Marriage Encounter Online - Marriage Mansion

Private Den










Marriage Encounter












"Mutual confiding is the human key for the
intense and loving communication between Husband and Wife.”

G. Calvo

















Marriage Encounter















Fear looks back,
Worry looks ahead,
Faith looks up.

Confidence and Dialogue

Marriage Encounter Online - Marriage MansionKYLE

Well, here we are in the Private Den. This is such a comfortable room, just like we want our marriages to be. Now, let’s get started.

In the last presentation in the Music Room, we heard about Marriage in the Plan of God, and God's intention that husbands and wives live together in unity. I think we all experienced times when it was easier to be divided in thought and feelings than to live in harmony. Unity takes work, a lot of work, but it brings great joy and satisfaction.

In this presentation, Confidence and Dialogue, we will share how our dialogue improves as our confidence builds. As we grow in confidence in ourselves and each other, we dialogue without reservation or selfish calculation. Then we experience sincere and joyful unity. Our trust allows us to feel very comfortable in our relationship.


Unfortunately, for many years, I lacked confidence in Kyle’s love for me. If he did something thoughtless or unkind, I would say to myself, "He wouldn't do that if he loved me."

One day I realized how much that kind of thinking was hurting our marriage. I lacked confidence in Kyle's love for me, because I lacked confidence in myself. I didn't see myself as a very loveable person, so every time Kyle did something that hurt me or disappointed me, I took it as proof that I wasn't loveable and he didn't love me.

So I decided it was time to change my thinking. I made the decision to trust that I was loveable and that Kyle did love me. Just because he did something thoughtless didn't mean he didn't love me. Having made these decisions I gradually found I could express my needs without feeling so hurt.

Last summer, Kyle and I were rushing to leave town for several weeks. Kyle wanted to help me finish the packing and offered to run up the street to get a few supplies before he went on with other errands. He left about 10 a.m. saying he'd be back soon. It was past noon and he still wasn't home. I was getting worried. I saw he forgot to take his cell phone.

I got a call from a carpet man who said he was supposed to meet Kyle at one of our rental houses. I told him to look at another rental house nearby. He called back to say Kyle wasn't there either.

I was worried that something serious had happened to him. Also, Kyle knew I was fixing his favorite lunch - grilled cheese. He's never late for grilled cheese. I kept looking out the front window, wasting valuable time, but praying constantly. Something had to be seriously wrong.

Finally, at 2:00 Kyle's car pulled up and out he stepped in perfect health. My feelings instantly changed. It wasn’t that I wondered if he loved me; I was mad. I wanted to strangle him. I needed to let out my frustration so I hid behind the door and when he came in, I screamed and jumped out at him.


She scared me half to death. I had only recently realized how late I was and how she was expecting me. I took her jumping out at me as her good sense of humor which amazed me. I was relieved that she wasn't mad. I explained how they were so busy at the store, so I ran on to do other errands and lost track of time. On the way back I remembered I was supposed to meet the carpet man so I went to the rental house.

I looked at Darlene; she looked so sad. "Kyle" she said, "do you realize how worried I was? You were going to be back in a few minutes. Instead it was 4 hours.” I told her I was really sorry, and I started to go back over what happened. She stopped me and said "I don't need more explanation, Kyle. I need a hug."

As I held her I realized what I had put her through. I was glad she could express her need for a hug as well as her feelings. I knew she was only upset and worried because of her love for me.

If Darlene had been angry, I think I would have felt defensive. As it was, I was feeling miserable because I got busy and forgot about her. I didn't want to hurt her; I love her very much. I told her I was amazed that she could have the sense of humor to jump out at me. She said she felt anger, but knew anger was covering over worry. Jumping out at me felt sooo good.

We both laughed and hugged again, and thanked God that all was well.


We can appreciate why Fr. Calvo says, "The marriage without problems belongs in a cemetery." You see, it’s dead! It's not fun to have problems but they're the source of how we grow to a deeper level of love and understanding. One of our problems first came to my attention when Kyle asked me several times if something was bothering me.

I knew he asked that question because I was getting irritated by things he said. I was afraid to admit that I was unreasonably irritable because I thought it might be related to "change of life". I had heard many stories of women who became crabby during their "change of life", and I didn't want to hear that. I convinced myself that Kyle was the problem - not me. He was doing things that would irritate anyone.

The seriousness of the situation struck me one morning when I became irritated because Kyle didn't wake me up and I wanted to get up early with him. It was such a shock because I could recall how irritated I had been just a few days earlier when he WOKE ME UP and I didn't want to get-up that early. I thought, "My poor husband. He can't do anything right - nothing pleases me." I spent the next few days looking inward and trying to understand why I felt irritated.

Although I couldn’t figure it out, I shared with Kyle my awareness of how irritable I had been and how bad I felt about it. I was so pleased that he didn't say anything to hurt my feelings or tease me, but rather he tried to understand what I was going through. While he couldn't understand why I was irritable, he said he noticed the change in me after I had lunch with an old school friend, Jill.

That shed some light. Jill came in town because her Dad was dying. She said her Mom was going to pieces - she couldn't make any decisions. Jill said she told her Mother her problems were her own fault for always letting her husband make decisions.

I could see the connection--I was irritated whenever Kyle was making a decision for me. I subconsciously heard Jill speaking to me.

But there was more to it -- two months before a very dear friend's husband died. She was the sixth friend to lose her husband in the last six years. All of these were our couple friends, and each husband was just about Kyle’s age when he died.

I think, subconsciously, I was distancing myself from Kyle because I didn't want to be so deeply hurt if I lost him. And making my own decisions was part of preparing for losing him.

It was CRAZY! If I knew I was going to lose Kyle, I wouldn't want to spend our last months like this. I felt really relieved to come to this deeper understanding of myself and I wanted Kyle to know about it.


I could appreciate Darlene's concern if I were to die. It wouldn't just be a matter of missing me--I've been involved in many more businesses than any of our widowed friends.

More important was our relationship. I had felt very threatened by Darlene's change of moods. As she shared, I understood her better. I felt closer and more in love with her.

Darlene's openness was contagious. I had always prided myself on my excellent hearing, yet lately I noticed I had to have people repeat themselves more often.

To my disappointment, Darlene had noticed, but she didn't seem alarmed. She thought I just needed to have my ears cleaned. I didn't see it so simple. I have always related diminished hearing with advanced age. Many things make me think I'm getting old. I have less energy, less drive, less patience.

Considering that we had just been reminded of the deaths of six of our friends, I didn't know how she would react to my feelings of getting old. To my relief, she was really sweet. She said she'd be relieved if I would slow down a little; she has trouble keeping up with me.

Because we had the confidence to dialogue with openness and honesty, we found it easy to make a few decisions -- to get a few health checks, to increase our exercise, and to simplify and better organize my business affairs. The feeling of love and understanding, and the bond of unity we experienced were really great --well worth the risk.

Confidence is what enables us to become true friends. A personal commitment is needed to make my spouse my confidant - my best friend.


You'll now he given several questions. This can be one of those especially important times in your lives.

There are feelings deep within each of you that need to be shared now for the, sake of your relationship. Give your spouse your most precious gift, the gift of yourself.

Allow 20 minutes for PR and 25 minutes for CD.

Go in peace and write with love.

Confidence And Dialogue Handout and Questions


Your next presentation focuses on our intimate form of communications. When you’re ready Guide Couple Steve and Jennifer will take you upstairs to the Heart Suite.

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