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Are You Ready for Something Extraordinary?

By Dustin | General

Extraordinary Life NetworkAs a reader of Engaged Marriage, you have demonstrated an interest in striving for something greater for your relationships and your marriage.  You understand the importance of being proactive, and you are actively seeking to get more from your life.  You are not normal.  You are not ordinary.  You are Extraordinary!

Extraordinary Readers Deserve Extraordinary Blogs

I am very excited to announce today the creation of a unique blog network that is aimed at helping you reach your goals and get out of the rut of a “normal” life.  I could not be more proud of the partners that have agreed to team with me to provide the information, resources and motivation needed to reach new levels of excellence in our lives.

Our team was hand selected with the specific goal of assembling a group of writers that address all of the critical areas of life.  Under the banner of our network, you will find high-quality and practical advice to help you achieve excellence in your relationships, your family, your finances, your career and everything that matters the most to you in life.

This team is known as The Extraordinary Life Network.

I have a provided a brief overview of each member and their awesome sites below as an introduction.  Please note that we have a created a hub page for our network as a central resource, so it is always easy to stay up-to-date as new posts are published by our members.  I will have a logo in the sidebar so you can always click over and check out what’s new.

To make things even easier, I encourage you to subscribe to each site individually or as a group so you never miss any of the great advice that is offered.

Let’s meet the team!

1. Enemy of Debt

Brad Chaffee provides motivational money management to inspire financial discipline at Enemy of Debt. Brad is committed to providing fantastic personal finance advice from a practical, down-to-earth perspective. He is a fellow Dave Ramsey fan, and he is a strong proponent of breaking the chains and achieving freedom from debt. You will love Brad’s enthusiasm and energy!

Here are a couple of Brad’s articles that you might enjoy:

“Financial Independence” Ceremonial Speech

The Day I Killed My Credit Card

2. Mama Notes

Samantha Mellen is a wife and loving stay-at-home-mom. Mama Notes is a parenting resource and a journal of Samantha’s experiences during motherhood. Samantha’s site is also the home to the Body After Baby challenge that supports women in their effort to get fit and healthy again after having children. Samantha is living the life of fulfilling motherhood and enthusiastically shares her insights with her many readers…now from the beautiful state of Alaska!

Here are a couple of Samantha’s articles that you might enjoy:

8 Tips for Moms to Function at Your Best

Are You Talking to Your Kids Enough?

3. My Super-Charged Life

Jeff Nickles specializes in living life to the fullest by addressing life with education at My Super Charged Life. Not traditional education, but inspirational self-education that will provide you with new insights and the motivation you need to live an extraordinary life everyday.  Jeff has graciously allowed me to post on his site several times, and I can tell you that his readers (like Jeff) are an amazing bunch of motivated folks!

Here are a couple of Jeff’s articles that you might enjoy:

Smart Living: A Deep Look Into Living Life to the Fullest

17 Good Habits For A Successful Life

4. The Wisdom Journal

Ron Haynes is a successful blogger who helps his readers at The Wisdom Journal to make wise choices, improve their finances and achieve a better life. Ron is a humble guy who will try to tell you that he is not wise, and that he simply wants you to learn from his life experiences. I think you’ll agree with me that Ron is a great guy who does in fact share incredible wisdom with his readers.

Here are a couple of Ron’s articles that you might enjoy:

Insurance Potholes – Where Are the Gaps In Your Coverage?

10 Critical Money Management Skills Your Children Need You To Teach Them

5. Engaged Marriage

Rounding out the group is the new kid on the block, yours truly, Dustin Riechmann. I created Engaged Marriage because I saw an incredible need for practical information aimed at achieving excellence in marriage. From marriage preparation to an awesome family life, this site exists to provide candid advice to today’s active couples.

You can read more about the motivation behind Engaged Marriage on my About page, and please check out these articles for a sample of the content you’ll find here:

Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just be a Couple

Fight Fair! 6 Simple Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Marriage

How Does Natural Family Planning Benefit Marriage?

Join Us and Achieve the Extraordinary in Your Life!

I am humbled and super excited to be part of such an exceptional group of writers and all-around good people.  I trust that you will find The Extraordinary Life Network to be a valuable resource and a community where you will feel at home.

Please take a few minutes to visit our member sites, leave a comment to say hello and sign up to receive free updates as new posts are published.  And please leave a comment on this post to let us know what you think of our new network and share your thoughts for what you would like to see from us as a group.

Welcome to our family!

What Are You Thankful For?

By Dustin | General , Spirituality

What are you thankful for?

As I reflected a bit on my “I am Thankful for Sexuality” post and the great comments you have shared there, I couldn’t help but wonder what each of you is thankful for as we officially enter the holiday season.

So, take a moment to think about your life as it stands today.  Think particularly about your relationships and all of the ways (good and bad) they have changed since last year at this time.

What are YOU thankful for in your life?

Please take a minute and put your thoughts in the comments to this post.  Let’s all rejoice together at the many blessings that we have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for being part of such a positive, growing community here at Engaged Marriage!

Photo by floodllama

Who Reads Engaged Marriage, Anyway?

By Dustin | General

Who Reads Engaged Marriage?

I have really enjoyed seeing the results of the Help Engaged Marriage Grow Up the Right Way survey come in over the past few weeks.  To date, a total of 74 responses were received, and I really appreciate it!  Please note that the survey closes at 100 responses, so if you would like to add your thoughts there is still time.

I love writing the posts here at Engaged Marriage, and I am proud that virtually everything you read is original content.  Most posts are written by me (Dustin), while we are occasionally treated to a guest post from a like-minded person with some valuable advice to share.  By the way, if you have something you would like to share, please send me a message using the Contact form at the top of the page.

Who Reads This Stuff?

