Holidays + In-laws: A webinar

holidays plus inlaws

One of the things I’m hoping to do with The On Purpose Marriage is help couples deal with problems BEFORE they become a problem. Part of an On Purpose Marriage means looking at the calendar and asking each other, “Is there something we fight about every year? Is there a way to avoid certain topics becoming a ‘thing’ every. single. time. they come up?”

The holidays.

They are coming.

And so is that fight about Thanksgiving/Christmas/who to invite to dinner/where to stay when you go to Memphis/whether your mom should have used that tone with your spouse.

Let’s deal with it today so that y’all can actually enjoy the holidays this year, ok?


We’re doing an online webinar thing on Thursday, November 12th at 9pm CST. We are going to help you do 2 things:

  • Have healthy and constructive conversations about what to do/who to see/how to deal with your father-in-law’s obsession with political puns.
  • Come up with a game plan so that you two stay on the same team instead of turning into sworn enemies by the time New Year’s rolls around.

Marie! We need this! How do we sign up? How much does it cost?

I want you to have some financial skin in the game. In order to get in on this Holiday + In-law goodness you’re gonna have to go over to Technology Access Center of Nashville and donate $50 to their organization (you can use this link to go straight to the donation page).

Technology Access Center does the little talked about work of re-engineering technology so that it works better for those with disabilities and functional limitations. The mission of the corporation’s board and staff members is to promote the independence and participation of individuals of all ages with disabilities in school, work, play and everyday activities through their use of assistive technology.

tac nashvilleThey recently adapted battery operated toys to provide access to kids with disabilities through special switches. So cool, right?

Once you donate $50 to TAC forward a copy of your receipt/screenshot of your donation to I’ll add your email address to the list and you’ll get a link to the webinar. Receipts/screenshots will need to be submitted by November 11th.

We’re going to record the webinar so that you can have it to watch at your own time/pace so don’t worry about ‘missing’ it, but be warned that there are no refunds. 


Holidays + In-laws: A webinar

3 Signs You’re Not on the Same Team

If you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook you might know that I’ve been talking a lot about teamwork and how marriage requires lots of it. Lots. of. it.

But before you can start working like a team, you might need to take a closer look at your Not-On-The-Same-Team Ways. Here are 3 signs your marriage might be on the bench this season:

1. We don’t talk.

If your huddles look more like this:

And less like this:

Something isn’t right.

A team cannot win without solid and clear communication. The magic of Peyton Manning isn’t in his physical ability, it’s in his ability to communicate a plan in a way that allows his team to execute. If you aren’t talking you aren’t winning.

More than that, look at why you aren’t talking. Does it feel pointless because nothing ever changes? Are you scared to bring up your concerns because it will ‘rock the boat’? Do you only talk when you’re angry? Answer these questions honestly and you’ll be in a better position to find a solution.

2. One of you is hurt and no one cares.

We can’t always be at the top of our game. We get injured or exhausted. You struggle through depression. You have a fight with your mom. You lose a job. You have a crappy day and just don’t feel like dealing with life.

When a teammate is injured the team cares. Because if a teammate is hurt the whole team hurts. But some of us act like, “Oh, you’re hurt? Sucks to be you!” And that’s not cool. If your spouse’s mental health, debt, work situation, funks feel like they are not your problems at all then you should consider checking yourself before you wreck yourself.

3. You have no goal or even an opponent.

If you guys are standing around in your marriage looking like you have no clue what you’re doing:

You probably don’t have an agreed upon goal for your marriage. What’s the purpose of working through your issues and communicating? If you don’t know WHY you’re doing it you probably WON’T do it.

Let’s pretend you can’t figure out what your goals are for your marriage. Then think about who your opponent is. (Hint: It’s not your spouse) Your opponent is something you are both teaming up against: Debt, In-Laws, Parenting! Figure out who the real opponent is in your marriage and you’ll be one step closer to getting back on the same team!

I am about to start pushing out a lot of marriage enriching content your way. You do not want to miss this. And because I’m too lazy to make another MailChimp list make sure you jump on the email train here and just ignore the baby stuff if you do not, in fact, have any children:

3 Signs You’re Not on the Same Team

What Kind of Married Sex Are You Having?

