Monthly Archives: June 2010

Jun 28

Review of A Simple Marriage by Dr. Corey Allan

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

A Simple Marriage ReviewDoes a happy marriage start with a simple approach?

Corey Allan thinks so, and his e-book, aptly named “A Simple Marriage,” applies this belief directly and deeply.  You may recognize Simple Marriage because it’s also the name of Corey’s highly successful marriage blog (where I have the honor of being featured as a monthly columnist).

Corey is a Ph.D. and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, so he has the professional credentials to share some powerful advice on building extraordinary marriages.  He’s also been a husband for 16 years and he’s a Dad to two kids, so I guess he has the right “street cred” as well. 🙂

My Simple Review of A Simple Marriage

Before I sat down to read A Simple Marriage, I had some preconceived ideas in mind about what it would contain based on my faithful following of the Simple Marriage blog for nearly a year now and my own ideas on marriage.  I thought the book would focus on better communication, some advice on decluttering, some urging to “grow up” and not be such a Nice Guy or Gal, and some stories from Corey’s experience in counseling.  And I figured this wisdom would be wrapped in the context of Dr. Allan’s strong Christian foundation.

Well, this book contains all of those things, but not in the same form or from the same perspective as I expected.

A Simple Marriage is not as much a sit-down-and-read book as it is a workbook that requires some deep thinking and personal introspection.  The book had plenty of good advice, but it seemed to have an equal number of probing, soul-searching questions.

I was also a little surprised to discover that the majority of the book did not focus  on a couples-united approach to building a better marriage.  Instead, most of the exercises are to be completed individually (most have you compare notes with your spouse afterward), and many focus squarely on the vision, purpose and plan for each spouse as their own man or woman.

This focus on the individual first follows Corey’s philosophy, which is stated in bold in the first chapter:

Marriage is designed to grow us up into better humans and I am responsible for my growth, not my spouse’s.

I have to be honest to say this seemed a bit strange at first based on my own strong, spiritual beliefs that marriage is all about the “two becoming one” and my preferred practice of working on marriage enhancement primarily from a couple-first approach.  However, I completely respect Corey’s perspective of working first on yourself in order to be a better spouse…after all, he’s the doctor. 🙂

The bottom line is that I enjoyed A Simple Marriage, and I think those couples who are willing to take the time to complete the exercises and work individually to better understand and then improve themselves will be doing a real service to their marriage.

If you are looking for action-packed, quick action exercises that you complete while sitting together and talking as a couple, this e-book is not for you.  However, if you are ready to examine yourself and work at improving your own life for the sake of your spouse and family, I’d recommend you work through A Simple Marriage.

By the way, here’s a rundown of the chapters to give you a little more insight into the topics covered:

1. Stretch your thinking

2. Faith and design

3. The vision of a marriage fully alive

4. Survey yourself

5. Live from a deep place

6. The power of purpose

7. Levels of consciousness

8. Marriage designing: Are you thriving or surviving?

9. Living a fulfilled life

10. Marriage design

11. Daily delicious habits

12. What gets in your way?

Please also note that Corey stands behind his product and offers a 100% full money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.

Jun 24

Beer With A Buddy: Conversations on Life and Marriage

By Dustin | Communication

Beer With A BuddyWithout a doubt, my wife is my best friend, and she is my go-to person for just about every conversation. We can talk about anything, and we do our best to find time every day to get together for a great chat.

While I love talking to my wife, I find that sometimes you just need some time out of the house with a friend to help clear your mind and get a fresh perspective on life.

I find these times to be really refreshing, and I usually come away from a little bar time full of ideas and energy (as long as I don’t overdo it with the beer 🙂 ).

Beer With A Buddy Time, as I like to call it, is an important part of living a full life and a healthy marriage.

Get Out!

Of course, alcohol doesn’t have to a centerpiece of this time.  While I enjoy a cold, frosty one and prefer to chat at night after the kids are in bed and my family time is over, you can meet a friend for a meal, some great coffee or a round of golf.  The important ingredients are simply you, a good friend and a free mind.

I’m a big believer that guys need guy time, and girls need a girl’s night out occasionally.  It can seem selfish to spend some of your precious time away from your spouse and kids, but this time away with friends can make you a better husband or wife.

I always come away from a good late-night discussion with a new perspective, a renewed focus on what’s important in life and new mental energy.  These benefits certainly carry over into my home and family life.

Sometimes the marital benefits are more direct.  I’ve actually helped enhance (maybe even save) the marriage of friends over the course of several cold frosty ones.  And I can tell you that few things compare to the feeling of truly helping a good friend.

