Marriage Music Monday (Shania Twain) – 10 Ways to Survive the Marriage Seasons

When things get tough in our marriage we sometimes retreat to our neutral corners for solace and support. As we turn to our close friends and, or our family members, they will usually give us bias advice based on our point of view. Their advice may be so tainted against your spouse, you begin to question if you choose the right person at all.

Don’t feel guilty that a thought like that has come into you’re head. It is understandable to question your choices, especially when you feel your marriage is going south. Keep in mind that it’s just a thought. It’s acting on that thought that is the most damaging. Also acknowledge  the winter season of sadness and despair in your marriage signals that the spring season of repair and happiness is just around the corner.

There are some actions that you can take to minimize the harsh winters of marriage that are inevitable. Here are 10 ways to ensure your marriage lasts through every season of your journey.

  1. You can only change yourself.
  2. Make the choice to invest in the marriage.
  3. Realize your spouse is your best friend.
  4. Commit to praying together or participating in couples meditation.
  5. Laugh together often, forgive one another always.
  6. Create a mutual support system.
  7. Commit to do ing things together.
  8. Communicate effectively.
  9. Create a mutual support system.
  10. Find a coach that can give you non-judgemental advice. (Keith Dent of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services is that kind of coach that will take the challenges and obstacles in your marriage and turn them into positive results that allow you to move forward.) You can contact him at strive2succeed@comcast.net.

In the end, the lyrics to Shania Twain’s song Still the One says it best.

Ain’t nothin’ better
We beat the odds together
I’m glad we didn’t listen
Look at what we would be missin’

They said, “I bet they’ll never make it”
But just look at us holding on
We’re still together still going strong.

Marriage Music Monday – Contentment

Today’s Marriage Music Monday selection is Contentment by Kindred.

I selected this song because Contentment is one of main principles of what marriage that can be so elusive if we aren’t careful. You have to put yourself into a position to be content daily.  As the lyrics say below:

Ohhh when you came into the world

You stole that show

And it’s been a pleasure to watch you grow

When I look to your eyes I know I done good

And I wouldn’t change one moment if I could

Our family is growing nicely

And our waistlines ate growing slightly

But I take everyday as it comes to me

Waiting on God to fulfill my destiny

Usually when we get married at a young age it was based on the fact he/she was the most beautiful person we had ever met. You were drawn together by an instant chemistry that was unshakeable.

As you grow in your marriage, your chemistry can be tested by outside elements; children, temptation and change. If you take every day as it comes to you as the lyrics describe, it’s truly a blessing.

So how do I become content in marriage?

1. Give what you want to receive. Trying to get what you want from your partner by using controlling and manipulating tactics often doesn’t produce the desired outcomes. If it does, the cost will be resentment from your partner.

If you give your partner what you value rather than in the previous approach it can produce a better outcomeprovided you have trust and patience.

2. Contentment is not a one- time event; it’s an ongoing process. It’s easy to be content at the wedding. It’s a party. Everyone loves parties. There is a series of moments where you must choose to be content. The hurts, stress, disappointments and dark times in the marriage are events that can threaten the essence of your vows. When you get through these periods, you can truly celebrate for sticking it out.

3. The joy and fulfillment you receive from marriage is greater than you can imagine. – When we marry a particular person it’s because deep down we felt that person would see our beauty, talent and our potential that we don’t always see ourselves. They would cultivate our good qualities and confront us on qualities that aren’t as strong.  Being able to grow together to see the transformation is better in the trenches than seeing the growth at a distance.

Have a great Marriage Monday!

Coach Keith

What Coach Keith would say to Maria and Arnold!

Well it’s over!  Arnold Schwarzenegger echoed his famous lines, but in the opposite direction. He said, ” I won’t be back!” The audience, Maria Shriver was ok with that.

After 25 years of marriage, two polar opposites Arnold and his wife, Maria Shriver, couldn’t hold it together. The political arena that  was so prevalent in their marriage couldn’t hold their marriage together and left a huge void that they couldn’t overcome.

One of the dynamics that I stress so deeply in my Strive 2 Succeed Workbook is the need for a family mission statement and maintaining a social inventory. Having these things in place are vital in marriage and it’s something you have to review periodically.

As evidence in today’s New York Times article, with Arnold losing the governorship, they were in a transition. Arnold was driven by work, and the limelight evidenced by the fact that he immediately needed to return to acting and jet-setting around the world in order to maintain his image. Maria, successful in her own right felt that it was now her turn to redefine herself with the support from her husband. It never came, so she felt it’s better to find my way on my own.

Maria’s not alone. After 10 plus years of marriage, you may find yourself thinking  is this it? Yesterday, I was donating blood and the lovely volunteer told me, she had to bolt from her 35 year marriage because she didn’t want to just be a grandmother watching kids all day, and going back to Florida to take advantage of the early bird specials and play golf.  SHE WANTED TO LIVE ON HER TERMS. That’s understandable. If you feel that way, don’t wait to have that conversation when the transition comes, periodically discuss those dreams when they arise.

