[New Post] The Seven T’s to an Amazing Marriage ( Post 6 of 7 )

THE SEVEN T'S  OF AN AMAZING MARRIAGE-3

 

We are in our second to last blog post in our series “The Seven T’s to an amazing marriage.

In our series we have talked about:

  1. TUNING into each other.
  2. Being TRUTHFUL.
  3. Being intentional with our TIME.
  4. Giving, receiving physical TOUCH.
  5. Making TODAY count.

In our sixth blog post, I want to talk about TREASURE.
When I use the word treasure, I am referring to finances. How you handle finances will make or break your marriage.

One-half of the divorce rate – or about 1 in 5 of our divorces – are caused by money.

Being on the same page as our spouse with money will end many arguments.

Here are the ways Jennifer and I handle our TREASURE:
Handle your finances together

All our money goes into one checking and savings account. We do not have his account and her account. We do not have his bills that he pays and her bills that she pays. We have our bills and our money. It does not matter who makes more money. Every penny is ours as a couple. We decide what we spend and where together.
Have a budget!

You have to know where your money is going so you aren’t wondering where it went. We use the app “YNAB” which is an acronym for “You Need A Budget”. We love this app because it allows us to track our expenses in real time.
Have a Treasure leader

Decide who is the strongest with finances. Have them manage the budget and pay bills but work through this together. Remember, we want a leader that leads in the area of handling the finances with wisdom. We aren’t looking for a treasure hunter, someone who is trying to find where all the money went has gone.

Don’t spend money without letting your spouse know.

Remember, one our T’s in this series was TRUST. We show trust by being open and honest with our spouse. If we buy a set of golf clubs or expensive makeup kit without telling our spouse, we are asking for trouble. Plan large purchases together. Be open and honest about the things that you want, but live within your means.
Work towards being debt free

Financial guru Dave Ramsey says: ““If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

Living debt free opens you up to so much freedom. Imagine owning your home or cars outright or not having to pay any monthly bills except utilities? Working towards financial freedom will allow you to live the life you want and help others.
If most of your arguments in your marriage are about money, take a hard look at why. Are you so tightfisted with money that there is no freedom ever to enjoy what you earn as a couple?

Are you a spendthrift and you spend everything or run up credit cards and live beyond your means? Did you grow up in poverty so now you are always worried about money even though you have enough?

You see, you can follow this system laid out in this post with your spouse and still have a heart issue with money. Money is like a brick. You can build a wall with it or throw it through a window. The brick doesn’t care either way. It’s all in how you handle it.
Question: What tools or step do you have in place with your partner? Leave a comment on my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you!

[New Post] The seven T’s of an amazing marriage (Part 5 of 7)

THE SEVEN T'S  OF AN AMAZING MARRIAGE(2)

 

Welcome to this weeks blog post!

We are in part five of seven of our blog series the seven T’s to an amazing marriage.

So far in the series we talked about tuning into our spouse, being truthful, time and touch.

Today I want to talk to you about the fifth T, which is TODAY.

Yesterday is the past tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift that’s why we call it the present. – Bill Keanes

That quote may seem a little bit cheesy, but it’s so true!
We can’t take today for granted. Time goes so fast, and we often miss the moment.

We lose track of what’s most important to chase the business of life.
We can become so busy with what we have to do that we forget that today is all that we have.
An amazing marriage is realizing the moment and appreciating today.
So I would like to share four great way to focus on TODAY:
1. Let go of the past

We can’t hold onto the hurts and wounds of our past and expect to have an amazing marriage.

When we choose to forgive, we move forward and experience greater connection.

We learn to enjoy each day together.
2. Work on problems together.

Marriage is wonderful, but it takes hard work to keep it that way.

Working through problems together is one way to make this happen.

Look for ways you can be positive and work through disagreements and communicate better.
3.Take the time to just be.

Right now I am sitting next to my wife as I type this. Even though I am typing,

and she is reading, we are together enjoying each others company.

4. Never let the sun go down on your anger

As a couple, commit to not allowing a night to go by that you are angry with each other. You will go to bed happy and connected because you have learned how to let go of petty disagreements.

 

Question: How do you connect with your spouse each day? Leave a comment on my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

[New Post] Seven T’s to an amazing marriage ( Part 4 of 7 )

THE SEVEN T'S  OF AN AMAZING MARRIAGE-2

 

We are in part four of our “Seven T’s to an amazing marriage.” So far we have talked about TUNING in to our spouse, being TRUTHFUL to our spouse and giving our TIME to spouse.

Today we are going to discuss the forth T to an amazing marriage: TOUCH.
When I say Touch, I am talking about physical touch. Hugging, kissing, snuggling and yes…sex!