Married Sex. The thought of it doesn’t exactly make you faint with excitement, does it?

As newlyweds, we all thought we could avoid the boredom that everyone attributes to Married Sex:

“Marriage is getting to do it whenever you want! Let the sexual revolution begin!”

“Our sexual energy is electric. We will never fall into a rut. Ever.”

“If you aren’t making magic in the bedroom something must be seriously wrong with you.”

And all the married people were like:

Because Married Sex can be, well, kind of boring. Be for real, if you could only eat filet mignon EVERY SINGLE NIGHT (or even just on Tuesdays when the kids are with your mom), you might be craving some variety. Even if that variety was Ramen or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And it’s not that filet mignon FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE isn’t amazing, it’s that we are human and we get bored.

“I love you” Sex

There are no strings attached with this sex, it’s simply sex because you love one another and you feel connected. Maybe you wrapped up a fun date night where the conversation flowed and you remembered all of the reasons you wanted to spend your lives together. Or you just made it through one of those hard patches that every marriage goes through and you looked up and saw your spouse never left your side and your heart felt like it was going to burst. “I love you” sex is the very best. Have as much of it as possible.

Primal Sex

This is more about needs than it is about love. We are humans and we all have sexual appetites. Sometimes Married Sex is just about getting your needs met, and that’s ok! Actually, it’s a lot of fun knowing that your booty call doesn’t require getting in your car at 3 in the morning.

“Are we ok?” Sex

This is a little bit like “I love you” Sex, but it’s more of a question than it is a statement. Sometimes we need reassurance that our bond is intact, and many of us equate sex with connection. This is especially true for husbands since men are more likely to say “I love you” with an orgasm. If your husband has been in the dog house or has been getting mixed signals about whether he’s doing a good job as your husband, he might be wanting sex not so much because of his physical needs, but for his emotional needs. He wants to know you guys are connected, and sex is how he knows he knows he knows.

Reporting for Duty Sex

This is the Married Sex that we kinda sorta dread. It’s scheduled sex. It’s boring sex. It’s non-spontaneous. It’s all the sex, none of the passion. It’s the sex we have so that we don’t go ‘too long’ without it. I’m not the biggest fan of this sex (is anyone?), but I think it’s important for a healthy Married Sex life. Sex in a marriage is like training for a marathon, you aren’t always going to want to but you’ll probably always be glad you did because, if anything, it helps you get closer to a bigger goal which is feeling connected, in love, and holding hands while sitting in rocking chairs on your front porch when you’re 89. This shouldn’t be the only kind of Married Sex you’re having, but don’t feel bad if every once in a while you’d rather do the dishes than do the deed.

Invisible Elephant Sex

This sounds like something out of the Kama Sutra. It’s not. This is when you’re NOT having any Married Sex at all and no one is talking about it because you’re embarrassed/ashamed/hoping everyone will just go along and get along. I don’t know why you’re not having sex and pretending that it’s ok, but please put dealing with this issue at the top of your Marriage To-Do List. If anything, sex is a tool to help couples gauge their satisfaction in the marriage by looking at their satisfaction in the bedroom. Figure out how to talk about the Sexual Elephant in the Room (that’s an image, right?!?) and start sharing what you want your sex life to look like and coming up with a plan on how to get there!

In February we’re rolling out our first edition of the (FREE!) Marriage Studio Magazine. If you’re on any of our mailing lists you’ll get it on Monday, February 2, 2015. This month’s edition is all about Married Sex so if you enjoyed this post and want more tips/thoughts/ideas about improving your sex life make sure you sign up below!

What Kind of Married Sex Are You Having?

Bring Back the Art of the Love Note

love notes paperkuts

Super excited about this event with paperKuts studio!

We are going to explore the lost art of a handwritten note, and how introducing this art back into your marriage can be just what your love life needs.

When Kim called me to talk about the idea I immediately thought of John Wooden, former head coach of UCLA’s basketball team. This man is amazing in a million ways, but I would argue the love he had for his wife, Nellie, was his greatest legacy. She died 25 years before him and every month after her death he wrote her a love letter:

On Tuesday the best man I know will do what he always does on the 21st of the month. He’ll sit down and pen a love letter to his best girl. He’ll say how much he misses her and loves her and can’t wait to see her again. Then he’ll fold it once, slide it in a little envelope and walk into his bedroom. He’ll go to the stack of love letters sitting there on her pillow, untie the yellow ribbon, place the new one on top and tie the ribbon again.
Rick Reilly, “A Paragon Rising Above the Madness”

Their love story is legendary simply because he took the time to say, with pen and paper, that she matters to him. That she is his best girl. That he can’t wait to see her again.

Don’t you want a legendary love story?

In a lot of ways our text messages to each other serve the same purpose. Quick notes during the day to let your spouse know they matter. But what would happen if we went the extra mile and put it down on paper? Would our spouse feel extra special? Would they treasure this souvenir of love a little bit more?  Would they pass it down for generations to come?

Think about that: The Wooden children and grandchildren have mementos of the love that bore them. Will our kids have that?

In the same way that we need to make sure all the photos we take eventually get off our hard drives and into a photo album, I think we need to make sure the love notes we text get off our phones and into a stack of real love letters tied with a yellow ribbon.

Come join us on Friday, January 30th at paperKuts studio to explore the art of the handwritten note AND hear from mentor couples that already practice this beautiful act of love! Reserve your spot by emailing or calling Kim today! | 615-885-0231


Bring Back the Art of the Love Note

“We can’t agree on money!” #FightsWeHave

There are 2 kinds of marriage advice in this world:

  1. Marriage is amazeballs and it’s Valentine’s Day all day, every day at your house.
  2. He has cheated on you 42 times and you want to know if you should leave.

There seems to be very little advice for those of us in the middle, in the real world. So I’m going to start showing you how to walk through the boring, not-a-big-deal-but-totally-a-big-deal fights that married couples have using the Glacier Fight Breakdown. Because the sooner you can figure out what you’re REALLY fighting about the better.

In this episode we’re talking about a couple, William & Kate, and a fight they are having about money. Enjoy!

“We can’t agree on money!” #FightsWeHave

What Happened When We Quit Having Sex

In November Mark joined our local Planet Fitness. He has always been a trim and athletic guy. And then he met me, and I introduced him to fast food and Netflix marathons. #WifeyFTW

So he joins the gym and he’s ready to shed the pounds he’s gained since we got married. I know that I’m the biggest reason he has gotten to this place so I decide that I’m going to help him. Because I am a good person and I don’t want my husband to die of Netflix-induced obesity.

I do what any good wife would do, and I submit a challenge for his approval:

We can’t have sex again until both of us lose 10 pounds.

I truly believe I’m brilliant. It’s the perfect combination of motivation (everyone loves Hint, Hint), and torturing a spouse as a form of entertainment (“Nope, you may be a resident of the proverbial yard, but you will not be having any of thine milkshake”). Again, I’m brilliant.

But I forgot about a couple of things:

First, we were headed into the holidays. I don’t know if you’ve encountered this, but it’s hard to lose weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And if you tell me that you did manage to lose weight during the holidays while eating your awesome all-protein diet, well:

Second, I became like a dude in the sex department. Like any normal person the minute sex was deemed off limits it became ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT.

No, seriously. Where I had been pretty average in the desire department and often choosing more sleep over nookie, I became like a 16-year old boy. I wanted to talk about sex, I was thinking about sex, and I was insisting we have sex. Which had Mark all:

And then he was immediately like:

Needless to say, we did not lose any weight during the holidays, but our sex life has been brought back to life. I had totally forgotten how much fun it is to tease and flirt with my husband in a way that communicated that he is my sexy beast, and not just a “good husband and father.” Yes, he wants to be considered a good husband and father, but there was this rawness in our relationship that seemed to die once we became parents. And even though it was completely by accident (true story: I might have even suggested the challenge because it would take something off of my to-do list during the stress of the holidays), I’m super happy we stumbled upon it once again.

How do you make sure your sex life stays on its A-game? Please share your tricks with the world!

What Happened When We Quit Having Sex