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Taking time to seek forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring your relationship

All couples eventually experience times of conflict, hurt, and letting each other down. Sometimes the offense is as minor as forgetting a date or failing to run an errand. For some couples, the offense might involve a major betrayal such as infidelity, addiction, or abuse. Either way, taking time to seek and grant forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring the relationship.

Forgiveness is the decision or choice to give up the right for vengeance, retribution, and negative thoughts toward an offender in order to be free from anger and resentment. This process promotes healing and restoration of inner peace, and it can allow reconciliation to take place in the relationship.

It is important to be clear about what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting, condoning or perpetuating injustice. Since it is sometimes unsafe or impossible, forgiveness does not always involve reconciliation. Forgiveness is not always quick; it is a process that can take time to unfold. Don’t rush your partner if they need to spend days or weeks working through the process of granting forgiveness.

Six Steps for Seeking Forgiveness:

  1. Admit what you did was wrong or hurtful.
  2. Try to understand/empathize with the pain you have caused.
  3. Take responsibility for your actions and make restitution if necessary.
  4. Assure your partner you will not do it again.
  5. Apologise and ask for forgiveness.
  6. Forgive yourself.

Six Steps for Granting Forgiveness next week…

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

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Active listening is the ability to let your partner know you understand them by restating their message

Now you’ve had your say, what does it then mean to be on the other side?

Good communication depends on you carefully listening to another person. Active listening involves listening attentively without interruption and then restating what was heard. Acknowledge content AND the feelings of the speaker. The active listening process lets the sender know whether or not the message they sent was clearly understood by having the listener restate what they heard.

Examples of Active Listening:

“I heard you say you are feeling ‘out of balance’, and enjoyed the time we spend together but that you also need more time to be with your friends… and you want to plan a time to talk about this.”

“If I understand what you said, you are concerned because you want to go skiing next winter. But you think I would rather to go to the beach. Is that correct?”

When each person knows what the other person feels and wants (assertiveness) and when each knows they have been heard and understood (active listening), intimacy is increased. These two communication skills can help you grow closer as a couple.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Improving assertiveness and active listening increases couple intimacy

Assertiveness is the ability to express your feelings and ask for what you want in the relationship and is a valuable communication skill. In successful couple relationships, both individuals tend to be quite assertive. Rather than assuming their partner can read their minds, they share how they feel and ask clearly and directly for what they want.

Assertive individuals take responsibility for their messages by using “I” statements. They avoid statements beginning with “you.” In making constructive requests, they are positive and respectful in their communication. They use polite phrases such as “please” and “thank you”.

Examples of Assertive Statements:

“I’m feeling out of balance. While I love spending time with you, I also want to spend time with my friends. I would like us to find some time to talk about this.”

“I want to take a ski vacation next winter, but I know you like to go to the beach. I’m feeling confused about what choice we should make.”

Now you’ve had your say, what does it then mean to be on the other side? Learn about active listening next week.

When each person knows what the other person feels and wants (assertiveness) and when each knows they have been heard and understood (active listening), intimacy is increased. These two communication skills can help you grow closer as a couple.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Limiting your teens online screen time

Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

Here are six takeaways from the report:

5. Limiting online screen time isn’t always a consequence of bad behaviour: 55% of parents say they limit the amount of time their teen can go online, regardless of behavior. Moreover, parents of younger teens are especially likely to place limits on their teen’s internet use.

Whether or not parents frequently discuss acceptable conduct with their teen varies by a number of demographic characteristics. For example, mothers are more likely than fathers to report talking frequently with their teen about appropriate online and offline behavior.

There are also differences based on household income. Across the five types of conversations measured, parents who are less affluent are more likely than those from higher-income households to have these regular conversations. And Hispanic parents (51%) are more likely than white (32%) or black (32%) parents to frequently speak with their teen about their online behavior towards others.

In total, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… friend or follow your teen on social media

Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

Here are six takeaways from the report:

4. Some parents take the additional step of friending or following their teen on social media. Some 44% of parents are friends with their teen on Facebook, while one-in-ten report following their teen on Twitter. In total, 56% of parents are connected with their teen on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media platform.

In total, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… parents employ “digital grounding” or restrict their teen’s online access

Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

Here are six takeaways from the report:

2. A majority of parents employ “digital grounding” or restrict their teen’s online access. Sixty-five percent of parents say they have taken away their teen’s internet privileges or cellphone as punishment, while half of parents limit how often their teen can be online.

Pew Research Center surveys have found that 92% of teens say they go online daily, with 24% using the internet “almost constantly,” and nearly three-quarters of teens have access to a smartphone. Therefore, “digital grounding” is a potentially potent form of discipline.

In total, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… how modern parents monitor their teen’s digital

Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

Here are six takeaways from the report:

1. Parents are keeping a close eye on their teen’s digital life, but few do so by tech-based means. Roughly six-in-ten parents say they have either checked which websites their teen has visited or looked at their teen’s social media profile. And about half say they have looked through their teen’s phone call records or messages. But few parents are utilising more technical measures – such as parental controls or location tracking tools – to monitor their teen.

Teens are increasingly using mobile technologies to communicate, share and go online.

While parental monitoring by technological means is somewhat less common, some 39% of parents say they turn to parental controls or other technological tools to block, filter or monitor their teen’s online activities. And even fewer parents report using parental controls to restrict their teen’s use of his or her mobile phone (16%) or using monitoring tools on their teen’s mobile phone to track his or her location (16%).

