Day 11: Key Lessons From a Marriage Intensive
Brandon and Tonia’s relationship finally took a permanent turn for the better when they attended a weekend intensive called Retrouvaille (https://www.helpourmarriage.org/). Today, they shared several key takeaways.
First, they mentioned the importance of “I” statements, removing “you” statements from their vocabulary.
They also learned that forgiveness does not mean forgetting, and it does not mean tolerating the behavior in the future. (We discussed this on Day 6.)
One big reminder was that they were not in conflict with each other—rather, the battle was with porn, which was bringing about the conflict. With that realization, they started to develop skills to step back within conflict and see what each of them was bringing into the conflict, how to resolve it peacefully, and how to change themselves moving forward. Those “I” versus “you” statements helped a lot in this.
You can begin practicing these techniques on your own, but you as a couple may also choose to attend an intensive yourselves. In order to choose one, consider the following questions:
- What do we hope to get out of this? (e.g. a guided discussion, a reboot just for him, etc.)
- Does this intensive align with our values?
- What will this cost? (Consider time away from work, babysitters for your kids, etc.)
- With the cost calculated, can you afford not to attend that intensive?
By the way, if you’re still on the fence about counseling, these work in considering a counselor as well.
1) Do you tend to use more “I” statements or “you” statements? (Practice using only “I” statements to answer this question.)
2) Did any of the lessons or tools in today’s video resonate with you? Why do you think it did? What can you do to apply it?
3) Have you ever considered an intensive? What do you think it would look like for you?
4) Read Psalm 51. Where does David put responsibility for his sin? What does this passage say about restoration?
For the choir director. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.
Be gracious to me, God,
according to your faithful love;
according to your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Completely wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you—you alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in your sight.
So you are right when you pass sentence;
you are blameless when you judge.
Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire integrity in the inner self,
and you teach me wisdom deep within.
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Turn your face away from my sins
and blot out all my guilt.
God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore the joy of your salvation to me,
and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach the rebellious your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God—
God of my salvation—
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.
In your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;
build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.