All of that to say, we're loving it. It's helping us. It's shaping us. We recommend it.
On that topic: I came across this post the other day, about managing conflict from oh hello friend. She and her husband attended a couples retreat recently and shared some of the things they learned. A lot of it reminded me very much of the book we're reading, and I took special note of the three things she mentioned that she and her husband can actively do to break the "reactive cycle". Of the three things, I have held onto her third point and come back to it multiple times over the last 10 days. It was simply: Pursue Truth.
For me personally this was a big one because I really often buy into lies. Lies like "he doesn't care/love me" and really silly stuff like that. Check your motives and heart. One of the couples were telling us about an argument they had about money they each received for a gift. The husband wanted to put it away and save it or use it toward bills and the wife wanted to spend it on something for the house. The husband said he would fall into this thinking that his wife was selfish and he had to step back and ask "Am I really thinking this about her??" because it was a total lie and we need to be careful of this.
It resonated with me so much that I took a screenshot of the blog entry on my phone (still LOVING flipboard for reading those blogs..) and made a mental note to talk about it with James later.
So often, we get stuck into a pattern of projecting current behavior patterns onto every thing we will ever encounter together in the future that we actually start to believe it's a character flaw in the other person, instead of taking the time to evaluate what we know to be true about each other. When I can do that, when I can stop my mind from running away with itself and say.. "Wait a second.. is this really what I believe about him?" ..it all melts away and I focus on what I know to be real and true. I don't even let the stories take root or have a chance to grow.
At least, that is the goal. And it's already helping. Already working. Already making a difference.