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"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage!"
August 23, 2007 -- Newsletter #28


Couple photoThriving in Marriage

What does it take to not just get by in marriage...but to THRIVE!? The following keys will help you and your spouse develop a thriving relationship that will bring you joy, and be a light to others.

1.  Acceptance of Self and Spouse.   Acceptance unlocks the door to change both ourselves and in our spouses. Acceptance says, "It's okay for me to be me," and "It's okay for my spouse to be him/herself." Thriving in marriage means we don't waste valuable time trying to "fix" or change our spouse, but that we focus our attention on improving ourselves. Disciplining our thoughts to focus on the good and the positives about ourselves and our spouse is a necessary skill for thriving in marriage.

2.  Playfulness and Humor.   Recently my husband and I were discussing what it takes for a marriage to thrive. We decided that the one thing that really distinguishes a thriving marriage from a mediocre marriage is how much playfulness and humor couples share. One woman told me that she can always tell how their marriage is doing by how playful she and her husband are with each other. An important part of playfulness and fun is making sure you and your spouse schedule time to yourself for a weekly date. Marriage requires constant nourishment and attention if it is to thrive.
Couples Photo
3.  Affection.  Related to playfulness and fun is affection. Couples that are thriving in their marriage like to touch each other and do so naturally and frequently. For some of us affection is a learned behavior, especially if we come from non-touchy families. But non-sexual touch is a key habit for you and your spouse to learn for your marriage to thrive.

4.  Sex.  When the non-sexual touch is plentiful and playful it nourishes the sexual relationship. In thriving marriages, couples not only make sex a priority, but they both enjoy the sexual passion that they share. For most couples sexual compatibility is a learned behavior. Learning how to nourish your relationship sexually is worth the effort and keeps the passion alive and thriving.

5.  Emotional Connection.   To thrive in marriage there must be an ongoing open and honest sharing of our hearts and souls. Feeling safe enough to share your joys and dreams as well as sorrows and fears feeds the emotional connection in the relationship, allowing couples to thrive amidst the ups and downs of life.

6.  Personal Growth.  Self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-development are an ongoing process that couples must both engage in in order to truly thrive in marriage. Taking responsibility for one's self, one's growth, and one's happiness creates a personal reservoir from which spouses are more able to love and nourish each other. Thriving couples don't expect each other to make them happy. They've learned how to be happy within themselves, which brings strength and resilience to the marriage. Some of the most important work in marriage is learning to tune into and stretch to meet our spouse's needs.

7. Shared Journey.  To thrive in marriage requires a sense of a shared spiritual journey toward something greater than yourselves. This sense of purpose generally comes from a spiritual journey toward God. I have always believed that my husband and I had an important work to do together, and would someday serve together in our church after our children were grown. That knowledge has been like spiritual insurance for our marriage. Understanding marriage as a mutual refiner's fire toward a grand purpose helps to make the ups and downs of life easier to endure.

You CAN thrive in your marriage as you take steps to build upon your strengths. I'm convinced that we need couples that are thriving in their marriages now more than ever!


And They Were Not Ashamed bookcoverGreat Price & FREE CD -- Irresistible Offer to Strengthen Marriages

Softcover book only $12
Free Bonus Gift of "Love 101" Talk on CD

We're serious about strengthening marriages intimately! We've put together an incredible special offer. For a limited time the softcover book "And They Were Not Ashamed -- Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment" will be just $12. Yes, you read that right...$12. (Regular price is $17.95.)

As if the price weren't amazing enough, we will also include a copy of our latest Talk on CD -- "Love 101 -- Learning to Love More Meaningfully" (regular price $12.95) with each online order as a FREE gift to you, or for someone you care about. Learning to love your spouse in the way they most need you to is one of the first steps couples must take to begin to move their marriage forward and upward. This fabulous 50-minute CD will show you the way! Love 101 CD

Purchase any book or CD at the Online Store and receive your free bonus gift of one "Love 101" talk on CD with each order.

We hope this offer is an irresistible incentive for you to get busy strengthening your marriage (or helping somebody else)!


Laura BrothersonANNOUNCING -- "Laura's Strengthening Marriage Blog"

After many months and many requests "Laura's Strengthening Marriage Blog" is now a reality! Many of our readers have been using the Comments Page on our website as a makeshift blog, but now we have an official place for a more interactive discussion of marriage, sex, and intimacy.

I look forward to the opportunity this blog presents to share tidbits of information in a quick, easy and informal manner. Though I will not be able to respond to posts as much as I would like, I do hope that with all of your thoughtful comments some good discussions and learning will occur here.

This blog is intended to be one of the few places people can go to get straight talk about strengthening marriages intimately, and yet feel confident that the sanctity of marriage and sexuality will be upheld.

I hope this blog and our website will be your trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages sexually. We want to create a rich resource for all, and a community of people who are striving to strengthen their marriages.

Visit today and share your thoughts and post your questions. Together we can encourage and inspire each other to do what it takes to create the marriage relationship of our dreams! 

Brotherson Family 7-07Current blog posts include: 



Rebecca Hintze RadioCatch Laura's Radio Interview

Friday, Aug 24, 8 a.m. (MT) 10 a.m. (ET)

...with host Rebecca Hintze (Author of "Healing Your Family History") on the Grapevine Radio Network "Abundant Living" Show. We'll be discussing how to live a more abundant marriage relationship. Listen in at (Click on "Listen Now" in the upper left corner.)


Kevin and Laura snorkelingLast Couples' Cruise with Laura Brotherson

Couples' Southern Caribbean Cruise
Feb 23 - Mar 1, 2008

Don't miss out! This coming February '08 is your last chance to cruise with Laura and Kevin on a fabulous Couples' Cruise getaway. Laura will be discontinuing headlining this Couples' Cruise in order to focus on her graduate studies in Marriage and Family Therapy.

We know you've been wanting to come along on this great getaway, so now's the time! See how much fun we had this past year on our Feb '07 Couples' Cruise to the Western Caribbean.

In Feb '08 we'll set sail aboard the "Crown Princess" to the Southern Caribbean ports of Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola and St. Thomas. Cabin prices begin at $817 per person. Cabins are limited, and we sold out last year, so don't delay. Call Amber or Vickie at Cruise Planners to find out more and to reserve your space today.

Phone: (866) 446-4218
Email: (include your phone # and email address in the email)

For more information and fun photos from past cruises visit our
Cruise Information page.

Straight Talk Q&A

Q:  What can I do if my wife isn't interested in improving our sexual relationship?

A:   When you want something to be a certain way in your relationship so badly, it's hard not to feel resentment and discouragement at your situation. The thing I hope we can all learn is that the only person we can directly change is ourselves. I can't change my husband, but I can change ME -- my responses, attitudes, behaviors, etc. -- which makes it easier for my husband to WANT to change and then to put in the necessary effort to change.

Read the rest here...

Visit our Straight Talk Q&A here.


Teaching Intimacy 101 CD cover"Teaching Intimacy 101"
Paperback Book Coming Soon!

We're making it even easier for parents to teach their kids about sex and intimacy in marriage. Stay tuned for our book "Teaching Intimacy 101" to be released in paperback. It is now available on CD as an audio book . You'll love the new information that will make it so easy for you to talk with your children about this important subject and better prepare them for marriage.


Newsletter imageNewsletter Archive

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

       "Six Tips to Strengthen Marriages Sexually" -- Marriage Newsltr #27 (Jun '07)


"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage" newsletters are created to strengthen marriages and build strong families--written by Laura M. Brotherson, intimacy educator and author of the book "And They Were Not Ashamed - Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment."
Visit to learn more.
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Copyright 2007 Laura M. Brotherson, Strengthening Marriage, Inc. Reprinted with permission. Visit to subscribe to the FREE "Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage" newsletter.

Copyright 2007 Strengthening Marriage, Inc.