How Not to Hate Your Husband

In my ongoing study of the science of staying married for a long long time, I picked up a book at the library called How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids, by Jancee Dunn. The book is aimed at new parents, or new-ish parents. I’m 25 pages into it and it has a hold placed on it at the library, so I probably won’t finish it. And since our youngest daughter is 34, it’s an academic read anyway. But there is enough good stuff in the first 25 pages to, as it were, fill a book.
Baked into the book are two major differences from when Nancy and I were raising our girls. The first, and most important, is the presumption that both spouses hold full-time jobs. The second is that fathers are presumed to be actively invested in childcare and domestic chores. Back in the day, Nancy quit her job and was a full-time mother for 14(?) years. My responsibilities at home were limited to the easy stuff–an occasional diaper change, a rare laundry folding, taking out the trash, cutting the grass, pushing the vacuum cleaner around every now and again. And I thought I was doing great!
I wasn’t doing great. And if I tried to get away with doing so little today, in the 21st century, I’d end up sleeping in the garage. The book offers a TRE (target-rich environment) for wives who rightfully feel that their husbands don’t carry enough of the domestic load, backed up by plenty of research and interviews with folks like my boy John Gottman. In the interest of brevity, I’d like to list the main takeaways from the first 10% of the book:
  • Since 1965, men have more than doubled, from four to 10, the average number of hours spent weekly doing household chores. But we tend to cherrypick from the Big Five: cooking, meal clean-up, grocery shopping, housework and laundry. We generally choose cooking, cleanup and shopping.
  • Throw in childcare and the number goes up from 10 to 24, which sounds good until compared with wives, whose average number is 37, with both spouses logging the same number of hours at work. Researchers also discovered that men did fewer hours of housework per week after the baby arrived.
  • Men also tend to cherrypick their childcare activities, choosing the fun stuff–trips to the park and reading bedtime stories–over the grittier chores of diaper duty, getting them dressed (often a horror show in our day), etc. Adding insult to injury, when the kids return from the park, they are wont to say things like, “Wow, we had such fun with Dad at the park–he’s awesome!” Meanwhile, while they were away, mom (the un-fun parent) did the breakfast dishes, made the beds, did the laundry and made lunch.
A couple of insightful quotes culled from all-women gatherings when these subjects arise:
“My husband works all week, so on weekends, he tells me he doesn’t want to ‘deal with’ our sons. I’m amazed that he doesn’t notice that I’m basically radiating hatred all the time.”
“I’m running on 5 hrs sleep and irrational anger at Adam while cortisol pumps itself into my breast milk.”
“I’d divorce Jason, but he drops the kids off at school in the mornings.” ¬†ūüėā
    • Per Gottman, 67 percent of couples see their marital satisfaction plummet after having a baby.
    • Working mothers are now the top earners in 40% of families with kids, yet they are still doing three and a half times as much housework as married fathers.
    • When men do help around the house, we tend to choose chores with a “leisure component.” Yard work, driving to the store to pick up something, “re-ordering the Netflix queue.”
    • This next one is key: On top of working full time and practically quadrupling the time spent on household chores, women generally do the “invisible tasks,” stuff that wouldn’t show up on any kind of time use study. “Kin work,” for example–giving emotional support to relatives, buying presents and sending cards, handling holiday celebrations, and so on. (Under this heading lies perhaps my own greatest failing as a husband.) “Emotion work”–keeping everyone’s emotional gyroscopes spinning, even the dog. Then there’s “consumption labor”– buying the kids underwear and school supplies, researching the car seat and the high chair. Husbands, by way of comparison, get into this arena only when it involves fun stuff like big TVs, cars and major appliances. Schlepping (school, sports, doctor appts) is another major task in this collection. But the granddaddy of them all is
    • Household manager, the position most eagerly ceded by husbands. Being the person that remembers everything–dentist appointments, kids’ food preferences, arranging for babysitters. Constructing shopping lists. Giving direction to everyone. For most wives, if they don’t mention it, it doesn’t happen, and that includes pretty much everything. Sure, dad might take junior to his swimming lesson on Saturday morning. But guess who packs his bag, empties his bag when they get home, dries his wet clothes, and gives him a snack and a bath while dad sacks out on the sofa? One of the author’s friends spoke about her own dad, saying, “He did car stuff, and stuff with the dog. Oh, and he liked to put up wallpaper.”
    • Finally, another major point. Wives are forced to become absolute time management mavens. “Give a mother a sleeping child for an hour, and she can achieve ten times more than a childless person,” and about 20 times as much as her husband.
‚ÄčThe book’s title suggests Ms. Dunn has found, and shares, ways of getting her husband, and most husbands, to pick up the pace and get in the game. And while the book is clearly written for women, I can’t think of a single husband–well, more than one–who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book.
Guys, never forget that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Show your wives we’re not a bunch of halfwits stumbling around the house with our flies down, blind to the obvious needs staring us in the face. Do your job. Put as much mental energy into your home life as you do your work life, and everyone will be better off.‚Äč

