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21 Simple Ways To Strengthen Your Marriage

dateideas

Article re-posted from DaveWillis.Org

There are millions of way to strengthen your marriage. In no particular order, here are twenty-one…

1. Have more SEX, but make sure you’re ONLY having it with each other!

2. Don’t keep secrets from each other. COMMUNICATE about everything.

3. Argue less. Cuddle more.

4. Don’t get deep in debt and if you’re already there, work together to get out of it!

5. Pray together, find a healthy church and make FAITH a foundation for your life together.

6. Turn off your phones. Talking with each other is better than texting with someone else!

7. Pull the car over and make out more often.

love38. Leave LOVE NOTES for each other.

9. Send flowers on unexpected days, not just holidays.

10. Don’t ignore problems in your relationship. Deal with them quickly and aggressively.

11. Be quick to remember each other’s positive traits and quick to forget each other’s flaws.

12. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive and seek FORGIVENESS when you’ve wronged each other.

13. Don’t waste time or energy comparing your lives to anyone else’s. God’s plan for you is masterfully unique.

14. Go on long walks and HOLD HANDS.

15. Make “DATE NIGHT” a priority! Time alone together is vital for your continued growth and health.

older-couple-in-love

16. Give COMPLIMENTS constantly, and never give insults.

17. When you’re happy, laugh together. When you’re sad, cry together. Whatever you do, do it together!

18. Show LOVE and RESPECT to each other even in those moments when you don’t feel like it.

19. Keep dreaming new dreams and making big plans together. Don’t get stuck in a predictable rut.

20. ENCOURAGE each other. Build each other up so much that nothing in the world can tear you down.

21. NEVER give up on each other!

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The Good Days of Marriage

Marriage

By: Marjorie Holmes

Read: Proverbs 5:15-23

May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. — Proverbs 5:18

Dear Lord, thank you for the good days of marriage. The days when we wake up pleased with each other, our jobs, our children, our home and ourselves. Thank you for our communication- the times when we can really talk to each other; and the times when we understand each other without so much as gesture or a word.

Thank you for our companionship– the times when we can work together at projects we both enjoy. Or work in our separate fields and yet have that sense of sharing that can only come when two persons’ lives have merged in so many others for so long. Thank you that we don’t feel cut off from each other, no matter how divergent the things we do. Thank you for our times of privacy. Our times of freedom. Our relaxed sense of personal trust.

Thank you that we don’t have to clutch and stifle each other, that we have learned to respect ourselves enough to respect the other’s individuality. Thank you, Lord, that despite the many storms of marriage we have reached these particular shores. Help us to remember them. Help us to hold fast to them, Lord. Be blessed!

Additional Scripture Readings: Ecclesiastes 9:9Ephesians 5:25

Watch You Life or Shut Your Mouth!

Read: Matthew 7: 1-5 (NIV) Clothes Line

 

Article reposted from Christian Marriage Today Facebook Page

CMT says, It’s Funny Mundy! A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hang the wash outside. That laundry is not very clean, she said, she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap. Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look! She has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.” The husband said: “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows!”

And so it is with life: “What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look. Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask ourselves if we are ready to see the good rather than looking for something in the person we are can judge.”

16 Ways to Blow Your Marriage

grudginglydomestic

I came across this article online – and thought it was worth sharing.
The excerpt below was written by a man who’s marriage had failed – and these are the 16 things he would have done differently, were he able to get “a do-over.”

1. DON’T STOP HOLDING HER HAND
When I first dated the woman I ended up marrying, I always held her hand. In the car. While walking. At meals. At movies. It didn’t matter where. Over time, I stopped. I made up excuses like my hand was too hot or it made me sweat or I wasn’t comfortable with it in public. Truth was, I stopped holding hands because I stopped wanting to put in the effort to be close to my wife. No other reason.
IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER:
I’d hold her hand in the car. I’d hold her hand on a star. I’d…

