Monthly Archives: August 2011

Aug 31

15 Minute Marriage Makeover – In Paperback, Kindle, Nook and iBook Format (and on sale)!

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

I’m SO excited today!

It’s taken some time, but I am happy to let you know that your many requests have been taken to heart and my book is now available in your favorite format.

If you’re not familiar with the book, here’s a short overview:

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

It’s time to refresh your marriage and enjoy each other the way you did before your busy life got in the way… and you can do it in just 15 minutes a day!

When you experience your 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, here’s what you can expect to accomplish together:

Control over your time so you can put your relationship first & keep it there

– A renewed connection that leaves you both anxious to talk like you did when you were dating

– A plan for everyday romance that will keep the passion between
you strong even when “life” tries to get in the way

– A deeper, more powerful and more frequent sex life that satisfies you both

 

If you agree that your most important relationship deserves an investment of 1% of your time, then you are ready to take the next step toward a happier and more satisfying marriage. This practical and powerful guide will show you exactly how to experience the power of a 15-Minute Marriage Makeover in your own busy lives.

 

The Available Formats & Pricing

There is MUCH more detail, FREE chapters and really cool interviews available on the 15 Minute Marriage Makeover page.

This is also where you can see all of the new formats that are now available.  These include:

The best part of having all of these formats available is how it allows this message of investing in your marriage to spread much wider.  And the best part for you?

The price has been drastically reduced!

You can pick up the paperback for less than $15, the Kindle, Nook or iBook for just $9.99 and I have slashed the price on the Premium Digital Package (with all of the bonuses) to just $16.99 to make sure this is affordable and available to everyone who wants it.

Thank You So Much

Without this incredible community and your support, this book would have never been possible in the first place.  And it was your consistent requests for different formats that would allow you to share 15MMM or enjoy it yourself at your convenience that pushed me to get this done.

You are seriously important to me and Bethany, and we can’t thank you enough for your support!

If you’ve been waiting for the right format or a sale price, now’s your chance to experience the incredible power of a 15 Minute Marriage Makeover in your own life.  If you already own it, it would be HUGELY helpful if you could leave a quick review on Amazon or Kindle, as this is the primary way to get them to highlight the book for others to discover.

Thank you!

Aug 24

Hope

By Dustin | Spirituality

“How many of you remember spiritually adopting a baby last October?”

Our Mass had ended, it was hot and our kids were crabby, so I wasn’t exactly looking forward to another talk after a long evening in church.

However, when the director of our parish Life Teen program asked this question of the small group of teenagers gathered in the front pews, it got my attention.

And it really impressed me to see so many enthusiastic hands go up from a group that would usually be stereotyped as completely apathetic.

This was a story worth tuning in for, and I think you’ll agree that it’s a God-given thing of absolute beauty.  So, I’m sharing it with you with the hopes that it will touch you the way it has impacted me.

The Story of Hope

In October of last year, the teenagers in the Life Teen program at our church decided to spiritually adopt a baby.  In effect, they would pray faithfully that a young woman who was recently or about to become pregnant would choose life for her baby.

Naturally, they had no way of knowing if there would be any fruit from their prayers and discussions.  And so the “adoption” continued on faith alone through the winter.

In February, the Life Teen group decided to spend an afternoon outside of a local abortion clinic.  This clinic is (grossly) called the Hope Clinic, and according to their website they’ve proudly performed over 100,000 abortions since opening their doors in 1974.

On this afternoon, the Life Teen director had a talk with a young woman who was planning to enter the clinic.  She encouraged her to simply keep her mind and heart open, and the young lady agreed to have an ultrasound to “see” the baby she was carrying in her womb.

As an active member of the Knights of Columbus, I’m proud to say that our local council helps to fund the portable ultrasound machine that is made available as often as possible outside of the Hope Clinic.  The ultrasound van was there that day, and after viewing the image of her baby and hearing the heart beating, the young lady decided to postpone her decision for another day.

The Life Teen group remained in contact with her as her pregnancy progressed and offered their assistance and their continued prayers.

Only a few days before our Mass, and approximately 9 1/2 months after their spiritual adoption, a baby girl was born by the name of Legacie Hope.  The Life Teen director held up her photo for all to see, and our congregation cheered.

It was truly remarkable to see the power of prayer, getting involved and standing up for life in a culture where it is all too often dismissed.  It touched my heart to see a small group of teenagers who had literally changed the world through their faith in action and made Hope a name to be proud of once again in our community.

God is good, and He works best when we are willing to give our assistance.  Can you save a life?

Aug 15

3 Reasons You’re Wrong About Natural Family Planning

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

The following the first few paragraphs from a post I wrote over at Your Tango defending Natural Family Planning.  As you may know, NFP has meant a lot to our marriage, and I’m pretty passionate about clearing up misconceptions.  While I don’t try to convert people to practice NFP, I get a BIT upset when large websites publish blatantly false information.  Fortunately, in this case, I was given an opportunity to respond.  Enjoy!

If you’ve heard the term Natural Family Planning (NFP), there’s a very good chance, it’s probably almost a certainty actually, that you were given some bad information about it.

As someone who has practiced NFP with my wife for around six years, I know I’ve heard more than my fair share of misguidance from family, the media and even priests.  Sometimes it’s honest confusion or simply a passing along of misinformation, but other times it’s a blatant attack on a somewhat mysterious practice that many in our culture chalk-up to some form of crazy desire for 20 kids or an exercise in Pope-worshiping.

I’ve heard it all as a marriage blogger who writes openly about all aspects of NFP and healthy sexuality over at Engaged Marriage.  I’ve even written here at Your Tango about the challenges of Natural Family Planning.

So, I was a bit shocked when I read a recent post by Lyz Lenz in the Traditional Love Blog bashing NFP while linking to said post.  I’m actually cool with bashing, and my goals in writing about NFP are never about converting people to practice it (I’m not that naive), but when someone publishes blatantly false statements about Natural Family Planning and further feeds the steady stream of misinformation that caused my wife and I so much emotional pain early in our marriage, I get upset.

But getting upset does no good, so I thought I’d instead share a bit of a rebuttal to Lyz’s post and hopefully clean up some of the mud that was slung at Natural Family Planning, which she called “ridiculous.”  I could literally write a book on this subject, but you don’t want to read a book about NFP, so let’s just hit three major misconceptions, all of which were part of Lyz’s post.

For the rest of this post, please go over and read it at Your Tango.  While you’re there, I’d LOVE it if you could share your own thoughts/experiences in the comments section.  Thanks!

http://www.yourtango.com/201187080/why-i-believe-in-natural-family-planning

 

Aug 11

Family Economics 101 – How Broken Families Are Killing Our Economy

By Dustin | Spirituality

Note: This guest editorial by Rob Marco really resonated with me.  Whether you agree or disagree, let’s chat about it in the comments.

Broken FamilyWith all the talks about our debt ceiling, government spending, and the floundering economy, the fiscal state of our nation is on everyone’s mind.

How did things get so messed up?

Well, aside from the sub-prime mortgage debacle, I think there is another issue that is undermining our financial well-being as Americans: the breakdown of the traditional family.

Less than half of children in America today live in in-tact families – that is, with parents in their first marriage. And yet research has proven that financial well-being is vastly improved when people stay married.

According to Patrick Fagan of The Heritage Foundation, divorced households typically see a forty percent drop in income – larger than the drop in income the national economy experienced during the Great Depression. For single parent households, the median income is even less. 92 percent of children on welfare today come from broken homes.

Is it possible our financial instability as a nation is due, in some part, to the breakdown of the traditional family?

What blows my mind is that this breakdown in the American family is a relatively recent occurrence, when you compare it to the whole of history. Up until the 1960’s, two parent households were the norm, the idea of marriage being between a man and a woman was common sense, and the idea that sex inevitably led to babies and should be confined to married partners was understood. What changed?

I have gained a lot of insight reading folks like Steven Greydanus and Jennifer Fulwiler at the National Catholic Register write about marriage as the Church sees it, and how the introduction and embrace of artificial contraception was the beginning of the end for our culture.

