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"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage!"
Newsletter and Updates #23 -- December 28, 2006


• "Happily Marrieds" Needed!

• Couples' Cruise 2007 -- Full! 

• Perfect Valentine's Day Gift -- LOVE 101 (Talk on CD)

• New Audio Book -- Teaching Intimacy 101 (Now Available!)

• Feedback from Previous Newsletter #22

• Gift for Newsletter Subscribers!

• Newsletter Archive

happy couple 1 "Happily Marrieds" Needed! 

How many truly happy, long-term married couples do you know? Research tells us that many young adults have lost faith in marriage. They are afraid that happiness and long-term marriage aren't even possible anymore. Not many are being taught how to create a strong marriage, and there are too few examples to show them that happiness in marriage IS possible. Dr. Greg Popcak suggests that it is up to the "happily marrieds" to remedy the situation: 

 "People who are married have a two-fold obligation. First, they need to commit to constantly working to make their marriage and family even stronger. Second, they need to be happy couple 2 willing to share their positive, hopeful  experience of marriage with others. Couples need to overcome their fear of setting themselves up as an example. We need examples. I think that married people standing around the water cooler unnecessarily complaining about their spouse just to 'fit in' does almost as much to undermine the culture of marriage as anything else....If a couple or family needs help, then by all means get it, but if you're happy in your marriage...the world needs to hear from you."  (Excerpted from interview with Greg Popcak.)  

As we begin this new year, we call upon all married couples to either work toward becoming "happily married," or to let happy couple 3 their "happily-married" light shine. Happily marrieds are not "perfect marrieds," but they have learned some of what it takes to create happiness in marriage. (Review the article "The Adventure of Marriage " for a refresher.) We encourage you to look for ways that you can put in a good word for marriage. Find little ways to let people know that you love being married! Let those who are not yet married know that the adventure of marriage is worth the effort--that the rewards are worth the price!

Over 50 couples will be joining us this coming February for fun in the sun on the 2nd annual Cruise Planners Couples' Valentine's Cruise. This cruise filled up even more quickly this year than last, so be sure to reserve your spot soon if you plan to join us in '08. 

In 2008 (Feb. 23 - Mar. 1) we'll set sail aboard the Crown Princess to the Southern Caribbean ports of Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola and St. Thomas for our 3rd annual Couples' Valentine's Cruise. You can reserve your cabin today with only a $250 deposit per person. Cabin prices begin at $817. Contact Vickie or Amber at Cruise Planners for more information (866) 446-4218.

Here are some of the couples' cruise group events planned for the upcoming 2007 cruise to give you an idea of what you can look forward to in 2008:

Plan now to make this a special 2008 Valentine's gift for your sweetheart! We'd love to have you join us. You'll have the time of your life!!!

Click here for the 
Couples' Cruise information page
Couples' Cruise 2007 Group Events and Itinerary

Love 101 cover imageRosePerfect Valentine's Day Gift
"LOVE 101--Learning to Love More Meaningfully"

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it! Give just the right gift of love with the "LOVE 101--Learning to Love More Meaningfully" talk on CD. You'll learn how to effectively fulfill each other's individual needs for love. Make it a date night to listen to this 40 minute talk together, and see how you can lift your love and happiness in marriage to new heights!

Purchase "LOVE 101" Talk on CD

Teaching Intimacy 101 coverNOW AVAILABLE --
"Teaching Intimacy 101 -- How to Teach Your Children about Sex and Intimacy in Marriage" (CD Audio Book)
Now you can take on the challenge of teaching your children about sex and intimacy in marriage with confidence and conviction! The birds and the bees no longer need intimidate you. Teaching Intimacy 101 , taken from the book And They Were Not Ashamed--Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment , shines a light on the subject, making it easier for parents to have a positive and meaningful dialogue about sex and intimacy with their children. Intimacy educator, Laura M. Brotherson, helps parents to overcome their fear and discomfort, prepare themselves and their children for these sacred conversations, and learn what, when, why, and how to teach their children about the intricacies of intimacy, and better prepare them for a mutually fulfilling, lasting relationship in marriage.

Purchase "Teaching Intimacy 101" CD audio book

In our last e-newsletter the "Unspoken Sexual Contract in Marriage" brought up a lot of strong feelings. (Click here to review Newsletter #22 .) There are always two sides to every story--each with valid concerns and challenges. As we share a few of the comments we've received, we wish to highlight the fact that we can only directly change ourselves, and that we must focus on what WE can do to improve a situation--NOT on what we wish our spouse would change.

"The part of the 'sexual contract' that my ex-husband made perfectly clear to me was that since I married him, I was now obligated to have sex with him anytime he wanted it. My husband was completely inconsiderate of me and my needs. Sex was a terrible experience for me. I never got a kiss or a hug, or a caress that didn't lead to something else."
"As a 40-something newlywed wife, I share many of the feelings of the husband in the 'No sex for seven years' commentary in your last newsletter. My husband and I discussed intimacy openly before we married and agreed that it would be an important part of our marriage. But, he lied to me. After marriage he told me he was not interested in sex or intimacy. If I approached him, he would tell me that I was treating him like a piece of meat and was demeaning him. Then he would walk away from any discussion of it."
"The letters from these two men hurt me to read. I feel for them. I am a woman who is no longer able to participate intimately with my husband. I found out soon after we married that he was using porn and had been for many of his teen years. He married me expecting that with sex being 'legal' the porn problem would go away. Well it hasn't and has escalated. He has had at least one affair and is unrepentant. He says if I was meeting his needs that it wouldn't have happened. His needs are for me to perform like the women portrayed in the porn. He equates sex with intimacy and yet he is not there with me emotionally when we are sexually intimate. It is too painful for me to be his legal outlet any more. I am sure there are other women who also live with this sad reality."
"I felt sad reading your newsletter because these men feel so neglected and unloved. But I would like to say that in my opinion, the lack of intimacy is only a symptom of deeper issues. I have struggled with a drop off of sexual desire due to concerns about my oldest son, my husband's early retirement where I lost having my own 'space,' and my fears that now my husband would want sex all the time. It pushed me farther away from him. I've also experienced some hormonal changes, as well as some resentment toward my husband for not building a better relationship with our son.
I guess I just want these two men to understand that their wives may have unmet expectations and disappointments that are haunting them like they have me. I hope these men will challenge themselves to love, support and never give up on their wives, and to look for the deeper issues that their wives face and work together to resolve them."


We'd love to share these strengthening marriage newsletters with hundreds and thousands of couples. Share this free subscription link (http://www.strengtheningmarriage.com/signup.php) with your friends and family, and they'll receive a special bonus for signing up! New subscribers will receive Chapter 3--one of the hottest chapters--from the book "And They Were Not Ashamed-- Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment."

As a thank you for being a current member of our "Strengthening Marriage Coalition," you can click here to read Chapter 3 online. (Requires Adobe Reader to view pdf file.)


Stay tuned for more intimacy insights in upcoming Strengthening Marriage Newsletters...! Click here to visit the complete e-Newsletter archive. If you missed the last newsletter, you can catch it here:

"Unspoken Sexual Contract in Marriage" -- Marriage Newsltr #22

"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage" newsletter and updates are designed to strengthen marriages, and build strong families--written by the author of the book "And They Were Not Ashamed - Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment." Visit www.StrengtheningMarriage.com to learn more. We welcome your personal feedback at Laura@StrengtheningMarriage.com

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