Laura's Marriage Newsletter header
     "Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage!"
        e-Newsletter #15 -- December 30, 2005  (#05-10)

1~  MARRIAGE TIP -- "Being Sexual Best Friends"
"How Do I Get My Spouse to Change?!" and "Finding Healing
      and Wholeness from Depression"

3~  EVENTS -- Couples Caribbean Cruise - Feb '06
4~  NEWS --
(1) Send Us Your Couples Photos; (2) Kevin & Laura Brotherson
      Radio Interview; (3) LDSLiving Magazine Ad; (4) BYU Remarriage Survey

READER'S REVIEWS -- "My husband is the happiest man in the valley!"
6~  STRAIGHT TALK Q&A -- How to find couple time
7~  WORDS TO PONDER -- Sexual conflict is inevitable and important


1~  MARRIAGE TIP -- "Being Sexual Best Friends"

The idea of a best friend conjures up thoughts of good times, and feelings of
warmth, fun, and connection. You simply enjoy each other's company. You
can talk about anything, or sit comfortably in silence.
You can't wait to tell
this person your good news, but you also go to them with your sad news.

You not only love this friend, but you like them too. Your shared adventures
are endless because you've been there together through thick and thin.

Seeing marriage as a "best friendship" should not be difficult, but the concept
of husband and wife being "sexual best friends" seems to stretch our thinking
a little. Is it even necessary for husband and wife to have such a close sexual
relationship? Yes! A good marriage needs more than just mental, emotional
and spiritual nourishment. It needs sexual nourishment too. Sexual
nourishment is not just physical, but requires the heart and soul. Within the
context of a sexual best friendship in marriage there is an atmosphere of
relaxed playfulness, trust, and a willingness to take on the adventure of
sexual intimacy together.

Husband and wife are given the wonderful gift of sexual enjoyment in marriage.
I would imagine that best friends would want to delight in the sharing of this
great gift. I imagine they would want to thoroughly enjoy this gift, and discover
every ounce of enjoyment it has to offer. The idea of husband and wife being
sexual best friends integrates the
nurturing element of emotional intimacy
with the energizing element of sexual intimacy.

Many couples seem to lose their sexual friendship over time to a lackluster
sexual monotony. Others never even fully awaken to the joys of their sexual
relationship in the first place. Sex often becomes a silent, shadowed
experience where intimate interaction is minimal. The emotional discomfort
of sex often smothers any flicker of adventure and playfulness. It's the
attitude and atmosphere of adventure and playfulness that make the sexual
relationship come alive.

What can you do to encourage such a relationship to flourish in your
marriage? What does your spouse need from you in order to feel that you are
their sexual best friend? The effort is worth it. The comfort and excitement of
sharing a strong and vibrant sexual relationship with your spouse will
energize and secure your marriage in so many wonderful ways.

2~  ARTICLE -- "How Do I Get My Spouse to Change?!" and
      "Finding Healing and Wholeness from Depression"

Check out Laura's latest magazine articles on overcoming depression and
getting one's spouse to change! Her regular Meridian Magazine column is
published online
at every 4th Monday. Below
you'll find some of the nice feedback we received on the "How Do I Get My
Spouse to Change?!" article.

"How Do I Get My Spouse to Change?!"
    by Laura M. Brotherson, CFLE, Meridian Magazine, November 28, 2005
    also available at, December 5, 2005

Many of us focus on the imperfections of our spouse, thinking rarely of our
own weaknesses and the role we play in creating the dynamics of our
marriage. It’s the “how-do-I-get-my-spouse-to-change” syndrome. We think
if only our spouse would change this or that, then we’d be happy.


