Best Definition of a Healthy Relationship

Below is a great definition of a healthy intimate relationship.   This description was retrieved from “Tools for Coping with Life’s Stressors”.  I have put key words in bold for you to quickly browse (although I encourage you to read the entire definition).  Compare your current (or past) relationship to this definition to see how it measures up.

 Characteristics of a Healthy Intimate Relationship

 The goal in an intimate relationship is to feel calm, centered and focused. The intimacy needs to be safe, supportive, respectful, nonpunitive and peaceful. You feel taken care of, wanted, unconditionally accepted and loved just for existing and being alive in a healthy intimate relationship.

You feel part of something and not alone in such a relationship.  You experience forgiving and being forgiven with little revenge or reminding of past offenses. You find yourself giving thanks for just being alive in this relationship. A healthy intimate relationship has a sense of directedness with plan and order. You experience being free to be who you are rather than who you think you need to be for the other.

This relationship makes you free from the “paralysis of analysis” needing to analyze every minute detail of what goes on in it. An intimate relationship has its priorities in order, with people’s feelings and process of the relationship coming before things and money. A healthy intimate relationship encourages your personal growth and supports your individuality. This relationship does not result in you or your relationship partner becoming emotionally, physically or intellectually dependent on one another. An intimate relationship encourages the spiritual growth of both relationship partners and makes room for God in the relationship as a partner and friend.



How #TheDress Debate Can Impact Your Marriage

The Dress (Photo obtained from:

 By Robin May

Who would have thought an internet sensation started by a Scottish musician could actually have a huge impact on your marriage.

I know. It seems like a far stretch, but just bear with me.

One of the things that I have found to be a challenge in many marriages is the power of perspective. We all know that our perspective is our reality…but our perspective doesn’t always match the facts. Our perspective is an interpretation of the facts…or an interpretation of what has happened.  I love this quote: ”If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

Wait. Let me give that to you again because it supports my suggestion that #TheDress Debate can impact your marriage.

”If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

Confession. Because I know you are dying to know.  When it comes to the dress, I can only see Blue and Black. I don’t even remember the other colors and actually it doesn’t matter because come on ya’ll…there is no way that dress can be anything other than blue and black…and anyone who sees anything else is downright crazy.

Okay. Maybe I went a little far with that, but that proves my point.  Two people can look at the very same thing, but the way they see that thing is based on the way their brain works…the way they process…it is based on our personal filters.  Again (I just mentioned this in the last blog), click HERE to hear me explain the concept of our “filter” and how it impacts our relationships. And many times we get so consumed with OUR view that it is hard to see the other persons view.

I challenge you to google (or you could ‘bing’ it…but who actually uses ‘bing’ when there is ‘google’? J/k) #TheDress.  Look at all the different comments…check out how sold people are on what THEY see…observe how some people have even gotten a little testy at those who don’t see it the way they see it. And then think about your marriage.

Whether the issues is money management (should we save for a new house or pay off all the bills?), raising children (should we allow him to quit football since he doesn’t like his coach, or should we make him stay to develop his character), or “THAT” issue (every couple has one) that you can’t seem to resolve, it all boils down to our perspective.  And learning how to respect the way our spouse processes situations is crucial for a healthy relationship.

Let’s revisit the quote I shared:

”If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

Could it be that if you change the way you look at your marriage, maybe your marriage could change?

So there you have it. Hashtag DressGate is much more than a crazy online sensation. Never mind. It is a crazy online sensation. But it can really help your relationship.  Take some time to chat with your spouse about it. Ladies, sure your husband initially might think you are crazy for bringing this topic to him…and fellas she might be slightly concerned that you are interested in this dress debate….but push through the resistance and get to the heart of the matter! I believe you will be surprised at how enlightening the conversation could be!

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you feel that I respect your perspective on issues?
  2. How can we both be more sensitive to one another’s viewpoints and ideas?
  3. How to we resolve an issue when we both have vastly different viewpoints?


Why she acts like she doesn’t want it…why he might not be enjoying it



By Robin May

Yes. We are about to talk about sex.  Such a touchy subject (pun unintended) especially for us church folk.  And I understand why.  It can be a tricky line to be free to express our sexuality (within marriage) and not be prudish, while knowing the importance of discretion despite the culture we currently live in.

Recently on the KD Bowe Show, we discussed this topic and it was such a touchy (there I go again…) conversation because men and women often get on the defensive when talking about why their partners may not be enjoying their intimate connections.

As a therapist I often find that when it comes to areas of conflict in relationships men and women are unable to hear the others perspective because of their filters.  You can click HERE to watch one of the “Marriage Moments” video on the topic of filters to understand better. But basically over time we all develop filters through which we process life.  And when our filters become backed up with frustrations, disappointments, and challenges it is hard for us to connect with others (especially our spouses) in a healthy manner.

The reality though is that if you want to have a popping, spicy, exciting and ‘swinging from the chandeliers’ kind of sex life (Yes…all of that is okay no matter how holy you are!) then you might want to start listening to what your spouse is (and maybe even more important…what they are not) saying!

Let’s start with the ladies! Of course this does not cover all the reasons why it may seem like your wife is not interested in sex, but here are a few top reasons that I’ve found through the years I’ve worked with couples:

1st things 1st: Please understand that contrary to popular belief, women desire sex just as much (and at times more) than men do.  The challenge is that our fire can easily be tapped out by the demands of life. So with that said, your wife may not seem interested in sex because:

1. She doesn’t feel secure

Financially, spiritually, emotionally…Your wife needs to feel covered and protected by you. I don’t care how strong she is, she needs you. And when she does not feel secure in the marriage, she will often not feel like being sexually intimate. This of course is also tied into her knowing that you are being faithful and committed to her.  Trust me…one is directly connected to the other.

