Mission Marriage Care??

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about marriages in crisis.  She notified me of a referral headed my way…and then noted that she is aware of about ten marriages in crisis.  “People talk to me,” she said.  Likely because of her welcoming aura, her love, and steadfastness.  They go to her.  I have no doubt she gave them wonderful support,the priceless gift of a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on, but what about something that they could take and use…and benefit from…without seeing a therapist?  I don’t want to work myself out of a job by any means…but what if I could somehow help others help others?

I think of Justin’s ability to have created so many different leaders in our church.  People know that he is not the only one they can go to…people know he is not the only one needed in order for the church to function.  He did that by empowering the people in our church…empowering them to realize their spiritual gifts and step up.

What if…I could help empower individuals to minister to marriages in crisis?  Perhaps I could help give others some basic tools to give out…what if each marriage out there knew AT MINIMUM one other couple who was grounded in their commitment to one another, and who felt safe and secure enough to share their wisdom with others?  There would need to be an element of training perhaps, on listening, asking good question, and pointing in positive directions…obviously not as intense as schooling, more along the lines of coaching…mentoring…Marriage Mentors…

In a time when money is tight…when not everyone is comfortable seeking out a therapist…and in a society that is so dang individualistic…wouldn’t it be nice for people to be able to turn to a community that could lift their marriages up?  Churches may be the place for some…but not for all.  Marriage Mentors…contagious?


2 Comments on “Mission Marriage Care??”

  1. Margaret Erlewine says:

    Hello, I’m May Erlewine’s mom and I would love to learn
    what you know about helping relationships in crisis.

  2. adgrimm says:

    Hi Margaret! Thanks for reaching out. I apologize for my incredibly delayed response…I won’t even waste time with excuses, but just jump in. I’d like to first ask, what do you think would be the most helpful thing for YOU to know regarding helping relationships in crisis? I’ve pondered this question lately, and don’t think I have the perfect answer yet, just my thoughts so far:

    1–couples forget to connect after time. They get too busy with the busy-ness of life that they forget to take care and nurture their relationship. Then the resentments and “little things” build up and they end up attacking each other rather than listening…rather than connecting. So: touch each other, hold, whatever, but physically touch one another for at least 6 seconds four times daily. It takes that long for oxytocin (the hormone that aids in attachment) to flow throughout your body). Perhaps even touch while talking about issues.

    2–with that, do what you used to do together, talk to each other the way you used to, treat each other the way you did in the beginning. And most importantly, REMEMBER what it was about that person that made you fall in love with them, and KEEP in the front of your mind.

    3–your partner is not the devil, you are hurt, and they are reminding you of that, not always intentionally. So build up your security and listen.

    4–From the wisdom of Harville Hendrix (the most amazing couples therapist out there right now, in my opinion), when you talk, ONE person talks, the other LISTENS. When done, you switch. The speaker speaks assertively, doesn’t blame, accuse, etc. The listener MIRRORS (what I hear you saying is…), then VALIDATES (that makes sense to me because…), and EMPATHIZES (I bet that made you feel…). How many times, when we communicate when stressed, does the communication look more like an out of control ping pong match?

    5–Direct first to 1) “How To Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About It” by Steven Stosny and Pat Love and 2) “Getting The Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix

    6–maybe you could ask them to write down all the things they (their partner, the one they are frustrated with) do (or used to do) for you that expressed love, how they tend to/nurture, etc. That’s all. Then see what happens..

    What do you think? It sounds like May and Seth, along with the rest of the crew, are having an amazing, and life changing time in Ethiopia! I bet you’re following closely! I can’t wait to hear their music from this trip!!


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