Laura's Marriage Newsletter header
"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage!"
        e-Newsletter #9--April 14, 2005  (#05-4)

. . . exciting developments!

1)  MARRIAGE TIP--35 Reasons to Make Love
2)  ARTICLE--"Marriage Traditions—Cultivating Couple Connections"
3)  EVENTS--Couple's Seminar "Strengthening Marriages Intimately"
      and Couple's Caribbean Cruise
4)  NEWS--Highway Billboard & New Bookstores
5)  PROFESSIONAL REVIEW--"This book is vitally necessary..."
6)  STRAIGHT TALK Q&A--My husband dislikes lovemaking...
7)  GREAT DATE IDEA--Couple's Dream Board
8)  WORDS TO PONDER--Intimacy is dependent on self-awareness

1)  MARRIAGE TIP--35 Reasons to Make Love

Making love is more than just having sex. Making love consists of the
physical pleasures of lovemaking, but is perceived as a deeper emotional,
spiritual and physical expression of love. The following are some of the
potential benefits and blessings available in the intimate relationship of you many good reasons to make love!
1.    To connect emotionally, physically and spiritually.
2.    To say, "I love you" in your spouse's love language.
3.    To co-create children.
4.    To have fun.
5.    To fulfill the universal, biological need for touch.
6.    To reduce vulnerability to temptation in marriage.
7.    For the physiological and psychological health benefits.
8.    To rejuvenate the relationship.
9.    For validation.
10.    To become ONE.
11.    To reaffirm that sex is of God.
12.    To soften and open your heart.
13.    To engage in some "wholesome recreational activity" as husband
         and wife.
14.    To switch gears from "parent" to "spouse/sweetheart."
15.    To nurture love and friendship in marriage.
16.    To forgive.
17.    To heal wounds in the relationship.
18.    To give a gift to the one you love.
19.    To burn calories.
20.    To relieve stress.
21.    To enjoy "God's wedding gift to husband and wife."
22.    To cure a headache.
To get to "know" each other (as stated in the Bible).
To practice and perfect the intricate art of lovemaking.
25.    To overcome negative inhibitions and beliefs about sex.
26.    To fulfill your human longing for intimacy and connection.
27.    To awaken, accept and develop your sexual identity.
28.    To awaken your sexual senses.
29.    To learn how to ask for what you want and need.
30.    To learn how to give what your spouse wants and needs.
31.    To experience the "exultant ecstasy" available to every couple.
32.    To develop the "higher faculties and nobler traits" of human existence.
33.    To experience profound joy and intimacy.
34.    To enhance and reinforce marital unity.
35.    ...just because! (My husband made me add this one!)
Send your additional ideas to
Maybe together we can come up with 1001 reasons to make love!
2)  ARTICLE--"Marriage Traditions—Cultivating Couple Connections"

Meridian Magazine ( recently published our
article entitled: "Marriage Traditions—Cultivating Couple Connections."
We then received many responses from readers who shared some of
their marriage traditions. The following is a delightful story shared by
Brent Gray:
Several years ago, I attached a small wooden heart to a
Valentine's Day gift bag for my wife. After she opened the
"main gift," I explained what the heart was for. I told her
that I would hide the heart somewhere in the house and
when she found it she should think of me and know that I
loved her!
    Then it was her turn to hide the heart. When I (eventually)
found it, I would think fondly of my sweetheart and how
lucky I am to be married to her. Then it was once again her
turn to do the hiding. And so on.
    Over the years we have become more and more creative
with our "hiding places." Sometimes days or even weeks go
by before one of us finds that heart. There have been several
times when neither of us could remember who hid the heart
last or, for that matter, even where it was hidden. But
eventually, it always turned up.
    We have been hiding that heart for many years now and it
never ceases to bring a smile to our faces when we find it
and remember how lucky we are to have each other.
Read the full article here "Marriage Traditions—Cultivating Couple Connections"
To read past articles visit our "In The News" web page at:

