Pillow Talk

This is good.  First of all, who doesn’t love their pillow?  Second, adding the comfort of your pillow to the love of your spouse and you get a magical combination!  Unless, of course, you have a pillow problem – which we have had – but we’ll save that for another day.  Let’s assume for this post that everyone is comfortable with their pillow!

We have four kids between 10-17 who have tons of activities, and we each have our own careers.  There are days when finding time to connect are downright impossible!  Then we find ourselves falling asleep on the couch as we begin to wind down our day after the kids go to bed.

Now, we all know the importance of connecting with our spouse each day, and at a minimum, we should find 10-15 minutes to just talk one-on-one.  “Pillow talk” may be that one opportunity to connect so let’s dig in to this a little deeper.

This definition of “pillow talk” in the urban dictionary is perfect: for two people to enjoy each other’s presence through conversation, in a somewhat spontaneous way, but in a way that will let both parties go to bed with clear heads. Continue reading “Pillow Talk”

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Remember this during the holiday weekend!

Like most couples, we struggle with the dreaded…cell phone addiction!  Generally, we are very good about eating meals, carving out time, and limiting electronic usage in our house.

But with crazy career schedules we do struggle at times.  While researching this topic we uncovered all kinds of fascinating information that fits nicely into our “Fun Fact Friday”.

Pew Research did a survey recently regarding cell phone usage.  A whopping, and not surprising, 92% of Americans own a cellphone.  31% of those Americans say they never turn their phone off and 45% of them say they rarely turn them off (we easily fall into this category).

Here’s the rather disturbing statistic: 80% of those surveyed say that using phones in social settings frequently or occasionally hurts the conversation.

Some fun stats: Continue reading “Remember this during the holiday weekend!”

What language are you speaking?

Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? Before we read the book and watched the video series, we had heard about it but didn’t know much detail.

You’ll be surprised to know that it’s really a pretty simple and easy to understand formula for marital harmony. We have found it to be extremely helpful in understanding what our spouse needs and possibly even when they need it.

In a nutshell, according to Gary Chapman there are 5 Love Languages:

  1. Acts of Service – Doing things for our spouse like chores or cooking dinner.
  2. Quality Time – Focusing all your energy on your spouse.
  3. Words of Affirmation – Verbal appreciation and compliments.
  4. Receiving Gifts – Visual symbols of love.
  5. Physical Touch – Physical contact like holding hands, usually not sexual.

Continue reading “What language are you speaking?”

We owe it to our kids

When we got remarried, one of our goals was to model a loving, healthy marriage for our 4 children.  While this has remained in the forefront of our minds, the world around us has given more meaning to this specific goal.

We all have seen it, though it may not immediately register because we are so busy with our own lives, our own struggles and our own celebrations.

However, as we were reading through some blogs and news sites about marriage recently we were hit over the head with the reality.

More millennials today are deciding to live together unmarried than any other generation. Continue reading “We owe it to our kids”

Mike and Carol Brady had it right

We know, we know.  It’s just television and it wasn’t real.  BUT!  Mike and Carol Brady modeled some great behavior for us married folk!  And who doesn’t love the clothes, house and decor from the 70s? (NOTE: Michael Dennehy is a 1970s freak)

As you may know, we are both remarried and blending a family together.  Thinking way back to 1969 when The Brady Bunch first aired is a pretty remarkable storyline.  A couple remarrying, each having three kids and blending a family was not something that was very common.

Now, of course, we know firsthand that blending a family is not nearly as easy as it is on The Brady Bunch.  No one is screaming – “you’re not my real Dad!”, or “my real Mom would do it that way!”  However, it is pretty much understood that both of the Brady’s first spouses passed away which made it easier to blend 6 kids together when they only have Mr. and Mrs. Brady and the kids live together full-time.  But, still hard to believe it can ever be that easy!

Let’s get to what is realistic in the show and is a great modeling for marriages and families. Continue reading “Mike and Carol Brady had it right”

As victims, we learn to survive…and thrive

“Victim” may not be the most appropriate term, but it feels right given what we’ve been through – and what we know so many have been through as well.

Whether it is in marriage, or at work, or in other areas of life, we sometimes encounter people who attack us – and don’t stop.  For almost two years now, there has been someone in our lives who has gone all out to ruin our marriage and steal our joy on a weekly, and at times daily, basis.

During our engagement and through our first years of marriage we have been attacked and we didn’t know how to handle it.  We felt like victims.  And like most victims, survival is hard and even traumatic.

We’ve talked with and leaned on friends and they have constantly said, “Don’t let that person steal your joy.” Logically, we know they are right.  But as we get relentlessly attacked, it is hard not to feel victimized and helpless.

