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by Larry Bilotta

Let me ask you…do you know how many hours a day you SHOULD be spending on your marriage?

A happy, healthy marriage requires that time is spent WITH each other, ON each other and FOR each other. Unfortunately, most couples forget this and focus on other things they consider (at the time) to be a “priority”.

So just what are some of the demands are married couples faced with?

o Planning and attending the children’s events

o Fussing over wedding, shower, christening, birthday and anniversary gifts for loved ones

o Taking care of pets and day-to-day household chores

o Maintaining the home and vehicles

o Attending and preparing for church related events and gatherings

o Spending time with extended family and friends

Add to this the fact that some couples are faced with serious “road blocks” that put a great deal of pressure on their marriage such as:

o Dealing with a serious illness in the family

o Elderly parent moving into the house

o An affair

o A serious accident

o Financial struggles such as bankruptcy or maxed out credit cards

o Loss of a child or loved one

o And the list goes on…

In order to put each spouse’s time into perspective, let’s take a look at what they do during a typical 168 hour week:

Activity Time Spent Time remaining in the week

Sleep: 8 hrs/day | 56 hrs/week – *112 hr remaining

Job/Travel: 9 hrs/day | 45 hrs/week – *67 hrs remaining

Eating & Prep: 2 hrs/day | 14 hrs/week – *53 hr remaining

Kids issues & events: 3 hrs/day | 21 hrs/week – *32 hr remaining

Household maintenance: 1 hrs/day | 7 hrs/week – *25 hr remaining

Phone conversations: 1.5 hrs/day | 10.5 hrs/week – *14.5 hr remaining

Friends/Social life: 1.5 hrs/day | 10.5 hrs/ week – *4 hr remaining

And where do those last 4 hours go?

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day (28 hours per week / two months of non-stop TV-watching per year). Let’s not focus on the idea that in a 65-year lifetime, a person will have spent nine years in front of a TV!

But let’s not assume that you are the average TV watcher. In fact, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably not watching anywhere NEAR that much TV. Instead, ask yourself: Do you have enough time for a good marriage?

To answer this question, we’ll need to discover what a “good marriage” REALLY is, and then we’ll discover the actual amount of time a “good marriage” requires in terms of hours per week. I have worked for many years now teaching married couples what they WISH they had learned BEFORE they got married.

I can explain what a good marriage is based on and what men and women need to be happy in marriage. In fact, I’ll get right down to it…

A man needs sexual intimacy and respect.

A woman needs financial security and emotional security.

Period.

When I work with couples, I give them these definitions and then ask them to give me a percentage on how much they are getting these needs on a 100% to 0% scale.

Over the years, I have found that in all good marriages, they each give me a rating between the 80% to 100% range. This means that a husband’s wife builds him up, overlooks his faults, looks for what’s good about him and takes a genuine…well, let me not waste words.

I’ll explain it concisely by showing you what a Real Wife and a Real Husband does to create a happy marriage using my Real Husband and Real Wife definitions which you can download here: http://www.stopyourdivorcein4weeks.com/real.pdf

In a perfect world, men and women would have these two signs posted their bathroom so they could read it on a consistent basis while they prepare for their busy day. I guarantee that any couple who even comes close to these definitions would tell you they are generally very happy in their marriage.

So how much TIME does it take to create this ideal marriage? After dealing with all the day-to-day life issues listed on the time chart you saw earlier, the remaining hours left for your marriage could EASILY be spent on watching TV.

TV is easy. It requires no thinking, no physical activity, no interaction with other people and no sacrifice on your part. You just sit down and let the cares of the day slowly drift away while you consume yourself with your favorite TV show.

The Neilson study about time use dramatizes the fact that Television is the #1 form of entertainment in the Nation. Nothing else even comes close in terms of time commitment. Americans in general are looking for the easy life that Television delivers.

It’s a fact that no relationship is as intense, demanding or as fulfilling as a marriage can be. It is the toughest, yet the most rewarding relationship you can have with another person. So WHY then do we choose to make EVERYTHING ELSE our top priority while we leave only 4 measly hours a week devote to our marriage?

