At the end of this post, I am going to invite you to do something that could drastically improve the quality of your marriage. The enemy to your marriage is “average”. The challenge with “average” is that it is not bad enough to make couples change, but not great enough to inspire couples to believe for more. Unfortunately far too many couples are satisfied with “average” marriages. If you have an “average” marriage you report that your marriage is not great, but it is not so bad either. If you have an “average” marriage you seldom go on dates, you make love 3 times a month, and you may exchange gifts on Christmas and birthdays and cards on anniversary’s and Valentine’s Day. If you have an “average” marriage you seldom talk about your relationship goals and assume that you can spend the rest of your marital days on auto pilot. As long as nothing changes, “average” does not feel so bad. In fact, “average” feels kind of normal. For many couples “average” has become the acceptable standard. How incredibly sad! When we got married we did not marry to have an “average” marriage. We wanted to have a phenomenal marriage that would be filled with love and excitement. Nobody gets married and aspires to have an average marriage. It just happens. My goal is to help a million marriages over the next decade create relationships that transcend average. I want to help save broken marriages and make average marriages phenomenal. Start this process today. A great place to start is to assess current reality. Ask your partner this question, “How would you rate the current condition of our marriage. Would you describe it as 1) Phenomenal; 2) Good; 3) Average; 4) Below average or 5) Horrible?” If the answer is anything less than phenomenal have a discussion as to why and talk about action steps that you can take to improve the relationship. One of the steps you can take today (as mentioned earlier) is to go my website and subscribe to my free digital newsletter at www.stlouismarriagecoaching.com The first issue is scheduled to go out on Wednesday, October 1st. Every month I want to share practical positive steps you can take to help make your marriage phenomenal. Decide today, that average is not good enough. You and your spouse deserve more!
One of the foundations of great marriages is communication. Communication is one of the keys to getting an incredible connection with your spouse. When communication is not healthy, the love connection quickly fades and the relationship ends. There are many pieces to the concept of communication and there are many ways to communicate besides talking, but for today’s post I want to focus on conversation. The term conversation comes from a Latin word that means, “to turn together” or “to change together”. It implies the frequent coming together and the addressing of issues. Relationships that are phenomenal have a healthy blend of three very distinct types of conversation. The first type of conversation is what is called logistical conversations. These are conversations that must occur in order to run the household. These are conversations that revolve around children, money, housework, employment, scheduling and the day to day operations of being roommates. Unfortunately, for many couples this is the only type of conversation that occurs in the relationship. When couples complain that they are living more like roommates than soul mates, this is usually one of the culprits. Frequently the tone of these conversations can be negative, especially when there are competing expectations about how things “should be”. The second type of conversation is what is called the friendship conversations. These are conversations that build the relationship. These are conversations about your day, what makes you happy, and what you are most excited about or looking forward too. These are dialogues where you share yourself and you learn about your partner. This is the type of conversation that is fun and light. These are the conversations that couples have at the beginning of the relationship, that lead to connection and that falling in love feeling. One of the dangers in marriages is when partners only have these conversations with other people outside of the marriage. The third type of conversation is the love connection conversation. The purpose of the love connection conversation is for you to deliver a message to your spouse that lets them know that they are important to you, that you value the relationship and that you genuinely care about them. This type of conversation is when you call in the middle of the day, just because you were thinking about your spouse. It is a daily conversation where you deliver a message that says, “I adore you!” or “I can’t wait to see you tonight”. If you want to have a phenomenal relationship you really need to have all three types of conversations. In future post, I will be talking about how to maximize all three types of conversations to get incredible connection, but for today, be certain that you are having all three types of conversations on a daily basis.
If you know of someone who might benefit from today’s post please share it. If I can ever be of any assistance to you on your own marital journey, you can learn more about me and my alternative approach to marriage counseling at www.stlouismarriagecoaching.com till next week keep falling more in love!
Great Sex Begins in the Kitchen
A common cause of marital discord is the lack of sexual intimacy. It is a theme that plays out in many relationships and can be a tremendous source of frustration and marital strife. Newsweek reports that 25% of couples have sex less than 10 times a year. Many couples desperately want it to be better but simply don’t know how or where to start. Some of my clients complain that all their partner wants is sex and they are too tired, too angry and not in the mood. Other clients complain that their partner is never available sexually and they are constantly being rejected. For others, it is an elephant in the room as they go weeks, months and sometimes years with no sexual intimacy. The truth is, when you have a great marriage you really do have great sex. If you want it to be better but don’t know where to start here are three going forward strategies that might be helpful.
