Friday, April 16, 2010

Marriage Improvement Ideas

For our mother's group this morning, we invited an older woman, Lois Jarmon, to lead a discussion on strengthening marriages. Lois is one of those women who just glows and I was inspired by the ideas she brought and the things she discussed. I love being able to learn from women who are further along in life than I am. She's been married 57 years (I think that's what she said) and her husband is also wonderful.

From my memory, here are the things she discussed:

* Find things that you enjoy doing together as a couple. For her and her husband, they loved music and tennis. Her husband played basketball for BYU and she enjoyed attending his games. They sang a lot during their courtship, because she was taking piano lessons and he'd meet her at her practice room. They continued singing as a family every Sunday together and even today when the family gathers, they sing. She brought copies of their two favorite songs, Desert Pete and Let's Go Fly a Kite.

* Pray together morning and night.

* Make Family Dinner Time a priority. They would make sure the kids were home to eat together and they'd have lots of conversation, whether about what the kids were learning at school or about current events. As her children have grown up, they've continued to have family dinners, only now its on Sunday nights. Instead of having all 4 of the 6 kids who live nearby over all at once, they decided it was better to have more individual time with each family, so each family has one Sunday a month that they come over for dinner. They eat and sing Desert Pete and enjoy each other.

* Family Home Evening should be a priority. They had charts they used for assignments. Every three months, her husband would take a night and interview each child individually. Once a month they'd have a family council and discuss their budget and get the kids on board for the things they were saving for.

* Lois Jarmon said she asked her husband what had helped their marriage the most and he told her that she had always been very positive about the things that bothered her. When she had a problem or something that offended her, she wouldn't let it fester, but would approach him lovingly and positively about it and work it out. He never felt criticized. She said she used the same approach with her children. She tried always to use positive statements rather than negative ones -- instead of "Don't do that," she'd try to say, "I would like it if you would . . . "

* Pray about your concerns for your children and the decisions you make as a family.

I loved listening to Lois Jarmon talk about her life and family and I was impressed with both the simplicity of her advice and how profound it was. I felt inspired to make some changes in our family and marriage as a result of what she said. I realized I need to be more positive and less critical and that my husband and I need to get back to doing our nightly meetings. I also need to make more of an effort to jumpstart conversation at dinner. We eat together every night, but no one talks much.

What have you done to make your marriage a priority? What do you and your husband like to do together?

10 comments:

bjahlstrom said...

I really like these thoughts, Christina. Thank you so much for sharing.

Natalie said...

Great ideas! My husband and I love (among other things of course) watching America's Funniest Home Videos. We just like laughing together=) He's good about making sure we go one dates pretty often and we enjoy being outside together. I was sorry to miss this morning, thanks for the recap!

Wendy said...

I love this!! What a great resource for those who aren't as far along in our lives as she is. Sounds like they have an amazing marriage!! Thanks for sharing the ideas.

Deserie said...

Lot's of fun idea's on marriage. I just want to thank you for taking our family photos tonight. It will be really nice to have some great pictures on our wall. Thanks!

Joy For Your Journey said...

Great post. And I was glad to see we do most of the things she suggested--only we do not sing together! That would be sad for everyone! :-) I think one of the best things we do is have lunch together every Wednesday. When he was a bishop I felt he was gone so much that I needed extra time with him so we started that tradition. Now it is 16 years later and we are still doing it. It gives me something to look forward to in the middle of the week and I love that. We also have date every weekend. and I think that after so many years you stop worrying about the things the other person does that bug you.They probably aren't going to change, so just focus on the good things. There are more of those anyway. :-)

Courtney said...

Thanks for sharing. What a great mothers group to do things like have guest speakers.

alligood said...

I love your parenting group topic idea. I think I shall steal it for one of our meetings! What other ones have you done? I'm in charge of our parenting class group and I would love some new ideas!

My husband and I talk - a lot. I enjoy his company and appreciate his perspective when it comes to things that are on my mind. We try to have a date night a few times a month and we occasionally have a get-away for a long weekend (we just returned from Chicago). I come back from these little trips rejuvenated personally and in regards to my marriage. It's a LOT of work arranging to get away. We had to divide up our children to 3 separate houses (My MIL, Mother, and SIL), but it is SO worth it!

Katie said...

Loved the post. We like to read together....mostly juvenile fiction, but an occasional adult novel or a non-fiction. We've done it for all of our marriage, and I really like the time it carves out for us.

Kim said...

I love this post too. I think sometimes we get so busy with life that we don't take time as a couple or as a family to just enjoy being together. I'm looking forward to summer so we can just have fun without all of the demands of school etc.

Corri said...

Thanks for sharing. I love the singing on Sunday idea...we've been struggling with Sundays around here lately, and I think that could really make a difference in our lives!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...