Marriage Builder Blogs
10 Ways to Create a More Romantic Bedroom 0
10 Ways to Create a More Romantic Bedroom
3 Surprising Truths About Losing & Finding True Intimacy 1
3 Surprising Truths About Losing & Finding True Intimacy
God, Marriage, and Addiction 0
Guest article! We'd love to hear your responses!!
Advice for Married Couples: How to Overcome Addiction to Save Your Marriage
My wife and I have been through some pretty tough times together in the last few years. I suffered a difficult injury in a car crash that eventually lead to a painkiller addiction. I found myself acting like a different person and shutting out my wife, not to mention that I was spending our money on drugs. Needless to say I was in a really bad place. Rather than kicking me out, my wife pushed for us to start counseling, and then I sought addiction treatment. It was the best thing I could have done, and I feel so lucky that we were able to save our marriage. I know we are both healthier and happier for it. And even though that rough patch was pretty rocky, I think it shows just how much we love each other that we were able to pick up the pieces and put things back together.
An increasing number of recent studies are finding that there are more physical, mental and emotional health benefits to staying married than we previously realized. While a healthy marriage obviously brings us joy, love and companionship, research has shown that marriage may also improve our physical and mental health. One study showed that married couples often have lower cortisol levels, which indicates a lower level of stress. Lower levels of cortisol have been associated with reduced inflammation, which may help prevent certain diseases.
The results of this study also complement previous social science research, which showed that married couples generally tend to be happier than those who aren’t married. Why were the married couples happier, healthier and less stressed? It is believed that having a supportive spouse to talk to and depend upon during times of stress or crisis can help ease the mind. Additionally, sharing responsibilities like chores, housework and childcare are all helpful in reducing one’s psychological stress.
Marriage can indeed have many benefits on your overall life - but what if you (or your spouse) are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction? This can complicate and even strain the marital relationship. Addiction causes many issues in marriages and other relationships, including but not limited to:
- a higher risk of infidelity
- increase of fraudulent or illegal behaviors
- increased risk of abusive behavior
- increased instance of divorce
- codependence or enabling behavior by the addict’s loved ones
Various studies have shown that marriages where one or more parties struggle with addiction are up to 3 times more likely to end in divorce. If you truly love your spouse and are interested in saving your marriage (or at least giving it one last chance) here are some pieces of advice that might help:
First, you’ll need to become aware of codependence and how to stop it. Codependent behavior occurs in almost all interpersonal relationships where one or more parties are addicted. It’s a behavior seen when the loved one of an addict actually participates in behaviors that enable the addiction to continue. This can be done knowingly or unknowingly.
Know that it is important not to drink in front of your alcoholic husband or wife. It is also important to support your spouse through times of transition. There may be personality changes as you or your loved one go through addiction recovery treatment and start getting off the drugs and alcohol. Marriage counseling with a licensed therapist may be helpful in navigating through this difficult time.
Some general advice to all couples affected by addiction, whether married or otherwise, is that it is important to stop allowing addiction to hide in the unspoken shadows. Talk to your loved one about your concerns. See how you can help your loved one get into addiction recovery treatment (or ask your loved one to help you, if you are the addict).
It is possible for many married couples to heal from addiction together as partners. However, if the marriage is becoming abusive or if one (or both) partners are struggling to move forward from a traumatic event such as infidelity, it might be best to consider whether the marriage can be saved. By working with an addiction recovery program as well as a skilled marriage counselor, you can determine the best options for you.
The “15 Second Kiss” Experiment 0
The “15 Second Kiss” Experiment
A few weeks back, I met a gentleman at church named Tim. Tim and his wife had been married many years (I can’t remember exactly, but it was at least 30) and weathered many trials through their marriage (cancer included).
Naturally I asked him what the secret was – as I usually do when I meet someone with an epic marriage. “How have they stuck together through everything?” – I asked him this knowing that we shared our faith and reliance on Jesus Christ.
He simply replied, “The 15 second kiss.”
Intrigued, I asked, “What do you mean?“… though I suppose I could have figured it out.
He responded, “Every day, my wife and I always give each other a 15 second kiss. It’s long enough that you can’t fake it – it forces us to connect.”
I had never heard of purposefully timing a kiss. It was a novel idea I was anxious to try!
Our “15 Second Kiss” Trial
Selena and I kiss plenty, but we realized that we don’t often kiss for more than a few seconds. I’m not exactly sure why, but I do know it wasn’t like that when we were dating. We made out way too much and for too long when we were dating…
After my “sales pitch”, Selena and I agreed to try a few days with the “15 second kiss” rule. Here’s what we learned (or were reminded of)…
1) 15 seconds isn’t that long… except when you’re kissing
We burn 15 seconds all the time without thinking about it. We sit on our phones, daydream, work around the house, you name it – 15 seconds is a short amount of time for most tasks. However, when you’re kissing and consciously timing it, 15 seconds seems to be longer. And that’s a good thing!