What’s Your Version of Beer With A Buddy Time?

I bet the community here has some great thoughts on this issue.  Please leave a comment and let us know if you agree with the importance of taking time to hang out and talk with good friends.

What’s your favorite way to get together for a great chat?

(Photo Source)
Jun 21

On Wearing A Ring

By Dustin | Marriage Preparation

Wearing a RingEditor’s Note: This is a guest post from one of my favorite online writers, Ali Hale.  And no, the words “jewellry” and “realised” are not misspelled.  Ali is in England, and apparently this is how these words are spelled in “real” English. 🙂

I’m not really a jewellery person. I’m never sure what to buy, and I always convince myself I don’t need it.

My fiancé, though, has great taste in jewellery. He’s given me various pieces over the five years since we met. My favourites are a beautiful necklace with delicate butterflies on it, which was a 21st birthday gift… and my engagement ring.

We got engaged last November. For the first month or two, it felt weird to wear a ring. I hardly ever put on jewellery unless I’m going out in the evenings, and I’ve never had any rings. Every so often – perhaps putting on gloves, or preparing to do the dishes – I’d notice the ring.

And every time, I’d smile. Whenever I was feeling down or upset or gloomy about things, just looking at that ring was a pick-me-up.

Much More Than Just a Ring

Back in those early days of dating, the summer of 2005, I would walk around with a goofy grin of my face. Every time I thought of my boyfriend, the guy I’d admired from afar for months, who I’d thought would never notice me … I just couldn’t help grinning.

When I was a teen, I thought I’d never get married. For one thing, I’d never had a boyfriend. For another, I knew I liked my own company. I’m a bit of an introvert, and I like to do my own thing and be my own person.

I was worried that marriage would mean letting someone get too close. I thought that if I wore a ring, it’d mean I belonged to someone.

It’s not like that, though. When I look at that ring, I don’t feel pressured or somehow subject. I feel loved. I think of my fiancé, and I think of how miraculous it is that I’ve found someone who I trust so deeply and care about so much, and that he wants to spend his entire life with me. Me!

The Ring Belongs

After a few weeks of wearing my ring, I realised that it felt odd whenever it was off my hand. If I woke up and forgot to put it on straight away, my hand felt strange, empty, bereft. If I took the ring off, I didn’t feel quite right until I put it on again.

We’ve been having an up and down few months. He’s had exams; I’ve been trying to grow my business. We’re in the middle of moving house. We’re planning a wedding – we never realised quite how many decisions there’d be to make!

It’s easy to get caught up in the frustrations of the moment. But that ring keeps me grounded. It helps me focus on what’s important – our commitment to one another, our lifetime together.

Question from Dustin for the readers: Do you wear a wedding/engagement ring?  Is it important to you that your spouse wears their ring?

(photo source)

___________________________________

Ali Hale blogs about getting more from life over on Aliventures, and has a new ebook out, Regain Your Balance. She’s getting married in September.

Jun 17

First Comes Love, Then Marriage, Then the Mother In Law!

By Dustin | Marriage Preparation

Mother In Law Friend or Foe?

Ah, to be newlywed. It’s fun and exciting, and even if the two of you have known each other for years, there seems to be a certain freshness in your relationship.

Because now it’s official. Now it’s just the two of you, from here to eternity.

Right?

Enter: your new mother-in-law.

If you just cringed, you are definitely not alone. It’s the Pavlovian Response felt the world over: mother-in-law equals absolutely no fun.

Think about it: characters like Jane Fonda’s in Monster in Law and Endora from Bewitched exploit the image of MiLs as overbearing saboteurs who will do anything to make you run crying back to where you belong (the arms of your own mommy).

And it goes further. When you type “mother in law” into Amazon’s book search, how many of the first 12 books are self-help guides to avoid strangling your mother-in-law? 11.

And further still: the Old Testament quotes “For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law…” (Micah 7:6).

The battle between newlyweds and mothers is a tale as old as time – how does anyone not dread Thanksgiving with the in-laws?

The Friendly Monster

But, for those of you sans-MiL who are nodding as you read this, thinking, “Yup. That’s exactly how I imagine having a mother-in-law must be,” I am here to tell you you’re wrong. Not to rub it in, but, in a lot of ways, you’re really missing out.

Full disclosure: I have a fantastic mother-in-law. She’s great. She’s nice, and she is considerate, and she helps with the dishes when we have big family dinners, but she has never once tried to vacuum my living room carpet or taken it upon herself to clean my guest bathroom (a common stereotype of “evil mothers-in-law,” or so I have discovered).

