We live in a world which is fast-paced and loud. We have TV, social media, work, kids – we receive more messages in an hour than we can begin to process.
When was the last time you sat face to face, looking your spouse in the eye, listening to what they had to say? Listened without the noise of TV or your phone in the background (or even in the foreground)?
“Psychologist and marriage researcher John Gottman says that one of the leading gauges for measuring a happy marriage is whether spouses allow themselves to be influenced by the other person. Are they changed by their relationship, or do they become more entrenched in their old ways? Being influenced by another person is a sure indication of true listening because it means that your choices and actions are following your ears. Apparently, listening is important in marriage. Who knew?”
From The Listening Life, Adam S. McHugh
How can we influence one another if we never really listen to their heart?
Many who call about Christian intensive marriage counseling at The Ravines don’t feel they’ve been “heard” for a very long time. We are amazed at the volume of people who live in our noisy and seemingly-connected world, but have no one to listen to them. Sometimes a husband or wife senses their spouse is no longer listening, and then someone else steps in and hears that lonely person. Then things get even more complicated.
Coming to The Ravines for Christian intensive counseling and stepping away from their busy lives gives our couples space for one another. Our counselors frequently recommend a daily or at least weekly “connection time” when they return home. We understand. It is hard to carve out time to not “do” but to just hear the story of another person. It may be their daily story. What happened at work. What the kids did today. What is bothering them. What feels “off.”
And then there are the dreams and goals and fears. Are we taking the time and space needed to hear from the one we claim to love more than anyone else on this planet?
Remember those long talks when you were dating – sometimes multi-hour ones – when you shared every detail of your life and the other person was interested, they cared? Back then we could never have imagined having to “schedule time to talk.”
If you know a couple who needs some assistance in this area, we’re here to help. Our counselors are gifted individuals who help couples untangle the elements of their lives which have become overwhelming. And sometimes a lack of hearing one another is part of the problem. Ask them to call our office for a confidential conversation.
At The Ravines, God shows Himself faithful on a regular basis, He can bring healing and wholeness to marriages – just like He did for this couple who came earlier this year:
“We had a profound experience at The Ravines. We are grateful for a spiritual counselor who guided us through tough waters. We appreciate the balance of time to do hard work, to process and to learn to ‘try again.’ We left feeling inspired to re-calibrate our marriage with the tools we were given and to prayerfully implement them in our new way of living. Thank you, God, for this beautiful gift and for all those at The Ravines who were so attentive, loving and caring.”