Well, of course, that is not what it did. I don't remember all the details of what I learned at that event, but I do know I was inspired to do the work to create a great marriage. After that our marriage began to improve, mostly because we each stopped trying to change each other and instead started changing our own attitudes.
Fast forward a couple years and we had the opportunity to attend another Weekend to Remember. Jeff actually brought up the idea and kept asking me to make a decision. I was reluctant just because I didn't want to spend the money and my mom wasn't very firm on her commitment to babysit. Eventually we just decided to go and then at the last minute also decided to book a hotel room. The conference really was not that far in distance, but once we added in actual travel time and the price of gas, we just decided to enjoy the weekend. That was a great decision. It was definitely worth the time and money we alloted.
The biggest difference between the first and second conference was that our minds were open to the lessons. We didn't have to spend the time trying to feel less angry or more loving and could instead focus on learning the underlying lessons on communication, respect and togetherness.
Here are the lessons that impacted me most for the weekend...
- Acceptance of our spouse should NOT be based on performance. "You do your part, and I'll do mine." This is definitely something I have struggled with in the past.
- "Sheath your sword" by offering your offending spouse grace instead of anger
- Our children have their whole lives to pursue their dreams. We as parents don't have to fulfill them all now. Our time is better spent giving them a loving home and modeling a strong and healthy relationship. (This wasn't actually something that was taught, but an epiphany of sorts I had during the weekend)
- Your spouse in NOT your enemy.
Overall it was a wonderful weekend. We met a few other really nice couples. We also encountered a lot of couples who were in crisis. I hope this weekend was able to give them hope and enable them to begin the healing process in their marriages.