If you are unsure as Maria is, what it is you want to do. I would do these three things before you decide you want to do them alone:

  1. Breath – once you’re mind is in a quiet place, you will think more clearly.
  2. What are the things in your life that has given you the most joy? Can we incorprate them in our marriage?
  3. What’s the first thing you would like to do to enjoy your life?

I wouldn’t let Arnold of the hook either. I would tell him to tell his wife:

  1. Thank You for the political backing your name gave me, otherwise I’d just be a movie star.
  2. Thank you sticking by me and supporting me, when I had no political experience, and disrespecting you in public.
  3. Thank you for allowing me to blossom while you took a back seat in  your career. I wish I was strong enough to put my ego on hold so you could pursue your passions.

Who knows, if he had said those things, and they reviewed their lives together, he just might  be back!

Welcome to Marriage Music Monday’s

If anyone knows me, they know I love music. Music is very instrumental in my life. Since I am the designated chef during the week, you can often catch me at Shoprite with my Beats Headphones. In the afternoons, I often turn on my Sirius Radio when my lovely children start taking me there. You can take Edward Dent Jr. and his exceptional wife, my mom Sandra for that. They exposed me to such artists from Earth Wind and Fire to Minnie Riperton and from Wes Montgomery to John Klemmer. When MTV came on the scene, to my dad’s dismay, I had to add such 80’s bands like Culture Club and Duran Duran to the mix.

What I love about music is the type of mood it can put you into or bring you out of depending on the circumstances. Most of the songs we listen to deal with having fun, partying, love and romance. What about songs that can help you in your marriage? 

There are some good marriage songs that can help boost and maintain your marriage. Marriage can often take a back seat on Monday’s since you are back on that work treadmill, the kids go back to school and you just don’t get a chance to breath. Today, that is going to change.  WELCOME to MARRIAGE MONDAY’S.   Each week, I will select  a song that will help you stay in tune with your spouse.  If you listen throughout the week, and look at the lyrics posted, it will provide a little perspective on why you married your husband/wife and help infuse more positive energy into your relationship. 

 If it doesn’t work..send me a note immediately because there are some obstacles that is blocking your way and Coach Keith needs to remove them.

This week’s song is Phil Collins – Two Hearts. (Click link here for the video)

It’s a catchy tune and with Spring in the air, it will really get you going on that commute home. I picked this song because no matter where I am, my wife has my back and I have hers. Our hearts are joined together as one.

Cos there’s no easy way to, to understand it
There’s so much of my life in her, and it’s like I’m blinded
And it teaches you to never let go
There’s so much love you’ll never know
She can reach you no matter how far
Wherever you are

Leave me a comment, and let me know what thoughts came to mind when you listened to it, or if there is a song you would like me to feature. Drop me a line.

Coach Keith

When it comes to Love, don’t miss a day!

One of my favorite quotes from Wendy Williams is, “You miss a day, you miss a lot.” You know what’s profound about that statement? We apply it when we miss a great TV show, sporting event, a night out with our PEEPS, or some juicy gossip. Rarely do we apply it when it comes to “making love” to our spouse.  We always figure, we can do that after the game, when the kids are sound asleep, or when I am not so tired and I feel sexier.

The thing is if you are waiting for the sexually charged energy to just appear, you will be waiting for a long time. It never happens that way, especially in marriage. Energy is created by ACTION. It may be awkward in the beginning, but once you generate energy it can increase in intensity.

So what can yo do to start to generate sexually charged energy that can lead to wonderful lovemaking.

Create an atmosphere of sex!

The intimate music isn’t going to suddenly come on the radio and lights aren’t going to dim to a romantic setting. Start with the simple things like :

  • touching
  • flirty tickling
  • whispering, sweet romantic, or sexually explicity words (depending what your partner likes.)

Reframe your thinking – Quick can be Great.

You know in the movies when you see someone having a “quickie” it always seems so exciting, but when we think about it in real life it seems so boring and unfullfilling we don’t even make the attempt.  Let’s change our way of thinking. It can be the very action that helps break the negative communication barrier between  you and your spouse. Keep this in mind, it doesn’t always have to be about sex. It’s about creating a sexual connection. Some tips I reccomend are:

  • Showering together
  • Massage each other
  • Finding a few minutes to make out before the kids wake up
  • Dance to your favorite Slow Song or Wedding Song.

Create a Sexually Charged Plan.

Finally, we think of planning like a business meeting that we have to attend. If you hate planning anything, you will stay away from this idea. But, if you put some creativity into the planning it will excite your partner to take action. Some tips that will turn on the energy switch are:

  • Send a nice invitation, RSVP required.
  • Send an explicit text message (personal phone only)
  • For the sport’s fan – creating a picture of you in your partner’s favorite jersey announcing the time of the game will surely get their attention.

 

If you have only a few minutes a day, JUST CONNECT. Before you know it, those few minutes will be the you will never MISS.

Make a $5 Love Deposit a Day!

Good Morning S2S fans. Today in our Marriage Monday feature we are focusing on deposits. So let’s say we deposit $5 a day into our savings account. That would be like the Starbucks we buy, or the eating out for lunch. If we do that each day we will have $100 in the bank in a month, and $1200 by the end of the year including interest. It seems easy enough, but we often neglect to do the simple things.

In Marriage, it’s the same way..We always feel that in order for our partner to feel love, we have to go on a grandiose vacation, or an elaborate dinner to feel love. Now those things are nice, but if we only do those things a couple of times a year, but neglect them the other days, would you think that was a loving marriage? It takes just a little effort to truly plug in to your spouse even in our time crunched society. Indeed we don’t have a lot of time. By the time you factor in sleeping, get to and from work, getting dinner ready, spending time with the children, decompression time, it leaves you with on average 45 minutes a day to truly plug in.

That doesn’t mean men, your spouse will be available every night for some intimate time. That may make YOU feel close, but not necessarily your partner. Both of you will have to figure out what each of you will need in order to feel close. So as you take action to move forward in closeness, find out what each other needs first. Once you find out what it is, be creative with it, have some fun. Don’t worry about being awkward. Remember you weren’t always suave when you were dating, but it was the attempt, and the love you showed the other person that made the relationship solid.

As you go on throughout your day, think about how you can make the $5 Love Deposit.

You can start Fresh because it’s Championship Week!

Championship Week in my opinion is better than the NCAA tournament because it gives every Division 1 team that has a conference tournament the opportunity to participate in ‘Big Dance’. Your won-loss record of the regular season bears no weight on the opportunity to advance to the NCAA tournament.  If you win your tournament you’re in. 

Case in point, George Washington holds the distinction of qualifying for the NCAA tournament with the worst record. In 1961, their record was 9-16. The great thing about that is they earned the opportunity to participate because they came together as a team in that moment. When you get a chance to play, anything can happen.

This is what “Marriage Madness” is all about, the opportunity to play and WIN. As we prepare, to participate in the big dance, take this time to forget about your past losses, your lack of participating as a team when it comes to finances, or you lack of skill or knowledge. Start today!!

In preparation do these 3 things before our “Marriage Monday” selection show.

  1. Take today’s survey (see link) and last Monday’s survey if you haven’t done so. Take Our Survey!
  2. What’s holding you back from being honest with your partner about finances?
  3. What’s the first step you can take to start the process toward participating in “Marriage Madness.”

I would appreciate any comments you have about the blog and sign up to be a regular subscriber.

Coach Keith

How do we get ready for “Marriage Madness”? Championship Week!

In order to get ready for this MADNESS, we compete during Championship Week. To get an automatic bid, to the “Dance” you have to win your conference tournament. You can prepare to win Marriage Madness with an overview of how to sustain a healthy marriage with sound Financial principles. 

I came across this great article from the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center to get our mindset right.

http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/docs/faqfinances.pdf

I hope the answers to these questions help you plan for the work ahead.

Coack KD

March has just been declared “Marriage Madness!”

I know you make think this is a typo, but for the month of March I am declaring it “Marriage Madness.” I am going to incorporate my love for college basketball with my love of relationships/marriage. I love NCAA tournament so much that I usually take the first two days off to watch as many games as possible. It’s a wonderful experience watching the last second shots and the underdog messing up everyone’s tourney bracket (including my own) until ultimately a champion is crowned.

In all seriousness as part of “Marriage Madness” I  am going to focus specifically on one topic that can really leave our relationship in a state of madness, our finances. As a relationship coach, I am going to prep my couples as if you were players on my team. I will post one blog about the topic on the today and next week in preparation for Monday March 14th, the week of the tournament. Then I will post specific topics and exercises that will help you as a couple get on track so you can win the ultimate prize, The Best Marriage in the Country.

In order to prep for the tournament,click on the link for our survey. The survey will give you an idea of the topics that you need to discuss as a couple. The survey is not meant to make you uncomfortable, but to open the lines of communication. Answer the series of questions based on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best.

<iframe frameborder=”0″ width=”100%” height=”600″ scrolling=”auto” src=”http://polldaddy.com/s/E4105177EEE16420?iframe=1″><a href=”View” _mce_href=”http://polldaddy.com/s/E4105177EEE16420″>View”>http://polldaddy.com/s/E4105177EEE16420″>View Survey</a></iframe>

Team, I look forward to going into battle with you to win the ultimate crown. Financial Freedom in our Marriages.

Coach Dent

Our Belief System = Who we are as Product.

“A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart’s.”      –   Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When we get married, we expect our marriages and the roles we create should be a certain way.  For example, the man should be the provider, the woman the caretaker. If you try to hold onto those roles when it may not be what is needed to make your home thrive can be a source of stress and a challenge in your relationship.

In your marriage, both of you should come to some a AGREEMENT about what you desire and expect from the other person.  A good way to do this is through a Family Mission Statement.