ONE

Champions of Extraordinary Marriages

7 Days to an On Fire Marriage January 4, 2010

Filed under: marriage,Romance — Tony & Alisa @ 9:55 am
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Each of us desires to be more romantic in our marriage.  You may be in a loving relationship, but you don’t know the first thing about how to romance from the heart. Sure, you can say, “I love you,” just fine, but all those wonderful, romantic ideas just seem to escape you.

Start 2010 on the right foot with you beloved.  Below are 18 ideas that you can do to for your spouse over the next 7 days to set your marriage On Fire.  You can simply follow these 18 ideas or you can adapt the suggestions below to your own nature.   Either way, you will be well on your way to being the true romantic!

Day 1:

1. Leave a note professing your love for your partner to find during the day. Put the note where it will be found, easily. Try their briefcase, the driver’s seat of their car, in their coat pocket, in their lunch bag, taped to the receiver of the phone, taped to their computer, or left taped to a doorknob.

2. As soon as you arrive home for the day seek out your partner and offer a big, loving kiss. Tell your partner how much you love him or her and ask about their day. Make this a new, daily habit.

3. As an alternate idea, when your partner arrives home for the day, take their hand and pull them towards you aggressively. Offer a huge hug, kiss and say, “I missed you today!”

Day 2:

4. While your partner showers, heat up his or her towel in the dryer.

5. Have flowers delivered to partner at work.

6. Surprise your partner by arriving home with their favorite drink, snack, or ice-cream.

Day 3:

7. Arrange for an intimate lunch date with your partner.

8. Afterward, send a virtual card. Tell them how much you enjoyed lunch together.

Day 4:

9. Call your partner in the middle of the day to discuss your romantic plans for that evening.

10. Print out some love coupons (find them on-line) and present them to your partner.

One might say: this entitles loved one to a full-body massage, and sign your name.

Day 5:

11. For the kid in all of us! Use multi-colored, sidewalk chalk to draw a BIG heart in red and write. Print out the words, “I love you” in the middle of the heart. Do this someplace that is prominent such as on your driveway so that when your partner comes home he or she will see it.

12. Cook a favorite meal for your partner and then eat it, slowly, by candlelight.

Day 6:

13. When the weather is best, take a brisk walk through a nature trail with your love and talk about all the reasons why he or she is so special to you.

14. If the weather is dreary, have an indoor picnic. Spend the time together, inside enjoying your favorite board games and just relaxing and talking.

15. Cuddle up in your pj’s and relish a romantic movie together.

Day 7:

16. Just sleep in and cuddle together. Call into work and explain you are “under the weather” and need to rest a bit more before coming in.

17. Make a long list of the many reasons why you love your partner as you do and then have them framed and present it to him or her.

18. If you don’t live together, call your loved one just to say goodnight. Recite a favorite love poem over the phone and end with, “Sweet dreams, until we meet again!”

What can you do this week to romance your loved one?

 

More…40 Days to a Mind Blowing Marriage! December 29, 2009

“I need to think about it.”

WHAT!!! He had to think about it? C’mon I had just said yes to making love to him for 60 days!!! What in the heck did he have to think about?

It turns out that he had some of the same questions that I did.

What if we did this?

What if I can’t hold up my end of this?

How would this work?

Could I do this?

So, we really had quite a bit to talk about as we ventured forward.  We laid there in bed talking about how this would all work out.  The How, What, Where, and When.  We set up “excused” days-illness, my menstrual cycle , and out of town trips.  During the discussion we decided that we were both willing to get creative with location, time of day, positions etc.

Over the next couple of nights we continued to discuss all sorts of possibilities that could arise.  Here are a few that I remember:

What would happen if one of us was out and didn’t get home until late and the other was fast asleep?  Wake them up.

How do we work around Tony’s bicycling schedule?  He was willing to make it work no matter what.

Does a “quickie” count? Oh, YES!

