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Relax! How A Few Minutes Of ‘Me Time’ Can Make You A Better Wife

By Dustin | Romance

How a Few Minutes of 'Me Time' - Dustin Riechmann - Engaged Marriage.001When you’re stressed and in a constant battle with your to-do list, the last thing on your mind is your relationships.

After all, you have to finish the deadline for work, get the kids homework done, clean up the dog’s war with the pillows, and attempt to make lasagna for dinner tonight from scratch.

However, in the midst of it all and other things that life seems to continually throw at us, is our partner.

Despite the fact that they so obviously want to be with us – after all, they married us, sometimes we can forget the fundamental aspects of being in a relationship.

That is why we should be making time for each other and actively attempting to communicate, connect and have fun with the other person.

This is really hard to achieve if all you can currently think about is the looming bills or the never-ending piles of dishes in the sink.

But if you simply took time to recharge your own batteries, to indulge your own desires and hobbies, you might find that you are more able to sit through a nine-hour Star Wars marathon that your partner has been meaning to get to for the past couple of weeks.

What are the benefits of self-indulgence for you?

One of the main benefits touted is the reduction in overall stress levels through the art of doing whatever it is you want.

Nothing is off limits during this me time extravaganza.

From an episode of Netflix, to getting your nails or hair done, to going for a hike, or even just curling up with a good cup of coffee and a book, the options are endless. And really you are only limited by your imagination.

Since “me time” is traditionally something done all on your own, it has been found to grant some women greater belief in themselves and makes them more self-confident.

After all, how many of us have actually been trained in enjoying activities that are all on our own?

So maybe next time take yourself out for lunch and load up on some extra girl power.

A study out of the University of Michigan has reported that couples who did not regularly engage in their own personal activities had even higher cases of self-reported levels of relationship dissatisfaction than couples who were unhappy with their sex lives.

Hence, doing your own thing is more important than previously thought.

Psychologists have further found that “me time” can aid us in numerous ways from raising our productivity at work and our ability to focus on things to giving us space to allow for better personal growth and self-awareness.

Most importantly for those in relationships, a little time taken to work on ourselves has been shown to drastically improve the quality of our relationships.

Ways to implement “me-time” now.

First off, throw away the guilt.

Yes, at first, there are some who won’t understand your need to spend time by yourself and may even feel hurt by your decision.

However, they will greatly appreciate your renewed sense of vitality, fresh perspective and your willingness to put even more of your renewed energy into your relationships with them.

Now, it has been found that the vast majority of people spend their alone time in one of three ways: they either watch television, engage in social pursuits, or throw on their workout gear and dive into whatever sports or leisure activity they can get their hands on.

If you’re thinking, “But I don’t have hours to go and spend in the yoga studio to freshen my soul,” that is absolutely fine.

A British study recently found that as with most things in life, it is not the quantity but the total level of quality or perceived satisfaction that is gained from the activity that actually matters.

Next, if you’re struggling to see when and how you are ever going to find time to engage in all these activities, it’s high time you establish a routine.

Either wake up or go to sleep at different hours from everyone else in your household, or make scheduled dates in your diary, which are allotted to your “me time” activities.

Just like you would prioritize a dentist appointment, you need to prioritize your appointments with yourself.

Finally, the key to achieving your goal of having an amazing relationship with not just your spouse but yourself is going to take commitment.

You need to work at it every day in order to become the power couple and powerful woman of your dreams.

Therefore, why not go out and book that nail appointment, sign up for the yoga class, or grab a coffee and give yourself the time to become the best version of you your relationship so desperately needs.


Sarah is the author of Relax Everyday, where she can teach you a lot more about relaxation and meditation. To achieve healthy relationships, as well as a balanced mind and body, remember to relax. Why not learn how?

4 Gift Ideas Your Sweetheart Will Love

By Dustin | Romance

Having a special person in your life can make you feel happier and more content.

Going through life alone is less than ideal and having another individual to share your hopes and dreams with is fantastic.

Taking the time to do things for one another is sure to help keep the love alive and well.

There are many occasions that may pop up throughout the year that range from Valentine’s Day to a special anniversary.