Three keys to improving Sexual Intimacy
About 75% of my marriage coaching is conducted with clients over the telephone. Sometimes these clients want to meet with a local marriage counselor and ask me what they should be looking for when choosing a professional. I share with them that traditional marriage counseling does not have a very high success rate in terms of saving marriages. But if they must find a local marriage counselor here are the three questions that I would use as I was interviewing potential marriage help professionals: 1) Are you a “pro marriage” marriage counselor? I know the question seems ridiculous, but believe me your marriage counselor will know exactly what you are talking about. A “pro marriage” marriage counselor sees their role as the helping professional that is going to facilitate you saving your marriage and creating an even stronger marriage. Marriage counselors who may eventually arrive at the place of “yes” you should divorce, or there is nothing you can do to save your marriage are not pro marriage. The truth is there is always something that you can do and there is always hope. Make sure that your helping professional understands that you are looking for marriage counseling and not divorce counseling. 2) Will our sessions be future oriented or past oriented? If the sessions deal primarily with the past there is a high likelihood that you will get bogged down in the problems. Little good comes from a continual rehashing of the past. It is healthy to discuss the past, learn from the past, process the past if your must but at some point you must move from the past into the future. No one should be beat up in the marriage counselor’s office. The focus should be on how to positively move forward from past hurts and how to create a future that is better than the past. 3) Will there be regular homework? The actual saving of the marriage does not happen in the marriage counselor’s office. It happens as you apply strategies, ideas and new relationship skills after you have been to the counselor’s office. A good marriage counselor will never leave you hanging without positive relationship steps to take between visits. If you or someone you know is struggling with their marriage, pass this post along. These three questions can guide them on their search for a marriage helping professional.
The greatest gift you can give your spouse (and yourself) is the gift of making a decision that your marriage is going to be your number 1 priority. Frequently we don’t think about
decision making in terms of gift giving, but in the case of your marriage this is truly where it all begins. Isn’t it true that your marriage ultimately began as a result of a decision? Either you or your partner made the decision that they were going to offer a marriage proposal. In their mind they made the decision that they wanted to marry and spend the rest of their life with this one person. Chances are it was the most significant decision that they ever made. So these initial decisions, the decision to propose and the decision tonaccept the proposal started your marital journey. For many couples, this is where the decision making stops. Many people make the assumption that just because you were in love and now you are married that the marriage would be great. One of the reasons that the divorce rate is 50%, and studies suggest that 50% of the people who are married are thinking about divorce, is because of this one decision mentality. Through the years I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of
couples and one thing I know for certain is that if you are ever going to have a great marriage, it is because you have made the conscious decision to make it great. I have never found a great marriage that just happened. It simply does not work that way. One of my mentors, Anthony Robbins says,“It is in our moments of decision that our destinies are shaped” Isn’t it true that there are some decisions that you could make in the next 24 hours that would drastically damage the quality of your marriage? Isn’t it also true that there are some decisions that you could make in the next 24 hours that would drastically
improve the quality of your marriage? Make the decision today that you are going to make your marriage your number 1 priority. Then share that decision with your spouse. The word decision comes from the latin root word de, which means from and caedre which means to cut. Making a true decision means committing to achieving a result, and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility. True decisions are always linked directly to actions. Make a decision and then to enforce the decision take an action.
One of my clients whose marriage has felt more like a roommate situation than a soul mate situation recently discovered this truth. He acknowledged that the relationship was where it was because of
decisions that he had made upstream. He had made decisions to put his work, friends and hobbies before his family and wife. In the midst of these decisions his wife had become cold and distant. She committed her time to the children, her own career and to their home. This changed the day my client made the decision that his wife was going to be his number 1 priority. He surprised his wife with a date night, and a great big gift wrapped box with a bow on top. Inside the box were two letters. The first letter was a heartfelt apology. The second letter was a declaration of intention to make his wife his number 1 priority.
This touched his wife’s heart but she was skeptical. She wondered if this commitment was sustainable.
Now, three months later, they are trending towards a phenomenal marriage. My client would tell you
that everything changed when he made the decision that he was going to make his wife his number 1 priority. What’s preventing you from giving your spouse this gift today? Don’t wait till tomorrow.
Make the decision today. You will be glad that you did and you really will be on your way to
creating a great marriage.
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