In total, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Men tend to use texting when avoiding confrontation

Text as a casual method of staying in touch seems to be a good thing. Many people text to maintain the relationship however studies show that men and women generally text at differing levels of intimacy. Women do not generally text about severe subjects and men even less so.

Men also tend to use texting when they are avoiding confrontation, while female texting frequency was positively associated with their own relationship stability.

Lori Schade and Jonathan Sandberg, studied 276 young adults in the US to see what communicating through texts did to their relationship. 38 percent described their relationship as serious, 46 percent were engaged, and 16 percent were married. Each of them completed a detailed relationship assessment that covered, among other things, their use of technology.

Here are a few highlights from the report they publish in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy:

  • For women: Using text messages to apologise, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality
  • For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality
  • For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship

Male texting frequency was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and stability scores for both partners while female texting frequency was positively associated with their own relationship stability scores. Texting to express affection was associated with higher reported partner attachment for both men and women.

References:

  • Louis D. Lo Praeste, death and texting, 25 October 2017,
  • Lori Cluff Schade, Jonathan Sandberg, Roy Bean, Dean Busby, Sarah Coyne 2013: Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults, P 314-338 Published online: 28 Oct 2013
  • BYU professors Roy Bean, Dean Busby and Sarah Coyne co-authored the study with Schade and Sandberg

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… is your smartphone use causing arguments and endangering those around you?

We have seen how smartphones can enhance our lives, but there is a fine line where use can be perceived as antisocial, causing arguments and endanger those around us.

We are all increasingly enthusiastic users of this technology and doing so across a growing range of social (and solo) situations, always or very often when spending time with friends, walking or watching TV.

A recent report suggested that almost a quarter of mobile consumers use their phones ‘always’ or ‘very often’ talking to friends and when eating at home, or eating out with family or friends. And a disturbing 1 in 10 of us use our smartphones when crossing the road or driving.

Consider your use of mobile technology, and consider those a round you. Is your behaviour anti-social, causing arguments or potentially endangering those around you?

Source: Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016

http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… Is your SmartPhone use antisocial, causing arguments and endangering those around you?

We have seen how smartphones can enhance our lives, but there is a fine line where use can be perceived as antisocial, causing arguments and endanger those around us.

We are all increasingly enthusiastic users of this technology and doing so across a growing range of social (and solo) situations, always or very often when spending time with friends, walking or watching TV.

A recent report suggested that almost a quarter of mobile consumers use their phones ‘always’ or ‘very often’ talking to friends and when eating at home, or eating out with family or friends. And a disturbing 1 in 10 of us use our smartphones when crossing the road or driving.

Consider your use of mobile technology, and consider those a round you. Is your behaviour anti-social, causing arguments or potentially endangering those around you?

Source: Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016

http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents

A recent study claims that there is anecdotal evidence of parents needing to lock away their children’s devices for fear of midnight video watching, texting, and gaming.

According to the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016 – we are fast becoming (if not already) an always-on mobile society. Our addiction to our favourite device and the apparent need to check regularly and respond instantly must be in response to our growing fear of missing out or perhaps our love of being always-on.

For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents to ensure good habits are learnt and distractions from mobile technology don’t impact negatively on their health and learning abilities.

Here are some tips:

No technology in the bedroom. The number one recommendation from experts in addressing cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is most likely to occur behind a closed door.

No screens at bedtime or during family time. You don’t have to confiscate their phones, you can get an app that can automatically block activity at a certain time or when a time limit is exceeded.

Approval required. Only allow apps to be downloaded if approved by parents or block access to app store purchases with a password.

Understand online security and safety. Educate your kids, let them know that sharing photos and videos, as well as anything written, can be saved and shared without their knowledge. Invest in kid-safe browsers.

Practice acceptable online behaviour. Let your kids know that they should talk to you if someone is harassing them online or through text. Make sure your children are also aware of the harm they can cause through online bullying.

Reference:

Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016

http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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Text, Twitter, Tweet… be willing to invest the time and effort to developing new habits and balance

Social media has changed the daily lives of couples by:

  • How they stay in touch with others (and reconnect with people);
  • The way couples make friends, how they find acquaintances and how others find partners by connecting with people anywhere in the world;
  • How couples do business, how businesses connect to buyers and potential buyers;
  • How they reveal themselves and share information;
  • How couples allow their voice to be heard – to amplify a message; and
  • How they learn.

This technology also creates difficult situations for couples involving emotional intimacy and fidelity, including the ease of access to personal details, the ease at which private communication can take place and access to pornography. Facebook is increasing cited in divorce proceedings in both the US and UK.

The late Stephen Covey suggests consistent and continued refinement and attention to all of the following four areas in our lives:

  1. Physical;
  2. Intellectual;
  3. Social and
  4. Spiritual.

Often we find we live our lives narrowly focusing on work or home. Think about your life and the balance you maintain. Change is possible and often easier than you think.

Attempting to balance exercise, nutrition and stress management (physical); by reading, visualising, planning and writing (Intellectual); focusing on clarifying values and our commitment, dedicating time to study, our faith and/or meditation (Spiritual); and through our service, being empathic, being synergistic and ensuring security (Social), ensures success.

Don’t get caught up in the demands of life and forget ourselves and our partner. Be proactive and do this for your relationship. “We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time to regularly sharpen the saw in all four ways”.

You don’t have to get it right the first time. This is part of life’s journey of learning and developing. You will get there if you are willing to invest the time and effort to developing new habits.

Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf