marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Friday, March 27, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Try Not To Laugh



This really fun date night idea comes courtesy of http://www.focusonthefamily.ca/marriage/great-date-ideas/

COMEDY NIGHT

You will need:
*Take out dinner
*Put the kids to bed early
*pencil and paper
*joke books
*Digital camera (optional)
*a good memory


When was the last time you and your spouse shared a good laugh? If it's your turn to plan the date, plan a comedy-themed date with the goal to laugh all evening. Before your date, ask your spouse to collect silly jokes and think of funny childhood memories to share at dinner. Let them know that you will be doing the same. 


For more laughs during your meal, play the straight-faced game – see who can hold their serious expression without laughing first. Try it multiple times: Winner gets a big bite off the other’s plate! If you are able to get a sitter and dine out and  you don’t care about the other diners watching your silliness, sit side-by-side so you can take photos of yourselves making the goofiest faces.

If you try this date, send me your selfies at samzaragoza@sbcglobal.net and I'll post them here to help get other married couples excited about making their marriages an eternally great one. 

Happy Dating!

Check them out for other great date night ideas too. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

CTC Night (At Home) -- Lovers Bee



Happy Continue The Courtship Night all you married lovers out there!

When planning for date night, it's good you both understand some ground rules to ensure your time together is as productive toward building your eternal marriage as well as keeping it fun.
The National Healthy Marriage Institute (http://healthymarriage.org/homedates.htm, 2006,1) offers these rules:

1. NO FIGHTING

It is critical that you commit to making your dates,  a conflict free time zone. The reason why you are going on the date is to strengthen your relationship and fighting will only damage it. As soon as you feel a conflict coming on take a time out, commit to discussing the issue at a specific time in the future and immediately start a trip down memory lane by sharing some of your favorite memories you have had together.

2. NO TALKING ABOUT PROBLEMS

There is plenty of time in the week to discuss problems. While you are on a date should never be one of those times. Dating is a time for having fun and strengthening your relationship.

3. HAVE FUN

Get out of your comfort zone so you can create memories that will last a life time.

That being said: if you are stuck at home because you have small children and/or on a tight budget, you could try this idea:

Make a blanket or quilt together. Find some old clothes, baby clothes, extra baby blankets, worn out sweats, jeans or shirts. Cut them into 6" squares and sew them together to make a patchwork quilt. It's fun and is great for starting a conversation.

Doesn't sound appealing to you guys? here's a tip: the #1 aphrodisiac for women is conversation - especially if you can make her laugh. Here's your chance.

Happy Dating!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

C-T-C Night (At Home) -- Cooking Up Some Love




Happy Continue-The-Courtship Night! My favorite day of the week. A weekly holiday to celebrate eternal marriage.

Trouble finding/affording a sitter? Stuck at home? Try this date night idea:

Birthdays and special occasions are coming. Now is a good time to get out the aprons and fire up the skillet for a night of cooking — for both of you.

Learn how to cook each other's favorite meal, and then do it together. Whether you end up with a delicious steak and tuna casserole for two or speed-dialing for Chinese takeout; you're guaranteed to enjoy the process. 

When I was in college, one of my professors taught me that I should read and make the recipes in a new cookbook each month. There are some amazing cookbooks out there at discount bookstores or even at the thrift store. You'd be surprised at the recipe treasures people toss away. 

YouTube is  another place to learn exotic recipes for free!

The video is of one of my favorites. TIP: Asian Indian recipes (especially those made with tumeric) are very good for sexual health

Happy Dating!



Friday, March 6, 2015

Continue-The-Courtship Night (At Home) -- Plan A Vacation


HAPPY COURTSHIP NIGHT ALL YOU MARRIED MORMON LOVERS OUT THERE!!!
For tonight's totally free stuck-at-home date night idea:

Plan a vacation | FREE
If you think about it, we only get to keep those babies for such a short time. Each day we lose them as they go through each stage of the growing process. Every moment with them is precious.

SO, in the process of our busy lives - finishing our degrees, taking care of our employers - it's important to take time and plan some quality outings together. You could almost argue that the anticipation up to a vacation provides as much enjoyment as the vacation itself. So why not start planning one?

Even if it will be two years away, it is still something to look forward to and will get here sooner than you know it. There are a million vacation related sites to get your brain churning and help you get ideas. Once you figure out where and when, start budgeting for it!

Happy Dating!
 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Continue-The-Courtship Night (At Home) -- Naked Volleyball






Continue - The - Courtship Night has finally arrived!

Can't afford or find a sitter? For your totally free stuck - at - home date I have 3 words
" Naked. Balloon. Volleyball." 

Ready? Set? GO! If you have body issues, now is your opportunity to help each other overcome them. 

Happy Dating!

 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- A Walkening



Hello all you married lovers out there.

This stuck at home –because-of-small-children- date idea is courtesy of Redbook.

GO FOR A WALK

Pick out your favorite park, High School track or just walk your neighborhood. Put the babies in a stroller and walk. For a little extra privacy (so you can freely talk) put some headphones on the kids with their favorite music.

It’s good exercise, gets you some fresh air and allows time for some open talking and touching.

BUT, before you go...


According to a straw poll, 70% of couples end a date with a romp in the sack. Some couples recommend that having sex before the date begins helps the couple to “ease into date mode.”

You don’t have to do it every time, but making love beforehand takes the pressure off and allows you to focus on the pleasure of being together. For a guy especially, it takes the stress off of whether he’ll get sex or not.

Making love beforehand releases endorphins and oxytocin that allows the husband to relax, improves his mood and may help him be more focused on making his wife feel good. It also makes him more open to talking and sharing his feelings.