View original post 2,253 more words

7 Ways In 7 Days To Knock The Socks Off Your Spouse

Going from years to being by yourselves and then throwing kids into the mix can be an interesting experience. I think that no matter what the situation, it can be hard to sometimes maintain a positive and thriving marriage.  So from my schooling and experience I’ve learned that to keep a marriage going strong you have to shake things up and below is an idea of how to do just that. 7 Ways in 7 Days to Knock the Socks Off Your Spouse! So grab your Sweetie and tell them as my husband would say, “I want to be in your company.”
THE WEEKLY MARRIAGE SHAKE UP
(To thoroughly knock the socks off your spouse!)
Sweet Treat Sunday
Massage Monday
Touch Tuesday
Woo Him/Her Wednesday
Thank Him/Her Thursday
Fun Activity Friday
Sweet Nothings Saturday
SWEET TREAT SUNDAY
On Sunday, make or get a treat your spouse really likes. If he/she is on a diet, be mindful of this and find a way to make him/her something special. If he/she asks why just say you love him/her. Keep your list a secret! 🙂
MASSAGE MONDAY
You can go about this a few ways. You can tell your spouse you’re giving him/her a massage and ask where he/she would like to be massaged. You can  tell him/her a list of areas you’re willing to massage (for those of you with stinky feet aversions 🙂 ) or you can just do it. Be considerate of your spouses feelings and preferences–you want this to be a wonderful experience!
TOUCH TUESDAY
If you’re not in the habit of this, your spouse may ask you what the heck you’re doing but whenever you talk to your spouse or walk by your spouse or sit next to your spouse, make sure part of you is intentionally touching him/her. Do this ALL Day. Don’t be surprised if your spouse reciprocates.
WOO HIM/HER WEDNESDAY
Do whatever is romantic to your spouse. If you don’t know–ask him/her!
THANK HIM/HER THURSDAY
Pay attention to everything your spouse does today and thank him/her for everything–just be sincere. Some examples that I would use:
“Thank you for going to work today.”
“Thank you for taking care of your dirty clothes this morning.”
“Thank you for changing that diaper.”
“Thank you for emptying the garbage.”
“Thank you for being such a good dad to our girls.”
FUN ACTIVITY FRIDAY
Plan something for the 2 of you. You don’t have to leave your house or you can. You don’t have to get a babysitter. If you can get a babysitter–DO! If not, stay in and play a card game or go play a game of catch outside. Make a cake together (don’t forget to “accidentally” smear some frosting on your spouse’s face). Do something out of the ordinary. It could take 5 minutes or 3 hours. Just make a plan and do it.
SWEET NOTHINGS SATURDAY
Tell your spouse “sweet nothings” all day. You can whisper them, text or email them, write them on pieces of paper and leave them around the house. Tell your spouse all the things you love about him/her–his/her personality, actions, looks, quality, etc.
Put these ideas into action for a week and not only will you feel more love for your spouse but he/she should definitely feel more loved and hopefully at some point will reciprocate.
Have Fun Enjoying Each Other.

When You’re Torn Between Your Marriage, Your Kids And Yourself

By Ruth Purple

Perhaps every woman dreams of having a wonderful husband, adorable children, and white picket fence house in the suburbs. A life so ideal and simple, but is it really that simple?

When a woman marries, and decides to have children, it is anything but simple. Marriage is far from easy. It is a constant struggle of give and take, of compromising. Likewise, in having children, you need to be brave and wise enough to guide your children, because their life and their future depends on your sanity. So, where do you put yourself?

It has been commonly said, that when a woman made a decision to give herself in marriage and have children, she put herself last.

I am sorry, but I have to disagree with this one. When it comes to prioritizing between marriage, children, and yourself, I strongly believe that you should prioritize yourself first, then your marriage and then your kids. This may sound selfish, but it is not. Hear me out.

Half of your union depends on you. In the first place, your husband decided to be with you for the rest of his life and made you the mother of your kids, because of “you!” So, why would you put yourself the least? You are important. Knowing this fact, you should take time to heed your needs and prioritize your growth.

Give time to nurture your soul and your spirit. Also, keep the balance within you. Your kid’s welfare depends on your emotional and mental stability. You need to have a sound mind and spirit to make wise decisions. You are their nurturer. How can you nurture, if you yourself needs nurturing? Therefore, if you love your husband, respect your union, and adore your kids, prioritize yourself.

