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Presentation on theme: " Calm Couples ™ Marriage Restoration 10 Keys to a Healthy Marriage Presented by Kirk Martin Executive Director, Celebrate!Calm February."— Presentation transcript:

1 Calm Couples ™ Marriage Restoration 10 Keys to a Healthy Marriage Presented by Kirk Martin Executive Director, Celebrate!Calm February 4, 2009

2 About Celebrate!Calm Leading educational organization based in Washington, D.C. Serve clients in 27 countries. Brain Boosters™ curriculum used in over 1,300 schools. Calm Kids™ curriculum used in over 12,000 homes. 2,500 children listening to empowering CD’s. Calm Couples™ curriculum used in 125 churches.

3 About Celebrate!Calm / Kirk Martin Founder and Director of Education Partnerships with PH.D’s in special education, leading research scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists. Published author of four books, numerous articles and a newsletter read weekly by 8,000 parents and teachers. Worked directly with over 1,500 intense children and families through innovative Camps in the Martins’ home. Equipped 45,000 teachers, parents and students with unrivaled insight and interventions through workshops across North America. Featured in The Washington Post, USA TODAY and dozens of newspapers; appeared on WGN-TV, Good Morning, New York and National Public Radio.

4 Marriages need a new road map Many couples make a wrong turn and find themselves lost. Instead of asking for directions, keep driving. Don’t need a new car or new driver. Need a road map to get us back on track.

5 Why should we fight for marriages? Greatest, most important gift can give children. Teach children how to forgive, reconcile and problem solve. Model relationships. Opportunity to be mature and grow up.

6 How we got here: 5 lies & misleading signposts Lie # 1: Your spouse is supposed to make you happy. –If I depend on my wife to make me happy, become powerless. –I don’t want to be my wife’s “everything.” I don’t want to be her sun and moon. Am I that arrogant? –Unfair to each of us. Too much pressure on self and wife. Lie # 2: Your spouse should know what you want without you telling him or her. –We should understand our spouse, but not be mind-readers. –Idea perpetuated by novels classified as “fiction” for a purpose! Lie # 3: I can change my spouse. –Feel free to laugh :)

7 How we got here: 5 lies & misleading signposts Lie # 4: The grass is greener. –We all know the grass over there is different. –Grass isn’t dead; it’s just dormant. Lie # 5: All you need is love. –What happens when you wake up and don’t feel in love?

8 What is the purpose of marriage? Happiness? To be “complete”? Fulfillment? To make divorce attorneys rich?

9 What is the purpose of marriage? We spend more time understanding and committing to a home, retirement plan and big screen television than we do to understanding the purpose of marriage. How did we get the idea that the union of two imperfect people would yield happiness and perfection?

10 What is the purpose of marriage? Purpose of marriage is our transformation. –Why married couples grow personally more than most singles. Implications Spouse is no longer the cause of your unhappiness. Spouse is a gift given as a tool for personal transformation.

11 10 Keys to a Healthy Marriage

12 # 1 Control yourself and no one else. The only person I can truly control is myself. I must control my own anxiety. I am responsible for my own happiness. Anxiety and fear cause us to control others. –Money tight: blame spouse instead of dealing with anxiety. –Wife overwhelmed: pushes hubby away. –Husband lashes out at kids rather than calming himself.

13 The danger of controlling my spouse I rely on my spouse’s mood to determine my mood. –If she’s not happy, how can I be happy? –“I *need* you to be happy, so I can be happy.” –“How can I make you happy so I can have a good day?” –React with anger when can’t “fix” it.

14 The danger of controlling my spouse I control my spouse’s reaction in order to control myself. –When we are weak emotionally, we control our spouse’s reactions to validate our own feelings. If only my spouse will do “x,” then I will do “y”… –My actions are now dependent on someone else. –Have given power over emotions, attitudes and actions away.

15 # 2 Be selfish so you can be selfless. Self-love (e.g. taking care of yourself) is a prerequisite in order to be selfless and give in a healthy way. Ultimately selfish and destructive to ask your spouse to meet your deepest needs. Must understand the four levels of love.

16 4 Levels of Love # 1 I love me for my sake. Self-centered, incapable of looking outward, self-preservation. Addicts. # 2 I love you for my sake. I love you so you will love me. Needy, narcissistic, calculating. This is the love of teenagers and politicians. # 3 I love you for your sake. I neglect myself because you need me; become depleted and needy. Natural outgrowth is resentment. “After all I do for you…” # 4 I love me for your sake. I take care of myself so that you don’t have to. I give out of wholeness.

17 Practice self-love/ self-care Slow life. Stop giving power to society and others. Make adult choices. Reduce stressors. Choose calm. –Exercise, read, pray, sing, walk, sow, garden

18 # 3 Burn the checklist. Over time, a list of resentments begins to take hold in our minds. Write down the list. Burn it. Do not allow the list to form again in your heart or brain. Practice gratitude.

