4 Replies to “Refresh Your Relationship: Building Resilient Marriages and Romances”

  1. I really enjoyed this video Dr. Tom! Your delivery was flawless! You have more wisdom on marriage than anyone I know! Your suggestions are easy and practical; I bet people have quick successes! At first, during Covid-19 quarantining, our marriage did well for the first two months. Recently, as the novelty of slowing down has worn off, staying connected has been more difficult. I notice that I miss a change of scenery and colleagues/friends with which to confide in (in-person) on a daily basis. This takes a toll on our marriage. I am not naturally funny, however, I have been using humor on a “perpetual issue” and it’s such a relief to see my husband laugh! Thanks for the reminder to “relish” the good in him. It’s easy because he has so many virtuous qualities!

    1. Bridget,
      First of all, thank you for your kind words. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you take the time to join me on Sunday Morning Café. You may have noticed Laura Westhoff’s response from several weeks ago. Your response, like hers, is loaded with a kind of generous vulnerability. You both are willing to stay close to the data of your lives.

      Your comment about marital challenges somewhere after the “second month” of this pandemic maps nicely onto my experience in therapy with couples. I hear that from other colleagues as well! Perhaps its good to know that this is a normal phenomenon. Glad that you found humor to be a key to transcendence. I dare say that you have mastered the art of gratitude/appreciating/savoring as you describe what a great husband you have! Smiling as I write that last line!

  2. Thanks Tom for this great video!
    Something that strikes me about the notion of ‘resilience’ is you kind of immediately think of it as, ‘how do I *react* to challenging situations’. You forget the work, and preparation, that goes into being ready for those challenging situations. That goes for relationships, too. The pandemic is putting a lot of relationships to the test, and bringing to light just how much work we’ve done or not done … pre-COVID, a couple that may have been ships passing in the night, thought they were ‘getting along just fine’. That can be a deceptive complacency.

    I’m grateful for your messages of the necessity of gratitude, and intentionality of growth-work in marriage. It has helped ‘set us up for success’ in these trying times. The “better angels of our nature”… under these conditions, can we go beyond what comes easily, or naturally. Can we heal division with gratitude, savoring, recognizing beauty.

    I’m so blessed and lucky to have a partner to grow with that I love so much, and with which we so mutually appreciate the gardening of our marriage. Now if she would just start closing cabinets and drawers after she uses them … I mean what is up with that?!

    1. Andy,

      I am so appreciative of your participation in the Sunday Morning Café conversation. Andy, if I’m hearing you correctly, you seem to be getting at resilience as a thing that is cultivated…like the produce of a well-tended garden. I love that image! I couldn’t agree more. I also like how you juxtapose that insight against the notion of resilience as a kind of “reaction.” In that latter schema, I suppose that people who are leaving resilience to chance either discover they have it or don’t in reacting to life’s challenges. I prefer to think of it your way.

      As for cabinets and drawers being left open…let’s just say that in this regard, it appears that I have something in common with your wife (much to the chagrin of my wife)! Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response

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