Gary Chapman: Author, pastor.
“If we are overly withdrawn we cannot minister freely to others. If, on the other hand, we are overly talkative we may overwhelm those whom we might help.”
“People cannot read our minds. They don't know automatically what irritates us.”
“Manipulation is the use of fear or threat to force someone to do something against his will. Love is an effort to do something for the benefit of the other person, sometimes followed by a request that would make life better for you. Requests and demands are very different. Love creates the climate in which requests are more likely to be honored. Responding to a sincere request is also an act of love. It is doing something for the benefit of the person making the request. Reciprocal love is the fabric of which lasting friendships are made.”
“The idea that we only need to make changes when we are doing something morally wrong is erroneous. In a healthy marriage, we often make changes that have nothing to do with morality but everything to do with building a harmonious marriage. For example, I don't like vacuuming floors, but I do it regularly. I repented of my insensitivity to meeting Karolyn's needs when I discovered that her primary love language is Acts of Service, and that vacuuming floors is a special dialect which she greatly appreciates.Vacuuming in itself is not a moral issue. It is, however, a marital issue and can make the difference between a wife feeling loved and not feeling loved.”
“Plans need not be elaborate, but they need to be specific.”
“Forgiveness is always to be requested but never demanded.”
“Often an insensitive conscience is coupled with low self-esteem.They may have been taught by their parents that apologizing is anindication of weakness. The parents who model this philosophy usually have low self-esteem themselves. They often blame the children for any problems that develop in the family. Consequently, the children develop a sense of low self-esteem and carry this to the next generation. Because they strive so desperately to be a person of worth, and because they associate apologizing as a sign of weakness, they too will blame others for any relationship problems that emerge.Individuals who suffer from low self-esteem, blame-shifting, and a strong aversion to apologizing will always need counseling in order to deal with these deeply ingrained patterns of thought, behavior, and emotions.”
“What these people do not know is this: Apologizing enhances one's self-esteem. People respect the man and the woman who are willing to take responsibility for their own failures. Receiving the respect and admiration of others thus enhances self-esteem. On the other hand, those who try to hide or excuse wrongful behavior will almost always lose the respect and affirmation of others, thus further compounding the problem of low self-esteem. However, the person who is caught up in this negative cycle will find it difficult to understand this reality.”
“Don't allow the other person's refusal to apologize to keep you from apologizing. He or she may not be able to forgive you, but when you have apologized, you will be able to look yourself in the mirror knowing that you are willing to admit your failures.”
“Holding someone accountable for negative behavior is an act of love. In major moral failures, we must deal with the cause of the behavior if we expect there to be genuine, long-term change.”
“So how do we rebuild trust in a relationship when it has been violated? The answer is by being trustworthy one day at a time. A sincere apology and genuine forgiveness open the door to the possibility of trust growing again. How does this happen? In my experience in working with couples through the years, it is fostered best best when the offender chooses to open his/her private life to the scrutiny of the offended spouse.If the offense was in the area of sexual unfaithfulness, then you allow the partner full access to your cell phone, computer, and any other means of communication. You give a full accounting of all of your time. And you give your spouse permission to make phone calls to affirm that you are where you said you would be. Trust is not fostered by secretiveness but by openness. If you choose to be trustworthy over a period of time, your spouse will likely come to trust you again.”
“If you continue to be untrustworthy by lying, cheating, hiding, and making excuses, trust will never be reborn. Trust's only hope of survival is the rain and sunshine of integrity.”
“Because the rebuilding of trust is a process and takes time, people have sometimes said to me,"I think I've forgiven my spouse. But some days I feel like I haven't, because I really don't trust them." Their struggle comes because they are confusing forgiveness and trust. In summary, forgiveness is a choice to lift the penalty and allow the person back into your life so that the relationship can continue to grow. Trust, on the other hand, returns in stages. When there is changed behavior over a period of time, you begin to feel more comfortable and optimistic about the other person. If this continues, eventually you will come to trust them fully again.”
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