Soledad O’Brien recently aired a series on CNN called Black in America, which touched on the decline in marriage for African-Americans and how to turn it around. A featured couple had become so caught up in parenting their teen girls (their #1 priority) and in their careers that they had lost the connection with one another. When they had a major conflict about their daughters, neither would budge. They were discussing divorce, and their daughters knew they were moving toward a separation, when they entered a short, intensive workshop for Black couples.
Rather than focus on “overcoming the conflict” the workshop aimed to help couples reconnect with what they love about one another and to help them realize and renew their commitment toward one another. That can be tough when two people have huge walls up and have obvious anger. You often hear words like this couple spoke, “I don’t want to live the next 30 years like this.”
One technique that was used to get back to the emotional connection that people in love share was the use of music. It’s a great idea that you could use to help reconnect with your spouse at any time. Looking for a new way to spice up date night? This could be fun.
Each spouse was to bring to the workshop the two songs that spoke to him/her about what they love about their partner or their relationship. Music speaks to us in such a different way than words do. There are the lyrics, of course, but songs evoke a feeling, and often a time and place. Hearing those special songs together can help break down some barriers, and even melt away some hostility.
During the show, for instance, the husband brought in a very sexy song that made everyone laugh, and it reminded him of the intimacy he enjoyed with his wife. The song his wife picked made the husband realize how much she really loved him. They smiled and embraced, a turning point in reconnecting. Of course we didn’t witness the entire workshop and how they were able to recommit their marriage, but this couple was in tears by the end, so grateful they had given their relationship another try. They started really listening to one another and were able to come to an agreement about their parenting conflict, once they realized they were mutually committed.
The point is that sometimes we focus too much on individual conflicts when we really need to put them aside so that they don’t eat away at the relationship. Devote much more time to having fun together, enjoying the things that brought you together in the first place. This couple’s other primary mistake was to put their daughters’ many activities above the priority of the marriage.
So, what song speaks to you about your love? Plan an evening in the near future with each of you sharing two songs that signify your love.