Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quarterly Review #13 - A Cabin in Cartwright

In December we had our thirteenth quarter review. Danny found a little cabin on Lake Texoma in Cartwright, Oklahoma. Besides Rick's Cabins, there's not much else in Cartwright, except a church, a gas station and the lake. It was the perfect, quiet getaway.

We brought Christmas movies:
Enjoyed driving around and exploring the Texas/Oklahoma border:
Took fun pictures:
Danny practiced his squats - one can't get out of shape just because it's a vacation weekend.
And then, the highlight - the Cartwright Christmas parade drove right by our cabin. The parade consisted of the local boy scout troop, one float, and then Santa Claus. It was small-town awesomeness!
And then the icing on the cake came in this living room. We snuggled away the entire weekend here watching the PREP Fighting for Your Marriage video series.
My amazing husband, pictured here in front of our little cabin, heard about the PREP (Prevention Relationship Enhancement Program) material at a marriage conference he worked the audio for at DTS.
He decided that he needed to watch it with me, pictured here in my bright green crocs.
I never thought that one of my favorite quarterly reviews would take place in CARTWRIGHT, OKLAHOMA of all places. However, it was one of the most relaxing, practical and applicable weekends in our marriage.

I would HIGHLY recommend every couple watch the PREP videos at least once in their marriage, and if you can get past the incredible 80s clothes and hairstyles, you'll gain tools that will enhance and grow your relationship.

Things we learned on our 13th Quarterly Review:

PREP - Session #1

Destructive Danger Signs in a Marriage:

  1. Escalation - responding negatively back and forth with each other
  2. Invalidation - putting down the other's feelings/opinions
  3. Negative Interpretation - making an unfair assumption
  4. Withdrawal - unwillingness to stay in an important discussion
PREP - Session #2

Speaker/Listener Technique to Enhance Intimacy:

We learned the rules for being a speaker, rules for being a listener and a good problem-solving model to enhance our communication. We even took time to PRACTICE this technique, and if we can master it, we will both be able to convey our thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.

Advantages to the Speaker/Listener Technique
  1. It counteracts the danger signs listed above.
  2. It moves the conversation forward.
  3. It can be used with a partner, co-worker or even child.
People often complain that the speaker/listener technique is unnatural, but when what's natural include the "Danger Signs" why not try something new!

PREP - Session #3

Problem-solving involves the "problem discussion" and the "problem solution."

Problem discussion involves getting everything out on the table, not moving on until both partners feel understood and utilizing the speaker/listener technique.

Problem solution includes setting an agenda for how you're going to solve this problem, brain storming a solution, agreeing and compromising, and then following up at a later time to ensure the problem is being solved!

PREP - Session #4

We learned that events are the day-to-day things that irritate you, while issues are underline problems that surface in the form of events.

Keys to Handling Issues & Events:
  1. Set aside time to deal with issues.
  2. Keep events small - acknowledge when something needs to be talked about.
  3. Use the ground rules:
    • Call a time out to cool off.
    • Schedule a weekly meeting.
    • Use the speaker/listener technique.
    • Problem solve after having a discussion.
Quarterly Review History:
*1st - 12/16/05 - Raleigh, NC
*2nd - 03/25/06 - Charleston, SC
*3rd - 06/24/06 - Columbia, SC
*4th - 8/27/06 - Boston, MA
*5th - 12/1/06 - Gatlinburg, TN

*6th - 2/09/07 - Charlotte, NC
*7th - 5/26/07 - Myrtle Beach, SC
*8th - 8/27/07 - College Station, TX

*9th - 11/10/07 - Dallas, TX
*10th - 02/15/08 - Grapevine, TX
*11th - 05/17/08 - Houston, TX
*12th - 08/27/08 - St. Joseph, MI & Dallas, TX


Kynn and Lorie Harris January 20, 2009 1:23 PM  

Awesome time you had together. So proud of you two. Way to go Danny. LOVED the Christmas parade.

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