A lot of my friends have great mothers-in-law too. Is it a generational thing?

I hear my boss at work grumble about his MiL flying in from Connecticut. I remember my own mother gritting her teeth when Grandma came to town and brought her own towel because “she just didn’t like” the ones we had.

But all my newly-married friends love having their mothers-in-law visit: they go out to lunch, go shopping, talk about books and movies. It’s like getting a new friend who just happens to be older, wiser, and a much better cook.

Is it just me, or are mothers-in-law actually…kind of cool?

8 Great Things Come Along with a Mother in Law

  1. Your spouse. I’m serious. She was 50% responsible for producing the love of your life.
  2. The inside scoop on all your spouse’s high school boyfriends and girlfriends – along with the affirmation that you are way better.
  3. The source of all your spouse’s favorite dishes and comfort foods. And she’ll teach you, too!
  4. Another point of view from someone who is older, wiser, and has already dealt with any hitches and roadblocks you are facing as a married couple.
  5. A perma-babysitter if and when you have kids.
  6. An excuse to get your partner to finally clean the kitchen floor: “But honey, your mother is coming!”
  7. Insight into why your spouse is the way he or she is. Face it: she’s known that person longer than you.
  8. Someone who is constantly concerned if you’ve had enough to eat, are warm enough, and if you had a good night’s sleep. It sounds overwhelming – but it’s actually really nice.

Let’s Hear it for the Moms

The awesome trend of mothers-in-law who are friends and not foes is the best thing that ever happened to the newlyweds of the world. Pro-MiL campaigns, like Mother in Law of the Month, are increasingly popular and I hope finally breaking that monstrous stereotype.

Can you imagine a Hollywood with no more mom-in-law drama to draw from? It sounds nearly too good to be true.

Do you have any good mother-in-law experiences to share in the comments?

(photo source)

_____________________________________

About the author: Rachel Smith is young and freshly married. She writes for Storkie Express, the online stationery store with some of the coolest wedding invitations, graduation invitations, and baby shower invitations she’s ever seen.

Jun 16

Nine Years

By Dustin | General

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

-Mignon McLaughlin

I can’t believe we’ve been married for NINE years (and together for nearly fifteen).  It really does get better every day because we choose to love each other the best that we can.

Happy Anniversary, Bethany!  Thanks for keeping me around. 🙂

Happy Anniversary!

Jun 15

How Has Cancer Affected Your Life and Marriage?

By Dustin | Ask the Community

Cancer and MarriageIt seems that cancer has touched almost every life in some way.

Cancer has really been on my mind recently.  This weekend the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was hosted in St. Louis with record participation.  My wife Bethany often runs in the race in honor of her grandmother who died from breast cancer just before we started dating, but she opted not to this year given she’s about to give birth.  Cancer has affected both of us in a variety of ways over the years, and our marriage has been impacted as well.

The impact of cancer in our lives has been especially meaningful lately, though.

Honoring One of Best Women I’ve Known

On Sunday, Bethany’s Godmother and our close family friend Tracie Gray passed away after fighting ovarian cancer for more than five courageous years.  Our relationship with Tracie and her family is deep and meaningful.

We are Godparents to her granddaughter and her daughter is the Godmother of our son.  Tracie was my mother-in-law’s best friend, and her husband P.D. is a great friend and bowhunting buddy of mine.

Tracie and P.D. were one of those couples that really personified the goodness of marriage.  They were high school sweethearts that always seemed so happy and content with their life.  When you spent any time around them, it was obvious they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together.

Bethany and I have been together since our high school years, and some of our first dates ended with movies and pizza at P.D. and Tracie’s house.  We have spent many evenings together with them around a campfire, and many days boating in a lake or floating in rafts down a local river.  Tracie was literally a part of half of my life.

It is no exaggeration to say that Tracie and P.D. were awesome role models for how marriage was supposed to be.  They were great parents, faithful Christians and wonderful examples of how true love looks, acts and perseveres.

In Sickness and In Health

You may recall a recent post I wrote about the difficulty of marriage during periods of prolonged illness.  My Dad is struggling as well, but that post was also inspired by Tracie.  She was so tough until the end of her life and, just as remarkable, P.D. was a rock of strength at her side through all of the many struggles that accompany the ravages of ovarian cancer.