At first we were both aware of the time because of the novelty of the exercise. It didn’t take long for us to simply get lost in the kiss. If other couples are like us, we get too busy to “get lost” doing anything. The 15 second kiss was a refreshing reminder that we can truly get lost in our affection for one another.
2) It’s nearly impossible to kiss for an extended period of time and not feel closer
Kissing is intimate. We found that as we “got lost” in the kiss, we were getting lost together. And when we were lost together we truly found each other. (Oh that sounds poetic…)
Kissing makes us feel closer; and since we always want to feel closer it makes sense to make purposed kissing a daily part of our lives.
3) It refocused us on “who” we are to each other
When you’re “kissably-close” to your spouse, smelling their breath, feeling their skin, you remember who they are as a person. It’s easy to begin seeing your spouse as a roommate or casual partner, but kissing reminds us of the distinctly human qualities (good and bad) that we fell in love with in the first place.
Kissing forces us to drown out distractions around us. We had to consciously tune everything else out and focus solely on each other – something we can all agree we need more of.
4) Kissing is a gateway drug
Kissing contributes to overall friskiness. We are both… ahem… more “intimacy minded” after the 15 second kisses than we are before.
5) Kissing refreshes and energizes us
Perhaps it’s just the friskiness, or maybe something else, but kissing is like an adrenaline shot. We both feel excited and energized after a 15 second kiss.
FULL BODY, SEXUAL, MASSAGE 0
Secrets of Being a Happy Wife 0
Secrets of Being a Happy Wife
By Fawn Weaver
There were a few hundred couples in attendance at a recent marriage retreat, and I gave what I thought to be a transformative talk during a session with the wives. As I concluded and opened the floor for questions, I expected the women to ask me to dive deeper into some of the concepts I'd shared on the power of teaming up with your spouse to create the life of your dreams. Instead, a woman came to the microphone with tears running down her face and clarified that she really loved her husband and he really loved her — but she wasn't sure she would describe herself as happy.
She did her best to compose herself, wiping the tears on her cheeks, and she eventually asked her question: What do you consider to be a happy marriage?
The audience clapped their hands, nodded their heads and burst into "uh-huhs" all around the room.
I walked over to the woman at the mic, gave her a hug, looked her in the eyes and gave a simple response: "A happy marriage is whatever you and your spouse — and you and your spouse alone — consider a happy marriage to be."
Comparison squelches happiness
When wives consider their own happiness, one of their greatest mistakes is to make comparisons to others around them. The apostle Paul warned against this tendency when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:12, "When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding."
Let's quit comparing ourselves with others and agree that a happy wife is a woman who recognizes that a happy marriage is defined by what she and her husband consider a happy marriage to be.
So what makes you happy? What brings a smile to your face and laughter to your heart? Do your husband and your marriage come to mind when I ask you those two questions? If they do, then you, my friend, already know the secrets to being a happy wife.
Marriages worth emulating
Four years ago, I traveled to 12 countries on six continents to interview couples happily married for 25 years or more. I reached out to friends I personally trusted and told them I was on a quest to discover the secrets of a happy marriage. I asked each of them to point me to the couples in their community who have shown an enormous amount of love for each other throughout the years. I wanted the couples to which everyone in their family would point and say they wanted to emulate their marriage.
In North America to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, I sat down with couples who were so in love they radiated. When they looked into each other's eyes, after a quarter century together, it was as if it were the first day they fell in love. I recorded every response during each of my interviews. When I returned home, I transcribed each recorded interview onto notepads, highlighting the common words and ideas among the various couples. I quickly discovered that no matter the longitude or latitude of their place of birth, regardless of having come from a loving home or a broken home, whether they were wealthy or poor, the secrets to a happy marriage and the secrets to being a happy wife were the same around the world.
What happiness looks like
After evaluating my international research, I discovered 12 common denominators among each couple, and I've included all of them in my book Happy Wives Club. Chief among the common denominators of a happy marriage was a commitment to creating with one another the life you dream about. I came to understand the importance of teaming up instead of turning against each other in hard times, and the importance of giving your spouse the same love and respect you most desire to receive. But most importantly, I discovered that you can truly live a happy life when you determine what happiness looks and feels like to you and your spouse, and then spend each waking moment creating that life together.
I'm convinced that the greatest marriages are built on teamwork, mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and never-ending portions of love and grace. A happy marriage doesn't mean you have a perfect spouse or a perfect marriage. It simply means you've chosen to look beyond the imperfections in both and that you choose, each and every day, to create a life of happiness with your spouse. The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little extra every day — for as long as you both shall live.Fawn Weaver is the USA Today and New York Times best-selling author of Happy Wives Club: One woman's worldwide search for the secrets of a great marriage.