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Category Archives for "Romance"

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

By Dustin | Romance

tending-your-marriage-garden-3-things-you-need-to-do-now

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:

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5 Things Happy Couples Do Together That You Should Start Doing Now

By Dustin | Romance

5-things-happy-couples-do-together-that-you-should-start-doing-nowWe all know that spending time with your spouse is important.

In fact, along with communication, spending time together is one of the most consistent indicators of a happy marriage.

Happy couples know this and they do it…consistently.

But how?

With kids, jobs, appointments, soccer practice and more, time flies by…

And spending time with our spouse seems to fall way, way down the list.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how far down.

If this sounds like you, then let me give you the cold, hard truth.

The fact is, we all have the same number of hours in a day. It’s what we do with our time that makes the difference in the quality of our life including our marriage.

Happy couples don’t just spend time together. They spend quality time together.

For couples, it’s the quality of the time spent together that makes all the difference.

So what is this thing called quality time?

Quality time is giving your partner your full and undivided attention. It’s being together and focusing on the experience of being together as opposed to just logging time.

Simply put, couples engaging in quality time are intentionally doing something together for the sake of enjoying each other’s company. They enjoy doing things, no matter how small, with each other.

They make time for each other.

If you’re scratching your head wondering if you’re spending quality time with your spouse or just spending time, take a look at how happy couples create quality time.

If you are all about the QT, great! Keep doing what you’re doing!

If you’re not, then here are five ways you can start getting that QT in right now…

1. Snuggle Up

Whether you’re watching a movie, walking in the park or just having dinner, get close.

Sit close to each other, make eye contact, hold hands, kiss.

Being physically close promotes feelings of emotional closeness, security and a sense of being cared for. And it’s just kind of fun!

2. Make Time For Grown Up Time

When was the last time you had a real date with your spouse?

Not sure? Then it’s been too long.

If you’re missing those special times, it’s a sure bet your spouse is too.

Work and family can make doing things as a couple hard. You have to plan and prioritize.

It sounds so unsexy but the act of planning some adult time can be very provocative.

Get a babysitter. Have regular date nights.

Take a vacation day and spend it together. Take a weekend getaway. Your sex life will thank you!

3. Break A Sweat

Who knew working out could be good for your marriage?

Doing enjoyable things together enhances emotional closeness.

Find a sport or activity that you can enjoy together. It might be playing tennis, shooting hoops or running. Even walking together can be fun and a great way to just enjoy each other’s company.

And here’s a bonus: exercise has been found to enhance your sex life too 😉

4. Do The Unexpected

Instead of running errands while you’re waiting to pick the kids up from soccer practice, why not plan a secret rendezvous with your love?

Leave sweet notes prior to the day. Send a cute text.

The unexpected time together sends the message that “You are important to me and I want to spend time with you.”

Your meeting might be simply getting coffee between appointments or you might sneak away for a whole afternoon.

It’s not the amount of time but the act of making time that makes the difference.

5. Talk To Me

When it comes to couples, there’s talking and then there’s talking…the real deal, face-to-face, from the heart talking, that feeds the soul of the relationship.

Talking sounds easy but it can be hard with kids, jobs and a million distractions.

Set aside some time each day to talk to each other uninterrupted…no TV, no phones, no kids.

Talk about your day. Talk about what’s on your mind. If all is good, talk about that and express your gratitude.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Spend some quiet time together before dinner or after the kids go to bed.

The laundry or that text from the office can wait 15 minutes.

Want to learn more ways to create and enjoy more free time to spend with your loved ones?

Don’t miss our Get More Quality Time Workshop where you’ll learn how to take control of your time and how you want to spend it.

How to Multiply Your Productivity and Enjoy More Quality Time With Your Family (1)

Remember, we all have the same number of hours in the day. You plan and schedule.

Why shouldn’t the most important person in your life, the one you’re building a life with, be at the top of the list?

If you want to be a happy couple, you have to do what happy couples do.

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Your Kids Should NOT Come First In Your Marriage

By Dustin | Romance

Your kids should never be your top priority…

…at least not if you want an extraordinary marriage and faith life.

Whether you agree or think I’m crazy, please watch this video from our first Facebook Live broadcast to hear me out.

