Thousands of engaged couples, their wedding retinues and families absorbed information from the wide variety of vendors participating in the Wedding Expo at the Coca Cola Dome, Northgate on 5 and 6 April 2014. As they prepare for their fairy tale wedding, much of their focus and plenty of energy is devoted to the wedding day which is planned down to the finest detail. At the Bulletproof Marriage stand, they were asked how much attention has been given to the rest of their lives together, posing the question: "Will you live happily ever after?"
Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce shares insights and wisdom on how to love intelligently and manage marriage successfully. Written by Counsellors Renato and Cristiane Cardoso, this practical, life-changing book explains why relationships fail and offers valuable insights on intelligent love, helping couples discover how to safeguard their relationships and protect their marriage.
'Say no to divorce' is the purpose of this book which has sold 1.8 million copies world-wide and more than 20,000 in South Africa since its launch this year. Sales at the Wedding Expo exceeded all expectations with singles buying it to prepare themselves for marriage and married couples saying they wished they had had a copy of this in the early days of their marriage as it would have prevented many emotional conflicts.
Visitors to the stand, which received many compliments for its design, were given leaflets explaining steps to help couples learn the art of problem-solving. Authors Renato and Cristiane Cardoso believe that being happily married is an art - the art of problem-solving. They write: Baggage, personality differences, tastes, expectations .. all this and more set the stage for the problems that appear in a relationship. When you do not know how to handle these differences, they remain unresolved and the marriage will deteriorate. If nothing changes, within a few years divorce takes place. What is divorce if not an exit strategy for marital problems that couples never managed to resolve? Couples who once loved each other, end up separated or living together as strangers in the same house because they are unable to resolve the conflicts in their relationship. Instead, they insist on trying to change the other person but problem-solving is not about changing people. The focus must be to resolve the conflict between people and change the situation, not fight the other person.
Encouraging people to master the art of problem-solving, they write: Those with better problem-solving skills will be more successful in their marriages. Emotions are the wrong tools for solving problems but focusing on the problem rather than the feeling enables couples to identify, solve and prevent the situation recurring by applying intelligent thinking.
Stressing that no one has the power to change another person and that problem-solving begins with a focus on yourself, the authors write: When you change and stop demanding that your partner change, you will be taking the first step to inspiring change in him or her without demanding anything.
Suggesting a cease fire, they write: If you have been attacking your partner in some form, even if it does not happen often, you should stop it immediately. How will you be able to bulletproof your marriage against outside attacks while the internal ones continue? Your true enemy is not your partner, but the problem you are facing together.
Another tip the authors suggest is to identify the root of the relationship conflict which enables couples to understand why their partner behaves in the way they do. Learning to focus attention and energy on the real problem can transform marriages.
Other tools include developing good communication skills, working at the relationship, changing the focus to appreciate the good qualities - not the flaws - and developing the right attitude towards one another. They suggest: If you want a happy husband or wife, find out what his or her basic needs are and meet them. Don't argue about them, just meet them.
Bulletproof Marriage has changed countless lives and rescued many marriages at a time when relationships are crumbling because people do not have a tool kit to manage the inevitable problems and challenges which occur when two different people from diverse backgrounds join together in marriage.
In a lucky draw competition, Bulletproof Marriage donated a wedding dress to the value of R15,000 from Bridal Room, another exhibitor at the Wedding Expo. Thousands of hopeful brides entered and the winner, Shani Nieuwenhuizen from North West, said in accepting the prize: "I am still in shock and trying to convince myself that I am not dreaming." Shani will be given a copy of Bulletproof Marriage to help ensure that she and her husband live happily ever after.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is a contemporary, evangelical, Bible-based church, actively involved in numerous national outreach projects caring for people's spiritual, emotional and physical needs.
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