The Ties that Bind

© Bruce Allen 2017

If you are fortunate enough to enjoy a predominantly happy marriage for decades, the fruit on the backside can be wonderfully sweet. Few people tell you this when you’re suiting up to exchange your wedding vows. In the beginning, you’re all eyes and skin and dreams, most of which don’t hold up well over forty years. In their place are these elegant moments that help us appreciate the life that is given to us and what we’ve done with it.

Even if we fall short of our dreams, there is something in me that says we’re allowed to, that it is the chase and the perseverance and the falling short that teaches us who we are. As seniors in our own family, we have the advantage of hindsight, and are still able to influence the thinking and behavior of our kids and grandkids. Those sweet, rare occasions when we make a positive, indelible impression on the life of a child are gifts beyond measure, especially to someone like me, whose main long-term concern is being forgotten by my family. I don’t give a rip about being forgotten by The World, just my own family. How to survive in people’s memory banks for longer than two generations. What will the grandkids’ kids learn about their Nanny and PopPop?

Here’s an insight. The stories they will tell about their Nanny will be funny and will emphasize her willingness to believe stuff, her loving, upright nature, her gentleness and consistency, her being there as a safe harbor when things might get tense with The Parents. Their stories about their PopPop will be about his generally futile attempts to corrupt them and his long, boring stories about when he was a kid. How he could bang on the piano and occasionally, quietly tell them inappropriate jokes.

Sweet. But as to our grandkids’ grandkids, probably next to nothing. Sad.

Another pleasure, a non-intuitive one, is having family responsibilities that one enjoys. There is no one I would want as Nancy’s primary caregiver more than me. I get to serve her, to drive her, to make things easier for her, some of which is scut work, at which I’m highly proficient, while some of it is “learned intuition,” knowing how she likes things, her meals and her schedule and so on. I am certain there are men she has worked with over the years whom she has dazzled with her Jersey and professionalism and insight and who must have wondered, at some point, “What must her husband have going on to keep up with HER?” Sweet. My goal–duh–is to relieve her of much of the drudgery, allowing her time and energy to heal, pray, snack and talk on the phone.

It was the right decision, to let our daughters survive their teens in order that they might someday present us with grandchildren. This sweetness I’m trying to describe is there again each time “the girls” (or their husbands) demonstrate good, loving parenting skills. Each time the grandkids reflect the receipt of good, loving parenting skills. Each time one of the grandkids complains that mom is more strict than the other moms. Each time they engage in the Movie Ratings Debate. “Why does it have to be PG?” “My friends have ALL seen it, and it’s only PG-13!” Each time they argue over after-dinner chores.

I can’t get enough of this stuff. This is exactly the kind of stuff about which Nancy was setting the bar 30 years ago and their moms didn’t like it then either but it was the right thing to do and PopPop would comfort them by suggesting they go write their congressman. What is left unsaid is, “And you’ll be happier and a better person as an adult if you ’embrace’ high standards as a child.” Best of all, I’m not even ALLOWED to get involved. Sweet.

So here we are almost 45 years later with glasses, skin that has sagged, and dreams constrained the way a football team’s playbook gets compressed in the red zone. Despite the challenges God has placed before Nancy and me, we have a seemingly endless source of these sweet moments, many of which are courtesy of our daughters and their families.

I was an only child and never knew my grandparents. I have become a big fan of this whole extended family thing, although I find it difficult to maintain over long periods of time. Short bursts are great; I’ve found I’m kind of a five day guy when I’m visiting. Here, in Hoosierville, kids and grandkids can stay as long as they want. There’s plenty of room, our local daughter’s family is somehow almost always available to get involved, and it’s all good. Plus I figure it’s important that they all get as much one-on-one time with Nanny as possible. Sweet.

