Take the Love Style Quiz!

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Like it or not, when we enter into marriage with someone, we bring baggage. Some of us bring LOTS of baggage. All our past hurts. All our struggles. So many of those come from our past and how we grew up.

You may have heard of “The 5 Love Languages” and you can take the quiz to identify YOUR personal “love language” RIGHT HERE. Up until now, that quiz was one of my favorite tools to help couples grow closer and for marriages to really thrive. I mean it is so important to love someone the way that they want to be loved. Empathy and understanding are crucial to any marriage.

I think I have now found a tool that may be more effective than even the love languages in understanding your spouse. It’s called the LOVE STYLE QUIZ. When you can identify your own “love style”, you can start to work on those deep seeded issues that continue to plague you and your marriage. What’s more, when you discover your spouses’s “love style”, you can empathize with them as they work on their own issues.

What’s cool about the quiz is that it not only helps you identify your “love style”, but it also offers tips and resources to help you deal with all that baggage from your past. So, go ahead and take the quiz RIGHT HERE. And in case you are wondering, my predominant love style is “The Pleaser”.

You knew I had issues, right?

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9 Things Happy Couples Do For Each Other

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As you probably know by now, my wife and I lead a marriage enrichment class every Sunday morning at our church. We believe that the marriage relationship is the most important relationship, and it’s an essentially foundational relationship in our culture. As such, it’s something we should strive to work on all the time. Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.

I came across a cool little article from The Huffington Post titled “9 Things The Happiest Couples Do For Each Other Without Being Asked”. The article asks some relationship experts for some things that happy couples do for each other without being asked. Some are simple things like they check in on each other, or give each other a card “just because”. One that caught my eye that I really believe all couples should do is that they speak openly about their thoughts and feelings. The expert quoted, Samantha Rodman, says that when couples feel like it’s “pulling teeth to get each other to divulge any thoughts or feelings, a relationship can feel very lonely”. So true.

A marriage relationship has to be THE “safe place” to share our innermost thoughts and feelings without being judged or criticized. We have to allow each other that freedom to share. Who is the first person you call or talk to when something great happens? How ’bout when something awful happens? I really believe your spouse should be that someone you should talk to first. You want to share things immediately with your best friend, right? Well, your spouse should be your best friend.

Jimmy and Karen Evans lead a marriage ministry called “Marriage Today”. We use many of their teachings in our class. This a couple who’ve been married for decades and they’ve been through good and the bad. Jimmy defines “emotional intimacy” as the “ability to openly and safely express our emotions in an atmosphere of sensitivity, care, and emotional support. ”

All couples fight. It’s natural. Bottom line is that each half of the couple needs to know that the other half cares. Life is so much better knowing that your spouse cares. That is only accomplished when you are able to build an atmosphere where it’s safe to share ANY feeling and to know it’s valued and supported, and not judged or criticized. I hope you can create that atmosphere for your spouse.

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The Ultimate Guide To a GREAT Vacation With Your Sweetie

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A few years ago, Bill Murray was asked by a bachelor at a bar the famous question….How do you KNOW that the person you love is the one you should spend the rest of your life together with?

His brilliant answer is coming up, but for now, suffice it to say that the answer revolves around taking a trip together. So, WHY do you think he said that? Well, because when you travel with your significant other, the tiniest issue can become a giant all out war.

So, I came across a cool article about traveling with the one you love. I really think if you follow these tips, and the spirit in which they were given, then you won’t return from your trip ready to kill the one you love so dearly.

They listed NINE tips for traveling with the love of your life. I’m going to give you just a couple, and you can get the rest in the link I will provide, along with the great Bill Murray love advice below, but first:

1. Identify the goal of the vacation.
It might sound silly, but this is where a lot of friction happens. One partner wants to spend the day in art museums and eat five-star meals at night, and the other expects to hang around the beach and nosh on fish tacos for three meals in a row. Before the tickets are booked, talk about your expectations for the trip and make sure you’re on the same page. Determine whether the point of your trip is to relax, explore, spend time with family or friends, etc. Once the trip goals are identified, it will make for more agreeable planning of your daily agendas.

2. Make a list of who will bring what.
A little organization goes a long way in reducing headaches, so once you decide why you’re traveling, figure out who’s bringing what. No one wants to spend their first night in a new place tracking down forgotten toiletries or a pricey phone charger. Make a list with your partner and check it twice!

3. Embrace downtime.
For some people, downtime is crucial to a happy trip. This is the proper time to schedule social media check-ins, bury your nose in a great book, or indulge in a power nap. There’s nothing better than a little alone time to reflect and recharge.

Get ALL 9 Tips RIGHT HERE

And, as promised….