Originally published Thursday, 07 February 2013.
Marriage Expert Q & A with Bill & Pam Farrel: How to Keep Your Love Alive
Question: It is hard to balance life with all it’s demands, with work, ministry, etc. What are some practical ways couples can maintain balance in life and make their love life a priority?
Answer: In 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, we encourage couples to create a Marriage Mission Statement. We run ALL our choices and discussions thru the grid of that mission statement. There is an art to the undone—it is important to know what to say NO to that doesn’t match your mission! Focus on what fits your unique mission as a couple FIRST.
In Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti we have a priorities worksheet. By knowing what each of your top 3-4 priorities are, you can be sure to create time for those. With the lesser priorities, those we try to delegate to someone else or pay someone to handle. This way we live out our “A” priorities
Finally, each year, we choose a “word for the year”, along with a verse for the year and write yearly goals together as a couple. Click here for the Best Year Ever worksheet we developed. Planning together lowers arguments and raises intimacy.
Question: As the seasons of life change, intimacy patterns change too. The changes can unfortunately equate loss, instead of just new and different. During the various seasons of life, how can couples pursue their love life in the midst of:
- babies & small children
- caring for teens/young adult children and aging parents
- the seasoning of life as you age and all the physical/health changes that affect the activities you used to enjoy as a couple
Answer: With a young family, make time for a weekly date night. You don’t have to go out—you can even date at home! We used to tell our little ones each Thursday they had the privilege of going to bed an hour earlier with their special “toy bag” packed with toys they could ONLY play with each Thursday eve! They could stay up as long as they wanted as they as they STAYED ON THEIR BEDS. They were happy—we were happy!
Romance doesn’t have to cost either. Other “Recession Romance” ideas and marriage articles are found on our www.Love-Wise.com articles page.
When our kids hit their teen years we would “schedule sex” and we made sure our kids had an activity out of our home that eve. (We paid for many movie ticketsJ)
And as the home empties, it is vital couples develop mutual activities and hobbies. It is even more strategic if these are some new fitness activities because that raises hormone levels and bonding chemicals in the body so it helps you desire sex more often. Moving intimacy to the beginning of an evening date or even midday is smart too—couples at this age number one complain is they get too tired for sex.
At all stages of love, do 3 things:
1. Pray together daily. Couples who do this divorce less and have sex more.
2. Attend a marriage conference once a year and get away alone to relax once a year—it will be worth every saved up cent!
3. Get a marriage mentor couple so you can have a trusted couple to ask advice from.
We offer a once a month relationship newsletter with relationship tips, resources and advice. We also offer numerous marriage conferences each year. To sign up for the Love-Wise newsletter and check our speaking schedule: www.Love-Wise.com
Question: A reader wrote that she feels like her husband only ever touches her for sex. She craves physical affection, he craves sexual interaction. How can the two of them give each other what they both need and want without feeling like their own desires are left unmet? What kind of conversations, marriage habits, etc can help a couple in this situation?
Answer: We actually wrote Red hot Monogamy just for couples like this. Men and women approach sex differently, we have different needs and expectations. Red Hot Monogamy is an 8 week guidebook to turn up the temperature behind closed doors. The book looks at 8 areas that intimacy is developed and only ONE is sexual intimacy! What happens outside the bedroom impacts what happens inside! By talking about sex, couples can find a way that BOTH their needs get met.
For more information about the Farrel’s ministry, visit www.Love-Wise.com. And if you’re a SoCal-er, our church is hosting a date night featuring Bill and Pam this Saturday night--just email us for the details :)
Today’s give-away: 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband--you will love this book!
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