Monthly Archives: March 2011

Mar 24

74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse’s Day

By Dustin | Romance

BONUS: There are a lot of awesome ideas on this list that you can try over time.  Why not take them with you?

Just CLICK HEREto download your personal copy of the 74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse's Day.  Enjoy!

In a recent giveaway we had for Marriage Time newsletter subscribers (sign up here for free so you don’t miss the next one), I asked this question:

What is one simple thing I can do to brighten my spouse’s day today?

74 Simple ThingsI received dozens of responses back, and I was really touched and impressed by some of the ideas.

So, I filtered through all of the duplicates, and I would like to share these unedited responses for everyone to see.

Which of these simple acts can you use today to show some thoughtfulness toward your husband or wife?

  1. Simply tell her one thing that makes her special to me.
  2. Texting him at work and keeping him from getting bored in the minutiae of the day. (Check out these sexy texts for ideas)
  3. Declutter the bedroom.
  4. Compliment her via text every hour on the hour all day!
  5. I could surprise my husband by taking him to the Irish Festival this afternoon.
  6. By sending him a love letter to tell him I appreciate him & I’ll be taking the lead in the bedroom tonight – this will totally make his day…and week! 🙂
  7. Tell her how much I’m glad I married her (married 20 years).
  8. Take the kids to the park while they are on Spring Break and let her have a nap.
  9. Give him an encouraging note or email during the day.
  10. I took the kids because she was sick. That way she could rest.
  11. One thing I could do to brighten my spouse’s day is to buy her some flowers.
  12. Dinner. Then dishes. She loves that!
  13. A simple thing I could do (and actually just did!) to brighten his day is give him a call, unexpectedly, just to tell him I love him & wish him a great day 🙂
  14. One simple thing I can do?  Compliment her sincerely on something specific with her appearance.
  15. One simple thing I could do to brighten her day is let her sleep in and get the kids ready for school.
  16. I could call him and tell him I love and miss him while he’s at work.
  17. My husband is easy. Smile at him and say, “I appreciate you, honey!” makes his day. I know I look grumpy much of the time with stress, pain and worries. I don’t smile enough. So when I do, it makes a difference!!
  18. A simple thing I can do to brighten my husband’s day is a phone call to simply remind him that I love and appreciate him.
  19. When he comes home after his long day at work, I could have dinner ready and let him know I have a REALLY special dessert ready after the kids are in bed! (Click here for some new ideas to spice up your lovemaking).
  20. One thing I can do to brighten my husband’s day is to watch the BYU basketball game with him!  🙂  Go Cougs!
  21. Send him a text message telling him what I’m looking forward to about our night tonight (especially if physical!)
  22. A three-minute hug.
  23. Give her flowers for no special reason at all – apart, of course, from saying she’s the love of my life.
  24. I could send him a text message letting him know I’m thinking of him & offer support as he prepares for his final exam tomorrow!
  25. I could bring him coffee in the morning, pack his lunch and make his favorite dish for dinner.
  26. Empty the dishwasher before I leave for work.
  27. Call him and leave him a special voice mail!
  28. Greet him by dropping my work bag and showering him with hugs and kisses…for the rest of the evening!
  29. A quick 5-10 minute back rub can turn my wife around if she has had a bad day (or make her day great if she is having a good day already).
  30. To brighten my wife’s day, I can clean the bathroom. She hates to do it!
  31. Sending him a daily email while he is deployed with thoughts and moments from my day and letting him know I love him and I am proud of him.
  32. I will give him a massage tonight, just because, without him having to ask.
  33. Tell my wife how much I appreciate all she does for me, the kids and our home and that I pray for her constantly.
  34. I’ll be using your One Simple Thing trick on him tonight!
  35. Clean the toilets.  Sexy, huh?  Depends what I’m wearing while I do it – like a smile, for instance.
  36. I could draw funny faces on the eggs in the refrigerator.  =)
  37. One simple thing I could do to brighten my husband’s day TODAY is locate a copy of Boondock Saints for us to watch!