More importantly, watch to learn how to apply this to better your family life:

Did you enjoy this video? Be sure to like our Facebook page so you can hop on our next live broadcast.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?

We’ve already had some pretty strong opinions shared on both sides.

Leave your comment right here on Facebook to keep the conversation going.

And please hit the Like button on the Facebook post and share this video with your friends (or your spouse)!

Making Your Marriage the Priority (+ a FREE Book)

It’s not easy, but in our house we try very hard to keep our priorities straight:

  1. God
  2. Marriage
  3. Family (including the Kids)

And we share this openly with our kids (for the reasons I shared in the video).

So, how do you actually make or keep your relationship with your spouse a top priority?

Simple – You need to invest quality time together on a regular basis.

The great news is that you can take your marriage to a whole new level in as little as 15 minutes a day.

We give you 28 easy-to-follow ways in our best-selling book 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, and for a limited time you can get a paperback copy for free!

Just click the link below to order your FREE copy (just cover shipping):

https://www.engagedmarriage.com/15mmm-free

Get 15 Minute Marriage Makeover for FREE

7 “Rules” to Write the Perfect Romantic Love Letter (in about 15 minutes)

By Dustin | Romance

7 Rules for the Perfect Romantic Love LetterWhen it comes to adding some sizzle to your marriage, nothing beats a good old-fashioned love letter.

Sure, you can buy flowers, candy or go out for a nice dinner.

Those kinds of borderline-cliche gifts tend to be less personalized and their effects fade over time.

A love letter, however, is the gift that comes straight from your heart, and is one they will keep and cherish forever.

Why?

Nothing says “I love you forever” to your spouse like taking time out of your day, putting pen to paper, and crafting the words of your very soul.

In terms of romantic rewards, the author of a romantic letter will reap dividends – if you know what I mean. 😉

You may just have to hire a sitter for the evening!

Good News! We're giving you our popular Perfect Love Letter Checklist as our gift to you: Click here to grab it now.

When you present your spouse with a romantic love letter, you might be shocked at the overwhelming response and outpouring of love that you receive.

Don’t be surprised if you see a bright smile that could light up the room. You might even end up on the receiving end of the most passionate kiss you’ve had since your wedding day.

By the way, ladies…if you don’t think a love letter will work on your husband as well as it works on wives, then you’ve really got to try it.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, cherished, and loved. See for yourself!

But I’m Not a Poet or Wordsmith!

You might be excited about the idea of writing a romantic love letter to your spouse, but don’t feel like you’re creative enough to write one.

Don’t get overly concerned about writing a perfect letter just yet. Your only concern right now is to get up the courage to write one, period.

I’ll show you how to craft a perfect letter.

The only thing you need to possess is the willingness to open up and show the love for your spouse that I know you have (or you wouldn’t be reading this). If you have that, and even the most basic writing skills, you can write a romantic love letter that will melt your spouse’s heart.

You may be thinking, “Okay. I’m in love, and I can write, but how can I write a good romantic love letter?

Well, here’s the good news. It’s possible for you to write an awesome romantic love letter by following 7 simple rules.

Rules? Rules?!! Calm down. There’s no need to panic..these rules are easy to master.

Rule #1: Romantic love letters have to be personal

What does this mean? It has to be written by you…not by your friend, your secretary, your boss or someone you hired from the internet.

Your spouse longs to hear the secret words that are etched in your heart. The words that are written in the romantic letter do not have to be perfect, they just have to belong to you.

This is 1,000 times more important than earning style points.

Rule #2: Romantic love letters have to be positive and affirming

During the daily hustle of life, you may not remember to whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear or even tell your lover how much you care. This slight neglect may leave your spouse feeling insecure about their relationship.

A romantic letter serves as an affirmation to your spouse that the romantic flames have not been doused. It’s important to only mention positive attributes in the letter, and to show them that you have been noticing and cherishing them this whole time.

Rule #3: Romantic love letters must be specific and meaningful

No cliches! You have to put some real effort into crafting this letter. Like everything else in marriage, what you put into the letter determines what you get out of it.

So, make a list of specific things that you enjoy or appreciate about your lover. Maybe you enjoy your significant other’s hair. Or you might appreciate your lover’s kind and caring nature.