Only recently have we figured out how to survive…and actually thrive.

Several things have come together for us to get beyond this season in our life.  By creating a stronger marriage we are more equipped to handle the arrows headed our way.  We hope these few points can serve as hope for you or someone you know too.

  1. First and foremost, focus on your marriage and your relationship. Make sure you are both FULLY understanding each other.  Understand how you are being impacted and specifically hurt.  If you are being attacked it will impact you and your spouse differently – primarily because you are different people and different genders.  It is vitally important to get on the same page as your spouse in every possible way.  Counseling has been so important for us reconnecting better than we have ever connected.
  2. Research and use some self help books or video studies on marriage.  This will help you put your focus elsewhere.  We have a group that is learning about Love & Respect in marriage.  This has driven us to focus further on our marriage, our relationship and understanding each other.  We are more prepared now when one of us starts getting upset for one reason or another.  The group will also help you talk through the struggles.
  3. Find friends and people with wisdom to talk to and seek their support.  Perhaps they have been through something similar or maybe they will just be there to listen.  If they are a good friend, they will have something to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask them.
  4. Now the real hard part.  Avoid, ignore, and withdraw from any interaction with the person who is attacking you.  We have heard from many, and we understand that may be next to impossible with an ex-spouse that you share children with, but there are things that you can do to limit contact.  We won’t bore you with all the detail here but we are happy to chat privately about it with anyone who is interested.  The critically important element is not to engage in nonsense and only interact when necessary.  Don’t get drawn into fights.

As Christ followers, we know that the devil is after us.  We know that the devil truly hates that we got married and are growing a family together.  We know the devil despises the fact that we are trying to help others build strong, resilient marriages.  And we know that the devil uses people to pierce us where it hurts most.  John 10:10

Just knowing that doesn’t always help.  But, now that we have strengthened ourselves, we are moving beyond surviving and we are using our experiences to thrive.  This difficult season has helped us come together, understand each other and love even more.  We are very thankful for that blessing and that season.  And we hope you can gain some peace working through this too.

By the way, even if you aren’t being attacked, it is always good to practice the first 3 points above in an effort to get closer to your spouse.  You can never be close enough!

 

Cruisin’ For Closeness

For almost two years we’ve been blending a family.

Trying to get 4 very different kids to develop relationships together is harder than it looks. Unless you think it looks hard – then it’s exactly how it looks!

However, with last year’s vacation we felt we had a breakthrough because there were times when all 4 kids played together – more than we expected.

Then there were other moments like that throughout the year too.

So as we prepared for our second family vacation together we had high expectations that the kids would grow even closer together.

But to our disappointment, our expectations were not met.

Did they have some close times together? Yes. And that was important.img_2757.jpg

Continue reading “Cruisin’ For Closeness”

Fun Fact: Are You Part Of The 17%?

Yesterday we wrote about the wonderful benefits of sleeping naked.  We hope you started a new habit with your spouse last night if you haven’t already been sleeping in your birthday suit!  And if you missed our post, check it out here.

Today’s fun fact tells us just how many of you actually sleep in the nude!  According to a survey published by Men’s Journal, only 17% of Americans sleep “unclothed”.  52% of Americans sleep “partially clothed” and 31% sleep “fully clothed”.

Some other interesting sleep stats from the Men’s Journal survey:

  • 12% get 5 hours sleep — that’s us sadly…
  • 24% get 6 hours sleep
  • 30% get 7 hours sleep
  • 20% get 8 hours sleep
  • 36% sleep soundly through the night — also us 😦
  • 64% wake up one or more times

Click here for the full Men’s Journal article.

As we head into the weekend: sleep naked, sleep better, and if you are like us, let’s try to move into the 6 or 7 hours of sleep category!

 

 

Sleep Naked, Sleep Better.

Who knew sleeping naked had so many benefits – but IT’S TRUE!

First things first – we like to be transparent so we will tell you up front – we don’t sleep naked together NEARLY enough!  We love it and we are making it a habit to do more often. Why? Well for SO many reasons.

The biggest and best reason to sleep together, in our humble opinion, is probably the obvious one: it is sexy, appealing to your partner, and is a way to consciously encourage sex with each other.

You may not know that the skin to skin feeling releases the hormone oxytocin which increases the feeling of comfort – and in turn may put you in the mood for sex! Oxytocin also lowers your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, increases the feelings of trust, and generally makes you more ready for sexual interaction. YES!

How about the HEALTH BENEFITS? Continue reading “Sleep Naked, Sleep Better.”

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