Tracie’s friends and family were with her and honoring her until her final days.  She lived a life that earned the love and respect of many, and the outpouring of support at her recent benefit was incredible.  I’m sure the love and honor will be overflowing at her visitation and funeral in the next few days as well.

Tracie was simply an awesome person that touched many lives.  It’s another story of the unfairness of cancer and its effect on the lives of so many.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

After her diagnosis, Tracie’s family started an organization and Facebook page called Teal We Find a Cure to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and generate funds for research.  I cannot stress enough the importance of learning about ovarian cancer.  From their Facebook page, here is some food for thought:

Do you know what color the ovarian cancer awareness ribbon is? It is TEAL, but most people are not aware.

Most people are also not aware that ovarian cancer is known as the “silent killer” because many of the symptoms are vague and similar to other abdominal problems. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths among women in America.

Only 24 percent of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when the cancer is confined to the ovary. Most cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat successfully.

One woman out of every 55 will develop ovarian cancer at some point in her lifetime.

Please do your part and inform the women in your lives about the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Please Share Your Story

I am sure that most of us have been faced with the impacts of cancer in our married lives.

I’d really appreciate hearing from each of you in the comments about your experiences with cancer.

Jun 14

Regain Your Balance: Real Solutions for Real Busy People

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Regain Your BalanceIf you’re like me, you know what it’s like to struggle to find the right balance of time, energy and interest in your crazy-busy life.  We have so much going on that weeks can pass in a blur while we attend to all the seemingly urgent tasks that hit us from all directions each day.

Meanwhile, our real priorities don’t get the attention they need, our creative side never gets a chance to shine through and we’re left feeling overwhelmed and unfulfilled despite pouring our energy into doing the best we can.  Sound familiar? 🙂

Regain Your Balance

Well, it is truly my pleasure to introduce you to an awesome resource that can help you.  In Regain Your Balance, Ali Hale offers real, practical advice to help you find the right balance and achieve all that you want for your life.

To borrow Ali’s words, her e-book is for you if:

* You can’t understand where your time and money goes. It feels like there should be plenty of both, but there isn’t …

* You shelved your painting or writing or music a few years ago, and never went back to it …

* You keep trying to make improvements, but somehow life keeps on reverting back to the same busy state.

Does this sound like you?  I know it sounded really familiar to me!

I encourage you to head over to the full-page description of Regain Your Balance for the run-down on the full contents and awesome bonuses being included right now as the e-book is launched.  However, to give you a quick taste for what’s included in this 78-page e-book, here’s the list of chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Taming Time
  • Chapter 2: Cultivating Creativity
  • Chapter 3: Finding Focus
  • Chapter 4: Energizing Environment
  • Chapter 5: Real Recharging
  • Chapter 6: Managing Money

Also, if you’d like a taste for what the book’s like, Ali has a link to download the Introduction and Chapter One for free at her site!

My Full Endorsement (and a little contribution by yours truly)

As the creator of Engaged Marriage, I have the opportunity to review a lot of products and books.  In fact, I’m sent things to review on probably a weekly basis with the hopes that I’ll feature them on the site.

Well, you don’t see many of those because I’m very selective in the products and services that I share with you.  I know anything featured here reflects on me and our community, so I only share resources that I can fully support because I’m confident they’ll really help you.

Regain Your Balance has my strong endorsement.  It has really helped me make better use of my time and feel more fulfilled in my life.  It’s not a theoretical book, it’s a book of action and practical advice you can actually use.  And I love that!

After I reviewed it in draft form, I was given the opportunity to suggest changes to Ali, which she graciously included.  One of my criticisms was that the e-book was light on information to those with young children (since we often struggle so much to find balance).  Ali doesn’t have kids yet (but she IS getting married this fall!), so she let me write up some advice for young families, and it’s included in Chapter One!

Regain Your Balance is also the first product that I’ve ever agreed to endorse right on the landing page for the site.  When you click over, you’ll see my smiling mug there sharing my thoughts on the mix of topics included in the book…don’t hold that against the book, please. 🙂

Don’t Take My Word For It

I don’t expect you to hear that I liked (or loved) the e-book and then go buy your own copy based solely on that.  But I would encourage you to head over to read the full description and see if it’s something that could help you.

By the way, Ali has included a lifetime full money-back guarantee if you do buy it and decide it wasn’t all you hoped for.  You just let her know, and she sends your money right back to you.  She’s cool like that.

Please check out Regain Your Balance and leave your thoughts in the comments below.  But don’t be too harsh on my section! 😉

Jun 10

5 Ways to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking

By Dustin | Communication

Nonverbal Communication and Marriage

Nonverbal communication is an important part of how human beings relate to one another.

