Tag Archives: Love Kindlers

Recovery Tools: Love Kindlers and Extinguishers– Why They Are Important [Podcast]

During the month of June, we are going to explore the tools that a couple can use to reconcile their marriage after an affair.

So in this week’s episode, we discuss Love Kindlers and Love Extinguishers–but rather than going over the list (we have plenty of articles and blogs from the past for that), this time we’re discussing WHY they are important, and how to use them at the beginning of reconciliation.

URL’s IN THIS PODCAST:

Love Kindlers-What Are They?
http://affaircare.com/articles/love-kindlers-what-are-they/

Love Kindlers Quiz:
http://form.jotform.us/form/40890590616156

Blog posts about Love Kindlers:
http://affaircare.com/category/love-kindlers/

Love Extinguishers-What Are They?
http://affaircare.com/articles/love-extinguishers-what-are-they/

Love Extinguishers Quiz:
http://form.jotform.us/form/40181103830137

Blog Posts about Love Extinguishers:
http://affaircare.com/category/love-extinguishers/

Please join us next week as we continue our June series reviewing tools you can use to recover after an affair. Next week we will be discussing one of my favorite tools: the Myers-Briggs Personality Quiz, and why it’s so important to reconciliation!

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Kindlers+and+Extinguishers–Why+They%27re+Important.mp3]

Love Kindler #7 Security Commitment [Podcast]

Are you the safe place for your spouse to fall? Do you offer your spouse emotional and physical safety and security?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Kindlers, and this video is all about the final Love Kindler #7 Security Commitment. This commitment is all about being your spouse’s safe haven during a time of crisis or the one place they feel secure and safe.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Security-Commitment.mp4]

Love Kindler #6 Social Commitment [Podcast]

Do you have fun with your spouse? Do you include your spouse in your social life?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Kindlers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #6 Social Commitment, meeting your spouse’s needs regarding their own social life and including them in your social life. Share mutually enjoyable recreational activities together. Allow your spouse to have friends, and let your spouse be part of your circle of friends.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Social-Commitment.mp4]

Love Kindler #5 Family Commitment [Podcast]

Do you dedicate adult time with your spouse? Do you share child rearing as a team?

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Kindlers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #5 Family Commitment, meeting your spouse’s needs regarding your family. Dedicate individual adult time with your spouse (with NO KIDS) and individual time with each child.  Share the household chores and the child rearing.  Become a team and give your children the solid foundation of parents who will not divorce.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Family-Commitment.mp4]

Love Kindler #4 Financial Commitment [Podcast]

Do you contribute to the income in your family? Can you discipline yourself to live within a budget.

Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity. To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Kindlers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #4 Financial Commitment, meeting your spouse’s financial needs. Reach an agreement with your spouse about how the two of you want to live; how you want to support your family; and how you’d like to plan for your financial future.

 

~Cindy

 

[audio: https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Financial-Committment.mp4]

Love Kindler #3 Physical Commitment [Podcast]

Do you keep telling your spouse you’re “too tired” for intimacy? Do you think they should love you for who you are and not for sex? Or are you so focused on sex that you push your spouse away?  Do you greet your spouse with sweats and a dirty t-shirt at night? Or are you so focused on your thighs or tummy that you don’t feel attractive, so you don’t give your spouse the opportunity to see how beautiful you are?


Our new program, “90 Days to Save Your Marriage and Save You” will teach you and how your spouse how to recover after infidelity.  To introduce our new program, I’m reviewing our Basic Concepts all month!

This week we are talking about the Love Kindlers, and this video is all about Love Kindler #3 Physical Commitment, the way that we have everything EXACTLY BACKWARD here in the USA, and what it means to create a marriage that is sexually expressive and intimate.

~Cindy

 

[audio: http://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/Physical-Commitment.mp4]

Why some couples just can’t seem to reconcile–Part 3

leakyBucketHave you ever known a couple who decided to reconcile after one of them had an affair?  They even went to amarriage counselor and everything! Yet they just spun their wheels and never could really get ahead, and they ended up divorcing even though they really tried?

Or is that maybe where you find yourself today? Your spouse had an affair -OR- you were unfaithful, and the two of you made a choice–a decision–to reconcile, but it just isn’t working?  Oh you are going to marriage counseling and the counselor told you to “try dating” but how in the world do you DATE someone who tore your heart out?  How do you DATE someone who gave you the silent treatment when you desperately needed and wanted their attention?  You’re trying…and I mean really trying, not that faking it stuff… and yet somehow you get no traction and your marriage just is not recovering.  You worry if you will ever feel loved again and wonder if you’ll just end up divorcing even after all this effort.

Today is the final in our series examining why some couples have so much difficulty reconciling. (If you want to catch up, here is Part 1 and Part 2.)  There is an uncomplicated reason, but in order to understand the explanation, you need to understand our Basic Concepts here at Affaircare.  Let me summarize:

To keep it simple, envision that the love in your marriage is like a campfire. There are actions that people do to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers (we will be going over the Love Kindlers over the next week). Much as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning, makes it brighter and warmer, so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interaction, builds the fire of love in your marriage. There are actions that people do that are like putting water on a fire–some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Smothering a fire will eventually put it out. Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.

When you go to marriage counseling, and you’re told to “try dating” …what the counselor is focusing on is the Love Kindlers. But what happens is that the husband tries to think of some nice “kindler” to do for his wife but picks the wrong love language, so she doesn’t notice or if she does notice…she’s underwhelmed. Well hey–it didn’t mean love to her in her language! So he gets upset that he put ALL THAT EFFORT into it, and got no benefit, no brownie points, no passion…and he starts finding fault with everything she does, and one step forward just became three steps back! Or the wife tries to win her husband with his favorite meal and a ticket to the ballgame (what guy wouldn’t love that?) but she works herself into a frenzy that he’s going to meet “her” at the game and ends up bringing up the affair and making several disrespectful judgments about why he’d rather go to a sporting event than be with her. One step forward…three steps back!

Love Kindlers are lovely. They are! They are what make us fall in love with each other, and we often call them “romance.” But we can not fall in love with each other if we are sabotaging the relationship with LOVE EXTINGUISHERS. So before you can get to the rather fun part of adding Love Kindlers, it is vital to first look at yourself (not your spouse, and I don’t care if they were the Disloyal or not), and be honest.  Have you been doing these things?  If you have, forget the Kindlers for now and practice stopping these Love Extinguishers!! Last week, we looked at the first four extinguisher: Emotional Neglect, Spiritual Neglect, Physical Neglect, and Financial Neglect–and today we address the final three Love Extinguishers: Family Neglect, Social Neglect, and Security Neglect.

1.  Emotional Neglect

2.  Spiritual Neglect

3.  Physical Neglect

4.  Financial Neglect

5.  Family Neglect

  • Refusing to Leave and Cleave–Are you still a ‘Mama’s Boy” or do you still run to your Mommy every time you two disagree? Do you drag your In-Laws into your marital business?
  • Not Making Time for Personal Adult Time–Do you go to the gym, PTA, board meetings, church activities, and out with friends…but make no adult time for your spouse?
  • Not Making Time for Each Child-Child Rearing–Do you have so many activities so that you are neglecting spending time with the children? Do you just let your spouse do that stuff with the kids and shirk that parental responsibility?
  • Inequitable Distribution of Household Chores–Do you expect your spouse to do all the household chores (like vacuuming, laundry, dishes and mowing) and never notice or thank them, while you sit and watch TV or relax?  Do you do ever give your spouse a “break” from their chores and do for them what you expect them to do for you?
  • Getting Too Comfortable: Giving Up–Have you gotten lax and don’t put any effort into the family, the marriage, yourself or life? Are you a slug that just sits there and won’t interact?

6.  Social Neglect

  • Irritating Habits (Discourteous)–Do you chew your food with your mouth open? Leave stuff all over the counters? Make piles all over the house? Interrupt?  Do what your spouse has asked you a thousand times to stop doing?
  • Independent Behavior–Do you ignore your spouse’s thoughts and interests, and just do what YOU want to do? Do your have your own set of friends and do your own activities that EXCLUDE your spouse?
  • Not Sharing Activities or Free Time Together–Do you sit at home like a lump and ignore your spouse? Do you ignore your spouse’s need to occasionally see another living being? Do you refuse have any couple friends or do anything with your spouse that you both enjoy?
  • The Silent Treatment or Not Listening Actively–Do you give your spouse the cold shoulder for DAYS ON END? Do they try to talk to you and you ignore them? Do you let them talk but they can tell you are just planning what you are going to say and not really listening at all?

7.  Security Neglect

  • Angry Explosions–Do you ramp up a disagreement until there is yelling and an explosion? Do you try to ‘hurt them back’ or punish your spouse for hurting you? Do you rage at your spouse?
  • Attack Dog (Verbal/Emotional Abuse)–Do you “go for the jugular” in a particularly cruel way? Do you use words to just lay them to waste? Do you emotionally DESTROY your spouse just for disagreeing with you?
  • Passive Warmonger (Passive-Aggressive)–Do you always say you”forgot” to do the the things you agreed to do? Do you say nasty things about your spouse and then say “It was just a joke! You have no sense of humor!”?
  • Physical Abuse–Physical abuse isn’t always “hitting.” Have you ever THREATENED a pet? Punched the wall right near your spouse’s head? Grabbed them? Pushed them? Kept them awake all night arguing? Thrown something at them? Attacked them with a knife or knitting needles or scissors? Stood in the way so they couldn’t leave?
  • Not Being a Safe Haven—Can your spouse be their True Self with you and know that they are safe and loved and accepted? When they come to you for support or comfort during a time of vulnerability do you add to the hurt?

To learn more about ending the Love Extinguishers so your marriage can recover, have your spouse take the Love Extinguishers Questionnaire about you–and likewise you take the Love Extinguishers Questionnaire about them.  Share your results, knowing that you are going to hear some hard truths.  If your spouse is honest with you, even if it hurts to hear it, thank them for their honesty and let them know you will think about what they said.  And remember, this questionnaire is not meant to tear your spouse apart or nit pick, but rather to truthfully let them know the actions they are taking that are consistently killing your love for them.

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Why some couples just can’t seem to reconcile–Part 2

leakybucHave you ever known a couple who decided to reconcile after one of them had an affair?  They even went to a marriage counselor and everything! Yet they just spun their wheels and never could really get ahead, and they ended up divorcing even though they really tried?

Or is that maybe where you find yourself today? Your spouse had an affair -OR- you were unfaithful, and the two of you made a choice–a decision–to reconcile, but it just isn’t working?  Oh you are going to marriage counseling and the counselor told you to “try dating” but how in the world do you DATE someone who tore your heart out?  How do you DATE someone who gave you the silent treatment when you desperately needed and wanted their attention?  You’re trying…and I mean really trying, not that faking it stuff… and yet somehow you get no traction and your marriage just is not recovering.  You worry if you will ever feel loved again and wonder if you’ll just end up divorcing even after all this effort.

Today is the second in our series examining why some couples have so much difficulty reconciling. (If you want to catch up, here is Part 1.)  There is an uncomplicated reason, but in order to understand the explanation, you need to understand our Basic Concepts here at Affaircare.  Let me summarize:

To keep it simple, envision that the love in your marriage is like a campfire. There are actions that people do to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. Much as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning, makes it brighter and warmer, so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interaction, builds the fire of your marriage. There are actions that people do that are like putting water on a fire–some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Smothering a fire will eventually put it out. Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.

When you go to marriage counseling, and you’re told to “try dating” …what the counselor is focusing on is the Love Kindlers. But what happens is that the husband tries to think of some nice “kindler” to do for his wife but picks the wrong love language, so she doesn’t notice or if she does notice…she’s underwhelmed. Well hey–it didn’t mean love to her in her language! So he gets upset that he put ALL THAT EFFORT into it, and got no benefit, no brownie points, no passion…and he starts finding fault with everything she does, and one step forward just became three steps back! Or the wife tries to win her husband with his favorite meal and a ticket to the ballgame (what guy wouldn’t love that?) but she works herself into a frenzy that he’s going to meet “her” at the game and ends up bringing up the affair and making several disrespectful judgments about why he’d rather go to a sporting event than be with her. One step forward…three steps back!

Love Kindlers are lovely. They are! They are what make us fall in love with each other, and we often call them “romance.” But we can not fall in love with each other if we are sabotaging the relationship with LOVE EXTINGUISHERS. So before you can get to the rather fun part of adding Love Kindlers, it is vital to first look at yourself (not your spouse, and I don’t care if they were the Disloyal or not), and be honest.  Have you been doing these things?  If you have, forget the Kindlers for now and practice stopping these Love Extinguishers!! Yesterday we looked at Emotional Neglect and Spiritual Neglect–and today we address two more common Love Extinguisher: Physical Neglect and Financial Neglect.

1.  Emotional Neglect

2. Spiritual Neglect

3.  Physical Neglect

  • No Tender Touches (Hugs, Kisses, Touches)–Do you touch your spouse in affectionate but non-sexual ways, like hugs, kisses, holding hands or cuddling?  Do you touch them in ways that they like or as often as they’d like?
  • Withholding Sexual Fulfillment–Within the marriage is the only MORAL place for a man and woman to express themselves sexually. Do you reject your spouse sexually? Do you have an excuse every day for not having sex? Or when you do “let them have sex,” do you lay there like a dead fish?  Is the sexual activity in your marriage the way that they like it or as often as they’d like? How much does your spouse need sexual fulfillment?
  • Abandoning Physical Attractiveness–Do you keep yourself physically attractive for your spouse?  Do you still fix up your hair and keep it in an attractive haircut?  Do you keep your body physically fit and/or curvy in a way that your spouse finds attractive, or did you let yourself go? Have you gotten lazy about your grooming and hygiene?  Do you smell good or have your worn the same pair of sweats/jeans for a week now?  Speaking of sweats, do you were clothing that is complimentary to your physique or baggy, holey clothing?

4.  Financial Neglect

  • Ongoing Unemployment (that is not part of a mutual agreement)–Were you employed when you and your spouse met?  Were you contributing to the household financially, but once you got laid off now all you do is sleep until noon, play video games or watch Maury, and send out one resume a week?
  • Unwilling/Unable to Live by a Budget–Have you and your spouse gone over the finances, agreed to a budget, and then your spouse found you went on a “secret” shopping spree anyway or bought a toy the two of you just could not afford?
  • Hidden Debt–Have you taken out a credit card without telling your spouse and run it all the way up to the limit? Have you got hidden creditors that keep jumping out and surprising your spouse?  Do you have debts for past poor financial decisions that you actively hide?
  • Hidden Spending or Overspending–Have you bought a whole new wardrobe and then brought it into the house piece by piece so your spouse wouldn’t notice? Or bought a new “truck” even though the two of you were on the edge of bankruptcy?
  • IRS or Legal Financial Trouble (Judgements, Liens)–This is pretty self-explanatory.  Do you have debts to the IRS or the State Dept. of Revenue and now your spouse’s bank account or the joint account is garnished?  Or do you have fines or liens that you have neglected to pay and now they are hounding our spouse about your legal problems?

To learn more about ending the Love Extinguishers so your marriage can recover, look over Part 1, and then come back tomorrow for #5 Family Neglect and #6 Social Neglect.  On Friday, we’ll conclude with #7 Security Neglect AND have a Love Extinguishers Quiz that your spouse can take about you!

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Why some couples just can’t seem to reconcile–Part 1

leaking-bucket

Have you ever known a couple who decided to reconcile after one of them had an affair?  They even went to a marriage counselor and everything! Yet they just spun their wheels and never could really get ahead, and they ended up divorcing even though they really tried?

Or is that maybe where you find yourself today?  Your spouse had an affair -OR- you were unfaithful, and the two of you made a choice–a decision–to reconcile, but it just isn’t working?  Oh you are going to marriage counseling and the counselor told you to “try dating” but how in the world do you DATE someone who tore your heart out?  How do you DATE someone who gave you the silent treatment when you desperately needed and wanted their attention?  You’re trying…and I mean really trying, not that faking it stuff… and yet somehow you get no traction and your marriage just is not recovering.  You worry if you will ever feel loved again and wonder if you’ll just end up divorcing even after all this effort.

There is an uncomplicated reason why some couples just can not seem to reconcile, but in order to understand the explanation, you need to understand our Basic Concepts here at Affaircare.  Let me summarize:

To keep it simple, envision that the love in your marriage is like a campfire. There are actions that people do to stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. Much as adding fuel to a fire keeps it burning, makes it brighter and warmer, so concentrating on Kindlers, making them part of your daily interaction, builds the fire of your marriage. There are actions that people do that are like putting water on a fire–some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big bucket of water on the fire. Smothering a fire will eventually put it out. Actions that kill the fires of your love are Love Extinguishers.

When you go to marriage counseling, and you’re told to “try dating” …what the counselor is focusing on is the Love Kindlers. But what happens is that the husband tries to think of some nice “kindler” to do for his wife but picks the wrong love language, so she doesn’t notice or if she does notice…she’s underwhelmed. Well hey–it didn’t mean love to her in her language! So he gets upset that he put ALL THAT EFFORT into it, and got no benefit, no brownie points, no passion…and he starts finding fault with everything she does, and one step forward just became three steps back! Or the wife tries to win her husband with his favorite meal and a ticket to the ballgame (what guy wouldn’t love that?) but she works herself into a frenzy that he’s going to meet “her” at the game and ends up bringing up the affair and making several disrespectful judgments about why he’d rather go to a sporting event than be with her. One step forward…three steps back!

Love Kindlers are lovely. They are! They are what make us fall in love with each other, and we often call them “romance.” But we can not fall in love with each other if we are sabotaging the relationship with LOVE EXTINGUISHERS. So before you can get to the rather fun part of adding Love Kindlers, it is vital to first look at yourself (not your spouse, and I don’t care if they were the Disloyal or not), and be honest.  Have you been doing these things?  If you have, forget the Kindlers for now and practice stopping these Love Extinguishers!!

1.  Emotional Neglect

  • Scorekeeper–Do you keep track of who “won” or who has done the chore more times? Does your marriage feel like a competition?
  • Fault Finder–Do you make a practice of discovering your spouse’s faults and then pointing them out over and over? Criticize everything they do?
  • Controlling–Do you manipulate every situation to your own benefit? Center their existence around you? Tell them where they can and can not go, for how long, and with whom?
  • Bottomless Pit–No matter what they do to try to please you, do you always want more? Are you unable to express gratitude or pleasure?

2. Spiritual Neglect

  • Will Not Forgive–Did they do something wrong a long time ago, and you are STILL holding it over their head ? Even if they do everything you tell them, you never let them off the hook?
  • Lack of Personal Transparency–Do you hide your cell phone from your spouse and close the screen on your PC when your spouse walks into the room? Do you keep them at arm’s length and hide yourself and your life from them?
  • Smoke and Mirrors–Do you give your spouse false information with the express intent of making them doubt themselves, their memory or their sanity?
  • Disrespectful Judgments–Do you act like you are “straightening your spouse out”? Do your lecture them instead of discussing respectfully? Are they afraid to discuss their point of view with you?

To learn more about ending the Love Extinguishers so your marriage can recover, come back tomorrow for #3 Physical Neglect and #4 Financial Neglect!  On Thursday we’ll cover #5 Family Neglect and #6 Social Neglect.  And on Friday, we’ll conclude with #7 Security Neglect AND have a Love Extinguishers Quiz that your spouse can take about you!

  • Sociopaths and Marriage Counseling Don’t Mix
  • How to Cheat Proof Your Marriage
  • What to Consider Before Getting a Divorce?
  • 10 Things Not to Say to a Recently Separated/Divorced Person (and 6 Things to Say)
  • Love advice: 5 ways to defeat infidelity
  • Top Five Reasons To Get Marriage Counseling
  • Thinking About Getting Marriage Counseling?
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What REAL Love Looks Like (and it’s not what you think!)

What your spouse does for you

Lately I’ve been reading other people’s blogs and they’ve inspired me to write my own.  This time, I was reading Lisa Baker’s blog “When you think your love story is boring” and it got to me.  All too often, we look at the movies or TV and we think that’s what “real life” is supposed to be like!  Star-crossed lovers lock eyes across a crowded room, and candles are magically lit and romantic music pours from their souls.  They overcome incredible obstacles so they can chase each other across an airport (or across a field of beautiful flowers) , fall together in a flurry of passionate kisses and to be together forever, living happily ever after and eternally “in-love.”

Did you know that is not what Real Love looks like at all?  I adore my Dear Hubby and I know for a fact he adores me, and yet he has never once chased me across an airport.  Apparently neither has Lisa Baker’s husband.  So what, EXACTLY, does everyday, Real Love look like??

1. Emotional Commitment in REAL Love

  • Your spouse loses his/her job and feels bad, and you tell them out loud all the ways they are still helping at home and making you feel good and trying really hard to contribute.  You VALUE them.
  • Your spouse is a football-crazy fan, and you don’t nag them to stop being who they are.  You put on your jersey, cut up the beefstick and cheese, and watch with them!
  • Your spouse says they would rather pay bill A than bill B, and you disagree, but your spouse has great intuition and is VERY good with the money and paying the bills.  You RESPECT their recommendation and go with bill A.
  • Your spouse comes home from work, the two of you grab some dinner, and afterward sit down to watch your favorite shows.  You hug them and kiss them for no reason other than that you love them.  You sit together and  hold hands while you watch the show.  Now and then you touch him/her on the arm or put your hand on their leg.
  • Your spouse does not speak the same Love Language as you do, so you take the time to find out if they need to hear admiring words, if they need little acts of kindness, if they need thoughtful little gifts, if they need time where you focus on them, or if they need touch.  And then you give them LOVE in their way….not yours.

2. Spiritual Commitment in REAL Love

  • Our spouses make mistakes–and I’m talking about the smaller, day-to-day mistakes here.  This means, when your spouse does the wrong thing (note, not “if” but WHEN because they are human and they will make a mistake) you don’t hold it over their head forever–you offer them forgiveness and understanding as a fellow, fallible human.
  • Respecting your spouse’s beliefs and
  • Disciplining yourself to live a life that is transparent to your spouse and moral.  Transparent means that you let your spouse see who you really are and include them in every part of your life–you don’t hide anything from them. This means they get to see you at your worst, warts and all.  Also when you are a little but hurt or upset by something your spouse said or did, you let them know you weren’t okay with that and you’d request X, Y or Z…you don’t hold onto it and let them all build up until you explode.  Living a moral life means obeying God! This means you’ll “WANT” to do something, and you do not allow yourself to act or think in a way that would displease God.  When you live like He wants us to live, it means that you know your own self and your own weak points, and you build a wall of protection around yourself and your spouse so that your weaknesses do not hurt or harm yourself, your spouse or your marriage.  

3. Physical Commitment in REAL Love

  • Touch regularly and in a way you both enjoy, like leaning against each other, touching his/her arm, massages…anything!
  • Kiss regularly and in a way you both enjoy, not just that peck goodbye kiss but a thousand different kinds of kisses.  In every day love, you might kiss goodbye, rush out the door and be off … but when you get home it’s drop the briefcase and stand there and kiss her.
  • Hug regularly.  Period.  And often!
  • Express physical tenderness, like cuddling or scratching his back or rubbing her feet.  Don’t be afraid of your spouse’s body and don’t be afraid to let them enjoy yours.
  • Have a sex life that is fulfilling for both of you.  Don’t turn sex into a power struggle–it’s too important.  It’s the way men connect and the way women feel desired, so don’t mess with it and try to be in charge of when or how often.  Be receptive to your spouse and MAKE THE TIME even if you have a job and kids!  Connect sexually and express yourself sexually.
  • Both of you maintain personal hygiene and continue to dress in a way that is flattering, so that both of you stay attracted to one another.  Don’t shower once a month or wear sweats all day because you have to chase kids–make the effort to LOOK and SMELL good to your spouse.

4. Financial Commitment  in REAL Love

  • Before you have children, talk to your spouse about finances, evaluate where you both stand (what assets do you have and what debts do you have), and don’t hide money trouble.
  • Decide ahead of time what kind of lifestyle you BOTH want.  One of you is likely to be a “saver” and the other is likely to be a “spender” but decide if you are okay living “happy but poor,” if you want a more “middle class” approach like a job with some benefits and vacation, or if your lifestyle as a couple is “the rich and famous.”
  • Contribute to the family income, whether you are the main provider and a SAH who does a little home business, or you both work.  EVERYONE who is an adult contributes!
  • Both of you live by the budget.  If you discuss money and agree to not go to that sale at Macy’s …. don’t go!  If you agree you can’t afford that cook tech gadget right now, don’t go get it!  Honor your agreement and live by the budget so you don’t get your family in financial hot water.

5. Family Commitment  in REAL Love

  • In real life, family commitment means spending adult time alone with your spouse.  The best foundation you can give your family is a firm marriage, so don’t neglect it!
  • Everyday love shares household chores.  I guarantee both of you will think you are doing “more” and both of you will be tired, but REAL love does the chores together and sometimes, just to be nice, will do one of your spouse’s chores just to give them a break.
  • Children are not polite and well-raised by magic–unlike in the movies.  Child rearing takes time and consistency, and in real life…in REAL love…children need both a mom and a dad in their life, preferably married to each other and in the same home!  REAL love is helping get the kids dressed, helping them with homework, knowing them and their friends, playing with them, watching their “kid shows” or their game with them, talking about things, laying under the stars and learning astronomy together, teaching them to be polite by being polite yourself, and taking the time to RAISE them.  Real love is being present to raise the children you created and honoring your spouse in front of the children.

6. Social Commitment  in REAL Love

  • Oh this one is so fun!  In REAL love you include your spouse in everything: you let them into your life.  So they know and have met the people at work, at church, your friends…everyone.  And they are INCLUDED with all those people.  If they are not welcomed and wanted in a group, then you leave!  That’s  how it is in real life.
  • What if you’re an introvert and your spouse is an extrovert.  It would be hard for you to “go out” all the time and hard for them to “sit home” all the time.  Well…you LOVE your spouse so Real Love would have the two of you sit down and figure out how to make sure both of you have your needs met.  Maybe they go out but to a quieter place (like a bookstore or coffeeshop).  Maybe they go to a restaurant once a week and church.  Whatever, in Real Love you care enough about your spouse to want their need for social interaction to be met.
  • You do fun things together.  That is to say, not only do you love each other and have a family together, if you weren’t married, you two would LIKE each other because you have similar interests and enjoy similar stuff.  Do you both read?  Like hot rods?  Go to dog shows?  Play tennis?  What is your “fun” as a couple?  That’s REAL love
  • When you have nothing to do and no one to do it with, REAL lovers talk to each other about topics they both find interesting.  Usually, in Real Love, the couple has many things in common so they could sit and talk about politics, religion, a game they both play, a show they both watch, what’s on Facebook, something they read or heard… and they make the effort to learn about their spouse’s interests.  If he loves cars and she knows nothing about them, maybe she’ll do some research online about what a cam shaft is, and then talk to him about it.  Yes believe it or not, that is REAL LOVE.

7. Security Commitment  in REAL Love

  • There is a thing that is pretty hard to define but that I think almost everyone understands: “Being There” for your spouse in times of crisis.  What movies show us though is so fake.  One spouse doesn’t always break down crying while the other spouse comforts them.  Some people respond in a crisis by grieving sure, but in REAL Love you know your spouse and how they deal with crisis.  Some people go quiet and deal with it internally, and once they have a grip they can come out and be with you.  Some people deal with it externally and want someone to hug them.  Some people need to talk it out.  Some need quiet.  So REAL Love is not only knowing your spouse’s way of dealing with a crisis–it’s letting them deal with it their way and accepting that is part of who they are.
  • REAL, Everyday Love is giving 100% of your loyalty and affection to your spouse and only your spouse.  If you are giving a little affection to the lady at the office or the guy at the gym, you need to be honest with yourself and stop it.  REAL Love is knowing where your own weaknesses are and protecting your spouse (and your marriage) from being hurt.  Real Love is turning down the lady at the office or the guy at the gym, and instead, spending that time and energy loving your spouse.
  • Being “a soft place” for your spouse to fall–a safe haven.  When your spouse comes home, do they think “THANK GOD, I’m finally somewhere safe!” or do they feel like they left the stress of “out there” only to come home to more stress and blame and fighting?  REAL Love is being the one place your spouse feels like they are always safe to be who they are and they will be LOVED…consistently.  Home is the one place it’s okay to be as weird, and funny, and odd as they are and yet someone still finds them interesting, attractive, and valuable.

The love we see in the movies isn’t much like REAL Love, is it?  Are you still looking for “movie love”?  Do you feel like your love story is boring?  Want to talk to your spouse about REAL Love?  Go to our Assessments page, and fill out the Love Kindlers Questionnaire.  Fill out one for you and let your spouse fill out one for themselves, and then share the answers.

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