This is the good stuff they don’t tell you about when you’re getting married. This is the stuff people need to know to survive those years when the kids are growing up and married life is way more work than fun. This is the kind of stuff that makes old age and arthritic knees and wigs such minor inconveniences.

These are the ties that bind.

When God Turns the Tables

Perhaps 15 years into our 42 year marriage, it became pretty clear that Nancy would outlive me. Women generally outlive men. She has always taken better care of herself than I have–better diet, more exercise, meditation, yoga, Sudoku. For me, this natural state of things was always premised on the virtual guarantee that I would, by predeceasing her, leave her to deal with the messy emotional and social fallout. ¬† Similar, in many respects, to my point of view concerning the weddings of our daughters–they just seemed to happen on their own, and all I had to do was show up properly dressed with as few prepared remarks as possible.

Along with the diagnosis of late stage pancreatic cancer came this ridiculous possibility that I would outlive her. A scenario I had literally never considered. I recall having laughed out loud at my father, 14 years older than my mother and with his own cardiologist, who would occasionally wring his hands about what he was going to do when Mom was gone. His worries were, as expected, unfounded.  Mine, perhaps not.

[In fact, my concerns may be misplaced, just like my father’s were.¬† Nancy is doing remarkably well with chemo, her blood chemistry is all in the green, her weight has stayed up and she shows very little in the way of slowing down.¬† She doesn’t complain about her neuropathy the way she used to, especially during infusion week. My own health is “OK,” which is to say not perfect but not imminently dangerous.]

As an economist, I’m comfortable around statistics.¬† As a reformed gambler, I still figure the odds and go with what seems most likely. As (determined by StrengthFinders) someone who practices intellection, these statistics and odds and percentages bounce around in my brain.¬† I talk to Jesus about them in the Chapel. He reminds me we know not when nor where. I remind him of five year survival rates and the physical effects of long term exposure to chemotherapy.

Since Day One, Nancy has not wanted a prognosis attached to her condition, and has been more or less actively disinterested in her disease other than routine conversations with her oncologist. In this, her approach differs from mine, as I’ve always been more comfortable with a devil I know than one I don’t. But, as a spouse, I have recognized, out loud, that this is her journey, that I am beside her for care and support, that she will make these types of decisions–what and whether to talk about–and I will respect her choices.

old-couple in loveAnd so here is the point. The spouse with the serious illness gets to make these calls, all of them. How much to know and how much to leave unsaid. What to discuss and what not to discuss. The caregiver must willingly include these in the inventory of things about which you will want to talk less. If, as in my case, you find a need to discuss concerns you cannot comfortably share with your spouse, do what I do and talk to a counselor every now and again.

In the most recent ten years of our marriage, when we both worked, we had maybe 30 minutes in the evening to sit together and discuss the day’s events.¬† Now, we no longer have work, we have a few subjects that are off limits, and instead of 30 minutes we have more like 10 hours. Nancy has been more comfortable with these periods of sustained silence than have I, but I’m getting better. Spouses may want to prepare for these in advance, as they should not be misinterpreted as character flaws or a lack of bonhomie, as it were.

It has taken me awhile to understand God’s will in this radically-altered future of ours. This, what we are living, is God’s will. It is God’s will that Nancy carry on her lifelong interest in learning and teaching, and that she be allotted time to do so. It is God’s will that she can suffer in private and go out socially looking healthy and vibrant. It is God’s will that she have someone like me to hang around and take care of her. And it is God’s will that I have finally found a vocation, after decades of searching, that gives me a feeling of purpose and allows me to express my love language–acts of service–every day.

Life is not a bed of roses, and Christian marriage comes not without costs. But being married, at this stage in our lives, is a blessing beyond measure. If you are struggling in your marriage, it may help you appreciate each other by fast-forwarding the film 25 or 30 years, to an empty nest and a dread disease. For the sick spouse, you are unlikely to be able to purchase such loving care on the open market. For the caregiver, being in a position to uphold the marriage vows you made 40 years earlier is a great honor, likely held in high esteem by God. And no couples get there without weathering some serious storms along the way.cropped-lse-masthead6.jpg


Changing Direction

As of September 2017, this blog is no longer formally associated with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Carmel, Indiana. The Love’s Sacred Embrace ministry has been discontinued at the parish in favor of other efforts directed toward celebrating Catholic marriage.