The important thing to remember is that the unconscious mind is powerful, and it can pick up on many different things about another person even if they are not obvious.

For instance, body language is a perfect example of nonverbal communication. A person’s posture tells people a lot about how that person thinks about himself.

Within a marriage relationship, nonverbal communication is even more important. It has been estimated that over ninety percent of the effectiveness of communication is facilitated by nonverbal cues. Obviously, it’s important to understand how improving nonverbal communication can improve your marriage relationship!

Five Ways to Improve Your Marriage Through Nonverbal Communication

Give these five tips a try in the daily interaction with your spouse and see what a difference you can make without saying a word:

1. Make sure you always express affection.

Nonverbal communication involves things such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, body language and other visual and emotional cues. If you never express affection in a physical, non-sexual way, your partner will probably start unconsciously or consciously thinking that you do not love them. So, on a daily basis, express your affection by holding their hand, rubbing their shoulders, or simply holding them in your arms.

2. Pay attention to your spouse’s mood.

One of the hardest things that marriage calls upon a couple to do is step outside of themselves and really pay attention to their partner. Nonverbally, we give out a lot of cues about our mood. For instance, frowning, silence, sitting cross-legged or not making eye contact are clues that our spouse is in a bad mood, while smiling, being open and free in conversation, and looking into your eyes are signs that they are in a good mood. Paying attention to these cues is a great way to improve communication.

3. Use positive language when expressing disagreement.

Nonverbal communication actually plays a role during verbal communication. For instance, when trying to express yourself to your partner, often it is the words that are left unsaid that mean much more than the words that are said.

Using negative language like “Yes, but,” or even “Whatever” in response to a question or a sentence can be problematic. Using positive language like “Yes, and” is better because it avoids any negative reaction from your partner. The tone and attitude of a person is not always verbalized, but it is implied in their voice and words.

4. Do their chores for them.

If you and your spouse divide up the chores between yourselves, a great way to express nonverbal affection is to do their chores for them sometimes. This demonstrates concern as well as affection, and it can be a very pleasant surprise for them to discover you have taken care of some of their work for them.

5. Make small personal gifts and leave them where they can be found.

This can include love notes, flowers, cards, etc. They can be left anywhere, from the bathroom to the kitchen to the bedroom. These represent personal ways of showing affection that make the marriage stronger.

What forms of nonverbal communication have you found most effective in your own marriage?

(photo source)

_______________________________________

When Louise Baker isn’t working on improving her marriage, she is a freelance writer who writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. She most recently ranked the best online colleges.

Jun 07

Natural Family Planning: 5 Good Reasons You Haven’t Tried It

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

Natural Family Planning ChallengesNatural Family Planning has its challenges.

I’ve shared the story of our journey to Natural Family Planning (NFP) and made a really big deal about the benefits of NFP for marriage.  I’ve shared an informational video, explained what Natural Family Planning is in my own words, and talked about how technology can work with such a natural method of planning a family.  I’ve even encouraged an artsy-fartsy Protestant woman to share her own thoughts on NFP.

Do I love Natural Family Planning?  Yep, guilty as charged.

But I also understand why NFP is practiced by less than 5% of couples in their child-bearing years.  If Natural Family Planning were the easy choice, everyone would use it, right?

Well, probably not, but I recognize the challenges of using NFP because we live with them every day.  Engaged Marriage is a place for no-B.S. information on topics that effect your marriage, and your family planning choices are certainly a big issue.

And so, in the interest of fairness and full disclosure, I present to you the top five challenges of using Natural Family Planning.

The Challenges of Practicing Natural Family Planning

1. NFP is Misunderstood by Others

Trust me when I tell you that this is a big one.  It can be very frustrating to be pigeonholed as some mindless, Pope-worshiping, chauvinist, old-fashioned father of 20 children whenever someone hears that you practice Natural Family Planning.

Fortunately, with so much good information being spread online and through new communities, some of the die-hard myths about NFP are finally starting to be broken down and replaced by the truth.  Here are a few examples in case you were curious:

2. NFP is Not Encouraged by Most Doctors

The sad reality is that most OB-GYNs in practice today either don’t understand Natural Family Planning or simply dismiss it as a viable birth control option for their patients.  The reasons for this are a matter of opinion, but I have a few.

There is no money in “selling” NFP since it is a free method of family planning.  By contrast, birth control pills are a HUGE industry (have you seen all the contraceptive commercials during an NFL game?) with many well-paid pharmaceutical reps knocking down the door of every doctor’s office in the country.