  38. I can have dinner ready and a cheerful disposition when he comes home from work.
  39. I could get out of bed on time so we can get the kids ready more quickly and not make him late for work (being late is his pet peeve and I push the limits every day).
  40. To brighten my wife’s day I make her coffee in the morning.
  41. Practical: Put away the laundry. Fun: Make out session.
  42. I can tell him that I appreciate him and everything he does for us.  Sometimes I get in the habit of complaining about what he’s not doing, and I forget that telling him what he is doing is 10 times more important!
  43. To brighten my spouse’s day I will wake up cheery, not grumpy and tell him how much I love him and how much he means to me.
  44. Have dinner waiting for him when he gets home.
  45. Drop by his office with a cupcake from the shop across the street on my lunch break.  Just so he knows I’m thinking of him.
  46. Make Rice Krispie treats
  47. My husband works night shift, so I buy a Red Bull (his fave pick me up) and put it in the fridge for him when I get in.
  48. Do his laundry while I’m working from home today!
  49. I can thank him for his awesome management of our finances and his hard work to pay off our student loans so that we can start a family!
  50. Put a Love note (post it) on his computer screen.
  51. When he came out of the bedroom to head to work (we were running late coming back from crew practice) – I had his toast ready, hot water in his tea thermos, and the tea was almost completed….
  52. One thing I can do is let her know that I love through notes left around the house, emails, or flowers.
  53. Say “I love you”.
  54. Thank him for his support as I face challenges.
  55. I will look at my wife’s eyes, give her a kiss and say I LOVE YOU.
  56. One simple thing I sometimes do is pre-toothpaste his toothbrush.  It saves him just like 4 seconds in his morning routine but when I do it I always hear him say “awww” from the bathroom.  Haha.  It’s silly, but it’s something.  😉
  57. I had to work today at our church office, and he has been away since Monday.  He’ll get home before me – so I have some delicious corned beef and cabbage cooking in the crockpot, so we he walks in the door he’ll be greeted with love cooking in the kitchen!
  58. I can make him a cup of coffee. I love it when he does it for me.
  59. Make him his favorite brown bread… and have it come out of the oven as he comes in the door.
  60. Be sure that your eyes light up when you see her.
  61. Let him sleep in!
  62. I could give my husband a back massage. I think I will.
  63. Today, I will keep my three year old awake in the afternoon, when he would normally want to nap.  This means an earlier, easier bed time for him, and more time in the evening alone for my husband and I.  I know he’ll really appreciate that, especially on a Friday.
  64. To brighten my spouse’s day, I could write him a love letter telling him why I married him, and why I love him!
  65. All I did was ask him if there was anything I could do for him today.  I have never done this before, but I wanted to let him know that I am here for him and I want to help him if he needs something.
  66. I make my husband his favorite dinner and make sure to have warm water in his glass (his preference) when he gets home from work.
  67. Wash the dishes…Naked!!!
  68. Pray with him in the morning.
  69. Clean the house
  70. I do my best to write a quick love note on a sticky note and hide it somewhere that my wife will find it each day.
  71. Write an encouraging sticky note for him to find when he gets in his truck to go to work!
  72. Something unexpected that she usually does, like perhaps cleaning a bathroom?
  73. Drive her to the training the morning and pick her up at the end of the day.  It’s always exciting to see her get off the train and come home with me.
  74. The one thing I can do is set his slippers out by the couch when he comes home from working all night so he doesn’t have to go into the bedroom to get them before he relaxes for a while.

How great are these ideas!?!

Keep this post handy, and you’ll always have a way to make your spouse feel special.  After all, that’s the key to simple, everyday romance!

To make it super easy for you, we’d like you to take a copy with you to use anytime you want to brighten the day for your husband or wife.  Just click the button below to get your free copy!

Click Here to Take This List With You + Get Your Free Bonuses

Mar 21

Simplify Your Family Life & Save BIG!