Finally, we began the countdown to September 1, the start of our 60 Day Challenge.

From the start I was blown away at what started happening in our marriage.  We began having conversations about more than just the kids, work, and the day to day stuff.  We were talking and listening to each other and enjoying it. We began to rediscover each others desires, passions, and fears.  It was truly amazing!  The craziest thing, for me, was that I looked forward to being intimate with my husband. It was no longer about making excuses to get out of making love,  but rather when and where were we going to make love.  Let’s get to it became my motto!

September was like being on our honeymoon again but better because after 11 years we had learned a lot about each other and were truly enjoying these intimate moments.  We were veterans at this and now we were really putting our years of experience to work, literally and figuratively.  We started strong, we were able to go 9 days straight before our first day off, hello fatigue!  As much fun as we were having it was exhausting keeping up with our daily tasks, kids, work, and other activities.

One memorable night was when Tony had gone to Orange County for a going away party and was expected home around 11pm.  Tony, wanting to get home so that we could make love,  got a late start back to San Diego.  It came down to the wire as he arrived at 11:55pm.  I waited for him at the door as clothes came flying off as we headed for our bedroom. We ran over into the next day and wondered if we could count this love making session as two days?  We decided no and laughed as we fell asleep in each others arms.  The end of September brought my menstrual cycle and we were both so happy and ready for a break!

The strange thing for me was after a couple of days I was missing that physical intimacy with Tony.  I was looking forward to getting back to our daily love making, but October was completely different.

October started out with two sick kids, Tony’s first ever migraine and MRI, sleepless nights and sheer fatigue!  Translation:  No desire to make love whatsoever.  We were in a state of disconnect.  With all of the health problems we were completely out of sync.

One particular entry from October 6th tells the story perfectly.

Alisa’s entry – We are healthy!  Yet I don’t want to make love to Tony.  I actually prayed tonight for a change of heart because I had been enjoying this and looking forward to it last month.  Physically I enjoy myself but mentally, tonight, I had difficulty being in the moment with Tony.  I am wrestling with it so much that after I couldn’t fall asleep.  I tossed and turned for 2 hours gefore getting up to read on the couch and fell asleep there.

Tony’s entry – What a wonderful evening together.  Alisa and I made love for what seemed like the 1st time in a long time.  I guess when we’re making love almost every night in September to being derailed in October it feels like a long time.  It’s great to be close to Alisa again both physically and spiritually.

With the end in sight, we had lots of nights where we were just trying to make it through.   I began to pray before and during our physical intimacy.  It helped, but that’s for another blog.

October 31st came before we knew it.  The highs and lows of our 60 Day Challenge came to an end and you know what, we survived.  We didn’t just survive we learned a lot about ourselves that and are thriving to this day!  This was perhaps the single most positive life changing thing we have ever done for our marriage.

This time together was challenging, exciting, and awesome!

I’ve been asked if I would do it again? YES!  I have come to realize that having that connection with my husband truly changed our marriage.  Putting a stop to the excuses and accepting Tony’s needs was a win for me too.  It turned out that my intimacy needs, emotional, intellectual,  and spiritual were being met more than I could have ever expected.

We’ve made a lifestyle change where intimacy is a priority in our marriage and we hope that this will spark are flame in you to move beyond yourself and begin a challenge of your own.  What are you waiting for?

Coming March 2010, Stripped Down – 13 Keys to ONE Extraordinary Marriage.

 

40 Days to a Mind Blowing Marriage! December 28, 2009

It’s time we came clean with how we find ourselves writing this blog and even talking about marriage.  It all started back in August 2008.  Tony and I were about to lead a small group on intimacy and had stumbled across an interview with two couples who had done what would seem virtually impossible.  Chandra Mueller had offered her husband 365 nights of intimacy for his 40th birthday and Douglas and Annie Brown had had sex for 101 nights.  As we are watching these interviews on the computer I’m thinking to myself that these women are NUTS!!!!! I make sure to verbalize this to Tony so that he doesn’t get any crazy ideas.

I’m glad I verbalized my thoughts to Tony, but having been married to him for 11 years I expected something.  He didn’t disappoint me.  The next day he threw it out there.  “Hey Alis, what if we were intimate (make love/have sex) every night for the next two months while we lead our small group?”

NO WAY.

Tony loves throwing ideas out there and this was one I didn’t have to or want to think about it.  There was no way I was going to say yes to be intimate with him every night for the next 60 days.  We probably made love once a week, maybe twice if we were lucky, and now he wanted to make love every day.  No thank you, good night.

That night, as I laid there in bed reading, my mind was working overtime.   I was actually kind of intrigued by the idea.  The “What IF’s” kept coming up.

What if we did this?

What if I enjoyed it?

What if I said yes?

How would this work?

Could I do this?

At the time (September and October 2008) we had a 5 year old and a 2 year old, Tony had his business obligations, we were involved in our church and our many other activities from volunteering to sports.

Would I like it? Don’t get me wrong here I enjoy being intimate with my husband, but would it still be good day after day after day for 60 days?  I didn’t want to lose the special connection just because we were trying to make love for 60 daysl.

Here’s the big ONE…Was I willing to give up my excuses (I’m tired, it’s been a long day, I don’t feel like it, etc.) and commit to saying YES every day? I’m sure every husband reading this is probably thinking that this would be the ultimate gift.  However, I had become very comfortable controlling the frequency of sex in our marriage.  If I was in the mood for it then we would make love, otherwise sorry.  Was I willing to relinquish that power I had over our sexual intimacy?

The evening after Tony asked, “What if we were intimate every night for the two months while we lead our small group?”, I told Tony the one word that will forever change our marriage, “YES”.  And then he said one of the craziest things I have ever heard…

What do you think he said?

 

A Romantic Christmas is… December 11, 2009

There have been times when we’ve posed a question for you our loyal reader to respond to, this time we’re changing it up a bit. We are looking for your thoughts, but this is also a tool to help you design your life and relationships as you move forward.

The format is easy, simply complete this sentence in the comments. While the format may be easy, completing the sentence may not be.

If you’d like to get even more from this exercise, journal on this as well, or discuss this with your spouse, family, and friends.

A romantic Christmas is…

 

Flowing River or Stagnant Pond? December 9, 2009

Filed under: Communication,Romance — Tony & Alisa @ 8:30 am
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Is your marriage flowing?

Is your marriage a flowing river or a stagnant pond?

Your marriage should be like a flowing river. Fresh, moving around and finding ways around obstacles. Your marriage should never be like a still pond of water that just exists as the mold and moss collects along its banks. Like a flowing river your marriage should always be moving forward.

Unfortunately, many marriages become like a pond over the years.  The days of being a flowing river have slowed leaving you and your spouse wondering where to go, and whether to exist at all.  Your marriage continues to exist with little or no pleasure, but you know there is a flowing river ready to be let loose.

What should you do? Sit down together, talk about the stagnation in your marriage, and talk about how to give it a new life.  If you are harboring feelings that are stopping the river from flowing you need to talk to your spouse.  I will admit it is hard to take the first step, but worth it.

Are you not sure how you will come across as you dive into some deep and intimate issues?  Talk openly with an accountability partner (same gender), pastor, marriage coach or counselor.  Any of these folks can help you arrange your thoughts as well as help you move through a personal blockade.

As for me, Tony speaking, every time that I have had to take that first step it’s been a bit nerve racking.  My hands get damp, my heart beats faster, and I get short of breath.  I’m nervous of how Alisa will respond to the conversation.  Fortunately, we have been able to discuss our issues and then work through them.  Over the years we have had less BIG discussions as our river (conversations) flow each day, week, and month.

Is your river flowing today?