What can a husband do? Ask your wife if she feels secure and if not, what you can do differently to help change how she feels.

 2. She doesn’t feel supported

Work. Meals. Bills. Homework. Doctors Appointments. Parent Teacher Conferences. Ailing parents. On and on…many women tell me that they feel like they are juggling everything that makes the family run smoothly and they often feel like they are doing it alone.  Many women have said “I feel like my spouse is just another one of my children that I have to manage.” No wonder she isn’t interested in having sex. She is too tired.

Ladies…let’s have a little girl talk. (Fella’s don’t read this part) Now, we have to be fair.  Because we want things done the way we want them done, we can easily become the martyr (‘whoa is me, I have to do it all by myself’) and we refuse to give our spouse the opportunity to help.  While he might not do it just like you would, the goal is for it to get done…so loosen the reigns a little bit.

What can a husband do?  Chip in consistently! Sit down with your wife and revisit how the two of you manage the demands of your life and make sure that the work load is distributed in a way that is mutually beneficial for both of you.

3. She doesn’t feel sensual

Whether it is the suspect tummy, the extra junk in the trunk or the never ending wiggly arms, when a woman doesn’t FEEL sexy, she often doesn’t want to have a whole lot of sex.  Sure, this has mostly to do with a woman’s perception of herself, but remember perception is reality. Or maybe it isn’t her body…maybe she is just having a hard time going into the phone booth as mommy and coming out as a sex kitten.  Either way, when her perception is off, her libido often is too.

What a can a husband do? Start a campaign of reassurance! Remind her…daily …how attractive she is to you.  Try and be specific when you can. Instead of “You look nice today” you could say “Girl, that dress is doing you right”. (oooh maybe I should do a book of pickup lines!) Also, you can help her with the transition.  After dinner encourage your wife to go take a hot bath to relax…just cross your fingers and pray that she doesn’t fall asleep.

Let’s transition.  It’s time to share 3 reasons your husband may not really be enjoying intimacy:

1.He is distracted

Whether it is because of pressures from work, family challenges or issues in your marriage, contrary to popular opinion a man’s libido can be impacted by what is happening in his life. Don’t get me wrong…for many men it doesn’t stop them from engaging in or even initiating sex, but it can impact the quality of the act.

What can a wife do?  Ask your husband how you can help him (“Honey, lately you’ve seemed a little more stressed than usual…is there anything I can do to help?”); If your husband opens up to you about what is going on at work or with family, be a good listener…even if you have to bite your lip to keep from interrupting!

2. He senses your disinterest

If I hear any reason more than any other it is this one right here! Men often share with me that being intimate with their wife when she is clearly not interested is a huge turn off.  It’s one thing if it is a rare occasion, but if your husband is constantly getting “supposed to” sex vs. “want to” sex (Order a copy of my book “The Intentional Intimacy Project” for married women to understand more of what the difference is…),  it will impact his enjoyment when the two of you are together. Your husband wants an engaged, on fire, ready to rock and roll partner…not a “let’s get it over with” partner.

What can a wife do?  Get into it! Even if that means sharing with him what you need him to do differently…do so as gently (and maybe even as creatively) as you can!

3. He has an undiagnosed health issue

Men can be stubborn. I know…that is a sweeping generalization so I sort of, kind of, apologize…but I think that it is true when it comes to health issues.  Many men are hesitant about going to the doctor and therefore if there is something going on with their health they may not know it.  And often health issues directly impact a man’s ability to perform.  And the unfortunate part about it is, the issue is often an easy fix, but often goes undiagnosed.

What can a wife do? Encourage your spouse to go to the doctor. This might mean making a special promise (“Baby, if you go to the doctor, when you come home I will be your nurse.” – See! Another good line!)


Remember, this doesn’t begin to cover the range of reasons there might be a disconnect in your marital intimacy. But I believe by starting here, you can at least get the conversation going! We want to hear from you! Join our FACEBOOK community and share your thoughts!


How to find lifetime love: 10 secrets from couples married for decades

older couple

If you want to know about love, ask someone with a lifetime of experience.

That’s why, when Karl Pillemer set out to collect advice about that deepest of human experiences, he consulted the country’s elders.

Pillemer, a gerontologist and professor of human development at Cornell University, and his team interviewed more than 700 Americans, ranging in age from 63 to 108, about their views on love. Married for 43 years on average, they weighed in on everything from how to find the right person to what keeps the spark alive.

Here are 10 of their lessons on love:

1. Opposites may attract in the movies, but they don’t make great marriage partners

The elders told Pillemer that you should choose a mate who is a lot like you. That means sharing core values and interests and having a similar outlook on life. So even though opposites can make for an exciting relationship, a lasting union often involves people who have similar personalities and backgrounds.

Science backs them up: A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that when people choose a partner, they prefer someone of a similar level of attractiveness, wealth and status, and commitment to family and monogamy.

2. Pay attention to what your friends and family say

Consider that if nobody likes your partner, there may be good reasons for it. So if your loved ones have lots of reservations, don’t get defensive but listen to why they feel that way.

3. Physical attraction is important

“I began this project with the illusion that the elders would be all about inner beauty, but the opposite was true,” Pillemer said. “Everybody across all walks of life said the relationship begins with a physical attraction of some kind.”

That doesn’t mean you have to be movie-star handsome or turn to cosmetic surgery. Rather, it means staying a healthy weight and looking as good as you can. That’s especially helpful if you want to keep the sexual spark alive in a relationship.

Click HERE to read the rest of the list!

Ways people treat you differently after “I Do”

“The minute you flip your Facebook status to “engaged,” you’ll find out all the ways that people treat you differently after you’re married.” A blogger at Madame Noire breaks down. Click HERE to check it out!