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Want to take advantage of an awesome deal that will not only help you out in all areas of your family life, but support a fantastic cause in the process?

My friends Corey from Simple Marriage and Mandi from Life…Your Way have brought together some of the top authors in the family life space with 30 ebooks covering a variety of topics related to family life.  Seriously, when you look through the list below, you’ll see all of the top experts in marriage, parenting, organization, food and cooking, minimalism, finances, personal development and everything else that’s key to helping you live your best life.

When purchased separately, these ebooks are worth over $450, but for four days only, you can purchase the entire collection for just $47!  I’ll do the math for you…that’s about 90% off.

A portion of each sale will also be donated to The Mentoring Project, which seeks to rewrite the story of the fatherless generation.  This is a cause that I think we can all be proud to support.

PLEASE NOTE: This collection is only available from 2 p.m. on March 21st to 2 p.m. on March 25th. There will be no late sales offered.

Get 90% Off Today & Support The Mentoring Project…and Get My Bonuses!

If you were ever thinking of buying even 2-3 of these resources (including my new e-book 15 Minute Marriage Makeover), there will never be an opportunity like this again.  For the price of a couple of books, you will have instant access to pretty much every popular resource available in topics related to your family life!

MY BONUS OFFER: As a participant in this project, I get a portion of the sales that come through my referral.  Considering I’ve used many of the resources and know most of the authors personally, this was a no-brainer for me to endorse.  You’ll likely see many people sharing this today, so I wanted to give you a little extra incentive to make your purchase through my link.

All you have to do is click my affiliate link and make your purchase.  Then just forward the email receipt you receive to me at Dustin [at] EngagedMarriage.com and I’ll send you ALL FIVE of the 15 Minute Marriage Makeover Bonuses that are usually reserved only for those who buy my book directly.  These are powerful programs on intimacy, communication, romance, finances and time management, and you can see the details of what’s included on this 15 Minute Marriage Makeover details page.

Click here to purchase your collection today!

Do You Like Details? Check Out What’s Included!

When you purchase the Simplify Your Family Life collection, you get instant access to each of the 30+ ebooks listed below:

Family Minimalism

Food & Cooking

Green Living

Intimacy & Marriage

Money

Organizing

Parenting

Personal Development

Travel

Work at Home

Holidays

Don’t Wait Around & Miss Out!

Personally, I think this is about as no-brainer of a deal as you’re going to find for those of us who care deeply about our families and want to be proactive about doing all we can to have a happy home life.  If you can find even just three resources above that might be useful to you, I’d go ahead and grab this bundle before the sale ends on March 25th at 2 p.m. EST.

Click here to purchase your collection today!

One last note: The sale ends promptly at 2 p.m. ET on March 25th, and there will be no late sales offered.  If you procrastinate and forget, there won’t be any way to extend the offer to you.

Mar 17

How to Keep Finances From Becoming a Source of Tension in Your Marriage

By Dustin | Finances & Careers

Note: This is a guest post from Jane Sanders from Debt Management.

Many marriages have found they suffer from many negative elements, and a lot of these elements often come back to money problems. Money problems can be caused by a wide range of issues from not making enough to not managing it right.

However, money problems within marriages can be resolved and avoided by keeping a positive attitude, following some simple steps, and sometimes through the use of professional help.

Keep a Good Attitude

It is always important to be proactive about any methods and approaches that are implemented to resolve money and marriage differences or problems. Marriages that do not stay proactive tend to lose the money and marriage battle before it even begins.

Be Honest & Open and Set up a Budget

One of the most important things to do in the beginning of solving financial marriage problems is to sit down and create an honest and open communication airway between both parties. After it has been established that honesty and openness are being followed, it is crucial to create a budget. Most importantly, it is pertinent that a budget is created that both parties agree to, followed by actually sticking to the budget.

Couples who are enduring problems due to financial issues should never go outside of their budget and spend money unless an emergency occurs; this is why it is important to have a savings account set up.

In the event that something comes up and it is not an emergency, being honest with one another helps to avoid problems if one side of the marriage thinks a purchase is necessary. If both parties cannot agree in some form or fashion to the money being spent then the money should not be spent at all; this only helps to avoid disagreements.

Open Three Checking Accounts

Opening three checking accounts should include one joint account accompanied with two individual accounts.

[Note from Dustin: I’ve shared my thoughts on this issue and heard loudly from the community to the tune of over 100 comments on this post about bank accounts.]

This allows a marriage to have money set aside for required expenses, while at the same time each individual having their own money set aside for wanted or desired expenses. Opening separate checking accounts requires trust, but it is a wonderful way for couples to gain a sense of freedom when it comes to managing their own small bank account.

Most of the money within the marriage should be kept in the joint account. If either party objects to not opening individual accounts, then it should be avoided until both parties agree.

Always Ask for Help When it is Needed

Sometimes parties within a marriage get to their wits end and simply have no remedies to help their financial situation and differences. When this occurs, professional assistance should always be sought. There are a large number of financial counselors whose line of work is to help couples through their financial marriage problems.

What have been the keys to financial harmony within your marriage?

This article was contributed by Jane Sanders from Debt Management. Visit her site for more tips on eliminating your credit card debt.

(photo source)
Mar 11

Play!

By Dustin | Romance

Today’s post is adapted from the book 15 Minute Marriage Makeover – Refresh Your Relationship, Add Sizzle to Your Sex Life & Be Happier in Just Minutes a Day.  If you think this and other Couple Time exercises would be great for your marriage, be sure to check it out.

When was the last time you played?

If you have children, you probably spend some playtime with them most days.  You might play golf with your friends or play Angry Birds on your iPhone.  If you’re lucky, maybe you have occasional game nights with other couples where you can keep your Trivial Pursuit or Scene It! skills sharp.

But how often do you spend “playtime” with your husband or do something with your wife just because it’s fun?

Today’s Lesson

Life is so busy that we can start to push the time for play out of our closest relationship.  Playtime with the kids is mandatory and recreational time with our friends is usually retained.  However, when it comes to our spouse, it is so easy to lose the simple, pure time for fun together in favor of “more important” duties.

The truth is that few things can feed your marriage and refuel your romance better than a little time spent playing together.

And like most of the best things in life, playtime with your spouse is simple, cheap and easy!

Today’s Couple Time Task

Our Couple Time today will be spent simply having some fun together.  Please take a look at the list below to get some ideas for a playful activity that you can do together.  Pick one that suits you, do it and smile.

  • Play a board game
  • Go roller skating
  • Play a video game
  • Dance
  • Play a card game
  • Go to the park and play
  • Play Guitar Hero (one of our favorites)
  • Have a water gun fight
  • Play miniature golf
  • Visit an arcade
  • Wrestle
  • Create an art project together
  • Play 21 questions
  • Go bowling
  • Race go-carts
  • Play Truth or Dare
  • Play some Nintendo Wii (clothing optional)

When it comes to having simple fun with your best friend, the possibilities are really endless.  So, what will you do today to enjoy a little playtime together?

Today’s Tips

  • This is not a time for competition or trash talking!  Trust me on this one. 🙂
  • If you can’t decide what to do, then today is the husband’s turn to Take the Lead and choose for you both.
  • You can definitely include your kids or friends in many of these activities (though clothing is recommended for those Wii games), but be sure to spend playtime alone as a couple on a regular basis.

This post is adapted from one of 28 powerful daily exercises that will take your marriage from good to extraordinary in just 15 minutes per day. Please go check out all the details about 15 Minute Marriage Makeover by clicking here now.

(photo source)
Mar 09

Reviews of 15 Minute Marriage Makeover, Group Workshops & Some Bonus Action

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Wow.  Just Wow.

Thank you all SO much for the incredible reaction to my first e-book!

Since releasing 15 Minute Marriage Makeover on Monday, Engaged Marriage has seen record levels of traffic and I’ve received so many emails, tweets and Facebook messages from folks telling me they’re enjoying the book.

