The Secret To Marriage

December 16th, 2011

Clarence and Mayme Vail, married for 83 years

Clarence and Mayme Vail have been married for 83 years, becoming the new Guinness World Record holders for the longest living married couple.

In a society where 50% of marriages end in divorce (and some don’t even last 72 days!), the question often asked to Clarence and Mayme is, “How do you do it?”

Surprisingly, their answer is very simple: you take your vows seriously! Read the rest of this entry »

The Pornography Problem: Getting Help

December 8th, 2011

Pornography has become an increasingly available in the world, and I think it is leaving a trail of broken hearts, broken marriages, and aching regret. It is all over the internet and other media too. Like any harmful substance addiction, the consequences of pornography coupled with poor decisions and selfishness leads to crumbling relationships, especially marriage. I have seen firsthand how others’ marriages fall apart due to pornography addictions.

If you read the last post, you know a little bit more about how pornography addictions affect the brain. You also understand the damaging effects addictions can have on families and relationships. But all of that research and statistics might not mean much to you if you are already seeing these negative effects in your own life.

Instead, what you are looking for is how to get help for this disease and how to maintain hope through it all. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pornography Problem: Prevention

December 5th, 2011

Pornography has become so pervasive in our world that it has become almost “normal” to come into some kind of contact with it. The people who are in the business of pornography will tell you it is a natural thing to do; that being human is all about natural, sexual urges. We should embrace pornography, not shun in.

I’m here to tell you differently. And why.

Pornography and sex addictions can destroy lives. Pornography is built upon lust, an unquenchable hunger, and addicts are constantly trying to satisfy that hunger. Sure, not everyone who dabbles in pornography gets addicted, but many do. And just like most addictions, it is never satisfied. The addiction has an ever-increasing need for more stimulation and more drugs, and only becomes progressively worse. Read the rest of this entry »

Couple Talks Before Marriage

December 1st, 2011

Even after being married for two-and-a-half years (and almost two years of being friends and dating before marriage), its amazing the things I’m still learning about my husband. Like how he once played the trumpet in elementary school. Or how he started a forest fire while at a family reunion. Although these little snippets are seemingly insignificant (well, the forest fire is kind of a big deal), it still shows that when I said “I do” I only just started getting to know the person in front of me.

While my husband and I talked a lot before we got married and got a good feel of our habits and dispositions, the actual act of being married and living together is hard to fully grasp until you are doing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Attitude of Gratitude

November 21st, 2011

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about the little things that I am grateful for. Obviously, my husband immediately came to mind and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of sincere gratitude and appreciation towards him. But then I got to thinking, how often do I really tell him how grateful I am?

I think too many times we get caught up in thinking, “Oh well, he knows how I feel about him. He knows I appreciate him.” But does he really?

When is the last time you really thanked your partner for spending time with you? Or listening to you talk about your day? Or helping you around the house or yard? Or going to work to help pay the bills? Read the rest of this entry »

Dream Wedding Update

November 18th, 2011

It’s hard to believe it’s already November 18, which means only 15 more days until Laureana and Adam have their Dream Wedding! We wanted to recap what they have done so far and what you have helped them plan:

  1. RELATE: Even before Laureana and Adam were voted on as our winning couple, they took the RELATE Questionnaire – a comprehensive survey that gives couples (at any stage of commitment) an opportunity to sit down and talk about their relationship. They thought the survey was both enjoyable and informative and found that their results reflected very similarly, especially in communication! Anyone can take the RELATE Questionnaire, free of charge, by linking from the StrongerMarriage.org website
  2. DRESS: One of the first elements of their wedding Laureana and Adam had viewers help them plan was Laureana’s dress from Mary’s Bridal. The women at Mary’s Bridal helped pick out dress options for Laureana that they knew would look fabulous on her and FOX viewers picked this one! For more information on Mary’s Bridal, visit their website or stop by their store, located at 6267 South Highland Drive Salt Lake City, Utah 84121.

    Laureana's Wedding Dress

  3. PHOTOS: To help remember the moment, Adam and Laureana had an engagement portrait session with Ashlee Brooke Photography. Ashlee does an incredible job of making everyone look naturally beautiful and ties in some gorgeous landscapes. Photos from their engagement shoot will appear on their invitations and Ashlee Brooke Photography will be shooting their wedding as well! (You can check out some teasers from their engagement shoot on Ashlee Brooke Phototography’s Facebook page.)
  4. THEME: The second thing FOX viewers helped Laureana and Adam decide on was the theme of their wedding. Ella Rose Floral, Beautiful Wedding Announcements and Cake by Roxie came up with three wonderful theme choices, including Park City Winter, Holiday Sparkle and Classic Christmas. Viewers chose Holiday Sparkle!

    Holiday Sparkle Theme

  5. RINGS: In our final week of voting, FOX13 viewers have the opportunity to vote for Adam and Laureana’s rings; something so important, because not only does it showcase your commitment to one another, but you will be wearing them for the rest of your lives! Saratoga Jewelry Co. helped the couple pick out three, incredible ring choices, which you can vote on here. The winning designs will be announced on FOX13’s Good Day Utah on Monday morning!
  6. PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING: It’s easy to get caught up in the planning of the wedding (especially when it’s a whirlwind like it has been for Laureana and Adam!) and not look to the future and have those important conversations with one another. To help make sure they are fully prepared for their life together, Adam and Laureana are meeting with marriage and family therapist. Dr. Liz Hale.

In additional to the elements mentioned above, Laureana and Adam have been working with Newpark Resort & Hotel to plan the reception, Utah Food Services to design their menu, Divine Limousine about transportation and Laughing Gravy Entertainment for music!

Stay tuned for a blog post from Adam and Laureana about their thoughts on the process and excitement for their future together!

To our married readers out there: what was the most memorable part of your wedding planning process and did you and your partner take time to have those important conversations about your future?

How To Increase Intimacy In Your Relationship

November 11th, 2011

We recently talked about real intimacy and the three different kinds of intimacy that are essential to a marriage (in this post). Now how do we strengthen intimacy in our relationships?

Intimacy (emotional, intellectual, and physical) needs to be cultivated and constantly worked on. It is difficult to get intimate with our partner—in any way!—if we don’t create the right atmosphere.  Read the rest of this entry »

Marriage Rituals

November 7th, 2011

In a previous post, we discussed how to make time for your partner. With all the over-scheduling that occurs in families these days, we can do well to make time for one another even just for a few minutes.

Along with making time for our spouse, William Doherty—author of “Take Back Your Marriage”—also suggests creating marriage rituals.

Rituals are repeated, coordinated, and significant actions that have a positive emotional meaning to both parties. Rituals are different than routines in that they are able to express love and deep connection in everyday life. They allow couples to say, “I love you and you are special to me,” just by their small actions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Combating the Threat of Overscheduling

November 3rd, 2011

Between school, work, children, hobbies, Facebook-ing, church activities, and so much more, there are not a lot of hours left in the day. In this day and age, we live in a world that is constantly staying busy and moving fast. Time is what we always need more of. And time is what can end up threatening our marriages.

William Doherty, in the book “Take Back Your Marriage,” says time is one of the biggest issues that can be a risk in our relationships. We are involved in so many things that we sometimes don’t leave enough time for our partners. We are overscheduled.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dream Wedding Finalist Interviews

October 24th, 2011

There are only 2 more days of voting left! To refresh your memory, here are video interviews with each of our couples that aired on FOX13. Watch them then vote for your favorite couple on the Stronger Marriage Facebook page.

Jon & Evelyn

Trevor & Jessica

Kelie & David

Stephanie & Patrick

Adam & Laureana