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"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage!"
February 14, 2008 -- Newsletter #30

Heart box of chocolatesBetter than Chocolate

Few things are more enticing than chocolate -- especially around Valentine's Day. But the sweetness fades and the residual calories remain. Give your sweetheart something different this year. What's better than chocolate you ask? How about something from the heart.

A friend recently asked me to write "a prescription" for her husband to provide more of a certain loving behavior to help her stop eating chocolate so much. I promptly wrote out the prescription on a napkin and handed it to her with a smile. The husband later told me he was happy to oblige. I started calling him her chocolate substitute!

If we are honest with ourselves we can probably all think of something that we know our spouse would love to receive. We may need to sit and ponder for a moment, but I imagine there's something you know you can do to strengthen the emotional connection with your spouse. These from-the-heart gifts may require you to stretch a bit, but that's what real love is all about.

To give a gift from the heart--one that's better than chocolate--requires thinking outside of the box. This is no one-size-fits-all Valentine's Day gift. What can you do to be your spouse's chocolate substitute? Maybe your gift would be: Couple holding hands

  • Holding his/her hand more often
  • Getting the babysitter for date night
  • Tackling the garage that she’s been longing for you to de-clutter
  • Initiating intimate time together
  • Writing a heart-felt letter of adoration and appreciation
  • Kissing him/her each time he/she gets home from work
  • Sharing a dream you have for the future
  • Fixing the sink that's been broken for weeks
  • Packing a lunch for him/her to take to work
  • Responding to your spouse on a heated topic with patience and a desire to see their perspective Couple kissing instead of resorting to anger or the silent treatment
  • Saying the words, "I love you," even if it's hard for you.

Sometimes the best gifts from the heart are those that may be a little bit difficult for us to give. The sacrifice or stretching the gift requires makes the gift that much more meaningful. And don't forget to include a written or verbal note to express your love along with your chosen gift, just so no connection is lost between the two.

I'd love to see couples sit down together and create a list of the top ten things that make them feel loved, so that each of them know the specific keys to each other's hearts. Why not make it as easy as possible for each other to be successful at love.

I remember one woman asked her husband to tell her some things she could do to be a more loving wife. After he did so, she confessed that she had never known the importance of some of the things he suggested. She wished she had asked him that question many years earlier in their marriage.

Become an expert at loving your spouse in the way they need to be loved. What a wonderful Valentine's Day gift to be the chocolate substitute in your sweetheart's life. What better time than now during this Valentine's season of love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

For more gift-giving insights purchase Laura's talk on CD --
"Love 101 -- Learning to Love More Meaningfully"


    CDValentine's Day Gift

 Day balloon "LOVE 101--Learning to Love More Meaningfully"

Valentine's Day is almost here! Learn how to give just the right gift of love to your spouse with this talk on CD "LOVE 101--Learning to Love More Meaningfully." You'll learn how to more effectively fulfill each other's individual needs for love. Make it a date to listen to this seminar together, and see how you can lift your love and fulfillment in marriage to new heights!

Click here to purchase "LOVE 101" Talk on CD


CoupleWin a Romantic Getaway to The Anniversary Inn with Your Couples' Photo

One lucky couple will receive a FREE one-night stay at the Anniversary Inn of their choice, in the room of their choice! (Valued between $169 - $289.) Enjoy complimentary cheesecake, sparkling cider, and freshly baked breakfast delivered to your suite.

To enter the drawing, send us one of your favorite photos of you and your spouse by Friday, March 14th. Grab a digital camera or get a special couples portrait taken for this Valentine's Day. The winning couple's names will be drawn, and will be announced in our next newsletter. We'll also post the new photos before our next newsletter.

Perfect Marriage NOT Required!

 Inn suiteYou don't have to have a perfect marriage to send us a photo, or we'd have NO photos to post! So, send us your favorite photo (uncropped, 200dpi minimum) with your first names, and how many years you've been married. Even if you've sent us a photo before, we'd love to post a new one.

With our Couples Photos page we are continuing to build a showcase of couples who are committed to strengthening their marriage. It's a reminder that the marital unit is the vital foundation of the family and society. You can check out the current "Couples Photos " page here.

Even if you aren't selected as the winner of this Valentine's giveaway, you can still be a winner by reserving a room at The Anniversary Inn for you and your sweetheart! Check out all the fun rooms and reserve yours today! You'll love this place!


Thank you for Helping to Spread the Word

Father and sonWe appreciate so many of you who are doing what you can to help strengthen marriages. We appreciate you speaking out more positively about sexual intimacy in marriage. We appreciate you writing letters to those who can help in marriage strengthening efforts. We appreciate your willingness to teach your children and speak more comfortably and confidently about the subject. We appreciate the many who give "And They Were Not Ashamed" as bridal shower and wedding gifts.

We especially appreciate those who are taking the message of strengthening marriages intimately directly to the people, as has this good LDS Bishop. Here's what he had to say:

"Thank you for your wonderful book and for helping us get the books at the wholesale price for our ward. We created a Powerpoint presentation from your book then gave it to over 60 couples during our third hour of our meetings on a Sunday. We also gave a copy of your book to each couple. We consider it a small investment for the tremendous good it will do. The book and presentation was very well received. Our focus was chapters 8 through 12 which emphasize oneness through emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy.

One man in our ward told me that his wife finished reading the whole book by 10 pm that Sunday night! I have been using the book as a counseling tool as bishop to great effect for several years. If I could only get every couple to read it! Some couples from our ward missed the original presentation, so we are giving the presentation several times again to those that missed it. This effort correlates with one of our ward goals for 2008, which is to bring couples closer together through courting and communication. Thank you again for the wonderful book!"

If you would like to purchase our book "And They Were Not Ashamed--Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment" at wholesale prices for a group, contact us  and we'll set you up with a convenient account. We hope many of you will teach others the concepts you are learning, and do what you can to help strengthen marriages.

You can read more great comments on our Comments Page


Blog pageNEW Blog Posts

We hope you've been enjoying our new marriage resource -- "Laura's Strengthening Marriage Blog" -- for inspiration and motivation to strengthen your marriage intimately. 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.

We've added lots of great new marriage strengthening insights, so be sure to check it out and share your thoughts. This is a great place for an interactive discussion of marriage, sex, and intimacy.

8 couplesNew blog posts include:

If you would like to receive RSS feeds when new blog posts and/or comments are added you can set that up using the "Subscribe to Feed" option on the blog homepage at the bottom of the right menu.


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:

       "Date Night is NOT Optional" -- Marriage Newsltr #29 (Oct '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."
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