NFP is also not standardized enough to give an assembly-line approach to patient care.  It’s easy for a doctor to write (well-sponsored) prescriptions for birth control pills all day long and never give a second thought to the individual needs of each patient.  Well, NFP requires attention to each patient’s fertility cycle and some time to educate them on how to do it.  That takes both time and interest, and remember that doesn’t pay the bills!

There are also doctors out there who are simply ignorant about the effectiveness of NFP and never take it seriously.  My wife’s doctor (who is Catholic, by the way) laughed at us when we told him that we were using NFP.  Rather than switch docs, we decided to show him it works…and three purposely-planned pregnancies later, he shows us a little respect.

3. NFP Requires a Daily Commitment

When you hear about how you actually practice NFP, you find out that you have to take your temperature each morning before you get out of bed to get an accurate basal body temperature.  This actually doesn’t apply to some methods of Natural Family Planning, but all methods do require some fertility awareness during most days of a woman’s cycle.

Frankly, when I hear people use this as a reason not to practice NFP, I have to chuckle.  Most birth control pills must be taken each day (unless you get a shot of some sort), and barrier methods (like condoms) require you to have a contraceptive on-hand at all times.  Taking your temperature is just not that big of a deal.

4. Those Darn Periods of Abstinence!

Now THIS is a legitimate challenge of practicing Natural Family Planning! 🙂

When you use NFP, you simply don’t have sex on the days when your wife is fertile (if you wish to avoid pregnancy).  This can be tough, and I have to admit that it was my one big objection to fully embracing NFP…until we actually gave it a try.

If you can’t control your sexual urges for a week or so at a time, you can’t use Natural Family Planning.  However, if you do have control over your body and free will, you may find these periods of abstinence as enhancements to your communication, intimacy and overall sex life.  We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the impact that they’ve had on our marriage.

5. Special Occasions Don’t Always Happen at the “Right” Time…

It’s New Year’s Eve, you have a hotel room with NO kids, you’ve just enjoyed an awesome night of drinking and dancing, and you are both very interested in a fantastic night of sex.  Sounds great, huh?

Well, if you practice NFP and it just so happens that your wife ovulated the day before, you’ll know that this is going to be a night requiring strong willpower if you don’t want to get pregnant.  It could also be a night where you decide that maybe God does want you to welcome a new life into your family.

Either way, it’s these special occasions that will test you and your intentions when you practice Natural Family Planning.  Some people don’t have the willpower or the mutual respect to make it through these situations.  Even though they’re rare, they will happen and you have to find strength in each other to make the choice you’ll be happy with in the morning. 😉

Are These Your Reasons, Too?

I’ve stated it many times, but let me make it clear that my posts about Natural Family Planning are not intended as tools of mass conversion (yeah, I know I’m not that influential).  Instead, I just hope to shed some light on a very misunderstood topic and let everyone know about their options since we struggled so much in our own family planning decisions for years.

I hope you have found it helpful to hear about the lesser-discussed “difficult” side of practicing NFP.

Now, I’m really curious to hear from all of you:

If you do practice NFP, how have you dealt with these challenges?

If you don’t use Natural Family Planning, what has held you back from giving it a try?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!

(photo source)
Jun 04

The 1 Percent Solution to a Happy Marriage (and Life)

By Dustin | Time Management

What can you accomplish for your married life in 15 minutes per day?

A lot more than you think!  If you haven’t yet signed up for our free Marriage Time newsletter, please take a few seconds to enter your name and email below.

When you sign up, we’ll send you a free 7-lesson e-course called “Marriage Mojo: 7 Simple Steps to Romance for Insanely Busy Couples.”  The feedback on Marriage Mojo so far has been really positive and really exciting!

To help spread the word about our community here and the free resources available for busy couples, I posted another video on YouTube recently.  I’m obviously a very amateur solo videographer, but I have fun doing these and think they’re a great way to let the world know about Engaged Marriage.  I thought I’d share the video here on the site as well for your entertainment. 🙂

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T3-FE8iTYc[/youtube]

If you can’t see the video, please click to view The 1% Solution to a Happy Marriage

If you’re not frightened away by the video, please do me a favor and tell your friends about Engaged Marriage and the Marriage Time newsletter.  It’s as easy as sharing this post on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter (easy buttons for both below)!  Thank you for making this community so enriching and helpful!

Also, if you have a helpful tip for how you’ve improved your own marriage with only a little time commitment, please share in the comments below.