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Marriage Builder - The encouragement habit

ant to develop the habit of encouraging each other? Then have an encouragement date! Marriage experts Claudia and David Arp have some ideas about what you should talk about on your "date."

Try me
Before marriage, it's easy to look for the positive. But once we say "I do," the stars in our eyes begin to fade, and we see each other's idiosyncrasies. The reality of living together does create tension, and before we know what is happening, we can easily focus on the negative instead of the positive.

An encouragement date will give your the chance to start concentrating on the positive. On your date talk about what you appreciate about each other.

Here are some questions to get you talking:

  1. How has your spouse encouraged you in the past?
  2. How would you like to be encouraged in the future?
  3. In what areas do you feel most competent?
  4. Is there an area that you would like to explore together? Perhaps a sport, crafts, writing, gourmet cooking, hobbies, or take a community course.


Aftertalk
After your date, here are some tips to stay an encourager:

  • Look for the positive - Did you know it takes five positive statements to offset one negative statement? Why not for track your positives to negatives and see how you're doing.
  • Concentrate on each other's strengths
  • Give honest praise
  • Develop a sense of humor. Humor is a first cousin of encouragement.

So relax, look for the positive and encourage each other. This is one date you don't want to miss!

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