19 # 4 Forgive and rebuild trust. Forgiveness does not mean pain goes away. Trust takes time. 3 Reasons to forgive: –When don’t forgive, give past actions power over present; put focus on someone else’s actions rather than your own. –If don’t forgive, chain spouse to past actions. –Must forgive to be forgiven. Rebuild trust: –Expect trust to take a long time to rebuild. –If rush it, become disillusioned and put too much pressure on each other. –Acknowledge and celebrate small steps.

20 # 5 Be assertive. Because (1) I am responsible for my actions; (2) I know best what I need to be fulfilled and happy; and (3) I demonstrate self-respect, I am assertive about what I want and need. Martyr syndrome is passive-aggressive and selfish. “Oh, it doesn’t matter what I want…” –Don’t be surprised when people discount your wishes or ignore your needs when you don’t care enough about yourself to be assertive. –Don’t be a martyr and become resentful. Examples –Dinner conversation. –Faking it on a cruise. –Complaining that husband is clueless.

21 # 5 Be assertive. Being assertive is liberating for me and my wife. When I am assertive, it relieves my wife of any pressure and she knows what I want. It is honest. Examples –My birthday. –Sunday afternoons. –Wife who wants family to go to church with her.

22 # 6 Be apart so you don’t grow apart. Not an excuse for men to play 18 holes of golf every day (9 is okay). Some people only feel purposeful when they are needed and become dependent on children needing you. Take a break! Need time apart as a couple from children. Need time apart individually to be whole when you are together. Examples –Anita listening to CD and concert tickets. –Me after a workshop.

23 # 7 Liking is more important than loving. Love is obligatory. But do you like your spouse? Do you like who you are when you are with your spouse? Practice the Power of One. –Write down one thing you like about your spouse. –Can be impersonal (he works really hard, she’s a great cook) or personal (he has a great sense of humor, she is compassionate). –Dwell on that one though. Compliment your spouse repeatedly. –Then find another quality you like. Rinse and repeat often.

24 # 8 Water your own grass. Most common trap in human nature: the grass is always greener. Tempted to take the easy way out: get a new lawn. Resist the temptation of the perfect man or woman at the office. Grass isn’t dead. It’s just dormant. We need to water it. –Don’t wait for your spouse to change. –Feelings follow words and actions. –Prepare the soil (forgive and rebuild trust). –Plant a lot of seeds. Marriage relationships deteriorate because we stop doing a lot of little things and miss opportunities. –Think of one thing your spouse HATES doing. Begin doing that task for your spouse, even if he or she does not reciprocate.

25 # 9 Cut the chords. Parents still exhibit too much emotional control over spouses. Disappoint parents early on in marriage. –Manipulation comes from resentments and feeling entitled because of all they sacrificed as a parent. –Do not be moved by their childish reactions. –Do not compromise your own family –Mother gets offended--enjoy the peace and quiet. –Not responsible for your parents’ happiness. Cutting the chords causes transformation! –Husband first, father second, son third. –When decided to get married and have children, made a conscious choice to separate from parents and become mature adult. –Growing up is difficult :)

26 # 10 The greatest gift a man can give his wife. My greatest gift to others, ironically, has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. (1) I take care of myself so my wife doesn’t have to “manage” me. –Calm, assertive leader. –Free from parents’ control so put my family first. –Trust me with kids. (2) Give me wife a night out once or twice per month. –Handle dinner, dishes, homework, put kids to bed. (3) Date night with undivided attention.

27 # 10 The greatest gift a woman can give her husband. (1) I take care of myself so my husband doesn’t have to take care of me. –Exercise, take a walk, listen to music, read, pray to feel centered –Show self-respect –Do not give kids keys to your emotions and happiness. (2) Leave the kids, guilt and responsibility behind for a date night. –Be my husband’s date and not just his kids’ Mom for an evening. (3) Thank my husband for random things: taking care of the lawn, working hard, being patient with the kids. Make each other a priority. Spend time together first when come home from work. Let kids know your relationship is a priority.

28 Conclusion Focus changes from changing my spouse to controlling myself. Restores power and control to me. Meet our own needs proactively so that we can give from a place of wholeness and not be emotionally needy. Prepare the soil--let go of resentments, forgive, rebuild trust, be assertive, take time apart. Water the grass--compliment and praise, serve each other, sacrifice from wholeness. We now have power over our lives and our marriage.

29 # 10 The greatest gift a woman can give her husband. The only person I can truly control is myself. I must control my own anxiety. I am responsible for my own happiness. Anxiety and fear cause us to control others. –Money tight--blame spouse instead of dealing with anxiety. –Wife overwhelmed--pushes hubby away –Husband lashes out at kids rather than calming himself

30 Thank you for the important work you do. Contact us if you have questions. Kirk Martin

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