3)  AUTHOR EVENTS--Couple's Seminar "Strengthening
     Marriages Intimately" and Couple's Caribbean Cruise

We've been telling you for some time that there were exciting developments
in the works....We're thrilled to report two of them! Our upcoming
Couple's Seminar is a one-of-a-kind seminar that gets to the heart of the
information needed to create a mutually fulfilling intimate relationship.
The Couple's Cruise next Valentine's Day will simply be a blast! We'd
love to meet many of you there where you are sure to put a sweet spark
in your relationship!
Couple's Seminar--"Strengthening Marriages Intimately"
Date:         Saturday, May 21, 2005, 1-5 p.m.
Location:   Curves—Fitness Center (8960 West Ardene St., Boise, Idaho)
Cost:         $60/couple or $40/individual (includes the book—
                 And They Were Not Ashamed
Pre-register now to reserve your seat, and SAVE $5 each!
Wouldn't you like your intimate relationship to be a source of joy
rather than frustration? It can be!! Come join us for an exciting and
enlightening workshop experience:
    * What makes you tick?
     Identify the intricacies and inhibitors of intimacy in marriage
    * How do we turn our differences into intimate ONEness?
       Understand and appreciate the emotional and physical
       differences between husband and wife

Click here to view the Couple's Seminar flyer:
Click here to register:
If you have additional questions email:


Valentine’s Day Week Couple's Cruise
(February 11-18, 2006)
Come join us for a cruise on the Love Boat!
    *  Stephen E. Lamb, M.D., author of "Between Husband and Wife"
    *  Laura M. Brotherson, CFLE, author of "And They Were Not Ashamed"
Join us for this 7-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise (St. Thomas, St.
Maarten, Princess Island) on the new Caribbean Princess leaving
from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This elegant cruise includes drawings
for fabulous prizes, three 2-hr seminars during the days at sea,
group excursions with the authors, and much more!
Prices start at $815 per person. Limited cabins so book early!
Hostess: Julie Dansie / 801-651-7674 /
To book call Cruise Planners / 801-446-4218 or 866-466-4218
Click here for Couple's Cruise flyer:
For more information visit:

~~Cruise Planners is having a Mother's Day Special! All those who
register for the Cruise before May 8 will be sent a free copy of the book
"And They Were Not Ashamed--Strengthening Marriage through
Sexual Fulfillment."~~

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

4)  NEWS--Highway Billboard & New Bookstores

BILLBOARD--"Strengthening Marriages...intimately!"
Check out the freeway billboard at the point of the mountain (between
Lehi and Draper, Utah) Mar. 25 - May 2, 2005 (south face of billboard,
northbound traffic, west side of road) Click here to view billboard image:

SEAGULL BOOKSTORES--We welcome Seagull Book and Tape
to our growing list of bookstores that carry "And They Were Not
Ashamed--Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment."

You can now find our book at any of their 22 stores in Utah, Idaho,
California, and Arizona. Check out our current list of 180 bookstores at: If you are aware of
any bookstores that carry our book, but are not yet listed on our website,
please let us know.

5)  PROFESSIONAL REVIEW--"This book is vitally necessary...
The "Healthy, Wealthy, Wow Women's Lifestyle Magazine" in Utah is
publishing a book review of "And They Were Not Ashamed" in their
April '05 issue. Thousands of copies are distributed to subscribers, as
well as at a variety of locations along the Wasatch Front (i.e. Harmon's,
Provo Town Center Mall and Utah Valley State College). Be sure to
pick up a free copy if you live in the area.
For more information visit:
Click here to read the review online:

We welcome you to share your own review of the book at:

6)  STRAIGHT TALK Q&A--My husband dislikes lovemaking...

My husband and I have been married 10 years, and it is he that
dislikes love making...not myself. What can we do about it?

