Prepare to Review Your Marriage Mirror
Marriage Mirror | marriagemirror.com | © E.C.D. Inc. 1987, 2021
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
– James 1:19
“A word spoken in the appropriate context is like ‘Apples of gold in settings of silver’.”
– Proverbs 25:11
You have heard it said: You don’t know yourself until you see yourself through the eyes of another. The Marriage Mirror helps you see yourself as a listener through the eyes and ears of your partner. Your partner is your “mirror.” As the poet lamented, “If only we had been given the power to see ourselves as others see us.” The Marriage Mirror gives you this invaluable opportunity. Take advantage of it and watch right there and see what God does for your relationship.
After you and your partner have both reviewed your mirrors, read and think through the “Discussion Plan” and you will be prepared to discuss your listening mirror with your spouse.
Having this kind of conversation will:
- Show that you are making your relationship a priority,
- Help each other to feel valued and loved,
- Increase self-esteem,
- Foster trust, romance, and intimacy, and
- Strengthen the overall relationship.
So don’t be adverse to converse. Don’t balk at a talk. Let’s get ready to really communicate.
Preparation for Meeting Together
- Set aside any complaints or criticisms you may have of your partner.
- Beginning the conversation with compliments will create a warm climate and positive energy for the rest of the meeting.
- Collect at least five compliments that you will give your partner. What attracted you to your partner? What is it that you specifically admired or liked about what your partner did this past week? The more you focus on your partner’s positive attributes and behaviors, the more you will continue to notice them.
- Do not meet if either partner is tired, hungry, irritable, or intoxicated.
- Choose a time and place at home where you will be uninterrupted for 45 minutes.
- Plan to sit close, next to each other, not across from each other.
- Review your answers and your partner’s answers to the Marriage Mirror section you will discuss. Pay attention to where your perceptions are similar and to where they differ.
- Is there anything in the inventory that surprises you about what your partner said about how you communicate?
- Where do your answers agree or disagree with your partner’s answers.
- What do you like about how your partner communicates with you?
- What would you like for your partner to do to encourage your communication?
- What would you like to change in the way you communicate with your partner?
- Choose 1 to 3 potential skills to work on and be ready to invite your partner to discuss and agree together on which one skill you will work on during the next 30 days.
Always begin Your Discussion with Compliments
Remember, how you provide feedback is as important as the feedback itself:
- Decide who will begin to share compliments.
- Smile when you give and receive compliments, make eye contact with each other, and relax. Your tone of voice should be optimistic. Be aware of your facial expression. Keep an open posture and maintain an optimistic tone of voice.
- Only express appreciation. Do not hint at disappointments or hurt feelings.
- When the first partner has finished sharing compliments, the second partner thanks them for the feedback.
- Then, the second partner shares their compliments in a similar manner.
Continue Your Discussion by Reviewing Your Answers to the Marriage Mirror
- Remember you are concentrating on fostering harmony and goodwill.
- Together decide which habit or skill each of you would be best to start with.
- Set a time to meet again, preferably within a week. At that time you will encourage each other with a progress report.
Complete and exchange feedback cards
End with a positive note and thank each other for the feedback as you exchange your feedback cards: “Catch Me Doing Something Right,” making your commitments.
Now You Are Ready to Complete Your Action Plan together!