Now you know why you need to keep yourself a top priority, what about when you are torn between your marriage and children? Who should come first? Experts have agreed that if you put your precious little ones first over your union, you are hurting them more than your union. Look at it this way, let the house be the metaphor of your kids and the foundation of that house is your marriage. If the foundation is weak, and breaks into pieces, the whole house will crumble into pieces, too. Therefore, it is safe to say that if there is instability in the foundation, there is turbulence in the house. Keeping the foundation strong, stable, and peaceful secures your children’s long-term well-being. It is unquestionable of how great the impact of divorce is to a child. Its memories always leave a lasting, and sometimes permanent fracture in the kid’s well-being. A strong marriage protects your kid’s well-being during their development into adulthood and helps them prepare for an equallystrong and stable relationship.

Let us be clear though, children’s basic and essential needs should come first. Nobody here is advocating neglecting children’s physical or emotional needs. That being said, the marriage should be prioritized over the kids. Parents sometimes go way overboard in meeting their kid’s needs. They should keep in mind that a child can thrive without piano lessons three or four times a week, but they cannot fully thrive when the family is shaky.

Ruth Purple, is a Relationship and Dating Expert. Conquer Infidelity and Experience a Happier Love Life through her New eBook. Visit her website atRelazine.com.

Source: Black Love & Marriage

3 Lessons That “Time” Will Teach You About Marriage

By Dr. Patty Ann Tublin

There are few things as wonderful as young love, especially when it happens in Spring! Remember when you first met the partner of your dreams?Everything felt so alive, right? You probably felt a general blissful wonder while your endorphins ran on high. Every time you saw or thought of your sweetie, the butterflies churned, and your heart thump, thump, thumped at the mere thought of your new love! Then as time went on, those butterflies took flight and found other couples ready to relish in young love, while you and your partner resigned to be grouchy and cranky in “old” love.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you grew up with old fashioned stories about relationships based on minimum effort, on necessity or convenience, these three truths will help you understand that there are some key things you have to do to truly live happily ever after.

1.  When you marry your mate, you marry their family! When two people come together, how can they not be impacted by each other’s families unless they run as far as they can in the opposite direction and have no contact with them at all?! Remember the character Michael in the movie “The Godfather”? He mentions to his girlfriend Kate that he is not his Mafia family, but he ends up being exactly like his father anyway. Families come along with the person you marry. There is no way around this, even if you try to extricate yourself.

2. Love isn’t enough. If that were the case, the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high as it is. Instead, practically every relationship would be destined for sublime happiness! Realty check: You have to work at relationships in order for them to work. Firstly, communication is by far the most important foundation you need. If you don’t talk and listen effectively, you won’t get far. Sweeping unspoken expectations and various other issues under the rug will only serve to fester until the straw breaks the camel’s back. Don’t skimp on this vital key to a healthy relationship!

There is also no way around the crises that will happen in life, so if you aren’t communicating in the first place as these occurrences come your way, it will be harder to weather them. You have to be consciously aware of how you express yourself: say what you need to say while being sensitive to your partner. And listen, listen, listen! Active listening with an open mind and heart shows a level of respect and caring that is necessary to making your partner feel safe and supported, e.g. no hidden agenda allowed!

3. Money does NOT solve problemsIn fact, it can actually add to them. Research shows that couples whose income increases to a higher level than what they had in the beginning have more money problems. Certainly money can help with some things we all need in life, and having a little extra is great. But money can’t buy good health, personal happiness or a great marriage! If you believe that if you had more money, things would be better, what you’re really wanting is something other than money to change or be resolved. Yep, money can be a mask for underlying issues!

As our world changes and progresses, our expectations also change; this includes the expectations we have of our relationships.  In today’s modern relationships, we really need to be as conscious about what we’re doing as we can. Then we’ll have the very best chance of our relationship having a fairy tale ending. So Spring into YOUR happily ever after. You deserve it!

About The Author: During the past 25 years, renowned relationship expert Dr. Patty Ann Tublin has helped hundreds of people rekindle romance and reignite passion in their relationships. The solutions in her Relationship Toolbox™ help couples re-build romance so intimacy inside and outside the bedroom can flourish. Through her successful 25-year marriage and her experience of raising 4 children, Dr. Patty Ann has earned an international reputation for saving relationships. To reignite your flames of passion, visit her site at www.drpattyann.com.

Source: Black Love & Marriage

Marital Secrets

Secret-keeping is unhealthy and destroys trust—particularly in marriages.

Article courtesy of Light University Online, the #1 Online School for Biblical Counseling, Life Coaching & Crisis Response Training

“Please don’t tell Daddy!”