I’m not going to rattle off more statistics, but after the use of artificial contraception became commonplace, we saw a marked increase in promiscuity and teen pregnancy, as well as abortions and children being born out of wedlock. No fault divorce seemed to come about around the same time. None of it was taboo or discouraged anymore.

At first, I thought these were all right-wing “issues” that I wanted nothing to do with. I always considered myself a left-of-center moderate in my religious beliefs, and was generally apolitical. I considered people who spoke about these things to be up on their high horse.

But now that I’m married and will be, God willing, a father this Fall, I think more about the world my child will grow up in, and I don’t like the direction we’re going.

What can be done? Should I be more politically active, vote for family-friendly politicians? Is it simply a matter of witnessing with my own family? I don’t think there are any easy answers, but until we start re-investing in strong, healthy families, we will surely see our poverty increase.

(photo source)
Aug 04

Going Solo: Marriage Counseling on Your Own

By Dustin | Communication

Note: This is a guest post on a fascinating topic by Naomi at Power of Two Marriage Blog.

It’s safe to say that no one dreams of a marriage full of constant bickering, passive aggressive anger, and a non-existent love life.

However, when it comes down to living intimately with one other person—making decisions, dealing with differences and quirks, raising children—this is the reality that many, if not most, couples face at some point in their relationship.

Why You Should Consider Couples Counseling

Couples counseling exists as a resource for all married folks—from those with minor problems to couples who are on the brink of divorce—to repair and renew their relationship. Numerous studies have proven that certain counseling approaches lead to dramatically better marriages.

At the same time, couples counseling remains, in general, taboo in America. Many people feel very uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a therapist. Part of this stems from a misunderstanding of what couples therapy is and what it can provide.

A key part of couples counseling is to help you and your spouse analyze habits of communication and action to figure out what is leading to the unpleasantness in your marriage. Most of the time these are things you don’t even realize you’re doing!

From there, you can learn skills (yes, skills) for how to communicate effectively and increase positivity. But wait, you say, nobody needs to teach me how to interact with my spouse!

Think about it this way: if you’re in any sort of sales or mergers position in a business, chances are you will be trained on how to negotiate, make decisions, and communicate effectively. Marriage is not just love, it’s also negotiating a partnership, and it requires similar skills!

Marriage counseling gives you a really useful tool kit for this purpose.

The Power of Solo Therapy

So, you see some problem areas in your relationship, and you’re ready to move forward with marriage skill-building. At the same time, the problem looms: what if my spouse refuses to do it with me?

This may be the #1 deterrent for couples who could benefit from marriage education.

The good news is: you can go it alone and still make a huge difference. Yes, it’s best when both individuals in a couple take on a project by learning and practicing.

At the same time, one spouse upgrading his or her skills will still raise the quality of interactions of both of them. Why is that?

The old saying, “a rising tide raises all boats,” is oh-so-true when it comes to your relationship. This is because the atmosphere of a marriage involves two people reacting and bouncing off each other, both setting the tone and pattern for interactions.

As one person learns to stop acting in anger and to give forth radically more positive energy – more affection, appreciation, playfulness, insight, and willingness to apologize for mistakes – both spouses feel better.  In turn, feeling better builds patience for handling problems in a more respectful way.

Add in new communication skills for talking about sensitive issues, and solving problems becomes easier, leading to even more positive feelings.  In this way, one person’s learning launches a positive cycle of feeling and doing better for both of you.

Try out changing little details of your behavior today, and see what an impact it has. For example, set a goal of giving your spouse 10 compliments today. Or, keep track of each time either of you use “but” when you argue, and then use “and” instead.

If you’re interested in learning more about marriage and relationship education and counseling, check out Power of Two Online (http://poweroftwomarriage.com). Po2 is a web-based interactive approach to help people improve their relationships. It’s full of fun activities, videos and games, and each user gets paired with a real live coach to guide them on their way. It’s a great opportunity to learn powerful skills on your own, or with your partner.

Have you had any experience with marriage counseling without your spouse?  What do you think of the idea? Please share in the comments!

(photo source)