Nurturing Love and Respect in Marriage

The Family: A Proclamation to the World reminds us we have an obligation to love and serve our marriage partner. To love them effectively, we have to know and understand their inner world—their likes, dislikes, thoughts, and feelings. Taking the time to do this and then acting on what we learn is a powerful way to nurture love and respect in our marriage. John Gottman calls this process enhancing our "love maps." A love map is the part of your brain where you store important information a...
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Increasing Intimacy in Marriage

What Is Marital Intimacy? Intimacy is the closeness of your relationship with your spouse -- emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, sexually, and in many other ways. Intimacy is not an end goal but rather a journey that lasts throughout your marriage. Marriage and family researchers Schaefer and Olson describe attaining intimacy as “a process that occurs over time and is never completed or fully accomplished". As you both grow and develop, each of you changes. If you neglect intimacy i...
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Equal Partnership in Marriage

The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches that fathers and mothers have specific, God-ordained responsibilities within an equal partnership, with neither husband nor wife seeking to dominate the other. When partners in a marriage value equality, they treat each other with respect, consider each other’s needs, and support one another. Equal partners agree on goals and work as a team to achieve them. They show equal commitment to the relationship and provide mutual support and nurturi...
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Creating Shared Meaning

Culture is not limited to countries or nations. Even two people who share a life together can create their own culture. They can have customs, traditions, stories, and beliefs that bind them and give meaning to their life together. As John Gottman says, "Marriage isn't just about raising kids, splitting chores, and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together-a culture rich with symbols and rituals, and an appreciation for your ro...
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Building a Fondness and Admiration System

No one's perfect, including you and the person you're married to. Maybe she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle or he leaves the toilet seat up. Maybe she is bull-headed and he is annoyingly indecisive. Maybe one of you is a workaholic and another spends too much money. Despite their flaws, it's likely that deep down you believe your spouse is a good person who is worthy of honor and respect. At the heart of nearly every marriage lies this fundamental belief: that one's partner in mar...
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Strengthening Your Relationship with Regular “Couple Meetings”

We're more health-conscious than ever. Millions seek out a variety of health assessments, from simple blood pressure checks to a thorough analysis of blood chemistry. The result: America's health is better than ever. Not so for marriages. While divorce rates have declined somewhat in recent years, couples getting married today still have a 40% or better chance of divorcing. Marriage is more risky than mountain climbing, more risky than sky diving, even more risky than bungee jumping! "...
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