10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 9: Communication 101


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Number One Element

We all know what it means to communicate. Right? Or do we?

Judging by the large number of books that have been written on the subject, I’d venture to say that a great many of us don’t know as much about communication as we think we do. And judging by the vast number of divorces, my three included, a great many of us come up short in the communication department, wouldn’t you agree?

Yet, communication, in my view, is the most important element of a successful marriage, bar none! But it does take two.
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10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 6: Respect! Respect! Respect!


I don't know who owns this, so if there's a problem, please contact me and we'll discuss it.

I don’t know who owns this, so if there’s a problem, please contact me and we’ll discuss it.

Respect! Respect! Respect!

One of the most important things you can do in your marriage is to respect your partner. Without respect, you have no relationship. Well, you may have a relationship, but it won’t be a happy one.

Respect is a complicated subject, so we’ll start simple. What does it mean to respect?

Turning to dictionary.com, my usual source for simple definitions, we find:

verb (used with object)
9. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.

What does it mean, to hold someone in esteem or honor?
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10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 4: Be Spontaneous


"I love spontaneity. Like the let's-go-jump-in-the-lake-with-all-our-clothes-on kind of spontaneous. Sometimes you just need to let go." —Lauren and Shane

“I love spontaneity. Like the let’s-go-jump-in-the-lake-with-all-our-clothes-on kind of spontaneous. Sometimes you just need to let go.” —Lauren and Shane

Special thanks to Lauren and Shane for permissions to use their photograph.

Be Spontaneous

This wasn’t initially one of my ten things I’ve learned from three failed marriages because, frankly, it’s a subject I’m not very conversant with, other than intellectually. However, a friend suggested it to me and I agree that this would be a very good thing to have in one’s marriage, even though I have never experienced it to any great degree.

Looking back, I think one of the problems facing married couples, at least in my own marriages, is boredom. This most often translates into watching an inordinate amount of television or immersing oneself in projects that only involve self.

What this is saying is, for instance, “I (we) would rather watch mindless entertainment on television, including sports, than communicate with you (each other). It is more important to me (us) to watch television than it is to enjoy your (each others’) company. I (we) find more enjoyment in being mind-numbed in front of the boob tube than I (we) would, say, playing a game with you (each other) or going out to dinner.” And so forth.
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10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 3: Saying I Love You


I Love You Hearts

Saying I Love You

Perhaps the modern-day woman is different than in days past, but I think that most wives never tire of being told, “I love you,” as long as it’s being said with feeling and sincerity. Combine that with an equally sincere hug is even better.

At least once a day. Minimum.

Sincerity goes a long way with women. A casual peck on the cheek and a “Love you” as you go out the door doesn’t hold a lot of weight with most women, I would think. Perhaps some, particularly men, might say, “Well, it’s better than nothing.”

Not necessarily so.
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10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 2: Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.


Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

A hug is a universal medicine, it is how we handshake from the heart.  —Anonymous

Never underestimate the power of a sincere and well-timed hug, especially when one is 1) not supposedly deserving of it; 2) when one is stressed out; and 3) just any old time.
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10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 1: Never Tire of Holding Hands


©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserced

At first glance, one might wonder just how much a person can learn, let alone teach, from having been married and divorced three times. That’s not what I would call a good track record by any stretch of the imagination.

But appearances can be deceiving. You see, I really have learned a few things. Failure is often the best teacher, after all, providing a person is willing to learn.

Unfortunately, some people are more willing than able. So, for some people, learning takes a lot longer. Such is my case.

You see, I still have issues, such as being not able to trust—too many heartaches still too fresh on my mind, if you know what I mean.

Nevertheless, what I have learned can help others keep their marriages fresh and vibrant, if adhered to—sincerely and honestly—and . . . if one is willing to have an open mind and heart.
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Winter’s Dream


©2011 Cris Coleman

I look at the harsh winter sky,
and I see soft billowy clouds
floating on wisps of warm southern breezes,
rays of yellow light like arrows
gently tapping the buds of Spring,
saying, whispering,
“Wake up! Wake up!
It’s time to bring God’s love
to all the earth
to all his creations!”
And so they came forth,
unfolding their coats of many colors,
releasing their sweetness
over the gardens,
over the meadows,
over the whole earth.

I look at the cold blanket of white
stretching from horizon to horizon
and see long blades of green
slicing their way through
their brown winter’s prison,
bringing with them warmth and hope
to the human heart.

I look at the skeletal limbs
raising their arms in prayer,
crying for life and renewal,
and I see beautiful, bright winged gladness
flitting from branch to branch,
among the new greenery,
with their crystal blossomed chandeliers
inviting all to share of their joy,
bringing smiles to human faces.

I feel the cold wind
that brings death from the north
and I see two lovers
walking hand in hand,
smiling, laughing, talking,
breathing deeply
of Spring’s sweet scents and beauty,
absorbing their rainbow surroundings,
fluorescent blossoms and flowers,
warm spring breezes,
and they were satisfied
and renewed for the coming year.

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