In fact, studies show that $19.7 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day in 2016.  Being aware of some ideas that may help you show your appreciation for this individual is important for a flourishing romantic union.

Idea #1: Photo blankets

One thing you may want to consider looking into is custom photo blankets. These are not your everyday gift and are sure to be exactly what you need to show your loved one just how much you care.

The good news is this one of a kind gift can be made the exact way you want it and this is what makes it so attractive and fun. Customizing photos and putting these on a usable blanket is sure to be something your partner will love.

Idea #2: Professional photo session

Can you imagine how nice it would be to have pictures of you and your significant other holding hands, giving hugs or kissing each other on the cheek?

This is sure to be one thing you will want to add to your list of things you have as a couple and can be an ideal way to have a lasting memory of your times spent together.

Simply set up an appointment date for both of you to have a photo shoot and this can enable you to make the most of your time together. The good news is this can be a lasting memory that may well stand the test of time and provide you with happy thoughts each time you view the photos.

Idea #3: Mountain retreat

Is there anything more romantic than simply taking the time to get away together? One of the best ways for you to reconnect with the love of your life may rest in taking some time and going on a little vacation.

You don’t have to miss a great deal of work or get too overwhelmed with the packing. Simply plan a weekend getaway and take a few essentials to help make your trip as special as the love you feel for each other.

The chances are high that this little gift idea can render huge dividends for your relationship and may even rekindle the spark that is necessary for a lasting union.

Idea # 4: Specialty gift baskets

One of the most endearing gifts to give is sure to be a custom made one. Taking the time to put together a few things that your partner enjoys is sure to bring a great deal of happiness to this person.

One way to reach this goal is to create a specialty gift basket that shows just how much you care. Add some items that may be representative of a particular hobby and this is sure to be a hit. The more you can customize this gift the better you’re sure to make it for the person in your life.

The key to making love last is sure to rest in the little things you do each day. This can be how to keep your relationship on the upside and prevent it from heading downward at all times.

All you need to do is to pay a little extra attention to the person you love today!

4 Gift Ideas Your Sweetheart Will Love.001

Great Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her That Last Forever

By Dustin | Romance

Bouquets are gorgeous, but how long do they last?

These great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her are all about longevity – just like your love. Check them out!

This Valentine’s Day, we recommend you attempt to do something different.

You’ve likely given gifts of flowers before, and maybe candy. But those are soon gone, and it can be a little sad seeing wilted flowers.

Instead, try to give a gift that can go the distance.

Great Valentine’s Day gifts for her can go beyond the classic chocolate and flowers, but where did those even come from?

Where did the tradition of flowers start as a Valentine’s Day gift?

There have been many cultures that have used flowers during mid-winter rites. Specifically, they were often used to symbolize fertility and love.

The origins of Valentine’s Day are a bit murkier.

In one legend, a young Roman priest named Valentine was put to death on February 14. His alleged crime? Secretly marrying couples after the Emperor decreed single men made better soldiers.

While in jail, as the story goes, he fell in the love with his jailor’s daughter. His final letter to her may have been signed “From Your Valentine”.

One confirmed fact is that Valentine was granted sainthood in the 5th century, and he eventually becomes one of Europe’s most popular saints.

(St.) Valentine’s Day is still an incredibly popular, but sometimes stressful, holiday. So if you’re looking for great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her that will go the distance but aren’t stressful to obtain or make, here’s your list.

Great Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her Can be Special and Easy

No matter what the lady in your life is into, these great Valentine’s Day gifts for her will make this year one to remember.

We definitely like Eternity Roses as a romantic gift that will go the distance….

While a bouquet of roses will fade quickly after Valentine’s Day, you can actually give her one that won’t.

This preserved 24 karat gold-dipped real rose will be beautiful forever, just like she will. They look impressive and are made from a natural single rose. The manufacturer also has glazed red single roses in which look quite stunning in a nice leather presentation box.

Plan it out

A romantic date or trip can be fun, but it takes a little planning, though all the fun goes out the window if you struggle with planning.

Whether it’s a trip around the world, or just across town, it should be enjoyable for both of you.

Here are some tips from The Eternity Rose  that will help you to plan and enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Frame it

Think of all the reasons you love her.