It is becoming more and more common to find men with a lower desire
for sex than the wife. This dynamic can be particularly challenging to
both the husband and wife. Each may feel particularly self-conscious
about this issue in their marriage. Many women have shared with me
their feelings of rejection and feelings of failure as a wife. Men whose
wives have the lower-desire regularly feel this way, but it is particularly
disturbing for women who feel so out-of-the-norm. Men too most likely
realize something is not quite right, which can be anxiety-causing in itself.
You and your husband are definitely not alone.

Low sexual desire is generally categorized into physiological causes,
psychological factors and relationship issues (see page 68-69, And They
Were Not Ashamed
). Some of the more common causes of low sexual
desire, particularly in men, are:
(1) Low tolerance for the inherent anxiety-producing nature of intimacy
(2) Unresolved conflict in the relationship
(3) Negative sexual conditioning and inhibitions resulting in guilt and
      shame regarding sex
Intimacy can be a scary thing. The very nature of intimacy--emotionally,
spiritually and physically--inherently requires a significant degree of self-
awareness and self-disclosure, which can be extremely anxiety producing,
especially for one who is not used to identifying and/or sharing their
emotions. It's easier to watch TV or work long hours than it is to develop
one's self emotionally and build the level of trust, vulnerability and intimate
sharing that true intimacy and ONEness requires.

While some men can hide behind the "physicalness" of sex and avoid the
emotional and spiritual dimensions, others prefer to sidestep sex altogether.
This low tolerance for intimacy is a deeply rooted source of low sexual
desire. With effort and awareness men can break through this barrier by
becoming more aware of their thoughts, beliefs and anxieties about sex
and intimacy. One good way is to start a "Self-discovery Journal" to begin
to identify thoughts and emotions, and to ask questions about one's self,
and then free-write anything and everything that comes to mind, as if
opening a closet door and looking inside.

Unresolved conflicts in marriage provide a ready source of resistance to
sexual intimacy. One study found that men with low sexual desire often
had an angry or domineering wife. This is an area where women can do
a self-check to see if this might be an issue. One of men's common
complaints is that their wives are downright mean much of the time. For
some men it may be difficult to feel a desire to be intimate with a wife
who is often angry and demeaning. Without awareness men can also
withhold intimacy (which women are often accused of) when it feels like
it is the only thing over which they have any sense of control.

Much of the inhibited sexual desire in men can also be attributed to the
negative conditioning that often affects women.  The "Good Girl
Syndrome," which is an overemphasis on the negatives about sex, and a
serious lack of affirmation regarding the positives or sanctity of sexual
relations in marriage, can significantly diminish sexual desire in men.
Beliefs that have developed such as "sex is bad or wrong" or "I can't
control myself, so I better not even go there" can contribute to an inhibited
interest in sexual activity. Becoming aware of underlying conditioning and
our core beliefs is key to overcoming them. The homework in Chapters
1, 2 and 7 may be especially helpful in overcoming the guilt, shame and
negative thoughts and feelings one has accumulated about sex.

7) GREAT DATE IDEA--Couple's Dream Board
For a fun date night, gather some of your favorite magazines and together
cut out anything that represents your ideal marriage or how you want
your relationship to be. Make sure you both get to include some of what
you've individually chosen. Discuss any items about which you may have
different feelings. Paste the pictures and words on a poster board and
post it in your bedroom where it can inspire you every morning when you
wake up. This will help you create a "technicolor vision" of what you are
striving to build in your marriage. Make it fun! Make it motivating!

8)  WORDS TO PONDER--Intimacy is dependent on self-awareness
"One's ability to be intimate emotionally, spiritually and physically
is in direct relation to one's degree of self-awareness and self-
acceptance--because intimacy is dependent on self-disclosure."


Stay tuned for more exciting developments in upcoming Strengthening
Marriage Newsletters...! Visit the e-Newsletter archive at:
"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
." Visit for excerpts and
reviews, or to place an order or post a comment. The author welcomes your
feedback at
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