Now think about this because I guarantee you haven’t before. Does anyone actually care about the health of YOUR relationship, your connection with each other and your marriage? In this society, marriage is the goose that lays the golden eggs and my point is no one really cares about the goose.

Let me prove my point that your marriage is the goose and everyone wants your “golden eggs”. Your children don’t care about your marriage …..until mom and dad are in big trouble and can’t stop fighting. Both sets of your parents don’t care about YOUR marriage.

In reality they care about their own son or daughter in the marriage, not the marriage itself. Your extended family members don’t care about YOUR marriage …but they do care that you bring a gift for nephews, nieces and come to the party…but they have nothing to say about your marriage.

Friends don’t care about YOUR marriage.They are polite to you as a couple, but really care about you as individuals…the person they knew BEFORE the wedding.

Your kid’s school won’t care about your marriage. They just need to know which one of you is going to volunteer for the fund drive or show up for parent teacher night.

It’s rare for churches – synagogues to care for your marriage. For most, it’s just not on their radar. They have no preventative maintenance program for married couples to keep them from falling into disrepair.

When it comes to assets, the goose of your marriage has got the goods. Marriage makes the two of you more stable and financially successful because of your union. Together you produce the golden eggs that build a strong Nation. Marriage has been ignored in this country thought it is the most VALUABLE and BENEFICIAL of all relationships.

No one has suggested “National Marriage Day” to bring to light the fact that marriages must be cared for and nurtured. We must protect the goose that lays the golden eggs. Instead what we have is a “goose killing society” because they don’t understand marriage.

When a marriage falls apart, friends, relatives, coworkers, schools, and even religious organization don’t know what to tell you. They don’t know what to do because very few people understand what it takes to create a successful marriage and even FEWER people know why marriages fall apart.

With this background in mind, it’s easy to see how the two of you will be influenced to put your priorities where everyone says your priorities should be…ON THEM! This is the reason your time, (one of the goose’s major assets) is freely given away to everyone else and only 4 hours a week is left for the male and female halves of the goose, to take care of itself.

If no one cares about the health of your marriage and the two of you don’t care either, then where does that leave your family? Who will care enough to keep your marriage together if the two of you don’t even know how? Who in this society will strengthen your marriage if not the two of you?

The answer is NO ONE…because no one cares about the goose. And this brings me to my conclusion that… “Only a HEALTHY Goose Can Lay Golden Eggs”

Hopefully you can now see that your marriage is the goose that lays the golden eggs. Together, you create secure and successful children that will shape our future and the future of our Grandchildren.

Together, you pay the taxes that run our cities, the mortgages that build new homes and create the wealth of society. It is as husband and wife that the two of you contribute to a strong society. Together, your savings and investments make this a stronger Nation…as a union, the two of you lay the golden eggs that contribute to our great Nation…and the prosperity of every human being on the planet for that matter.

So how do you take care of the goose, how to you keep your marriage strong? You must talk to each other to strengthen the goose. Talk…as in CONVERSATION, not just in passing. Talking, sharing ideas and listening to each other takes time and 4 hours a week is the absolute MINIMUM amount of time that you should spend doing this activity.

Talk openly and be sure not to criticize each other while you are talking. This will add depth to your relationship and keep your marriage strong. Probably the most well worn piece of marriage advice is to plan a “date night” on a regular basis.

You plan that date and suddenly the world of demanders comes and tries to steal even that little time from the goose. Don’t let it happen. Take a closer look at all the time restraints on your marriage that you would normally use to serve the needs of others and remember that Only a Healthy Goose Lays Golden Eggs, and improving your marriage takes time. It will not happen overnight.

You need to be in a good state of mind when the two of you face the unexpected and uninvited troubles of life that might take the form of bankruptcy, a sick child, or various kinds of addictions that could affect either of you.

If collectively, you are not a “healthy goose”, those troubles can rip the goose apart and one-million five hundred thousand divorces a year prove it. In times of trouble, you must talk to each other MORE, not less. To talk, you need to feel safe with each other. To feel safe, both of you need to really listen to each other without judgment.

If you have to vent your troubles and worries, take turns, then put it all behind you. IT ALL TAKES TIME. Give your marriage the time and the world will continue to thank you for your golden eggs.

Wondering if there’s still hope for your marriage? Discover how to save your marriage. Get FREE tips and advice to help you get your marriage back on track the RIGHT WAY at Larry Bilotta’s Marriage Saving web site http://www.marriage-success-secrets.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry_Bilotta

By Joey Faucette

You know more today about Elliott Spitzer’s marriage than his wife did. That’s a scary thought if you’re her, and also probably for you. Do you wonder about your own marriage?

Everything seemed fine to everyone around the Spitzers, maybe like it does to everyone around you. After all, who could ask for anything more? Money, prestige, power-the Spitzers had it all, right? If that’s true, then why did their marriage “Spitz Out?” And how did it get so out of control? (Call girls?) All of which begs the question you’re asking: “How can I keep my marriage from Spitzing Out?”

Having coached thousands of couples over three decades as a Marriage Coach, some of whom have had affairs, Dr. Joey Faucette says most wives and husbands want to stay married, but just don’t know how to consistently keep their marriage vital and alive. They struggle with how to recover from relationship rips that tear at the heart of the marriage. The necessary healing never happens, their affections alienate, and they Spitz Out.

Like you, they’re just not sure how to do Marriage CPR and avoid Spitzing Out.

There are some common characteristics that successful couples live into to perform CPR on their marriage. You can learn and live these tips daily so your marriage doesn’t Spitz Out.

THE FIRST TIP: CONSERVE YOUR MARRIAGE

The heart of your marriage requires that both of you conserve your marriage just as carefully as the paramedics try to conserve your heart muscle and get it beating again when you suffer a heart attack.

How do you conserve your marriage’s heart like successful couples do?

You make your relationship with your spouse a priority, of primary importance, first place among all of the other relationships. You take care of your marriage relationship first before you do anything else, making sure that it’s beating enough to sustain the life of your marriage.

What does this look like in your everyday world?

Basically it means you don’t give all of your “best self,” your energy and attention to other relationships such as work. You Conserve your energy and attention so that when you come home at the end of the day, you have lots of your “best self” to share with your spouse.

When you give away your primary energy and attention to work or some other relationship, you replace your marriage as the priority relationship in your world. You commit emotional adultery, giving away to another without conserving enough of you to share with your spouse at the end of the day.

How do you know when you’re in an emotionally adulterous affair with work? Answer these questions honestly:

1. How many days a week do I work so intensely that I can’t carry my end of a conversation with my spouse?

2. How many weeks do I work more than 45 hours?

3. How many months have passed since I planned a special evening or get-away weekend with my spouse-just the two of us?

Your answers to these questions aren’t intended to create a paralyzing guilt, but a motivating drive to change your habits. Your choices are:

a. conserve time, energy, and attention for your spouse, or;

b. Spitz Out!

As with any form of CPR, your immediate attention increases the survival rate. Don’t delay by wondering if you’re having an emotional adulterous affair with work or someone else. If your answers create even a suspicion you might be, act now like there is no tomorrow. What can you do to conserve your marriage?

Try these immediate actions:

1. Conserve your energy and attention today. Let others own their situations and problems.

2. If you’ve worked too much this week, take off early Friday afternoon and do something fun.

3. Call your spouse right now and plan an experience for just the two of you.

The first way not to Spitz Out in your marriage and stay married is to Conserve energy and attention for your marriage, treating your spouse as if he or she is your most important relationship. The C in Marriage CPR that prevents you from Spitzing Out is to Conserve energy and attention.

THE SECOND TIP: PRESERVE YOUR MARRIAGE

Do you remember how when you were dating, your spouse took your breath away?

When you decide not to Spitz Out so you have a healthy Marriage, you Preserve certain qualities in your relationship that you found so appealing when you were dating. You breathe life from your dating days back into your marriage.

Just as CPR for the body requires restarting the heart, your marriage Conserves and the heart beats again. Next, just as CPR breathes new breath into the lungs, so you Preserve your marriage with a new breath of life.

