That's how Tricia Goyer's book, Generation NeXt Marriage reads - like a friendly discussion around the table with old high school pals adding their thoughts on marriage while the 80's music blares in the background. How is marriage different for our generation? Here it is, according to Tricia...
Five unique marriage challenges faced by Gen Xers and how to tackle them!
1. Gen Xers saw more divorces than successful marriages. The divorce rate doubled between 1965-1977 and Gen Xers were the victims. 40% of us spent time in a single-family home before age 16. We grew up in families with step-moms and half-siblings and living every other weekend with a different parent and faced the loneliness and alienation of our splintered families. As married adults, Gen Xers can meet their spouse's need by speaking encouraging words, which are like gold stars to a Gen Xer's heart -- and by never using the D-word. As author Madeleine L'Engle once said, "There are a lot of marriages today that break up just at the point where they could mature and deepen."
2. Without role models, many GenXers turned to music, movies and television for examples of healthy relationships. Now, we often model our relationships after television sitcoms. We are good at quick comebacks and sassy remarks, without taking time to consider the other person's heart. We also want our problems wrapped up in thirty minutes or less! Instead, Gen Xers need to understand that unrealistic expectations can hurt our relationships. We also need to treat out spouses with honor and respect, even when we don't feel like they deserve it.
3. Our teen relationships were intense and often included sexuality, leading to intense breakups and the resulting baggage. By the time many GenXers walked down the aisle, they'd experienced several "pretend-marriages." Spouses can break free from these bonds when we realize the truth about love, the truth about emotions, and the truth about intimacy. It's knowing that what we had in the past wasn't love -- and emotions don't rule. True intimacy is choosing to share our hearts and our struggles with the one we're committed to for life.
4. Gen Xers were starved for quality time, so they appreciate balance. Doing too much stresses us out. The first thing Gen Xers need to do is realize the impact of our faced-pace lives, and then make plans for peace. It's cutting out things that won't matter ten years from now and focusing on the things that will.
5. Gen Xers were labeled the "slackers" and the "grunge" generation. The generations before didn't think we'd amount to much. Because of this, Gen Xers strive hard to prove themselves. We aren't content just "living life," we want to reach our full potential. Spouses can encourage each other to follow their heart dreams. This starts with asking your spouse out his/her dreams, then offering encouragement and support!
So, here's a look at a chapter with some comments from the guy in my life too.
Chapter 12: "If You Don't Know Me By Now..."
The lyrics to the song are misleading though, aren't they? There is always opportunity to learn more about our spouses. Men and women are different and we will spend our lives learning about those differences.
Men need to feel valued and respected according to my lifelong lover (aka the marriage and family therapist). Tricia gives both expert advice and friendly advice on this topic.
And women need a sacrificial husband (wow - according to the main man again). I wouldn't have said that, but hey I'm not complaining either! Tricia says women need to be treasured, cherished, adored and pursued and I have to agree.
What distinguishes Tricia's book from so many other books on marriage is her conversational style, inclusion of a variety of resourses and the unique challenges gen Xers face in marriage. It's a fun read, so go add it to your wish list!
Love Gen X Style!
Share your story and WIN a dinner for TWO to the restaurant of your choice! ($50 maximum)Tell us the story of how you and your spouse met. If you have photos, send those along, too! The winning story will be chosen at the end of the blog tour and will be posted on Tricia's GenX blog. More comments on your post increases your chance of winning ... so tell your friends!
Contest entry form for Generation NeXt Marriage blog tour!