"Dear Laura, I am a Bishop in our church, and I'd like to share an experience
with you. I recently had a wife visit with me who was very upset at her
husband and has been for some time. I asked the husband to visit with me,
knowing there are always two sides. They both said that they loved each
other and wanted to save the marriage. I asked them to talk things out
together and come up with a plan and present it to me. That was to happen
last night.
        When they came in they had not come up with a plan because of
disagreements, but the wife had brought in her list of grievances. The
meeting started to deteriorate as the wife attacked the husband with her
complaints, some of which were things that had happened years ago. The
husband had heard these same complaints over and over through the years.
He was frustrated with her unwillingness to forgive him. Before things got
too far out of control I said I had something I wanted to read to them. I told
them that what I was about to read may be hard to take because it will
require a complete change in their approach--that they will have to forget the
past and start with a completely new mind set. I then pulled out your article
"How Do I Get My Spouse to Change". I had a copy for each of them to
follow along with as I read it to them.
        When I finished reading it I was greatly pleased with their responses.
They both said it was the best article on the subject they had ever heard.
They then began to point out the parts of the article that they were impressed
with. I then pointed out to them the date that I printed it. It was that same day.
I let them know that my wonderful wife who, of course, has no idea of those
who I am working with had emailed it to me that morning and that it was an
answer to my prayer on their behalf. Thank you again Laura, for this great
article. I'll be sharing it with the other bishops in the area."


"A Light in the Darkness—Finding Healing and Wholeness
  from Depression"

    by Laura M. Brotherson, CFLE,, November 14, 2005

Laura Brotherson learned first-hand how devastating depression can be--and
how you can heal from its ravages.

To read past articles, visit our "Articles" web page at:

3~  AUTHOR EVENTS -- Couples' Caribbean Cruise

Couples' Caribbean Cruise
-- February 11-18, 2006
(leaves Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

    It's not too late to join us on this fabulous Couples' Cruise. Call Cruise
Planners today at 801-446-4218 or 866-446-4218 to learn more, and to
reserve your spot. There will be so many fun people on this cruise that the
company alone will make it worth attending!
We'd love to have you there!

    For additional details visit our Events page: where you'll also find a
link to the Princess Cruises website to learn more about the activities,
dining and entertainment available on this cruise. For a
Couples' Cruise

For information about other author events visit our "Events" page:

4~  NEWS -- (1) Send Us Your Couples Photos;  (2) Kevin & Laura
      Brotherson Radio Interview;  (3) LDSLiving Magazine Ad; 
      (4) BYU Remarriage Survey

(1)  Send Us Your Couples Photos
    We'd like to build a coalition of couples from all around the world who are
willing to break down barriers and publicly stand in support of strengthening
marriages intimately. Grab a digital camera or get a special couples portrait
taken, then send us your favorite husband/wife photo. This will be a
"Strengthening Marriage" showcase of loving couples to highlight the marital
unit as the vital component of the family and society. This could be a fun
project for you and your spouse to have a husband/wife picture taken
(especially if you don't have many pictures of just you and your spouse) and
get them posted on our website as a special Valentine's Day celebration!

    Send your photo with your first names, and how many years you've been
married to: Check out the Couples
Photos page here:

(2)  Kevin & Laura Brotherson Radio Interview
    We've posted an audio clip of
Dr. Liz Hale interviewing Kevin and Laura
Brotherson on Utah's AM820 radio (originally broadcast Thursday, Oct 6,
2005). Click here to find the interview audio clip on the Events page under
the Oct 2005 listing:
(Let us know if you have any difficulties playing the clip.)

(3)  LDSLiving Magazine Ad
    If you receive the LDSLiving Magazine, be sure to check out our ad in the
Marketplace section of the next edition. It should be shipped out around the
end of January. You can preview the ad here:

(4)  BYU Remarriage Survey
    If you are currently in a remarriage relationship, you are invited to
participate in the development of a new questionnaire. This research is being
conducted by Derrel Higgins, MS, LMFT and Robert Stahmann, PhD from the
Marriage and Family Therapy department at Brigham Young University.
Through this research, the investigators are hoping to develop a questionnaire
based on "real world" experiences that will help remarried couples identify
potential hot spots in their relationship. The items for this questionnaire were
generated through interviews with numerous remarried couples and a
comprehensive review of the literature. Your responses will be invaluable in
assisting the researchers in the development of their Remarital Assessment
Questionnaire (RAQ). To learn more visit and/or to participate, click here: (If you are not able to click on the link,
then copy and paste the link into your browser's address bar). You can also
visit the marriage builder website at:
Thank you for your time and assistance.