Some particularly ambitious couples have already started putting the first several daily “challenges” into action and are seeing the benefits in their relationship.

That’s what it’s all about!

Gotta Love Those Pro-Marriage Friends

I’ve also been honored by the support and enthusiasm received from my fellow marriage and family bloggers.  We’ve shared several projects and many struggles together over the past 18 months, and it’s really cool to find such solid support from these relationship experts.

I wanted to highlight a few of the reviews that have been published around the web the past few days about 15 Minute Marriage Makeover.  As you’ll see, many of these authors have shared some fantastic additional insights and advice alongside their book reviews.

How Much Time Does Sex Really Take, Anyway?

This post on Intimacy in Marriage holds no punches about our excuses for limiting intimacy with our spouse.  Julie knows her stuff about Christian sexuality, and I’m proud to hear how she feels 15 Minute Marriage Makeover fits into a happy marriage.

Make Over Your Marriage in 15 Minutes a Day

If you are familiar with Lori Lowe and Life Gems for Marriage, you know that she puts a lot of research and thought into every post to provide real value to married couples.  Regardless of whether you care about my book, you should read this post and take Lori’s advice to heart!

Also if you’re reading this on Wednesday morning, you still have time to enter a giveaway for a free copy!

Will You Invest 15 Minutes a Day in Your Marriage?

I am SO proud to have the endorsement of Mandi from Motherhood Your Way (and Life Your Way).  In this post, Mandi shares some really interesting stats about marriage and the need to make the effort to stay connected to our spouse for the long haul. Don’t miss it!

A 15 Minute Marriage Makeover Review

Stu Gray and I started blogging about marriage around the same time, and I have a ton of respect for him and the wisdom he shares through experience.  This post is a straight-up review of 15 Minute Marriage Makeover, but Stu does a great job of summing up concisely what it’s about and who it’s for (I sometimes have trouble being concise 🙂 )!

An Interview With @EngagedMarriage Plus A Give Away That Could Lead To More Hanky Panky

This was a really fun and in-depth interview I did with my friend Andy Fogarty of Destination Thrive to discuss Engaged Marriage and my other major project promoting couples fitness at Fit Marriage.  This is a video interview so you can see me on camera opening up about why I do all of this stuff and also the business lessons I’ve learned along the way.

You can win a free copy of 15 Minute Marriage Makeover AND a free membership to our Thrive90 Fitness program for married couples…enter by Thursday!

How About Some Group Support?

Living the Sacrament

This isn’t actually a blog post but a really cool project that’s getting ready to start.  I saw this Facebook status yesterday from the leader of this Christian online community supporting Natural Family Planning:

I think this is SO awesome!

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to create a group that will work through the 28 days of 15 Minute Marriage Makeover together, please contact me and we will work out a great group discount.  I think this is such a powerful way to support others in our church, online community, friendship circle, family or other group setting!

Don’t Miss the Bonuses!

I’ve had several people email me to say that they were surprised to receive a bunch of cool bonus materials when they downloaded 15 Minute Marriage Makeover.  There’s a lot of information on the landing page for the book, so I can see how this could get overlooked.

To be clear, when you buy the e-book, you also get all five of these great bonuses…for free!

Bonus 1 – Interview with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages

In my audio interview with the one and only Dr. Chapman, we talk about a variety of important topics for married and engaged couples. These include how couples should deal with personality differences, what to do when you start to lose the “in love” feeling, his advice for a great sex life, and how to deal with your Love Languages over the course of a marriage.

Bonus 2 – “Just the Two of Us” audio program with Tony DiLorenzo, co-author of Stripped Down

In this session, Tony and I share our top tips and personal experiences on the topic of date nights with a real focus on finding creative ways to enjoy date nights at home when you can’t get away.

Bonus 3 – “Take the Lead” and “Change of Scenery” audios from Stripped Down by Tony & Alisa DiLorenzo

In these audio versions from two of my favorite portions of Stripped Down, Tony and Alisa share in-depth advice on two important topics related to improving your intimacy and sex life.