Touch is so crucial to an amazing marriage. Holding hands, taking time to hug every day, engage in long passionate kisses and making time to have wonderful sex is key to having an amazing breakthrough marriage.

Jennifer and I hold hands all the time. Most of the time when we are together walking with each other, we are holding hands. If this is not something you currently practice with your spouse, I encourage you to. If you haven’t in the past, you can start today!  This small act of love will send beautiful signals showing them how much you love and appreciate their company.

Hugging is also crucial to having a an amazing marriage.
Like holding hands, hugging is a great way to show her how much I love her.  There are days where I know a nice long hug is what she needs because she has had a stressful day. Either way, we practice hugging. You have to be intentional. The more intentional you are at showing affection towards your spouse, the more natural and habitual it will become. It’s also a proven scientific fact that hugging lowers blood pressure and relieves stress!

Holding hands, and hugging should lead to great kissing!
Long passionate kisses should be a daily habit in your marriage if you want an amazing  marriage. A peck on the cheek is nice, but a long passionate kiss before you leave for work in the morning or a long kiss when you greet each other at home is a wonderful way to show each other how much you love each other.

Here is a great exercise to try:

  1. Take time each day to kiss each other for a slow count of twenty seconds straight in the morning. and twenty seconds at the end of the day. If you practice this, it will lead to being late to appointments because it will lead to great sex.

The culmination of TOUCH is having great sex. Great sex begins long before you have your clothes off and you are both in bed. Great sex begins with practicing everything else we have talked about so far…Tuning in to each other, being truthful, making time to connect through out the day, holding hands, hugging and long passionate kisses.

When you actually get to the place where you are ready to have great sex the first thing to remember is to:

Slow down.

You have just spent the day connecting emotionally, physically and spiritually with each other. You are in tune with each other, now take time to explore each other. When was the last time you asked your spouse what turns them on? When was the last time you spent time making them feel wonderful physically before engaging in the physical act of sex. Making love to your spouse has so much to do with knowing their bodies and spending time engaging in lots of foreplay.

<<<WARNING>>>Men, Tuning in, being truthful, taking time with your spouse, holding hands, hugging and kissing lead to sex but you can’t do all of those things just so you can get sex. Your wife is not dumb and knows when you are being real.  Tune in, be truthful, make time, hold hands, hug, and kiss just because you love your spouse regardless of the outcome. Great sex is a sign that everything else in your relationship is healthy and strong.

Touch is critical to having an amazing marriage. Make time to hold hands, hug, kiss and make love to each other.

Question: What do you think of the blog series so far? Leave me a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIN. I would love to hear from you!

[New Post] Seven T’s to an amazing marriage ( Part 3 of 7 )

 

THE SEVEN T'S  OF AN AMAZING MARRIAGE

We are in a 7 part blog post series called “Seven T’s to an amazing marriage”.

In part one I shared how the first T to an amazing marriage is:
1. Tune (Listening)

I discussed how “Tune” is all about perspective and communication. Tuning in to each other is not only learning how to communicate…but understanding how each other communicates.
Perspective is allowing yourself to see the conversation, decisions being made, arguments being raised, or any other situation from the other persons perspective.

In part two I shared how the second T to an amazing marriage is:

2. Truthfulness

I discussed how you cannot have an amazing marriage if you are not completely honest with one another. When you are not open and honest with your spouse you close the door to being vulnerable.  I shared how trust continues to grow in a marriage as two people model trustworthy behavior.

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

Today in part three of “The seven T’s of an amazing marriage”, the third T is:

3. Time
Time will get away from you as a couple if you aren’t intentional. We all go through busy seasons and seasons where life has a peaceful pace to it. There are times when you’re not busy and find yourselves together and connecting. There are also times when life is hectic, where it seems like you are running with limited time to connect as a couple. The key to maintaining an amazing marriage is intentionally making time to connect throughout each and every day.

Here is a great three step process to connecting with your time throughout the day:

1. Emotional Connection (Connection begins when you wake up)
Make a conscious effort to do something first thing in the morning to connect. Take time to do something special for your spouse like making them a cup of coffee in the morning and chatting.

2. Connect throughout the day
I text my Jennifer throughout the day. Once or twice during the day I will send her a text telling her I love her or asking her how her day is going.

3. Reflect on your day together in the evening.
At the end of our day we enjoy talking about how our day went. We also enjoy what we call Popcorn dates. Popcorn date are when we pop some popcorn and either watch TV together or just sit and talk. It inexpensive and a great way to make TIME to connect.

