Recently while Stumbling (that’s browsing the magic of the web using StumbleUpon), I came across a cool website that let’s you send your sweetheart a virtual floral bouquet and a personal note via email. Though you’ve probably sent your love plenty of ecards and bouquets of electronic irises aren’t as fun as the real thing, it certainly never hurts to say “I love you” with flowers.
So, if you’ve done something that flowers can help make up for, or you’re simply in the mood to give your guy or gal a lift, send your e-bouquet today.
There are two questions you must answer in your life.
- Where am I going?
- Who is going with me?
You must ask, and answer them in that order. So says Conversations with God author, Neale Donald Walsch. Bruce and I agree.
For you to create a phenomenal relationship (and remarkable life), you must first know where you’re headed in life. What are you here to do? What is your vision? What is the purpose of your life? The answers to these, or similar questions, help you know the direction you want to head on your life’s journey. It’s imperative to know where you’re going, because otherwise, how will you get there.
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to consider who will journey with you. Is it one person or many? What qualities do they possess? What is your relationship? It’s essential that you know these answers and more so you can attract this person (or persons) into your life and also select the “right” people from those already around you.
It’s thoughtful questions like these that we invite couples to answer in I Do! I Do! The Marriage Vow Workbook. We believe that self-awareness is the first step in creating a happy, healthy marriage. Step number two is to share your discoveries with your partner. To create a loving, harmonious, and fulfilling partnership you must have such conversations and engage in this voyage together. By using The Marriage Vow Workbook before you officially join your lives, we believe that you set the stage for a more pleasant journey and a more durable and fun union.
So, your turn now. Have you answered the two questions for your life yet? Let us know what you think about these ideas and how engaging in this work might impact your life.
This post is the fourth in the series exploring the reasons why couples are unhappy in marriage and, most importantly, how you can make the shift to a happier more satisfying relationship. Read posts 1–Unhappily ever after, 2–Are weddings ruining marriages?, and 3–Healthy conversation tips for couples.
Have you ever caught yourself talking AT your spouse? While there is probably more than one definition of talking AT someone, I’m referring to a specific behavior I’ve witnessed and even used myself (oh the horror). The behavior I’m referring to is the practice of giving your spouse information in a way that is unloving, demeaning, demanding, or otherwise disrespectful of the fact that you are two equals in relationship.
Why do we talk AT our mate rather than WITH him/her?
From my own experience and observation, lapsing into talking AT our spouses seems to happen when:
- We don’t think we’re being heard so we get bossier or more parental in our communication.
- We’re frustrated, angry, or resentful–with our spouse or someone/thing entirely unrelated–and our communication is our “release valve” on that energy.
- We’re lacking confidence in ourselves or feeling unsure of our connection with our spouse so we seek to feel better by gaining some sense of control of the situation.
- We go unconscious and forget that it’s not a conversation if our spouse isn’t engaged.
Signs you might be talking AT your spouse
- Your spouse says you’re nagging, hounding, bossing or otherwise telling them what to do.
- You hear your own tone of voice and think you sound like a mean teacher, controlling parent, or whiny child.
- You’re not interested in a response beyond knowing whether she/he heard you.
- You’re not looking at your spouse, you’re not in the same room or you’re multitasking.
How to reengage in conversation WITH your spouse
- Make specific time every day when you can have each other’s undivided attention.
- Truthfully state what you want or need before you begin a conversation and ask if your spouse is ready to provide that right now.
- Practice listening to your spouse with no intent other than to truly hear what she/he has said and what’s going on for her/him.
- Ask your spouse to help you learn things you do that make it easy for her/him to tune you out. Start changing any behaviors that are creating distance between the two of you.
Of course, since I’m doing all the communicating here, I’m not practicing what I preach. That’s what I have to say on the subject. I’d like to hear your wisdom now. Please offer your feedback, suggestions, or even questions. We can use this blog to practice “talking” WITH each other so it will be really easy when you use it at home with your honey.
This post is part of a multi-part series on a poll about marital unhappiness AND ways to make your marriage happy. Links are below:
In our ongoing promotional campaign for I Do! I Do! The Marriage Vow Workbook, Shonnie and I were featured in a recent AP column, “On the Money.” This story, along with photos, has appeared in 20+ newspapers around the country including the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Sacramento Bee and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The photo to the right shows us with the bowls we use to manage our money, a system we learned at a Peak Potentials workshop in Atlanta. We have set up six bowls to divide up our money for day-to-day expenses and other things we want to do, like giving to worthy organizations, investment, education and just having fun. (Chuck Burton–AP Photo)
Couples can find joint money strategies
By EILEEN ALT POWELL — AP Business Writer
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
NEW YORK (AP) Bruce Mulkey and Shonnie Lavender have a lot in common when it comes to love and marriage, but not when it comes to money.
Mulkey and Lavender met more than a decade ago while training for a marathon. They married in 1999 and shared their thinking about marital commitment in their book “I Do! I Do! The Marriage Vow Workbook.” But the Asheville, N.C., couple said it took them a long time to figure out how to handle their finances together. (more…)
Looking for an easy way to give guests a map for your wedding? Check out Wedding Mapper. As they say on their website, “Wedding Mapper was built to make it fun, easy, and affordable for you to map out your wedding, ensuring that your guests have all the information they need in order to have a great time at your wedding.”
Show your out-of-town guests where to find the convenient hotels, the location of the reception, even suggested places for them to visit while they’re in town to celebrate your marriage. It’s simple to build your map and you can print it or even share it on your own wedding website. (Image courtesty of WeddingMapper.com)
Details about Wedding Mapper
- It is free to use because it is ad-supported. You can pay to remove the ads for just $9.95.
- The people behind it promise never to sell your information to a third party nor to spam you.
- It was created by the same people who brought you CommunityWalk.
Thanks to Soni Pitts for bringing this interesting site to our attention.
We want to make it easy for you to write your own wedding vows, so we invite couples to share their own personal vows here on our blog. You can read other sample vows from first and second marriages in the “Wedding Vows” category of the
I Do! I Do! blog.
Today we’re honored to share the vows of George Rogers & Andrea Williams who were married on April 19, 1985 (and they’re still very much in love). If you’re like us, you’re sure to enjoy these simple, heartfelt, romantic vows of love.
George to Andrea
- I wed thee, Andrea, not to have, but to be my friend; not to hold, but to share my life.
- I promise you my love and affection so long as there is in me the strength to draw a breath.
- I will make my love a resting place by caring and nurturing and supporting and listening.
- I will always seek to be honest and forthright with you, though it may sometimes frighten me to do so.
- I promise to conduct myself honorably and in ways that will never undermine my trustworthiness in your eyes.
- I will try always to be as good as that person whose courage first enabled him to reach out to you. . .who cast his bread upon the waters and whose reward is embodied in our wedding today.
- I will act to protect my health so that we may share a long and fruitful life
together. . .full of joy and love. . .
- And if I should live forever and all my dreams come true. . .my memories of love will be of you.
Andrea to George
- With a mother’s love, I will nurture and care for you.
- With a daughter’s love, I will honor and respect you.
- With a sister’s love, I will laugh and play with you.
- With a friend’s love, I will support and encourage you.
- With a lover’s love, I will caress and cherish you.
- With a wife’s love, I will share my deepest self with you.
- And with the love of life itself, I will seek to enliven the pure Spirit that joins our souls and completes our happiness.