The focus of the blog will, at the same time, change from ideas about how to joyfully achieve 42 years of marriage to how 42 years of marriage helps hold couples together when one of them receives a serious medical diagnosis.

Without examining any data, I suspect the typical reader is younger than me, as I am in my mid-60’s. If so, the posts to come may be of help in thinking about stuff going on with your parents. I think about images of Nancy and me from the 80’s, and look at young couples with small kids today oblivious, as we were then, to the trials awaiting them in their futures, to the crosses they will be asked to bear together, if they’re blessed enough to stay together for the duration.

This is my promise not to violate Nancy’s privacy as this goes along. I will share thoughts and lessons learned along the way, mostly for my own benefit, as I tend to work things out as I type. I have a weekly conversation with Jesus in the prayer chapel at OLMC to try to get him to see things my way which is generally fruitless.

Obviously, the reason I choose to undertake this now is because we’re finally in one of those life trajectory-altering situations I’ve always been thankful that we, as a family, have managed to avoid up until the summer of 2016. I have been “on hiatus” since then dealing with the changes going on and yet to come in my life as husband and caregiver. I feel I’ve covered enough ground mentally and spiritually that I can engage with people about these things and help others approach peace, to seek and accept God’s will.
If you are interested in updates concerning Nancy’s health specifically, please visit her CaringBridge page.





The 10 Commandments of Marriage

Not sure how I found my way to Bridal Guide magazine, but I did, in searchman and woman of something suitable for this site now that my regular second job is on hiatus, leaving some time to work on marriage issues. The article from which these ideas are stolen is one of those multi-page things that most of us hate, but I encourage you to stick with it and read them all. Very sound secular advice.

1. Thou shalt be fun.
2. Thou shalt be sexy.
3. Thou shalt be financially honest.
4. Thou shalt be grateful.
5. Thou shalt keep confidences.
6. Thou shalt keep thine own lives.
7. Thou shalt be an extended family.
8. Thou shalt let bygones be bygones.
9. Thou shalt be faithful in every way.
10. Thou shalt live a healthy lifestyle.

Had this article been prepared with a more spiritual outlook, it probably would have dropped a couple of these in favor of, say, ‚Äúpracticing thine faith together‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúthou shalt respect the sanctity of the marital bed.‚ÄĚ Actually, it‚Äôs not too hard to imagine a Catholic magazine publishing this same article and replacing items #1 and 2 with these two directives.

Cute-Romantic-Love-CoupleWhich, in my opinion, would be a mistake. The first two items on the list deserve their place of prominence not just because they apply to young brides and grooms, but moreover because they enable couples to navigate the waters from ‚Äúnewlywed‚ÄĚ to ‚Äúgolden anniversary.‚ÄĚ Being fun, or funny, is one of the failsafe techniques for keeping relationships blooming. I like to think that my wife of 40 years has laugh lines around her eyes partially due to me; lacking any number of social graces, I‚Äôve always tried to at least keep her smiling, if not laughing out loud.

Item #2 is, likewise, important during the entire course of our marriages. old-couple in loveAs we age, our¬†sexual¬†abilities, wants and desires change. ¬† However, these changes do¬†nothing to our ability to be interesting, perhaps playful, to show interest, to initiate intimacy, to be clean, shaved and fresh, to put clean sheets on the bed, light a few candles, put on some music, etc. Sexual encounters, once a couple is empty nesters, are fairly simple to arrange, but sometimes difficult to execute in the conventional way, or ways. With young kids in the house, it takes real commitment to intimacy to find time‚ÄĒor even a place‚ÄĒto enjoy each other‚Äôs presence. There‚Äôs some frustration built into each scenario‚ÄĒhaving the ability and not the time, or having the time with diminished skills‚ÄĒbut it remains important to keep fun and physical intimacy in your relationship, else couples risk ending up living together as brother and sister, polite and considerate with nothing resembling passion ar mutual engagement. This is NOT how to keep a marriage strong and healthy.

