Our one-year tune-up: Marriage seminar teaches compassion by communicating

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont -- I have heard various people say the first year of marriage is the hardest. My husband and I have been married for a little over a year, and it has not always been butterflies and rainbows.

Through it all we have upheld our promise to keep God as the third strand in our marriage and to love one another through whatever life may throw at us.

A friend once told me that we tend to repair the things that add value to our life, but sometimes we fail to repair our marriages until it is too late.

Like many couples, my husband and I lacked the proper foundation to effectively communicate as a married couple. We decided to make “repairs” to our marriage by signing up for the Relationship Enrichment Seminar, one of the many events the base chapel offers.

The seminar was split into three sessions with briefers tackling topics from finance to communicating as couples.

Throughout the past year of being married, my husband and I have diligently worked toward improving our finances as a couple by attending workshops, setting goals and being open with one another about our financial past.

The first briefer explained that we need to understand the personalities associated with money, and from there figure out what works best for our relationship.

From the briefing my husband and I begin to really understand our money personalities.

We learned that my husband is an avoider, which means he tries to avoid anything associated with a budget or finances.

On the other hand I am a celebrator and a hoarder, which means I love to spend money for holidays, but the hoarder in me knows exactly where everything is being spent, giving me a natural high from making a budget and saving.

These money personalities clash, but since attending the seminar we have learned to make compromises for one another.

Just like our money personalities, we discovered we have different communication styles and outlooks on life. As part of the couples’ communication piece during the seminar, we learned we have different personality traits.

My husband is more fact-driven and I am more emotional and organized. When we have our disagreements I tend to look at every detail, whereas my husband looks at the bigger picture of things.

We have learned to compromise on ways to handle disagreements with our personalities.

One of the biggest things I learned from the seminar was to focus on what your spouse is doing right, instead of always focusing on the negative. I chose to spend my life with him, why not make efforts to make him happy?

At times I find myself getting so wrapped up in pointing out all the negatives, but fail to realize the positive things my husband is doing. Now I am learning to see the positives in any and every situation.

I am learning to put the welfare of my marriage in front of my personal gain so we can be happy and in love.
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