Sean and Kate were married for seventeen years. They had three children and life was good. Sean had a steady job and was liked at work. Kate made a part-time income with a home business and the children were doing well in their school.
As we all know, looks can be deceiving. During the past few years, the spark has begun to dwindle in their marriage. Kate feels that Sean works too much and doesn’t really connect with her at home. Sean believes he has to work a lot to provide for their family’s ever-growing bills and Kate doesn’t understand his world of responsibility.
Sonya and Ben are a couple who also look good on the outside, but their secret is even deeper. Ben is busy with his company, employees, and hobbies. Sonya feels she has been raising their three girls by herself most of their twenty years of marriage. They have grown so far apart they call each other “friends.” They’re right, in that it has been two years since they have been physically intimate, although they still sleep in the same bed.
There are also couples like Ed and Sue, who not only look good on the outside but, in reality, are truly still in love. Sue is affectionate toward her husband in public and says positive things about him. Ed loves to be with Sue. He is helpful around the house, he takes her on dates, and he smiles just talking about his wife.
Ed and Sue, like Ben and Sonya, have been married for more than twenty years. They are also on the last phase of raising their teenage children. Ed works hard and Sue has worked part-time as a nurse on and off. They had life happen to them over their two decades together: health issues, tough financial times, and plenty of long talks about the children.
The difference for Ed and Sue is that they intuitively know how to have a loving marriage, or they somehow discovered the secrets to a successful marriage and are actually applying them. If you, like the first two couples, are struggling to enjoy marriage, you can discover a profound secret to a happy marriage and begin implementing it today.
A Change In Just Minutes a Day
Ten minutes a day, that’s all I ask. I know it sounds odd, but really that one variable can make such a significant difference that it has astounded me for more than nineteen years in counseling couples.
Sean and Kate were able to apply the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle and the spark came back to their marriage. Even after two years of isolation, Sonya and Ben applied the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle and in six weeks they were not only enjoying physical intimacy, but they really liked each other too!
The Ten-Minute Marriage Principle works! I have worked with couples far more desperate than Sonya and Ben or Kate and Sean. I have counseled couples who, for decades, had loveless and sexless marriages, and yes, within weeks of applying the Ten-Minute Marriage exercises they were enjoying their relationships again.
What is the principle? The Ten-Minute Marriage Principle is taking a few minutes each day with your spouse for some intimacy workouts. This is ten minutes of focused work that you and your spouse will do for your marriage to keep it fit and happier than it may have been for years.
I define the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle as “intimacy workouts” because these are comparable to physical workouts. Most of us have heard about the importance of working our core muscle groups. Those who have adopted routines to work those muscles have reported greater strength and endurance.
With the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle, the exercise routine I will introduce here will work on the core of your relationship. As the intimacy core muscles are strengthened daily, you can experience incredible closeness and endurance to run this marathon we call marriage.
To support your core strengthening, I have included support principles in this book so that not only your relational abs look great but your other muscles are toned up too.
Why does the Ten-Minute Principle work? Because it is based upon the reality — not the fantasy — of marriage. When we are young, we often approach marriage idealistically. We say or think, Our love will always be enough or I know he will always look at me that way or a hundred other beliefs that time and circumstances challenge. We were young and naive. We didn’t even know what we didn’t know about marriage.
For example, I simply knew that when I was away from Lisa (then my future wife), my heart ached. I felt incomplete. When I was with her, I felt taller, more handsome, and fortified in an incredible way. That feeling was so strong, I wanted to have that connection my entire life. Lisa also had all kinds of such feelings and loved me more than she thought it was possible to love anyone. So we both knew what we knew — but we didn’t know what we didn’t know about marriage.
Lisa and I married during the marriage improvement movement, so we read many marriage books and thought we knew what we were in for. But reading a marriage book is very different from experiencing a real-life marriage.
Fantasy is common in Americans. Most of us fantasize about the bodies we’d like to have — even when we eat ice cream at 10:00 PM and our only form of exercise is pushing the buttons on the remote. As we keep gaining weight, we rationalize buying new clothes. We’re living in a fantasy but want the reality of those who work out and watch their diets.
You see, if we watch too much television, we miss many of the real story lines of success. You could define success as consistent work in the same direction over decades. People in reality-based marriages not only know that marriage is work, they do the work. Just as I know that if I want reasonable health, I have to work out.
How I Know It Works
I live the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle. Lisa and I have been happily married for over twenty years now. Lisa comes from a godly home and is the last of six children. She is beautiful, godly, hardworking, and an incredible mother and a coworker in all that we do.
I, however, have a completely different story. I was conceived in adultery. That’s not a great start for marital success. My mother’s first husband divorced her, the man who helped create me abandoned her, and a third man married her before I was born, and his last name was Weiss. He was an alcoholic and, three children later, he and my mother divorced. I was placed in foster home after foster home for a while, then returned to my mother.
I became angry, addicted to various substances, and had all kinds of negative ideas about relationships. Then Christ came into my life and the healing process began. I went to Bible college and met Lisa. We dated for five years, during which we read every marriage book available. A year after I’d entered seminary, we married.
I tell you my story because I know some of you have hurts, addictions, or other issues that you think forfeit you from having a great marriage. It’s not true. During my master’s program in marriage and family counseling, I prayed for the ability to be intimate and to have a great marriage. I can’t stand hypocrisy and I didn’t want to ever give people suggestions that I wasn’t doing or willing to do. God answered my prayer and gave me the great tool of the Ten-Minute Marriage Principle, which Lisa and I have practiced throughout our marriage.
I want every couple to be happy and successful in their relationship. As a counselor I know that, barring untreated addictions or mental illness, if a couple is willing to work, almost any marriage can be happy and healthy.
Copyright © 2007 by Douglas Weiss