To stay current on what's new on the website visit:

5~  READER'S REVIEWS -- "My husband is the happiest man in the valley"
"This book is the best in it's class. Brotherson's book has (in my
mind) rightfully concluded that society, media, church and parents
have painted the wrong picture of sex. In general we talk and think
about it as something evil, wrong, immoral, painful and distasteful.
There is a need for bold, appropriate education...and Laura's book
delivers. This can be a difficult subject to get right. I have read other
books on the subject and found them a little obscure, while other
sources have been a little too blunt. The appropriate tone of this book
rings true across all of it's tricky content. It is a clear, well explained,
comprehensive challenge to inappropriate notions about sex in


"After 3 children and nearly 30 years of marriage I have come to find
out how healthy sexual intimacy between a husband and wife can
strengthen bonds between them that no other thing can accomplish.
I thought my husband and I had a great marriage and that we were
doing fine until my husband and I listened to Laura Brotherson's
audio book and I discovered I was hurting my marriage because of
my prudish ways. We are acting like newlyweds again and it just
keeps getting better..."
"Your book has changed my life. I now have a very fulfilling intimate
relationship, and my husband is the happiest man in the Valley!
Thanks for being so clear and direct. Your bibliography is amazing!!"

We welcome you to share your comments at:

6~  STRAIGHT TALK Q&A -- How to find couple time

I'm not sure if this is an issue you mention in your book, but since your bio
stated that you have three children, I'm wondering how couples can find
quality time for intimate moments, especially once they have children?  I'm
sure you're well aware that with children "couple time" becomes very limited.
You may tell me to go get a babysitter, and perhaps I'm a little paranoid,
but nowadays that seems like a risky option. You hear more and more
about terrible things babysitters have done while parents were out on a date,
or what care givers have done while parents were at work. Basically, I'm
curious to know how does one effectively juggle all the demands in life,
especially with children in the home, and still maintain a healthy, loving,
and intimate spousal relationship?

Finding quality time can certainly be a challenge with children. But the first
step is making your marriage a priority, deserving of your priority time and
attention. Intimate time can be found by getting children into a good bedtime
routine, so that you still have time and energy available for each other.

I'm a big proponent of a date night, but do understand the difficulties and
expense of babysitters. Being active in a church is one of the best sources
of babysitters. Although my oldest can now babysit a little bit, I still have a
long list of good babysitters that I personally know and trust because of my
interaction with them at church. You might want to look to church sources for
babysitter referrals. As always, be prayerful and in tune with the Spirit to be
able to know who will be safe and good with your children. You don't want to
live in a state of fear, or to send that message to your children either. This fear
of the "what ifs" might be a belief you'd want to address within yourself. (This
is about pulling up the mental weed and planting a flower in its place!)

You'll find in our book a lot of insight and great ideas to help you build a strong
and intimate marriage relationship. The key is to set your priorities and divvy
out your time and energy accordingly. A weekly date night ought to be
required and scheduled, and/or you could choose a night that is simply
reserved for "couple time" once the kids are in bed. With a predetermined
day and time, you both can mentally save some of your energy for each
other and not let yourself get started on other tasks.

If you'll be prayerful about it and seek each other's suggestions I am
confident you can find time to make each other a priority. The number one
thing parents can do for their children is to give them parents who love each
other. A strong marriage between the mom and dad is the basis of a child's
security, and the foundation of their sense of well-being.

God bless you and your wife in your efforts to make each other a priority,
and to build a strong and intimate relationship.

To check out other questions and answers visit our Q&A webpage at:

7~  WORDS TO PONDER -- Sexual conflict is inevitable and important
"Sexual conflict in marriage is not just inevitable--it's important.
Both partners' sexual maturation is at stake...If you allow it, the
people-growing machinery of marriage results in the simultaneous
development of your sexuality, your personhood, and your level of
intimacy with your partner."

        -- David Schnarch, Ph.D. Author of Passionate Marriage

Stay tuned for more intimacy insights in upcoming Strengthening Marriage
Newsletters...! Visit the e-Newsletter archive at:

If you missed the last few newsletters, you can catch up here:

"Secrets of the Female Sexual Response" -- Newsltr #14

"More Intimate Intimacy" -- Newsltr #13
"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage" is an electronic newsletter
designed to strengthen your marriage and family—written by the author of the
book "And They Were Not Ashamed—Strengthening Marriage through
Sexual Fulfillment
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