Pick your favorite, and create an 8×10 print. Grab a pretty frame, and you’re almost done. She can hang it on the wall, so she’ll see it every day.

Make it a frame with a stand, so she has the option to put it on her desk at work, too.

Sometimes great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her are the simplest.

Grab your Scrabble board

If you’re less artistic, but still want a custom message, grab your Scrabble board.

Pick tiles out to arrange your partner’s name, crossed with yours.

A deeper frame will allow room for the tiles and makes a fun 3D and romantic gift.

Light up the night

Candles are pretty, romantic, and come in a range of colors and scents.

Take it to the next level and carve your sweetie’s initials into it.

It’s easier than carving up a tree and better for the environment.

Follow this simple tutorial to make a unique gift for her.

Set it on music

Knowing the things your loved one loves is part of being in a relationship.

What’s the song she sings most often? The one you hear her humming under her breath when she’s happy?

Write down the lyrics of that tune and make her a personalized lyrics plate.

She can enjoy her favorite meal and her favorite song at the same time (it’s even dishwasher safe).

Twelve months, twelve reasons

If your spouse prefers a physical calendar to the one on her phone, make her one she’ll love.

Grab her favorite photos and create a wall calendar.

Match each photo to the month it was taken. Add a caption that shares your favorite thing about the photo or memory.

Now it’s not just a calendar, it’s a romantic gift she’ll see year-round.

Grow your love, and some plants, too

If your partner has a green thumb, why not give her something she’d enjoy all year?

Grab a pretty basket and fill it with packets of her favorite kinds of flower seeds.

If you don’t have a flower bed, throw in a few cute pots she can use.

Every time the flowers bloom she’ll think of your thoughtful gift.

In the garden

If you do have a yard or garden, make a few unique stepping stones to guide her way.

Use items like shells from a trip you took to the beach, or glass stones in her favorite colors.

This will take a little extra prep time to allow them to set, but these instructions make it a snap.

Map your love

Think of three places that you’ve been together that have been romantic and fun.

This is an especially good gift if it happens to be around your first anniversary, too, which is paper.

Grab a map and a red marker. Draw a heart around each place.

Depending on how well-traveled you’ve been, you may have to trim your map down a bit.

Find a frame that fits (your local craft store can help with a custom one, too).

She can look at this unique gift, a map of your love, every day of the year.

For the handyman

If you’re good with tools, consider making the frames for the ideas above instead.

Or, has her book collection overflowed the shelf and onto the floor? Build her a new bookcase.

Does she have kitchen gadgets or spices that don’t have a permanent home? Build a small rack that matches her kitchen.

If you’re good at more intricate design, a jewelry box or necklace tree might be just the perfect romantic gift.

Get your paintbrush out

Is there a room that you know needs a fresh coat of paint? It’s probably the same one she thinks needs it, too.

If you know she’ll be out of town, surprise her by doing the chore you both likely hate.

Or, if a surprise doesn’t work, give her a certificate that says you’ll paint a room of her choice.

For the aspiring writer

If writing is your thing, why not write your love story?

Use some parchment paper, and a calligraphy pen or marker. Describe how you met and how things have grown between you.

Leave a few blank pages at the end and mark the first one, “The future”.

Punch two holes (top corner, bottom corner) and bind it with a pretty ribbon.

Next year, you can go back and fill in another page.


Give her a romantic gift that will be hers all year long, not just for a few days.

Like these great Valentine’s Day ideas for her or have other ideas we should include? Share your thoughts!

Dr. Carissa Coulston is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 research publications in high standard medical and psychiatric peer-reviewed journals. She has experience in managing a wide range of problems within the Psychology spectrum from common everyday issues such as stress and anxiety, to more chronic and severe mental health conditions.

Carissa writes a regular blog on relationship management and helps people deal with various problems they face in relationships, offering advice on how to resolve difficult situations, strategies to cope with and move past painful and disappointing experiences, and tips on how to improve the overall quality of relationships to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

7 Bedtime Routines to Get Your Marriage Glowing

By Dustin | Romance

7 Bedtime Routines - Dustin Riechmann.001Some people believe that the day actually starts with the evening before, and this is not a bad way of looking at life.

