By Lisa Carnegis
After 23 years of marriage (31 if you count dating), you’d think we’d be experts at relationships. At least that’s what we thought.
For the majority of our marriage, our communication with one another suffered. This was long enough for patterns and habits to set in.
We started to believe we didn’t know what it took to have a good relationship.
Despite the growing distance between us, we did share at least one desire:
To save our marriage and fix what is wrong.
We sought guidance through CitiLookout and from there were informed about Encompass Connection Center and The Rings Experience.
We walked away with numerous skills and encouragement but most importantly, having gained the ability to lovingly communicate with one another.
This wasn’t only about what brought us here; it was about who we are, what our marriage meant to us and what we meant to each other.
We do the RINGS chat every day. We’ll go on a walk at night and go through the questions. It has brought us closer together. Knowing how the other is doing, what we need from each other and what we are looking forward to in the future.
We also have tools to help control our emotions and voice our expectations to one another to prevent future arguments from arising.
Although it hasn’t been easy to have severed trust in our marriage, our shared desire to put in the work to restore our connection has been amazing. We love each other’s company. If nothing else, this entire experience has built character and built up our relationship.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.