:35 and the best for you.
05:36 And I'm going to assume that
05:38 you want the best for me as well.
05:39 It changes our attitude
05:40 in how we interact with one another
05:42 by making that, that assumption.
05:43 It absolutely does, because then you're both able
05:46 to come to the table and say,
05:47 "All right, we both want the best.
05:49 How we're gonna get there?"
05:50 And that's difficult to do,
05:51 if you've got a backlog of negativity in the relationship.
05:55 But it's essential that we get there.
05:57 It's essential that I look at past all the negativity
06:00 that's gone on in our relationship and say,
06:02 "All right, I'm going to choose to believe the best about you."
06:05 That's right.
06:06 "I'm going to choose to believe that you're a good person
06:08 who wants the best for me."
06:09 And let's say that it's even true,
06:10 that the other person is not really interested.
06:13 They're not really engaged.
06:15 I'm still going to be healthier,
06:16 if my assumption is good will towards you
06:19 and good will toward this marriage
06:20 because then my actions will reflect that
06:23 my attitudes will reflect that,
06:26 and I will have a healthier attitude toward you,
06:29 and I may draw you in simply because of that.
06:33 Not only can I not read your mind,
06:35 but I cannot change your behavior.
06:38 I'm not the one who's responsible for changing
06:40 your behavior, your attitude, your thoughts, I can't do that.
06:44 The only person that I can control
06:46 by God's grace is me.
06:48 And so, I always have to make the healthy choice.
06:51 I can never afford the luxury of an unhealthy choice,
06:54 an unhealthy word, thought or action.
06:57 I cannot afford that luxury.
06:59 That is a luxury to us sometimes.
07:01 Yeah. Yeah.
07:02 We think, "Ah, that felt good just to get them told
07:04 or you know or to indulge my feelings,
07:09 my emotions at the moment."
07:12 But we can't afford that because that's unhealthy,
07:14 it doesn't help us as a couple.
07:16 It always damages the relationship to do that,
07:18 so I have to assume the best about you.
07:21 And then I have to make sure
07:22 that what I do for this marriage
07:24 really is in the best interest of the relationship
07:28 and of your best interest as well.
07:31 And that really is what, what submission is all about
07:34 is preferring the needs of the other person
07:36 above my own needs.
07:38 So, this is an act of submission.
07:40 And of course, Paul talks about
07:41 mutual submission in a relationship.
07:43 Not just woman to a man but mutual submission.
07:45 That means as the man and the leader,
07:47 I need to take the lead by, by submitting,
07:50 by subjugating my needs and my thoughts to yours,
07:54 so that I meet your needs first and that's true submission.
07:58 And that means that I'm going to have
08:00 whole goodwill toward the marriage
08:01 and good will toward you,
08:03 and I'm going to demonstrate that,
08:04 not just with my words,
08:06 but with my behaviors
08:07 by putting your needs ahead of my own.
08:09 You know, I'm thinking too that sometimes
08:12 an assumption of good will toward the marriage,
08:14 having the best will toward the marriage
08:17 is going to mean that I need to make some changes.
08:18 Yes. Changes are hard.
08:21 Yeah, they are hard.
08:22 And none of us like to make them.
08:23 We do not like to make changes.
08:25 No. We're resistant to that.
08:26 I've had people come to the office, you know,
08:28 and I lay out to.
08:30 This happens particularly with men.
08:32 You know, counseling in Texas,
08:34 you get the good old boy in there,
08:36 and I love the good old boy.
08:37 But he'll sit back, and listen to me talk
08:39 about the changes that he needs to make it.
08:40 And he said, you know,
08:42 "She knew I was like this when she married me."
08:46 Oh well, that settles it, doesn't it?
08:48 Well, then why should they ever change, right?
08:49 Absolutely not.
08:51 If you want to see is what you get.
08:53 Yeah, that's right.
08:54 Oh, my word to him is
08:56 "Yes, she, she may have known that,
08:57 she may have and she may not have realized
08:59 that the impact that that
09:00 would have on the relationship."
09:02 However in marriage and in relationships
09:04 everything changes.
09:06 We have to be willing to change
09:08 anything and everything.
09:09 You can't change who you are,
09:11 but you can change what you do.
09:13 And so, that has to be on the table, making the change.
09:16 Well, some other things changed about me, don't they?
09:17 Yeah, that right, I tell him as it,
09:19 after all other things have changed for you.
09:21 He said, "Like what?"
09:22 I said, "Well, when you married her,
09:23 you had a flat belly and hair and that changed,
09:25 so why can't this?"
09:27 They don't usually like that, but it's true,
09:30 everything changes and we need to be
09:32 open to the possibility of change.
09:34 Not, I don't just have to expect you to change,
09:37 I have to be willing to change,
09:39 because the truth is that
09:40 not only am I not married to a perfect person,
09:43 but you are not married to a perfect person either.
09:46 And that's me, so I need to make the changes
09:48 in order to make the marriage better,
09:49 if I'm really going to hold good will
09:51 toward you in the marriage.
09:52 Well, it's called accommodation, isn't it?
09:54 I'm going to accommodate
09:55 your needs, your likes, your dislikes.
09:59 All of the things that you bring to the marriage,
10:02 I'm going to have to accommodate this.
10:04 I may not have even realized they were all there
10:06 when we got married.
10:08 And in fact, I guarantee that I didn't and you didn't.
10:10 That's right. I had no idea what I was getting.
10:12 I know, but as much as we know about each other
10:16 before we're not going to know everything.
10:17 No, you're not.
10:18 You're not going to know, what it's like to live
10:20 day to day with that person.
10:21 And to be on the same path with that person until you're there.
10:24 And then when you are there, you're gonna have to have
10:27 good will toward this thing and say,
10:29 "All right, I want it to work.
10:30 And so I will accommodate, I will do what is needed
10:33 in order to make this thing work."
10:35 So, what are the practical steps?
10:37 All right, practical steps, number one.
10:39 It's pretty easy to demonstrate your goodwill
10:42 if you will number one make changes.
10:45 Look for things that might make you more appealing,
10:49 or might make your behavior more acceptable to your spouse.
10:53 Or might make your spouse happier.
10:55 Yeah, it might make them happier.
10:56 So, make one change for the better today.
11:00 Just one change for the better,
11:01 something that will be meaningful to your spouse.
11:03 That's step number one.
11:04 Today, I'm going to make one change to be meaningful
11:07 to you and would make your life easier.
11:09 That's step number one, step number two.
11:10 Yeah Tomorrow make another one.
11:14 And then basically persist in those changes.
11:18 Persist in those changes.
11:20 So, it's not, it's not enough to do it just once
11:22 and then go back to the old behavior, right?
11:23 No, so we're going to do it once,
11:25 we're going to persist in it,
11:27 and then we're going to find another thing.
11:29 And persist in that.
11:30 And basically, step number three,
11:32 continue the pattern.
11:34 Continue the pattern, the pattern of finding ways
11:37 to accommodate and to be close to your spouse.
11:41 Find changes that need to be made
11:43 and make them in meaningful ways.
11:45 And then persist in those things.
11:47 People do that when they're dating.
11:48 Oh, they do.
11:50 They do that when they're dating.
11:51 If you know, if I find out that my girlfriend likes flowers,
11:54 I buy flowers.
11:55 If I find out she doesn't like to go to sporting events,
11:58 but likes to go to concerts, we go to concerts, you know.
12:01 You do those things to accommodate one another
12:03 when you're dating because you want,
12:05 you want them to like you,
12:06 and so you clean up, you look good.
12:09 So, why wouldn't I do that in marriage as well?
12:11 That is the rest of my life is to find ways to make you happy.
12:15 And that is not odious to me.
12:17 I do that with God.
12:19 I have a relationship with God.
12:20 And there are certain changes that He desires in me,
12:23 because it pleases Him
12:24 and it makes the relationship that much better.
12:27 I'm willing to do that because I love Him.
12:29 And I think that's key is the attitude with which you do it.
12:33 Because, I love this person, I will do this.
12:35 I'm not going to grudgingly make changes,
12:38 I'm not going to grudgingly give in.
12:41 No, I have good will toward this thing.
12:43 I want this to be the best it can possibly be.
12:46 So, I'm going to approach it with the most positive attitude
12:49 I possibly can.
12:51 And that gets us back to step four,
12:53 which we've mentioned earlier and step four is,
12:56 I'm going to change my attitude about you.
12:59 I'm going to, to assume that you want the best for me.
13:02 I want to assume that you want the best for the relationship.
13:06 Now, there may be things that are blocking you
13:08 from doing all the things that I want you to do.
13:10 You know, we all have baggage from our past
13:13 and we have fears and concerns.
13:15 Women tend to deal more with fear,
13:17 and men tend to do deal more with shame.
13:19 And those things become powerful blocking agents
13:22 in making change in our relationship.
13:25 So, we have to be sensitive to those, those blocking agents
13:28 in our relationship with each other,
13:30 understand that fear may stop you and shame may stop me.
13:34 But as we slowly, gently, lovingly make the change
13:37 and accommodate each other, I change my thinking about you,
13:40 and I assume the best about you.
13:43 And as I do that and you see me assuming that...
13:46 I'm absolutely gonna respond. Yeah.
13:48 And that's what happens, when we both put our best
13:51 and we both believe the best about each other,
13:53 we begin to respond to one another.
13:55 All right.
13:56 Well, again today's program has been about making a Choice.
13:59 You can make a choice today.
14:01 And we want you to do this, because we want you to be
14:04 madly in love forever.