Having a good night’s rest is essential if you want to be on top of the word when the sun comes up. And the best way to have a good night is to pay attention to your bedtime routine.

Yes, bedtime routines are not only for kids, but each and every one of us can benefit from a healthy routine, and especially if we are married.

In fact, the quality of the bedtime routine of a married couple may indeed be an accurate indicator of the quality of their marriage relationship.

If you have been married a few years and you feel the sparkle has somewhat evaporated, then have a look at these seven bedtime routines and see how you can bring back a healthy glow to your marriage.

1. Get to bed together at a decent hour

Many people who are now divorced will tell you that they very seldom went to bed at the same time as their spouse.

One would stay up late watching TV, or catching up with work, while the other went to bed.

Bedtime is one of the most important and special times of the day, so if you aren’t together then it probably means you aren’t together much at other times either.

Going to bed together, and not too late, is a conscious decision you can make to show each other that you choose togetherness rather than the slow drift of living separate lives which can happen so subtly.

2. Get rid of the gizmos and gadgets

Once you’ve made it into the bedroom, see it as a ‘sanctuary’ for the two of you.

If you have a TV in your bedroom, decide on a time when it goes off and stays off. And the same goes for your cell phones, ipads, tablets and any other electronics you might have.

If you need an alarm to wake up in the morning, make sure that is in place, but all the rest can go.

Surely you don’t want all those other people on the TV / Facebook/ Whatsapp or whatever invading your own private space with the one you love?

Do your marriage a favor and switch off all the gizmos and gadgets as part of your healthy bedtime routine.

3. Get caught up on your day

While you and your beloved are getting undressed, taking off your makeup, having a shower, and putting on your pj’s, it’s the perfect time to get caught up on your day.

Tell each other about your highlights and lowlights, your concerns and joys.

Keep this time for sharing how you really are, rather than the quick snatches of conversation you may have been able to have at dinnertime.

Conversation, or rather communication is one of the primary factors which keep a marriage relationship strong and close. No wonder lack of communication is also a major reason for the breakdown of relationships.

So talk, talk, talk, and more importantly, listen carefully to each other.

4. Get ready all day

Once you start enjoying this bedtime routine you may actually find yourself looking forward to it all day long. After all, the best foreplay is what happens before you get into the bedroom.

In fact, you can get ready throughout day by sending a loving little text message out of the blue, or perhaps a little note tucked into your beloved’s pocket or lunch bag when they’re not looking.

Then of course there are all the practical things that you can do to show how much you care, like loading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, or making a relaxing cup of tea for your spouse.

If you make a point of doing intimately loving and thoughtful things for each other every day, by the time you get into the bedroom in the evening, you will both know for sure that you are loved, wanted and desired.

5. Get in touch and stay connected

As one thing leads to another, don’t be afraid to try new ways of touching – with your partner’s consent of course.

There’s nothing like a massage to make you both feel relaxed, especially after a long stressful day. Help each other to unwind and enjoy the safe space that you have with one another where you can just be yourself and be refreshed to face the world again tomorrow.

Enjoy the privilege and blessing of intimacy and sex as much as possible in your marriage relationship.

Even when you drop off to sleep later, regardless of your preferred sleeping positions, try to stay connected throughout the night with at least one part of your bodies touching each other.

6. Get spiritually connected

But before you sail off to dreamland, don’t forget to say a prayer together or perhaps read a short portion of your favorite devotional book together.

A wise person once said that the couple who prays together stays together.

As human beings we are more than just a physical body – there is also the soul and spirit.

In this most intimate relationship of marriage it is vitally important that all levels of our being are connected and nourished on a daily basis. So make it a priority to get spiritually connected with your spouse as part of your healthy bedtime routine.

7. Get a good goodnight kiss

One last thing: instead of a mumbled ‘nite nite’ make sure you give your beloved a good goodnight kiss.

Even if you don’t say it in so many words, that kiss will convey the message that you enjoyed being with them today, that you wish them a peaceful night’s sleep, that you will be there throughout the night, and that whatever the day may hold in the morning, you will be there to face it with them.