I think items #3-10 are pretty intuitive. Gratitude, forgiveness, faith, maintenance of self are all qualities that we easily maintain with our friends, but not always so easily with our spouses. The one commandment that is REALLY missing, the one that is more important than perhaps any of the others, goes something like this:

‚ÄĘ Thou shalt be friends first, foremost and forever.

holding handsAs we have remarked often in this space, couples have a much better chance to make it to their golden anniversary‚ÄĒroughly 2-3% of married couples accomplish this‚ÄĒif they are friends as well as lovers. Friends don‚Äôt cash in their relationship because of a fight or disagreement. Friends tend to usually fight fairly with their friends; spouses perhaps not so much. John Gottman, in his book we have virtually worn the cover off of in this blog, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, states unequivocally that friendship before and during marriage is one of the great predictors of a couple’s likelihood of staying together, happy and content.

God bless all married couples during this busy and exhausting season of joy.



Accept One Another

Once again, we’ve turned to Huffington Post for some great advice on making marriage work. ¬†In a culture that seemingly wishes to see the institution of marriage torn down to the ground, HuffPost occasionally stokes the fires of dissolution. ¬†Yet, it also clears the bases every now and again with a thoughtful post about building stronger marriages.. This piece was written by Ravid Yosef, a California “Dating/Relationship Coach.” ¬†We reproduce it in its entirety as it is short, concise and in need of no embellishment. ¬†God bless you all.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Love in fact, does not conquer all. It’s a common misconception that if you love someone, everything else will work itself out, but love alone is not enough.

Acceptance is what will get you through to the other side. Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that you can choose it for exactly what it is. Because when you do choose it for what it is and what it isn’t, it brings something entirely new into your world.

Once there is acceptance, you bring peace and change to your energy, and from there anything you create with the person you love is possible.

That’s not to say that you must accept everything in your relationship. You shouldn’t accept any abuse, physically or emotionally, and you must establish your deal-breakers along with making sure you are compatible, have similar core values and a vision for your future.

However, there are things you must accept in the one you love and in your relationshipCBurrowsphoto #1 in order to bring peace into your life.

Here are 20 things you must accept for your relationship to succeed:

1. Accept the things you cannot change.
2. Accept that you cannot fix your partner.
3. Accept that your partner is not perfect.
4. Accept that not everyone will behave as you do.
5. Accept that just because they don’t behave like you, it doesn’t make them wrong.
6. Accept their flaws.
7. Accept love as they are able to give it to you.
8. Accept that you love them.
9. Accept that we all experience things (including love) differently.
10. Accept that sometimes they can be a bit of a mess.
11. Accept the mess in the sink.
12. Accept that they are human and will make mistakes.
13. Accept their apology.
14. Accept your differences.
15. Accept that everyone has a past.
16. Accept that they cannot read your mind.
17. Accept that they can’t live up to an expectation you don’t communicate.
18. Accept that you are not always right.
19. Accept that there will be good and bad times.
20. Accept them.

What you resist will persist and will drive you absolutely crazy. By accepting, you are opening up a space for something completely new to happen in your relationship. Can you accept the challenge?

Ravid Yosef¬†works¬†with clients in Los Angeles and virtually around the world. Download her free eBook “Is He Realtionship Material?” from to learn all the signs to look for before you commit.

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Want More Love? Be More Lovable.

One of the consistent themes of this site is that a lasting, fulfilling and spiritually rewarding marriage is not about finding the right person, but about being the right person. ¬†We have also embraced, since day one, Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body,¬†which lays out the Church’s position on the importance/sanctity of physical Theology of the Bodyintimacy in a loving sacramental marriage. ¬†Yet, it has become something of a running gag in American society that couples continue to have serious, relationship-threatening issues about sex, regardless of whether the marriage was blessed by a priest, or¬†whether the couple is even married at all.

Focusing on married couples, it’s no big revelation to assert that sex is complicated. Ignoring for the moment (mostly male-specific) concerns such as frequency and variety, the reality for most couples is that both spouses work and must deal with work-related issues including fatigue, overnight travel, stress, shift work, and being connected to their jobs 24/7 by text and email. ¬†Add a few kids, with their homework, social and extra-curricular activities. ¬†Some couples must Busy-Parentscare for elderly parents or relatives. Money is often a source of conflict. ¬†Throw in time spent with friends, the pursuit of separate hobbies and interests, housework, yard work and even time devoted to church ministries, and it’s a wonder most couples are having any sex at all.