There are so many ways to be creative and intentional with your time as a couple. The key is to get it scheduled and on your calendar. If you don’t write it down, it won’t happen.

Question: What ways do you and your spouse make TIME for each other? Leave a comment on my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I would love to hear your thoughts! 

[New Post] “The Seven T’s of an amazing marriage ( Part 2 of 7 )

 THE SEVEN T'S  OF AN AMAZING MARRIAGE(1)

 

Welcome to part two of seven in our blog series titled: “The Seven T’s of an Amazing Marriage”.

In part one I shared the first T:

1. Tune (Listening)

I discussed how “Tune” is all about perspective and communication. Tuning in to each other is not only learning how to communicate…but understanding how each other communicates.
Perspective is allowing yourself to see the conversation, decisions being made, arguments being raised, or any other situation from the other persons perspective.

Our second T to an amazing marriage is:

2. Truthfulness

You cannot have an amazing marriage if you are not completely honest with one another. When you are not open and honest with your spouse you close the door to being vulnerable.

Trusting people, at it’s core is hoping that based on their track record, this person
is going to continue to be trustworthy and behave in a consistent manner with what
 they have modeled to up to this point. – Dr. Henry Cloud
Trust continues to grow in a marriage as two people model trustworthy behavior.
We continue to trust because we are willing to accept the risk, not because it’s safe or certain. When we model consistent trustful behavior, our marriage will continue to get stronger and stronger. In order to model trust worthy behavior, we have to be willing to be vulnerable.
At it’s core, trust has to do with allowing yourself to be vulnerable to another person.  I love the way Patrick Lencioni describes this:
Vulnerability-based trust is based on the simple and practical idea that people who aren’t afraid to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of anti-trust behavior that wastes everyone’s time and energy and works against establishing real trust.
When we refuse to live out a marriage of vulnerability based trust, we model the opposite: “Anti-trust behavior”. Again, Lencioni gives a great list of what anti-trust looks like:
Anti-trust behavior is when:
  1. We conceal our weaknesses and mistakes from our spouse.
  2. We hesitate to ask for help or ask for constructive feedback.
  3. We jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of our spouse without attempting to clarify them
  4. We waste time and energy managing our behaviors to keep themselves guarded.
  5. We hold grudges
  6. We refuse to forgive
In marriage, it’s not 50% / 50%. It’s 100% / 100%. We have to model the behavior we expect in our marriage and trust is foundational to having a strong, healthy marriage.
Question: In what ways can you model vulnerability based trust in your marriage? Leave me a comment on my Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you.

[New Post] The Seven T’s of a Great Marriage (Post 1 of 7 )

THE SEVEN T'S  OF AN AMAZING MARRIAGE

 

Do you want to have an amazing marriage? It’s going to take work.

You have to be willing to give 100%. Marriage is not 50% / 50%.  You have to be all in.

Jennifer and I have been married for almost 19 years. Over the course of 19 years of marriage we have learned what we call the “Seven T’s to an Amazing Marriage”

Through trial and error, arguments, tears and misunderstanding, what remained constant through our marriage was our commitment to never stay where we were as a couple. We understand that an amazing marriage means always moving forward and working on our marriage.

After 19 years of marriage, we know that we have to consistently apply the tools we’ve learned each and every day. The seven T’s are tools based on trust, healthy communication, love, respect and intimacy.

The seven T’s will be a seven part blog series. In each post I will expand on one of the seven T’s.

So let’s jump in to the first tool in the “Seven T’s to an amazing marriage:

The first T is:
1. Tune (Listening)

Tune is all about perspective and communication. Tuning in to each other is not only learning how to communicate…but understanding how each other communicates.
Perspective is allowing yourself to see the conversation, decisions being made, arguments being raised, or any other situation from the other persons perspective.

In order to do this you have to understand that there is always a second conversation going on when you communicate with your spouse.

The second conversation comes through in body language and tone but rarely in actual words.

For example, if your spouse is continually upset with you for not picking up your jeans and always lets you hear about it…what are they trying to communicate to you?

I’ll give you a hint…it has nothing to do with your jeans on the floor.
Your spouse is trying to communicate that you are doing something that disrespects them or makes them feel unimportant.

Something as small as jeans on the floor can show your spouse that you do not respect them. When you do something as small as pick up your jeans, you are modeling to your spouse that you see things from their perspective and that you love and respect them.

You are Tuning in to their felt needs and are now able understand them from their perspective and communicate to through words and in action.

In order to tune in to your marriage be willing to:

  1. Listen with your heart and not only your head
  2. Look for the second conversation that is going on
  3. Look for ways to model respect

Question: In what ways do you tune in to your spouse? Leave me a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn