January 2016


  • Featured Article
    Committed Couples: Keep That Spark Alive!
  • Ask Our Coaches
    How can I help her see that we need a break together to rekindle our relationship?


Committed Couples: Keep That Spark Alive!

By: Dr. Jackie Black

If you are in the majority of contemporary committed couples, I'll bet, if you thought about it for a moment, you would discover that you spend more time each week watching television or commuting to work than you do alone with your honey!

In our demanding world filled with multiple priorities, responsibilities and distractions, everything and everyone else seems to be more important than attending to our most intimate and special relationship.

I think you'd agree that to keep that spark alive, you and your beloved must spend quality, eyeball-to-eyeball time together.

Do you and your sweetheart carve out quality, alone-time every week? Do you both take responsibility for it, or does the task fall to one or the other of you? Do one or both of you allow "real" interruptions to get in the way or spoil your planned time together?

Here are a few simple suggestions to get your own personal creativity going:

  • Meet once a week to look at your schedules and set aside time for each other.
  • At least once a week plan a Date Night. Once a month plan a Date Day (that's right! A whole day from morning to evening). Once each quarter plan a weekend get-away. Once each year plan a week away together.
  • Mark your planned time in your calendar, just like a dentist appointment or an appointment with a client. Write it in ink! Mark yourself out for a block of time.
  • Take turns planning your dates each week.
  • One week you might send the kids to Grandma's house or a neighbor's, stay in, order a pizza and watch a movie. The next week you might get a sitter and go out on the town.
  • Do the grocery shopping and buy a bouquet of flowers for your partner
  • Write a love note and leave it for your partner to find.
  • Put the kids to bed, and, instead of watching T.V., doing laundry or other chores, go to bed early and share massages, talk or cuddle.
  • Turn off the T.V., turn on some background music and have a talk.
  • Kiss your spouse Good Morning and Good Night every day. Just say, "I love you."

Think back to when you first started dating. What did you do? What things did you both enjoy that you no longer make time to do? Why did you fall in love?

Let your creative juices flow! Let your imagination go wild! Anything goes. This is the most important person in your life. Rejoice! Celebrate yourself and each other. Embrace the moment and the gift of your love.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Jackie Black and the Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Dr. Jackie Black, is a Marriage Educator and Coach, the co-developer of RCI's Couples Coach Training Program and the lead Advanced Partnerships Trainer. Dr. Jackie serves couples in trouble in her private coaching business, and teaches and mentors RCI members to support couples to ignite their passion, deepen their connection to themselves and each other and step into the world of Radical Marriage. Connect with Dr. Jackie at www.DrJackieBlack.com

Ask Our Coaches

How can I help her see that we need a break together to rekindle our relationship?

Dear Coaches,

Between the kids, family and work, my partner and I have been exhausted lately. I know that we both just need to take some time out for ourselves and relax. I told her that I want to plan for a weekend getaway for the two of us. She is reluctant to leave, because she is worried that it will set us back even more by being gone for a couple days. We really need a break to reconnect and have some much needed intimacy we have been missing out on.

Can you offer any suggestions to help her see that we need a break together to rekindle our relationship?

~ Avery, from OR

David Wilder

David responds ...

I think we all fall into that trap sometimes!

But think about this, and talk it over with her if you agree: Your most important relationship in life is not with the people at work, not with your extended family, and not even with the kids. The most important relationship you have is with her!

One of the very best ways to keep all those other relationships and responsibilities in balance is to nurture your intimate relationship with her. Another point to consider is that after a break to reconnect with each other, you will be better equipped to face all those other challenges as a team, working in harmony with each other.

If it will help, tell her I am giving her permission to drop everything and have some fun with you. (She will thank us both later.)

David Wilder | www.treasuredrelationships.com

Norene and Tim

Norene and Tim responds ...

One of the secrets of a long and lasting love is to put your marriage first.

The number one benefit of making your partner the priority in your life is that your relationship will last - and so will you! Couples who prioritize their relationship feel safe, remain connected, and keep passion alive - all of which contribute to longevity.

Each time that you go on a date you are making a deposit into your "Relationship Savings Account". When you have a high balance in this goodwill account, your marriage will have more resilience during times of stress. The more you have couple time, the more your brain remembers why you fell in love and the stronger your connection becomes.

Making your marriage your first priority is good for your children as well. Children thrive when their parents love and support each other; witnessing the commitment and love of parents provides the foundation for a child's self - love and the model of his or her own future romantic relationships.

When you and your spouse prioritize romance and couple time, everyone wins.

Norene Gonsiewski, LCSW, | Tim Higdon, LPC | www.portlandrelationshipcenter.com

Yehuda Ayalon

Yehuda responds ...

As there are very few details about you both, I can mainly contribute some questions for you to ponder. Why is she afraid that going on a short weekend vacation will set you back? How can you have time together at home, just an hour or two while your kids are with a babysitter or their grandparents?

I assume your partner needs intimacy with you, too. Probably she is so stressed with all the demands of child-raising and feels so overwhelmed that she finds it hard to relax and be available as a partner.

Even if you do manage to convince her to take a short vacation with you she may still be distracted by thinking and worrying about setbacks. That is why you may want to begin with ''baby-steps'' and relax while at home or nearby.

Until you think this over, I recommend reading ''Your Time-Starved Marriage'' by Les and Leslie Parrott, and trying to read selected parts together with your wife. I hope it will give you some practical ideas on how to make couple time while at home.

Yehuda Ayalon

The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here www.relationshipcoach.org/ask-the-coach and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.


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