Whatever specifics you include in the letter, make sure the romantic letter gives specific details.

The more you personalize it for your spouse, the more special they will feel. Make it count!

Good News! We're giving you our popular Perfect Love Letter Checklist as our gift to you: Click here to grab it now.

Rule #4: Romantic Letters should be neat and attractive

Not only should a heartfelt romantic letter be handwritten, it should be written on stationery or nice writing paper…not printed, and not even on a card (sorry, Hallmark).

Think about the history of love letters…you’re tapping into centuries of tradition. Rituals can be very powerful, so do it the old-fashioned way and it will look like less of an afterthought.

You could also write the romantic letter on attractive paper and include a drawing. Another nice touch would be to spray a nice smelling scent on the romantic letter.

Rule #5: Actually mail your romantic letter to make it extra-special

Mailing the letter to your significant other adds to the element of surprise and fun. It shows your spouse that you put a lot of thought into writing the romantic letter.

Trust me – they want you to be thinking about them, and they want proof!

You spouse will be in for a real treat by getting a surprise like this from you in the mail. Talk about reaping romantic rewards!

Rule #6: Make a commitment to write romantic love letters regularly

Writing romantic love letters is not a one-time shot in the arm to your relationship. Letter-writing is just one tool (albeit a very powerful one) in your romantic toolbox.

So use them from time to time, or on special occasions, as your letters might lose their effectiveness if they are received too often. But don’t wait too long, either!

Make it a priority to surprise your spouse with words from the heart on a regular basis…not just on your anniversary or when you’re in the doghouse. The goal here is to show continuous appreciation.

Rule #7: Remember to proofread your writing

After you have written your romantic letter, proofread your writing to make sure it’s free of errors. You also want to be certain that your letter conveys the message that you think you’re sending.

After your spouse receives the romantic letter, you’ll notice the following positive benefits:

• Deepened intimacy, romance and trust within your relationship,
• Your connection will be strengthened, and help you weather the storms to come,
• You’ll be able to express your feelings more easily when talking with your spouse later on,
• You’ll both re-experience those exciting feelings you had during your dating and honeymoon stages,
• Your spouse will have a keepsake that will serve as a visible reminder of your everlasting love.

I hope that by now you’re convinced of the benefits of writing a romantic love letter, and how much they will help your relationship.

But…some of my readers aren’t convinced they can write a romantic love letter on their own.

The Perfect Love Letter In About 15 Minutes…No Matter How Rusty You Are!

Suppose it’s been a long time since you’ve expressed your feelings in writing (or in general), and you feel like you’re not super-creative and need a little help?

To help you write romantic letters that will keep the flames of your love burning strong, I created a special checklist for you, which I call…

“Our Perfect Love Letter Checklist – 5 Simple Steps to the Perfect Love Letter”

This checklist outlines:

– How to never get stuck on what to write about
– The secret ingredients to crafting the perfect love letter
– The things to say that will make your spouse’s heart melt
– The way to deliver the romantic letter that will WOW your spouse

I am giving away a FREE copy of this checklist. Download your copy now.

You can click here to grab it now:
The Perfect Love Letter Checklist-1

Then, get ready to give your spouse the surprise of the year with your own, original romantic love letter.

You’ll thank me later. Good luck!

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5 Romantic Ideas For Each Of The 5 Love Languages

By Debi Walter | Romance

5 Romantic Ideas for the Five Love LanguagesIf you’re married and are a Christian, you’ve most likely heard of Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The Five Love Languages.

This is what gave me the idea to offer five romantic ideas for each of the five love languages. Determining the way you express and receive love can help your spouse in knowing how to best romance you and also help you know how to romance them.

If you haven’t done so already, you can find out your love language by taking this short free test. Then come back and choose something from the following list to romance your spouse this week.

See if what you plan isn’t more meaningful to your spouse. And see if what they do for you is something that stands out in your heart and mind a special.

