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Bulletproof Marriage offers relationship counselling at The Wedding Expo

Categories: ALL THE NEWS , Faith-based, Social & Community
Visitors to The Wedding Expo can benefit from non-judgemental, confidential relationship guidance.

Visitors to The Wedding Expo which will be held at the Ticketpro Dome in Northgate on 10 and 11 March 2018, can benefit from free, non-judgemental, confidential relationship guidance from couples who have learned to love intelligently by applying wisdom contained in the international bestseller Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce.

Written by counsellors Renato and Cristiane Cardoso, the book Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce explains why relationships fail, shares wisdom on how to love intelligently, provides tools to manage marriage successfully and offers practical advice on how to safeguard marriage and say no to divorce.

Much of The Wedding Expo focus is on the wedding day, but after the ceremony and celebration, the marriage begins. Couples have to learn to live together in what is often more challenging than the fairy tale they imagined. All relationships face difficulties but many people do not have skills to resolve them and choose to give up believing they have married the wrong person.

The co-authors of Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce write in a chapter entitled The Backpack: Imagine the bride and groom before a church altar. They are dressed for a wedding in front of their guests. A pastor performs the ceremony. But attached to each of their backs, over her white gown and his rented tux, are large, heavy backpacks. Inside each backpack is their past, the baggage they bring into the marriage, whose contents they are about to discover: Their upbringing, what they learned from their parents, past experiences, trauma, fear of rejection, insecurity, expectations….

Renato and Cristiane Cardoso explain that most couples do not insist on looking inside the backpack with some believing the past does not matter – only the future together is important. They write: This sounds very romantic, but it will not stop the past from being dragged into their present relationship. Your past is part of you; it is impossible to get rid of it. But you can learn how to deal with it. The chapter gives personal examples of how baggage influences behaviour and has the potential to destroy relationships, offers suggestions on how to examine the backpack, identify the root cause of reactions and behaviour and gives guidance on how to resolve issues. Each chapter ends with a practical exercise for the couple to do together to help them find a win-win solution for their relationship.

One of the couples offering counselling at the Bulletproof Marriage stand at The Wedding Expo, Marcelo and Marcia Pires, suggest that couples try to understand what is causing their attitude or behaviour, saying more often than not, the root of the problem lies in their past. The book Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce confirms that we are what we have learned because our past is our reference point and people end up repeating their parents’ mistakes. The Cardosos write: In a relationship we have to unlearn the bad before we can learn the good. We have to identify our bad habits, what is not working, and eliminate them so that we can then develop new and better habits. This recognition is painful, but of utmost importance if we are going to change. When we understood the roots of our behaviour and did what was necessary to deal with them, our relationship problems came to an end.

Another area where counselling helps to discover the root cause of a problem is in identifying the couple’s expectations. Often, couples do not discuss their roles and expectations and conflict results when one or other person feels that their expectations are not being met. Expectations may be unrealistic in which case a workable solution needs to be found, but sometimes one party is unaware of what the other is expecting and unwittingly fails to do what their partner requires. This leads to unresolved issues and certain conflict which could have been avoided through honest and open communication.

Writing in his regular blog, Renato Cardoso, suggests couples put themselves in the other person’s shoes, writing: Love includes always thinking about how to make your partner’s life better. You strive to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine what he or she is going through. Then ask yourself: “What would I like done for me if I were in this situation?” If you had worked the whole day at home while taking care of not-so-quiet kids, what would you like your partner to do? How about helping with the housework or giving her a break from the children. And what if you had come home late night feeling physically and mentally exhausted, what kind of welcome would you like to receive? Think about how to make your partner’s life better and take the initiative to do it. This is worth more than flowers and exotic walks.

Another recent blog addresses the subject of what to do when the one you love disappoints you. Renato Cardoso writes: When we love someone, we remind ourselves of all of the qualities that make us feel happy and blessed to have them by our side: their beauty, personality, character, the way they talk, how they touch us. We forget that this same person is not perfect and sooner or later will disappoint us. Guaranteed. But that does not necessarily mean that they wanted to hurt us. It means they’re human, just like us. That is why love includes overlooking and forgiving. PS. Abusive partners are a different story.

Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce is available at The Wedding Expo at the show special of R150. It is an essential toolkit for singles wanting to prepare for marriage and married couples wishing to invest in their relationship and live happily together.

For counselling, book sales or further information, please contact the Bulletproof Marriage team on 011 224 3413 or info@bulletproofmarriage.org. Visit the Bulletproof Marriage website: www.bulletproofmarriage.org.

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