Bonus 4 – “Financial Personalities & Being a Man or Woman with Your Money” audio from Get Naked by Derek Sisterhen

Financial coach Derek Sisterhen shares an audio version from a vitally important part of his book Get Naked to help you understand your financial personalities and how to work together as husband and wife to enjoy financial success.

Bonus 5 – More Time Now by Dave Navarro

This is a freely available resource by time management expert Dave Navarro, and I think it’s too good not to include it for you. This book will show you how to invest one hour per week to free up over 1,000 hours per year. It’s the real deal.

I personally selected these bonus materials because I think they will really help you. With the exception of More Time Now, which is a short e-book, all of these materials will be provided to you in mp3 audio format so you can listen to them at your convenience.

Thank You!

Thanks once again for all of your support and enthusiasm about this project.  It was a lot of work but your feedback makes it all worthwhile.

Thanks for being part of the Engaged Marriage community.

Mar 07

15 Minute Marriage Makeover – Refresh Your Relationship, Add Sizzle to Your Sex Life & Be Happier in Just Minutes a Day

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

It’s here!  I’m super excited today to share with you my first e-book, which was written specifically with the Engaged Marriage community in mind.

The roots of 15 Minute Marriage Makeover literally go back to the very beginning of this site over 18 months ago when I decided it was time that someone create a resource to help busy couples take your marriages from good to fantastic.  Since that time, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with hundreds of you and learning about your biggest constraints and desires.

And as I realized that Bethany and I shared most of the same struggles and aspirations in our own marriage, it also occurred to me that we’ve had a lot of success and learned some valuable lessons that would help other couples.  You can read our story and the specifics behind how you helped shaped 15 Minute Marriage Makeover on the book’s home page.

Check Out the Book & Grab a Free Sample

Rather than getting into detail here about the e-book, I’d ask that you please click here and go read all about it. If you decide you’d like to purchase it, you can take advantage of a very special introductory price that will only be offered this week.

While you’re there, you can grab a free excerpt from the book to see if it’s something that you think will benefit your marriage.  Of course, I think you will. 🙂

If you want the Cliff ‘s Notes version of what you’ll find when  you click over, here you go:

  • 15 Minute Marriage Makeover will help you take your marriage from good to fantastic, especially if you are really busy.
  • It will show you how to have Communication that Counts, Real Romance for Real Busy Couples, Better Sex & Deeper Intimacy and how to Control Your Finances…Together.
  • You’ll love the book and your spouse will love you for buying it to share together.
  • It comes with five other awesome marriage-enhancing bonuses.
  • It’s available at a really nice introductory price until Friday, March 11th at 11:59 p.m. CST.
  • It comes with a 100% money-back guarantee with no strings attached so there’s no risk to you.
  •  

    I shared the book with the early notification list over the weekend, and I have been SO blessed by the great feedback I’ve received in just the first few days. It’s already made all the effort involved worth it to me.

    Thank You

    I am so excited to share this resource with you and your marriage.

    This book definitely would not have been possible without all of the feedback I’ve received here on the site, through email and on Facebook and Twitter.  The Engaged Marriage community is simply awesome, and I know that if 15 Minute Marriage Makeover gives you even a fraction of the help, encouragement and joy you’ve provided me over the past 18 months that it will be a huge success.

    Thank You for your incredible support!

    P.S. – If you’d like to share the book with your friends or family, you can simply ask them to visit www.15MinuteMarriageMakeover.com which will take them directly to the details about the book.

    Mar 03

    Money, Marriage and Your Proverbial Ankles

    By Dustin | Finances & Careers

    I’m SO excited to welcome Jesse Mecham, founder of my favorite budget software You Need A Budget, as our guest today.  You can read my review of YNAB to find out why I love the program so much.

    And when my new book 15 Minute Marriage Makeover comes out (next week!), you’ll see in the finances section just how much we think alike when it comes to marriage and money.  Jesse knows his stuff!