When I picked Megan up from school, I knew something was wrong. As we made our way to the car, she looked up at me with sad eyes, “Mom, I’ve got something to tell you,” she said. “I got a warning card today. But let’s keep it a secret and not tell Dad. He’ll be so disappointed.”

I gently explained to Megan that Daddy and Mommy feel it is important not to keep secrets from each other and it would be best to let Dad know about the warning. After discussing it, she reluctantly agreed. Later that night, she learned how difficult but freeing it can be to face someone you love with a disappointing or painful revelation.

Webster defines a secret as something kept hidden, unexplained, or from the knowledge of others. Synonyms for secrets paint a dark portrait… covert, stealthy, underhanded. The obvious conclusion is that secret-keeping is unhealthy and destroys trust—particularly in marriages.

The Down Side

healthy marriage has little or no room for secrets. Unfortunately, some couples regularly keep marital secrets. Like Megan, they would rather concentrate on the motivating factors that keep secrets from being revealed.

A secret can be as seemingly insignificant as hiding the extra money spent on your golf clubs or as important as “covering” for a dishonest child. Other forms of secret-keeping include privately carrying the weight of drug abuse, hiding an addiction, or allowing undiscussed issues such as abuse to adversely affect the marriage.

Secrets are usually maintained for two key reasons—fear and shame. Fear includes the sense that something bad could happen as a result of disclosure of a secret. Shame included the ongoing embarrassment and unresolved guilt that result from a secret. However, failure to disclose results in a double bind—a lose-lose type of proposition. If I do disclose, it may bring irreparable harm to my marriage. But if I don’t disclose or continue with my secret, I will never resolve the guilt and shame that I am carrying—and surely this will erode the marriage over time. The end result leaves the secret-keeper confused, fearful, and walking on a tightrope.

Tell Everything?

Couples often ask, “Is it necessary to go back and drag out all of our dirty laundry and discuss in every detail our past?” Several guidelines we have found helpful include:

First, remember that honesty must always take first place in your marriage. Although Scripture doesn’t speak directly about secret-keeping in marriage, it speaks plainly and often regarding secrets, honesty, and dishonesty in every relationship (Psalm 19:12; 90:8; Proverbs 27:5; Romans 2:16; Ephesians 4:25).

We believe that honesty is central to personal and marital maturity. And when you allow or commit to an unwavering trust, the marital response to personal issues of the past and present need to be cloaked with grace, kindness, and love and are not driven by fear, chaos, and suspicion.

Secondly, keep in mind that not every secret (of past or present) is fully known or accurately remembered. Therefore, recalling and disclosing honestly a secret in every detail is unlikely.

You do not have to know all for love to grow and trust to flourish in your marriage. You must also ask yourself another important question. “Is the information you are withholding harmful to the marital bond?” If the secret has the potential to cause damage, or if it is in any way jeopardizing the level of intimacy desired and required for your love to grow, then it needs to be disclosed.

Finally, do not get hung up on the past. If the secret is in the past—has been forgiven andresolved—and is not relevant to or helpful in the present, it is not necessarily important to disclose it. Often times, the desire to attain information about a spouse’s forgiven past is for selfish reasons and only causes more pain than good.

If you have a troubling secret to disclose, what should you do? We would encourage you to seek outside help. Bring in a third party who can provide guidance on how and when to disclose with the ultimate goal of keeping the marital bond strong. Pray individually and as a couple for God’s protection on your relationship.

Just for Thought

There are no secrets with God. Keep your marital bond pure. Because the sins we cover, God will uncover. And the sins that we uncover, God will cover.

Copyright © Beliefnet, Inc. and/or its licensors. All rights reserved.

Date Night For Parents

Miss the days when you and your spouse were dating? When you could decide at the spur-of-the-moment to spend Friday night enjoying dinner and a movie? Well, what’s stopping you?

“Children,” you grumble. Going out for a date now entails planning a week in advance, so that you can find a babysitter and figure out how long you’ll need her to stay. Throw in her roughly ten dollars an hour fee on top of that twelve dollar per person flick and twenty-five buck a plate meal, and you have a daunting financial issue. As a result, more and more parents are choosing to just stay home and save the money and effort. There’s nothing wrong with this decision…so long as you still have your date night!

Forget the extended planning, hunting down and retaining the sitter, and concentrate on arranging an evening of togetherness. After all, isn’t that the whole point? But don’t forget to make this night special, different from every other night of the week.

Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this:

  • A bottle of wine. Take a trip to the liquor store and pick out something special. If you don’t know wine from grape juice, just ask the proprietor. He is usually quite knowledgeable about which wine is good and will suit your particular tastes.
  • Specialty Foods. Have a light dinner with the kids, but save your appetite for after they go to bed. Then take out the Brie and water crackers, perhaps a little jar caviar, or a couple of shrimp cocktails. How about a couple of rich chocolate truffles for dessert? Whatever you choose, make sure it is extraordinary. These delicacies may cost more, but they’ll still be cheaper than what you were going to pay that sitter!
  • A good movie. This is why there are videos and DVDs. Rent something sappy and romantic, or a laugh riot to blow off a week’s worth of steam. Maybe a good horror flick, to encourage ‘protective’ snuggling? Perhaps something a little racier from that back room of the rental store? It is all up to you tonight, and you aren’t at the whim of theater offerings or their start times.
  • Music. Either after or instead of the movie, pop in your favorite CD, push the coffee table aside, and do a little dirty dancing. There’s nothing like a spin around the floor to warm the blood – even when that floor is covered with wall-to-wall carpeting!
  • Talk, talk, talk. Have a real conversation! Instead of discussions about the kiddies and school, take this time to chat about grown-up topics. Discuss books, gossip about friends, commiserate about work, or just cuddle up and talk about your old college days. It is amazing how much even long-married spouses can still learn about each other when they get the chance.
  • Make out. If you are confident that no little people will invade your space, try necking on the sofa like you were still a couple of teens. Too often, parents rush right into intercourse whenever they get the chance. Take the time to enjoy the kissing and caressing, without the pressure of calling it foreplay. Just snuggle and nibble, and if anything else should follow…well, hey, that’s the privilege of not actually being teenagers any more!

Remember, this is your night – include whatever you want! The important thing is not to give up dating because of time and budget constraints. When you can’t get out of the house for romance, simply bring the romance home to you.

There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.

Source: Romantic-Tips

Are We Having Fun Yet?

We’ve never taken each other too seriously and maybe that’s why we get along so well. Not being uptight makes life more enjoyable and satisfying, and it also helps to combat those stressful days where things don’t seem to go right. Whether it’s work or home life, one of our main strategies for a healthy and happy relationship has been about putting the fun into everything we can.

Here are some of our tips for having more fun in your relationship that we have found have worked for us and might be something that could freshen up your romance:

LAUGH MORE, COMPLAIN LESS

Happy people create fun. Fun lightens relationships, and healthy relationships lead to more productive lives. It’s all intertwined. Whatever it takes to laugh — whether it is reminiscing about something funny, telling jokes or pulling faces with each other — is essential to happiness. You’ll be so busy laughing that you will forget what was stressing you out or causing you anxiety. It will also remind you why you fell in love with each other.

THREATEN TO TICKLE YOUR PARTNER

Just the thought of this can start the laughter rolling. The anticipation can be hysterical. Many times you may need to follow through with the actual tickle threat to create an air of fun. So often, we forget to touch each other and be playful. This again is a way to show love and affection while lightening the mood.

PUT FUN TIME ON THE SCHEDULE

Whether it is happy hour and a snack after work or a tee time on the weekend or a day at the amusement park with the kids, plan ahead and put some fun activities on the calendar. This provides some relief from work because you can think about something fun coming up that you will be doing with your spouse or with the whole family. The anticipation goes a long way to helping alleviate the current stress you might have at work.

SURPRISE YOUR SPOUSE

Even if they tell you they don’t like surprises, they really do. It doesn’t have to be anything big like a new car with a bow on it. Think personal and be creative. Of course, if you need help, “just because” flowers delivered to work or a special homemade dinner consisting of your spouse’s favorite dishes are two ideas that always do the trick!

BE SPONTANEOUS

While it is important to schedule and plan for fun, there is a lot to be said for throwing out the plan and going with the moment. Think of a quick weekend road trip or last-minute seats to a concert. Even picking up and leaving work early for the day to spend time with the family is a great spontaneous way to show your love.

Being too serious leads to forgetting what is really important. And, that is the love and support you have in your partner and in your family. They are there to be enjoyed and for you to bring them joy. Have fun and save the seriousness for your next work meeting or conference call!

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