My Marriage Started Rocky
by Dr. Gary Chapman
Before marriage, I dreamed about how happy I would be when we got married. I had visions of all the wonderful things my wife would do for me. Sausage and eggs together in the mornings. Candlelight dinners at night. Holding hands all day long and sex every night. I assumed that she had the same visions.
But, after marriage I found out that my wife didn't do mornings. So much for the sausage and eggs. She anticipated that I would take her out to romantic restaurants for dinner, not as a prelude to sex, but simply because I loved her.
I expressed my disappointment with her and she expressed her disappointment with me. We succeeded in being utterly miserable. Our marriage didn't turn around overnight but it did turn around. And so can yours. This week, I want to share the secret: It all has to do with attitude.
Today's article is based on the book, The Family You've Always Wanted. This book is an autobiographical look at Dr. Chapman's own family. He explores five key ingredients to having a loving and functional family. One of these ingredients is an attitude of service.
For a complete listing of Dr. Chapman's books and resources, click here.
You Need T.I.M.E.
by Bill and Pam Ferrel
Couples need T.I.M.E. together. Here is what we see as the minimum time commitment you should have to maintain (not to deepen or grow a relationship, but just maintain the minimum connectedness needed for a healthy strong marriage with little red-hot monogamy.):
TEN to twenty minutes to talk together alone every day. (Time in the car with the kids listening doesn't count.)
INVEST in a weekly date night (or breakfast or lunch) together for at least four hours. (It takes a couple hours to emotionally connect.)
MAKE a monthly "day away" policy. At least once a month spend eight to twelve uninterrupted hours together to reconnect. You can spend the time doing things you both enjoy: errands, shopping, exercising, or a relaxing activity or hobby.
ESCAPE quarterly (or at least biannually) for a 48-hour weekend.