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

  1. Write your spouse a love letter. If you’re not sure how to do this–check out this awesome resource.
  2. Make a list of 10 things you appreciate about your spouse. Write each one on a separate post-it note and hide them around the house so they’ll find them over time. Hiding place ideas: underwear drawer, inside the coffee filters, around their toothbrush, on the shower wall, on their car dash, inside their briefcase, in-between slices of bread in the wrapper, on the washing machine control panel, in the mailbox.
  3. Commend something your spouse has done recently on your Facebook page. Be sure to tag them in the post.
  4. Search You Tube and find a song that says what you want to say to encourage your spouse. E-mail them the link telling them, “This song says it all – I love you!”
  5. Talk to them softly while making love, communicating what you love most about how they love you.

ACTS OF SERVICE

  1. Tell your spouse you’re going to take over one of their dreaded chores because you love them. You can do this for a certain period of time, or forever. Either way is sure to speak volumes to your spouse.
  2. Be quick to do whatever your spouse asks you to do for them. If it’s take a package to the post office for them, put that task at the top of your to-do list for the day.
  3. Ask your spouse, “What is the most meaningful thing I do for you?”, and then be faithful to always do it, as much as it’s in your ability to do so. If it’s being punctual to appointments, work on being on time. If it’s having the car cleaned inside and out, do all you can to keep it clean and shiny. If it’s having the laundry done on a certain day, work hard to stay on top of it. You may be surprised at what it is, or you may already know without asking.
  4. Keep a short list of repairs needed around the house. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does to teach you how.
  5. If your spouse normally makes the bed, make it for them. Or cook them their favorite meal. Find something unexpected you can do that will make them smile. 🙂

RECEIVING GIFTS

  1. Make the most of unusual holidays and buy a small gift for your spouse. Have it wrapped and placed where they’ll find it on their own. Here is a list of such holidays according to the months of the year. You may be surprised to see how many there are.
  2. Make a mental note of little things your spouse mentions that they like. It might be daisies are their favorite flower, or they love a certain perfume or scarf. It could be a favorite candy bar, to a movie they want to see. Whatever it is, if it’s within your budget, surprise them by getting it for them. They will be blessed not only that you bought them the gift, but that you paid attention to what they said.
  3. Subscribe them to a favorite magazine or one that represents something they love, like gardening, cooking, golf or car-racing.
  4. Make a certain day of the week their special day. It could be that every Monday you give them a small token of your love. The anticipation of the gift will be as special as actually getting it. They don’t have to be expensive things either, just thoughtful. This is usually what those with the “receiving gifts” love language actually want…is to know that you thought enough of them to pick something out just for them, just because.
  5. Whenever you give a small gift, take the time to wrap it nicely. Often times the presentation is as important as the gift itself. And remember, just because this doesn’t mean much to you (it receiving gifts isn’t your love language), it is probably very important to your spouse.

QUALITY TIME

  1. Make Date Nights a weekly event. Even if you can’t afford a babysitter, plan a night at home that is yours alone.
  2. When your spouse asks to talk to you about something, put your smart phone or iPad down and make eye-contact with them while they speak.
  3. Use the questions from Connect Like You Did When Your First Met on a regular basis to enrich your conversation about things you might not think to discuss.
  4. Go to bed at the same time, even if at times you have to get up after they’ve fallen asleep. It’s meaningful for them to know that you’ve purposed to spend that time right before sleep together.
  5. Go for walks together after dinner. Even if the kids join you, the time spent will mean a lot.

PHYSICAL TOUCH

  1. Hold your spouse’s hand whenever you’re out together walking, whether in the mall, at the beach, or around the block.
  2. Kiss your spouse often. Make it a point to greet them at the door with a hug and a kiss.  Do the same when they’re leaving for the day.
  3. Sometimes holding your spouse without saying a word means the most to those with this love language.
  4. Cuddle together in bed.
  5. Give them regular neck, back, foot or full body massages. Buy various lotions and oils to make this even more of a treat.

These ideas are simply to get you started on your journey of expressing your love in a way that will be the most meaningful to your spouse.

If your spouse is like me, they may have more than one love language, which only broadens the possibilities. The most important thing is to have fun!

ARE YOU STUCK IN A ROMANTIC RUT?

If you feel like you could use a boost to bring back the “mojo” in your marriage, you should check out our popular program:

How to Break the Rut & Bring Back the Romance

In one hour, you’ll learn:

Bring Back the Romance

Plus, this special package includes some awesome romance-boosting bonuses.

Click here to learn more and take action to ramp up the romance in your relationship!

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