Though there are no easy answers for much of this, there are a number of things spouses can do to improve the overall quality of their relationship and, by extension, their sex life. ¬†Some of you may recall a book popular back in the 80’s called The Five Minute Salesman, the main premise of which was that in order to get what you (the salesman) want, you must help the customer get what he or she wants. Here are some examples we hope may be useful to you and your spouse:

  • We have occasionally expressed an idea¬†here suggesting that rather than seeking a 50/50 sharing of marital responsibilities (which inevitably leads to some form of score-keeping) we, as spouses, should be willing to give 60% in exchange for 40%. ¬†Going the extra mile, without seeking praise or recognition, will almost always enhance our esteem in the eyes of our spouse, in some cases making us appear more desirable.
  • Take the time to pay attention and learn what he or she likes. ¬†This lies at the heart of Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages,¬†which expounds on the idea that all of us have a love language we prefer when receiving love and another, possibly different, language we prefer when giving or showing love. Guys, if your wife’s preference for receiving love is words of affirmation or spending time together, a bunch of flowers from Kroger is unlikely to flip her switch. ¬†Both of you need to figure out how the other likes to be shown love; if you can’t do it on your own, read the book together. ¬†I’ve observed that many of us are not loved in the way we want. ¬†If this describes the two of you, you can fix it.
  • Worship together. ¬†If you share the same faith, attending church together is a high quality hour, feeding both your soul and your relationship. ¬†If you attend different Stained Glasschurches, try to arrange your attendance so that neither of you must take your small children to church. ¬†(If you want to do so, that’s different.) ¬†Facilitating a peaceful hour apart is another act of love. ¬†Finally, if one of you does not attend church on a regular basis, that spouse can volunteer to get up early and look after the children while your spouse goes to church. ¬†In any case, there are plenty of ways to show you love your spouse connected to the observance of your faith.
  • Cook for each other, or cook together. ¬†The drudgery of getting dinner on the table during the weekday scrum can be offset by serving her breakfast in bed on Saturday morning or cooking up something fun together when the opportunity arises. ¬†Try a new dish. ¬†One of you can chef while the other preps. ¬†And you never know where a late dinner after the kids are asleep might lead.
  • Talk to each other. ¬†Statistics suggest that the average married couple spends seven (7) minutes a day talking with each other. ¬†If your busy lives make you feel like “ships passing in the night,” commit to finding 15 minutes a day, just the two of you, talking about stuff other than work, the kids or money. ¬†Recall when you were courting how you could literally spend hours like this. ¬†Now that you’re married, you need this time to maintain your connectedness. ¬†Even if it means waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal, this is time well-spent.
  • Observe the power of random acts of kindness. ¬†Taking her car out on Sunday afternoon for a fill-up and a wash means she can go to work on Monday with a shiny ride and a full tank. ¬†If he’s been out of town for a few days and gets home later in the evening, a hot meal and a beer, served in some sexy pajamas, might fulfill his every (unspoken) wish. ¬†The key here is to do whatever it is without being asked. ¬†Complying with a request is one thing; showing kindness on your own initiative is something else.
  • TOE time refers to what we call the Touch of Eden. ¬†During TOE time, spouses get naked, get in bed, and simply hold each other close, without any sexual agenda. ¬†Spending 15 minutes like this helps spouses reconnect in an intimate way, without any pressure. ¬†It is not meant to be a prelude to sex, but allows room for the agenda to be amended by majority vote. ¬†Sorry guys–she holds the tiebreaker!
  • WP_20150421_001Pay attention to your personal hygiene. ¬†When you find an opportunity for a physical encounter, make sure you are clean, that you smell good, that you’ve shaved, that your breath is, um, unobjectionable; in short, send the message that this is a special moment and that you want to make it as pleasant as possible for your partner. [These may not be universally shared. ¬†I read recently of a note Napoleon sent to Josephine in which he wrote, “I will arrive on Saturday, Do not bathe.” ¬†Different strokes…] ¬†A little background music, some candlelight and his favorite scent can put an exclamation point on things.

If you and your spouse have some different suggestions, please share them.  God tells us that the marital bed is a sacred place, and we honor Him when we approach it as such.  In the 21st century, we may miss the spontaneity that accompanied such encounters when we were first married.  Maintaining a healthy physical relationship in a world spinning a million miles an hour takes commitment, planning and thoughtfulness. Being the right person for each other can only help.

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