    You’re at the starting line of a three-legged race. Your spouse is your partner. You’ve already secured the tie around your ankles, you see the distant finish line, and you’re determined to haul buns.

    You keep looking at each other and smiling, but you haven’t discussed any strategy. Oh come on, how hard can it be, right?

    On your mark….

     

    Get set…..

     

    GO!!!……

     

    You muster all your strength and throw yourself forward, but you move your inside leg first and your spouse is trying to move the outside leg. In less than two, awkward steps, both of you crumble to the ground in a heap.

    Frustrated thoughts fill the stunned silence. “Wow, totally her fault; I was doing it the right way. That’s how I was taught and it always works really well.”

    “I can’t believe this! He used the wrong leg to lead! I never do it that way and this is why!” “How are we ever going to make it to the finish line?!”

    With that in mind….Welcome to Finance for Couples 101.

    Bob Dylan once said, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.”

    Money, or I should say problems with money, seem to bring out the not-so-good parts in us. Money carries weight, and worry, and is the means for basic survival. We can’t be without it.

    If something goes wrong (i.e. we don’t have it anymore), our reaction is passionate and emotional. Our primitive instinct takes over, and we grow defensive, making everyone else the enemy–the reason for the problem. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    There doesn’t need to be heated “discussions” between spouses. Money doesn’t have to swear.

    It can say nice things and pay your bills…if you teach it how to talk.

    The best thing you can do with your money is tend it together. Create a plan of action together. Decide how your monthly budget should look together.

    Think of the three-legged race. Awareness and communication are key. The more informed you are as a team, the more effective your efforts will be when you act as a team.

    I understand that some spouses do just fine handling the finances all alone, and their partner may prefer not to get involved because he or she thinks money is confusing or stressful. Here’s where I say…

    Gee that sounds lonely.

    Finance is such a major, every-day part of marriage. Who wants to carry that load by themselves when their spouse is standing right there next to them?

    One person can’t do all the work in a three-legged race, even if you both decide that’s how you want to do it. It needs both of you moving in the same direction at the same pace!

    Educate yourselves and delve in as a pair. Two minds really are better than one. You’ll  inevitably lighten the load by addressing your money issues as a duo rather than going solo. It also gives you a valuable opportunity to grow closer together. You’ll learn to respect each other’s different strides, and fall into a rhythm that’s all your own–as a couple.

    Work to respect your spouse’s view points and concerns. You’ll achieve this fastest by getting  rid of the defensive attitude.

    Discussing money shouldn’t be a knock down, drag-out affair.

    You’re on the same team, remember?

    Tied together at the proverbial ankle. Bound to one another. Put down your dukes and open up your ears. You want your concerns to be heard? No doubt your spouse feels the same way. Make the discussion more about listening than trying to prove your point.

    Is “money-talk time” happening in the first place? If not, it needs to be.

    Regular, open communication is vital if you want to maintain sure financial footing. Right now you might be thinking, “Ok, this is all fine and dandy in make-believe world. But we can’t agree on the most advantageous toilet seat angle, let alone, how to handle our money.” That’s why I say, start talking about it. Today.

    Whether these talks prove to be effective counseling time, or Jerry Springer-esque is up to you. You have the power to make it a constructive, enlightening experience, if you choose.

    Hold hands while you talk. Go to a movie afterwards. Attach something positive to the discussion that helps you look forward to it.

    As you work together during these meetings you’ll find that you become unified in purpose when it comes to your money and what it should be doing. Goals will develop naturally from these discussion,s and you’ll find that progress will be made regarding debt reduction, contributing to retirement savings, and overall contentment with your money.

    You’ll reach that financial finish line, because you really are working as one. Your marriage, regardless of where it’s at now, will improve, at least in this one regard.

    Jesse Mecham is founder of the financial software company, You Need a Budget—because you do! Based on four fail-safe rules, Jesse’s revolutionary software teaches a methodology that helps people break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and save more money faster. You haven’t budgeted like this.