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Marriage & Relationships

 

Vocational Intimacy

Make time to discuss the business of life as a couple, but don't let it interfere with a romantic interlude.

If you thought the financial getaway was off the romance trail, what you’re probably thinking right now is, “How can talking about work help our love life?” It can’t – so just move on.

Just kidding! What happens to many couples is they work so much, they never talk about why they work so hard, what they are working for, or how they will use their little bit of free time when they do have it. Sometimes couples become overly focused on their careers because they have never gotten on the same goal plan sheet. Or maybe there are issues that need addressing in their relationship that feel too complicated, so more work seems easier than dealing with the problems.

Once a year (or at the very least once every 18 months), Bill and I go away to talk about the work/ministry side of our life and family. We have always been very proactive in the area of setting ten-year, seven-year, five-year, three-year, and one-year goals for our individual lives, for our careers, for the ministries we run, and for our family and home. However, it was on a date that we decided this deliberate approach was vital. In the midst of an amazing romantic environment, we watched a couple have an emotional meltdown before our very eyes. They began talking about money issues on this romantic interlude, which soon turned into a dramatic scene, complete with yelling and crying. We prayed for this couple and then looked at each other and said, “Let’s make sure that is never the story of our life!” That night we became even more convinced of the necessity of being on the same page in the area of goal setting. The business of life had stolen this couple’s red-hot monogamy, and we vowed to not let that happen to us.

 

On a goal-setting weekend, to really be clear minded, you will need to begin and end with five things:

  1. Prayer . You need to hear God’s voice leading you louder than anything else.
  2. Rest . Take a nap before you dig in and discuss. Then take a nap as a reward before you go home and face real life again.
  3. Good food . Cook together or eat at a favorite romantic spot when you begin and end this getaway. In our book Why Men and Women Act the Way They Do, we ran across research that said men are happier after they eat. At the same time, the place in a woman’s brain that controls eyesight is stimulated. She becomes more aware of her life, and he is more willing to engage her. So folks, the way to a man’s heart and the way to better interaction really is around the table. If you have a tough topic to discuss with your husband, feed him a great meal, give him super sex, and then share what’s on your heart.
  4. A little activity . Do something simple. A 20-minute walk or swim will clear your brain and replenish you.
  5. Great sex . Set an amount of time for talking about, writing down, and processing your goals and work discussion. Reward yourself with sex by each selecting one of the Red-Hot Romance Ideas to do before you get in the car and head home. (Remember, we said do these things at the beginning and end. At the beginning, reward yourself with sex just for making the effort to go on this kind of goal-oriented getaway.)
 

 
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