As much as I enjoy writing, it can be tough at times to know my audience and feel connected to you.  It turns out this is pretty important when you are creating posts about marriage, sex, romance, money, etc.  Everything here at Engaged Marriage is intended to reach you on a personal level and help you achieve the extraordinary in marriage and in life.  It helps to know a bit about you when trying to meet this high standard.

This is where the survey idea came into play.  I thought if I could get a few of the readers to share a little about themselves and their preferences for the site, I could make Engaged Marriage a better place for all of us.

I hope that the survey served this purpose (and continues to do so with your continued input).  I want to give you a brief summary of the results, so you can see who your fellow readers are and what they think.  Let’s see if this matches your own thoughts and preferences.

The Survey Results in a Nutshell

  • 75% of the respondents are female.  Based on the proportion of comments and the feedback I’ve received via other platforms (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), this was not a real shocker for me.  I am a bit disappointed that the men in cyberspace are not investing time learning to improve their marriages to the same degree that the ladies are, and I’d love to draw more guys to balance this out.  I’d love to hear your ideas on how we can get more manly-men interested in visiting the site.
  • The engineer in me loves the results of the question “How long have you been married?“.  As shown in the screen shot below, the graph is a pretty stellar bell curve (normal distribution) with the greatest number saying they’ve been married for 3-5 years.  I always figured the target audience were those married 0-5 years, and this is generally true.  I love that we have numerous single people and those married more than 21+ years actively involved here!

How long married

  • What types of posts would you like to read More of? Here’s the top 5 results in order:
  1. Communication
  2. Romance
  3. Children/Parenting
  4. Sex & Family Planning
  5. Finances & Careers
  • What types of posts would you like to read Less of? Here’s the top 5 results in order:
  1. Book & Product Reviews
  2. Marriage Preparation
  3. Individual Fulfillment
  4. Finances & Careers
  5. Links to Interesting Reads

I thought it was interesting that “Links to Interesting Reads” was chosen by 25% of respondents for a topic they wanted MORE of and also 25% for something they wanted LESS of. 🙂

  • Which topic for an e-book (short electronic book) would interest you the MOST? The results here were quite conclusive!  By a margin of nearly 3-to-1, you chose “15 Minutes to an Extraordinary Marriage: Why You Need Time Each Day to “Just Be a Couple” & How to Find It” as your top choice.  Also popular were the topics on Fitness, Natural Family Planning, Sex from the Soul, and Money & Marriage.

I would really like to start working on developing an E-book soon.  If you have specific thoughts on this topic, I would love to hear from you!

  • I only received a few requests for specific post topics.  Also, almost all of the suggestions for improvement were to write more posts!  I take this as a very nice compliment, and I am doing my best to keep the quality content coming while balancing my own marriage, family, a full-time career and a few hobbies thrown in.  Rest assured that I will do my very best to keep Engaged Marriage a place you want to visit frequently!

Let’s Build a Community

Like I mentioned above, it can be tough to write meaningful posts when your only feedback comes from reading your own words back to yourself.  In order to help all of us get the most out of this site, I’d really love to form a community at Engaged Marriage.

To do your part, I’d simply ask that you leave comments on the posts that you read, sign up for E-Mail updates or an RSS subscription, follow me and interact on Twitter, and become a “fan” of the Engaged Marriage page on Facebook.  I really see the Facebook page as a fantastic place for us all to interact.

Right now, please leave a comment to this post to say what you agree or disagree with from the survey results.  Let me know what you would like to see from Engaged Marriage in the future.  And, of course, you can still take the survey yourself until it reaches 100 respondents.

Thank you!

Photo by Marco Bellucci

Vote for Your Favorite Marriage Blog!

By Dustin | General

Marriage Blog

My cyber-buddy and fellow marriage supporter Stu at The Marry Blogger is composing a list of the Top 10 Marriage Blogs, and I would love it if you can help.

How to Nominate your Favorite Marriage Blog:

1. Click here to post your nomination.
2. One vote per person…if you have more than one, only the first will be counted.
3. Include the URL of the blog.
4. Give a reason for your choice.
5. Pass the word on to other Marriage Blog readers/bloggers so they can vote too; you can contact your friends via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, carrier pigeon, etc. (here is a link to use: http://j.mp/top10marriage).
6. Your nomination must be received by December 2, 2009.

Thank you for helping out with this. Of course, I would love it if you voted for Engaged Marriage, but I won’t be offended if you choose a blog that you enjoy a bit more.

I think there is a real need for this kind of list, and I really look forward to seeing which websites get recommended and what readers enjoy about each. Remember, you have to click over to The Marry Blogger to post your nomination.

Thanks!

Photo by √oхέƒx™

I Need Your Help! Help Engaged Marriage “Grow Up” the Right Way.

By Dustin | General

I am both humbled and excited by the interest that has been shown in Engaged Marriage.  The quick growth of this website is so affirming because it demonstrates that many couples want to be proactive and achieve the extraordinary in their marriage.  There is so much more to life than getting by with a “normal” marriage, and you guys are spreading the word that Engaged Marriage is something like-minded couples should check out as a resource to help achieve excellence in our married lives.  Thank You!

While the comments left on many posts provide some insight, I know they represent a very small portion of the readership of this site.  I really want to have a better idea of your interests.  This will enable the content and resources offered here to best match your desires and needs.

So, how can you help?  Please take TWO MINUTES and fill out a few questions on a survey that I have prepared.  It’s anonymous, quick and easy.  Just click below and you’re almost done!

Click Here to take the Engaged Marriage survey

If you want to “reveal” any of your answers, please leave a comment below or check in over at the Facebook Fan Page for Engaged Marriage.

Thanks for your participation and continued support of Extraordinary Marriages!