Your daily life seems intent on knocking the breath out of your marriage at times, doesn’t it? There’s so much that hits you marked “Urgent” or “Important” whether it’s at work or at home. Fending off these blows is critical to not Spitzing Out in your marriage.

Here’s how you can fend off those blows that knock the breath of your marriage and breathe life back into your relationship by Preserving your marriage:

1. If you sent your then-girlfriend-now-wife flowers at work on the monthly anniversary of your first date and she loved it, send her flowers at work on the monthly anniversary of your wedding or first date for a few months. I promise-she hasn’t forgotten what you did while you were dating!

2. If you played golf with your then-boyfriend-now-husband at least one weekend a month while dating, do it again. If it’s been awhile since you two played together, be prepared to call 9-1-1, but he’ll recover. He hasn’t forgotten what you did for him while dating!

Couples far too often relax after saying “I do,” almost as if they say, “I’m done.” They date each other hard, then put up the relationship as if they were finished trying. Breathe back into your marriage relationship those dating qualities that you remember and cherish. Get them out of your head as memories and into your everyday world as marriage savers.

The second way to not Spitz Out in your marriage and do CPR on your marriage is to Preserve your dating qualities in your relationship. Successful couples discover it prevents you from smiling and dialing call girls. The P in Marriage CPR that prevents you from Spitzing Out is to Preserve great qualities.

THE THIRD TIP: RESERVE YOUR MARRIAGE

Once you Conserve the heart of your marriage by making it the most important relationship you’re in, and once you Preserve the breath of your marriage by breathing those dating qualities back into your marriage, then you are ready to Resuscitate your marriage. You Reserve time to live a great married life.

The time vampires constantly fly around your home, just waiting for a chance to suck the minutes out of your marriage. And the choices aren’t always between “good” and “bad” things, but often it’s between “good, better, and best.”

When you do CPR on your marriage, you Reserve time for what’s best for your relationship with your spouse. Now the obvious times to reserve are anniversaries and birthdays. Successful couples that don’t Spitz Out do more than the obvious. Be creative. Here are four ideas you can implement almost immediately.

1. Celebrate the anniversary of your first date. Talk about what you remember of it. If you have children at home, tell them the story of your first date-at least the parts you want them to know about right now.

2. Reserve time for each other at least three evenings a week to talk. Your conversation doesn’t have to be “heavy” navel-gazing. It can be about who you saw or spoke to today that you haven’t seen in a while or what you ate for lunch that was delicious. Just communicate.

3. Reserve time and plan a date night weekly.

4. Reserve time to celebrate spontaneously by planning “Just Because” experiences. Every couple of months or so, have a “Happy Tuesday” celebration for no reason other than it’s a Tuesday.

Time is a non-renewable resource. Once you spend it, that minute is gone. There is no second chance to recycle. Invest your greatest asset-time-in your marriage relationship.

The third way to avoid a Spitz Out in your marriage and stay married is to Reserve time for your relationship with your spouse. Successful couples find it keeps your intimacy delightfully intense at home. The R in Marriage CPR that prevents you from Spitzing Out is to Reserve time.

START YOUR MARRIAGE CPR TODAY!

Don’t Spitz Out. Do CPR on your marriage:

1. Conserve the heart of your energy and attention for your spouse,

2. Preserve your dating qualities and breathe those into your marriage, and;

3. Resuscitate your Marriage by Reserving time to for each other,

and live hapily ever after!

Marriage Coach Dr. Joey Faucette has helped thousands of couples over the last three decades to avoid the emotional and financial devastation of divorce and discover the satisfaction and stimulation of Staying Married Forever. You go to the C.O.R.E. of your marriage when you live into the joy of Conflict resolution, the strength of how Opposites attract, the understanding of your Relevant issues, and the pleasure that comes with knowing how to Express yourself.

Go deep into the C.O.R.E. of your marriage with Dr. Joey Faucette through Couple Coaching, the Ultimate At-Home Study Course, teleseminars, and other effective Stay Married Forever resources. Go to http://www.StayMarriedForever.org

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1046498

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