Bonus Tip: Create a Relaxing (and Sexy) Bedroom Environment

While your routines are important, one of the most powerful things you can do to reinforce them is change your environment.

How much more peaceful and romantic would your nightly experience be if your bedroom was designed for intimacy?

Be sure to check out this workshop we did with a professional designer to help you makeover your bedroom…no matter your budget or skill level:

Put this advice into action and you’ll take your health and marriage to the next level.  Sweet dreams!

Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage.

She is a featured writer for, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+ and Pinterest.

Tending Your Marriage Garden: 3 Things You Need To Do Now

By Dustin | Romance


Have you ever seen a plant sitting on a shelf in someone’s office… droopy, sad, leaves scattered all on the floor?

You probably looked at that fading little plant and wondered who was supposed to take care of it.

Maybe they forgot? Maybe they don’t know how? Or maybe they just don’t care?

When the person got the plant, they were probably happy, watered it and made sure it had ample sunlight.

Over time, other things took priority… and the plant, waiting for attention and left on it’s own, began to wither away.

You’re probably wondering what this little plant has to do with a healthy marriage.

The short answer is: EVERYTHING.

When your marriage is shiny and new, we spend lots of time growing it. We nurture it, protect it and work hard at planting the seeds of our future.

Inevitably, challenges and distractions occur…

We get comfortable and complacent.

Left unattended, those tender seedlings of love wither, leaving a barren emotional landscape and leaving the one you love wondering what happened.

So, much like the little plant, marriages need regular loving care and feeding. They need tending to by their owners (you and your spouse).

The happiest couples know that tending to their marriage is the best way to create a healthy, sustainable and fulfilling relationship. They make tending their marriage a priority.

Tending your marriage is much more than going on dates and sharing intimate moments.

It’s more than having sex.

Tending your marriage means doing those things that heal, nurture and strengthen your marriage… doing the things that will keep your relationship thriving season after season.

Pull the Weeds

Nothing will choke a garden quicker than weeds. Every garden has them and there’s only one way to deal with them: pull them and pull them often.

If you wait, they’ll overrun your garden.

Old wounds, unresolved problems, neglected intimacy… even those little aggravations are the weeds in your marital garden.

Avoid dealing with them and they’ll invade every emotional space of your relationship.

But weed gently… ripping a weed out by the roots leaves nothing but a big hole to fill.

Take time to talk with your partner about problems. Check in with each other often. The important thing is to communicate in meaningful ways.

Communication is like water for relationships. Without it, they wither away.

Above all, be genuine in your conversations.

  • Speak from the heart… and from a place of love.
  • Find resolution to old wounds.
  • Forgive each other’s little imperfections.
  • Apologize with sincerity if you need to.

And find that place of healing and reconciliation.

Feed Your Marriage Well

Just like a garden needs to be fed regularly to stay healthy… your marriage needs to be fed emotionally to remain vibrant and strong.

You probably fed it well early on… now you just need to remember how.

Everyday kindness is fertilizer for a thriving marriage.

Speak kindly to each other. Say “thank you” when your spouse does something nice for you.

Do the little things that please each other. Cook his favorite dish. Bring her a flower from the garden.

Sincerely compliment each other.

Focusing on the positives and all that is right in your marriage lays the foundations for a marriage that will thrive.

Kindness, forgiveness and gratitude put down deep emotional roots and keep your marriage growing strong. 

Hire a Landscaper

Sometimes no matter how hard you work at tending your garden, it just won’t grow. You can scratch your head and wonder what to do and give up or you can call in a professional landscaper.

There is no shame in asking for support. Every marriage has challenges.

An expert can help you address the weed problem and help you find the care and plan that works best for your marriage. 

Having people to reach out to can be a comforting, healing resource.

A safe space to “talk it out” can make you more confident for even the most difficult conversations and be a great place to share successes!

A well-tended marriage will grow strong and yield a bountiful harvest. Its beauty will draw you in and become your refuge from the world outside.

Ready to learn more practical tips, tools and resources for a vibrant and thriving marriage?

Learn more about our brand new community designed to let you live your best life together. 

Don’t go at it alone… join The Engaged Marriage Movement today for the best training, support and marriage-building community in the word: