Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000084B
00:01 Welcome back.
00:03 We've been talking about Mottos for Marriage.
00:05 Successful couples have shared their motto,
00:08 their guiding principle with us,
00:10 we are passing that on to you as well.
00:13 And we are talking today about connecting
00:15 and then communicating.
00:17 We started off with connection, now we are communicating.
00:19 By the way if you want to learn more about
00:21 Mad About Marriage,
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00:43 But today, we are talking about,
00:45 about having a way
00:46 to communicating our love for each other.
00:49 And the motto that we are talking about was...
00:51 The motto that we are talking about was,
00:53 "I will communicate my love to you daily
00:56 using words when necessary."
00:58 Now in order to do that, we've got to understand
01:00 what the other person needs.
01:01 That's right.
01:03 Now my tendency is
01:04 if I want you to communicate your love to me,
01:06 I will show you that
01:07 by communicating my love to you,
01:10 in the same way I want it shown to me.
01:11 In other words, I tend to model it.
01:14 Maybe if I want an act of kindness,
01:15 I will do an act of kindness for you.
01:17 But that's not at all what you wanted.
01:19 You wanted something else and so I'm trying to show you,
01:22 this is how you do this.
01:24 And then if you're modeling to me with words of kindness,
01:28 something, yeah, the words are nice
01:29 but look at this, look at this and you wanted words back.
01:32 Well, if we are talking about
01:34 doing something for the other person.
01:36 Maybe I love going out to dinner so I think
01:38 "Oh, Mike is gonna love it if I plan a dinner out."
01:41 And so, I plan that thinking that
01:43 that's showing my love for you
01:45 when actually what you would rather do is,
01:47 you know, play golf together.
01:49 Yeah, I used to play golf. Yeah.
01:51 All right, so if we are gonna do this,
01:53 if we are really going to be effective
01:54 in communicating our love for each other,
01:57 using words only when absolutely necessary.
02:00 How would we do this?
02:01 What are the steps for making this happen?
02:02 Well, I think to understand what is gonna be meaningful
02:05 to the other person with our communication
02:08 of love is to, first of all just ask.
02:11 So I'd say, step number one, you know,
02:14 what would make you feel loved?
02:16 You know, and maybe this happens on sometime
02:18 when you are out on a date or something
02:20 and you have some time together and you just ask the question.
02:24 "You know, I want to be sure that you know that I love you
02:28 and I'm looking for ways to let you know that
02:32 and what will make you feel loved?"
02:34 That might be a question that take some by surprise
02:36 and it's a little hard to answer at first,
02:39 but as you maybe explore it a little bit,
02:41 you can actually come up with some things.
02:43 Well, you know, I really love it
02:44 when you, you know, I really like it when you--
02:48 Or I really wish you would.
02:50 Maybe something you're not currently doing
02:51 that your partner would really love it if you did.
02:54 It will make me feel great if, you know, fill in the blank.
02:58 So ask, so that's number one.
03:00 And then just begin to explore and observe.
03:04 I need to sit back and watch what makes your eyes light up.
03:09 You know, I need to see what is really meaningful
03:11 to you by observing what it is.
03:14 That means I have to look at your values,
03:17 the principles that are important to you,
03:19 I have to look at the things that you just enjoy doing.
03:22 What is the definition of fun for you?
03:26 And what seems to make you feel secure and happy
03:30 as opposed to feeling threatened or fearful.
03:34 One of those things because it's my job
03:36 to make sure that you are,
03:38 you feel comfortable and safe in our relationship.
03:41 That's a part of feeling love.
03:42 So, if I observe and I say "What is that makes
03:45 Mike feel the most settled and the most safe?"
03:50 You know, and I can see that
03:51 and I can tell and if you watch, you know,
03:53 if a person will watch their spouse, they can learn--
03:55 You can see that and observe that.
03:57 So begin to watch and just the personality.
04:00 You know, with this personality
04:02 what's gonna make this person feel loved?
04:04 And once you've done all that
04:06 and as you are doing it make a list.
04:07 Make a list.
04:08 So step number one is ask the question.
04:10 Step number two is observe
04:12 and just see what you observe from the other person.
04:14 Step number three is to write it down
04:16 so that you don't forget
04:17 and you kind of have a list of things there.
04:20 And then number four is to make a plan.
04:23 What are the things on this list
04:25 that I can actually do?
04:26 And when can I do this? Yes.
04:28 Maybe some of them are very tangible things.
04:30 Maybe some of them are attitudinal things
04:33 that just kind of change my attitude in certain areas
04:35 and that's gonna express love.
04:38 So some of them are gonna be ongoing.
04:40 There will be things just day-to-day,
04:42 I'm gonna change, I'm gonna do this for you.
04:44 Some of them might be an event.
04:46 You know, I'm gonna plan this event
04:48 and as he is gonna feel loved because this happens
04:52 and he knows that I spend time thinking about it
04:55 and thinking about him in order to plan it.
04:57 The key then is to persist in this.
04:59 Once I know what makes you happy do it regularly.
05:03 Our friend, Willie Oliver said that
05:05 when he discovered that Elaine, his wife loved flowers
05:09 and he said, I mean, she loves flowers.
05:13 He said, I discovered this when I brought her flowers once
05:15 and she just went crazy over it.
05:17 He said, so I put on my calendar
05:20 so that it pops up and reminds me every week,
05:23 every Friday I buy her flowers.
05:25 He said, it just makes her eyes light up.
05:27 She loves it.
05:28 Why wouldn't I do that for her he said?
05:30 Yeah, I mean, that's a good question.
05:32 If I know she loves it, why wouldn't I do it?
05:36 We have so many things that we know our spouse loves
05:39 but, you know, they don't really mean that much to us
05:42 or it's a lot of trouble or we just don't think about it
05:45 because we are not focusing on it.
05:48 Focus on it. Yeah.
05:49 Make a plan. If we know they love it, do it.
05:51 And it's not gonna happen by accident.
05:52 You have to plan it. So make it a plan.
05:55 Now, there is a couple of other mottos
05:56 we would like to get to.
05:58 One is "We have to learn to express request
06:03 and concerns without criticism or attack."
06:05 There are times when I have to,
06:07 I have a concern that I share with you something
06:08 I'm concerned about or I make a request of it,
06:11 something I want you to do for me or do differently.
06:13 But I have to learn to do that
06:15 without criticism or without attack.
06:17 That's not easy. No, it's not.
06:19 Because as soon as I hear the words
06:22 "I don't like or I wish you would."
06:26 Or "You always, you know, you tend to do this."
06:28 Or you never. Yeah.
06:31 Might offences go up. Yeah.
06:33 Oh, you know.
06:34 In fact, you know, sometimes you can just hear
06:36 a tone of voice or you can hear
06:38 a certain word and all of a sudden,
06:40 you know, your back straightens.
06:41 Hair stands up on the back of you neck and--
06:43 You're like, oh, oh, here it comes.
06:44 It's fight-or-flight depending on your personality.
06:47 So if you are the person having to express our concerns,
06:50 sometimes we have to.
06:51 Sometimes there are things that we have to express.
06:53 This is a problem. Or make a request.
06:57 If you are the person doing that,
06:58 it's really important that you consider it first,
07:02 that you think about what you're going to say,
07:04 think before you speak
07:06 that you learn to express it in a way
07:09 that it's the least confrontational,
07:13 so that the person has the ability
07:15 to be open to it.
07:16 And very often that involves making eye statements.
07:19 So in other words, you talk about your thoughts,
07:21 your feelings, your needs, your concerns,
07:25 your response to what's taking place.
07:28 And there is one method that we teach
07:30 in conflict resolution is a means of doing
07:33 this is called the "XYZ method."
07:35 You know, when you do X in Y situations I feel Z.
07:39 It would be one way of expressing your concern.
07:41 So when you, you know, get angry with me,
07:45 when I forget to pick up my socks from the floor,
07:48 I feel frightened or whatever it may happened to be.
07:50 Yeah, whatever it is.
07:51 You know, so basically finding that pattern,
07:54 it just expresses this is my reaction,
07:55 this is my response to what's going on
07:58 and it expresses the concern well
08:00 or you know to make the request
08:03 just simply something as simple as,
08:05 you know, what would make me really happy
08:07 is if you could do X.
08:09 Or I would be so thrilled if you would be willing to do,
08:13 would you be willing to do that for me?
08:15 You know, so just a simple request
08:16 not a "why don't you" because that's an attack.
08:20 So I want to do everything I can do
08:22 not criticize you or attack you
08:24 because that's gonna make you defensive.
08:27 And people sometimes say,
08:28 "Well, but that's not being honest.
08:29 That's just, you know, pussyfooting around the thing."
08:31 Yeah. And I don't think that's true.
08:33 No, I don't either.
08:34 Because I think what it's doing
08:36 is protecting your relationship.
08:39 It's my responsibility to protect the relationship.
08:42 So if I'm gonna come out with guns blaring,
08:45 that's not protecting the relationship,
08:47 it's not protecting you.
08:48 You leave me wounded. Absolutely.
08:49 I've got holes all through me.
08:51 Bleeding. And what am I gaining by that?
08:52 Nothing. I put distance there.
08:55 You made me angry at you or hurt,
08:57 and I'm not gonna trust you anymore,
08:58 and I'm certainly not gonna do what you want me to do.
09:00 Oh, no. You know.
09:02 Dig the heels in or withdraw,
09:03 those are the two responses you get.
09:05 Yeah. Yeah.
09:06 You know, either you watch this.
09:07 You know, you think you didn't like that, well, watch this.
09:10 And if there is, if there is a compliance
09:13 is be grudged compliance.
09:14 It's dreaded compliance. It's angry compliance.
09:19 It's compliance that brings no joy
09:21 and so I'm grudgingly complying all the time,
09:25 I'm seething inside because of the pain
09:28 that was caused over this situation.
09:29 There is a big difference between saying
09:32 "You know, I feel this way when this happens than saying
09:37 you know, what you do to me, you know."
09:40 You can see the finger pointing and "I hate it when you do."
09:45 So the I statements. Here's how I feel.
09:47 I feel, I see, I observe, I wish, I, you know whatever.
09:53 I think whatever. I think.
09:54 It may be whatever that has to do.
09:56 All those statements rather than you this.
09:57 So we're talking about my personal experience
10:00 in relationship to what's going on
10:02 and how I wish those things were different.
10:04 So it's a non-accusatory non-attacking way
10:07 of making this request or expressing your concern.
10:10 Now, there is another motto that it goes,
10:13 it must go hand and glove with this particular motto.
10:15 It's a partner because while it's important as the speaker
10:19 when making the request to make sure
10:22 that you are clear and you are kind about that,
10:25 that's your number one priority.
10:27 You are the one that is most responsible
10:30 for the message that comes across.
10:32 It's also important when you are the receiver
10:35 to do some things.
10:36 If I have to receive that request,
10:38 it's my job to receive it without defensiveness.
10:42 That's a tough thing, isn't it?
10:44 And again what we tell people over and over again
10:47 in our seminars is defensiveness
10:49 is the enemy of intimacy.
10:52 You want intimacy, you don't defend yourself.
10:55 How do you do that?
10:57 That's not easy, especially if you feel like
10:58 you're constantly attacked.
11:00 But I know that you and I have discovered in pastoral work
11:04 that people will come to you and complain
11:06 and it feels very much like an attack.
11:08 Sometimes the finger is wagging and there is anger
11:12 and your tendency is to want to defend yourself
11:14 because after all this is an unjustified attack
11:16 and you're wrong
11:18 and your information is misguided
11:19 and you don't know what you're talking about
11:20 and you're just too mean to talk to him right now.
11:22 You got a whole list.
11:24 Yeah, I got a whole list of things.
11:25 But if I do that, I'm being defensive
11:28 and I never get to the heart
11:29 of what's going on with this person.
11:30 But if I will listen without defensiveness
11:33 and try to find the heart's desire
11:36 in this individuals' anger and their pain
11:40 and their request and their expression of concern
11:43 then I can find a point of ministry
11:45 but I will never be able to minister to this person
11:47 if I'm defending myself or defending the institution
11:51 or defending what I've done.
11:52 It means, sometimes I'm left bloody and beaten
11:56 but, you know what, that's what I think about
11:58 how what it means when the scripture says
12:00 "By His stripes we are healed.
12:02 He bored that for us."
12:04 Without defensiveness, without complaint
12:05 He could have defended himself
12:07 but He chose not to
12:08 and it provides for our healing.
12:09 We have the opportunity to heal each other.
12:12 By refusing to defend ourselves
12:14 and instead saying, "I want to listen
12:17 until I can find the point of concern.
12:19 The heart's desire and what's bothering you
12:22 and then I can minister to that point
12:24 rather than to the periphery over the anchor.
12:26 Most of the time when someone comes to you and they say,
12:29 "I don't like this about what you're doing"
12:32 there is really, it's not about that.
12:34 It's not about that surface issue
12:36 and that's true in our marriages.
12:38 It's something deeper.
12:39 It's not usually, you know, we have,
12:42 we have fights over socks on the floor
12:44 or how to squeeze a toothpaste
12:46 or whatever and it's not about that,
12:47 it's about something that makes that important.
12:49 It may be over respect.
12:50 Yes. It may be over care.
12:52 There is a heart's desire there.
12:55 And I think its' important to understand that
12:57 because when you understand that,
12:58 you understand that you're opening
13:00 the door to intimacy.
13:01 If I hear your heart's desire
13:03 and I hear that without defensiveness.
13:05 Now, I can be open to accommodating you.
13:07 I can be open to ministering
13:09 to that particular need that you have.
13:11 Now there is a caveat to this.
13:13 There are times in abusive relationships
13:16 where the attack is serious where it's truly detrimental
13:19 and in those cases a boundary needs to be drawn
13:23 so that you do not have to be the recipient of abuse.
13:25 That's right.
13:27 So a boundary needs to be drawn.
13:28 But apart from an abusive relationship
13:31 with just two people who may even have a history of arguing
13:34 when that concern, that criticism comes
13:37 if I can listen without defensiveness,
13:40 I can hear your heart's desire then we have an opportunity
13:43 to truly minister to each other, don't we?
13:46 You know, a lot of this comes from John Gottman's work
13:49 and if people want to understand more about this,
13:51 they might look at John and Julie Gottman's work
13:53 from the National Marriage Institute.
13:54 That's right, so we encourage you
13:57 to find a way to communicate with love.
13:59 Do it with gentleness
14:01 because we want you to be madly in love forever.