According to Redbook “when you’ve made the sex connection, you’re more physically receptive to each other during your date. Take advantage of this heightened awareness with little touches – caressing each other’s fingers, stealing unexpected kisses, and rubbing shoulders or linking arms as you walk together – to keep you bonded”

Happy Dating!

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Can Your Marriage Pass The Courtship Test?

I had to share this experience relayed by Greg Olson. May it warm your heart and inspire your marriage.

Thank You Greg!

"Let me share some sage advice I got from a patient several years ago. She and her husband were at the clinic on their 75th anniversary (he was 95 and she was 94 years old). He walked her down the hall, holding onto her like she was the most important person in his world and helped her up onto the exam table. 

He told her that he would be right next door and to “holler” if she needed anything. He was the consummate gentleman and his love was conveyed through every touch, word, and tone. She was a lady of grace who was accustomed to being treated well by the man who loved her. When I entered the room she said, “Wish me a Happy 75th doctor! I’m here for my one year checkup.” I knew that she knew something, and I wanted to know what it was.

I asked her the secret for happiness and longevity and she gave me a classic reply, “Alzheimer’s” she said with a chuckle. “You need to know what to remember and what to forget. Don’t hold on to ammunition from an old argument to fire at your husband during the next one.” So, I interpreted that to mean that I should not be keeping score. 


 Her next point was that two people should go into marriage with both eyes wide open, and then after the vows they should close one eye tight, squint with the other and quit focusing on faults. I took that to mean that I could choose to look for the strengths or the weaknesses and that my choice should be to see the good and help my wife be stronger---she was making waaaay too much sense. 

Finally she said, “Do you court your wife doctor?” to which I replied, “Yah, sorta, we go to dinner sometimes.” She said, “That is not courtin’!” She asked me what kind of things I had done to demonstrate to my wife how I truly felt about her and why I wanted to build a life with her. 


I could see that her point was that a healthy marriage needed just as much energy, effort, and attention to maintain it as it did to create it in the first place. “My husband has asked me out on a date for every Friday night for 75 years, except for 1943, 1944, and 1945. 

Do you know why he didn’t ask me out then?” she asked. I told her that he must have been in the military during WWII. “That’s right, he was overseas. He wrote me a letter every day that he was gone---every day.” “If you don’t keep courtin’ your wife she will take you to court.” From her practiced tone it was evident that she had given this advice before. 

I share this not because I do each of these things perfectly, but because I am still applying what she told me twenty years ago. Every so often I stop and reevaluate how I am doing on my end of the marriage. I always come up with things that I want to do better. 


That is a great secret that needs to be shared. It is not what I am getting from my marriage, it is what I am putting into it that makes me happy, or sad, or dissatisfied. I can only work on my 100%. There are always challenges, problems, irritants, and issues to be resolved, but my gift to the woman I love is to improve myself for her. She has always done the same. 

We are happy in our marriage because love requires work and lots of effort to thrive and we are willing to do it. We have also found it helpful to forgive each other more quickly and move forward more steadily. When I am 95 I want my wife to look at me the way my patient looked at her husband. I better hurry up and ask her on a date this week!"

~ Greg Olson, 2015,1 


Friday, February 6, 2015

CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT (At Home) -- Games Lovers Play

 HAPPY "CONTINUE THE COURTSHIP" NIGHT!

If you're here, it's probably because you have small children, are on a tight budget,  stuck at home for some reason, or just plain ran out of ideas. 

You are the ones I write these date ideas for, because you really care about your marriage and are willing to do what it takes to make it one that will withstand the test of eternity

Here are four sexy, fun game ideas (that I would only recommend to married couples) - courtesy of www.thenest.com

1. Truth or Dare
Write out five dares -- anything from trying on a sexy outfit to a silly stunt -- on separate pieces of paper. Place them in a bowl. Now take turns asking each other naughty questions, such as, "What's the most unusual place you've ever wanted to have sex?" If you don't answer, dip into the pot and select a dare.

2. Forfeit
Bring treats into the bedroom that have small, easy-to-write-with nozzles, like frosting, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. Write a sexy word on your partner's body. If they guess the word correctly, they get a small taste of the treat. If they guess wrong, they pay a forfeit by swapping places with you. 


3. Wish List
You both think of three intimate things you've always wanted to try and then write them down on separate pieces of paper. Fold them (marked with your initials) and mix 'em up. Take turns drawing out one of the other's wishes, agreeing in advance to at least give it a try.

4. What Is It?
Your partner lies down blindfolded. You lubricate different parts of your body -- fingers, chin, tip of the nose, chest, and so on. You then touch your partner in various places. They have to guess which body part it is. If they guess correctly, you perform an act with that body part that only pleases them.


Happy Dating!



Friday, January 30, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- It starts with a kiss

HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT all you married lovers out there! 

Here is your totally free stuck - at - home date night idea:

PRACTICE KISSING!


There are SO many different ways to kiss and you (now that you're married) have a permanent girlfriend/boyfriend to practice on whenever you like and without all the anxiety that comes with dating as a single person.

Take tonight to look up on the Internet all the different ways to kiss and then try it. May I suggest starting with the link shown above. To add to the fun, check your oral hygiene, make a plate of sliced apples, chocolate, and your favorite sugar-free soft drink. Happy dating!


 The Different Types of Kissing


Friday, January 23, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Afterglow

 For me, this is one of those activities that go in the category of "things you can only do when you're married". It's awesome being part of an exclusive club of married folks who keep sex sacred and honor their marriage covenants.

Here's a quick all the fun and none of the guilt idea for a date night, or for any time you have married sex and want to do something silly and fun.

Glow in the dark lipstick!

Yes! it does exist. It's usually sold around Halloween time, but you may still be able to find it at your local supermarket or party store. It goes on clear and doesn't show until you turn the lights off.

Put it on your lips, draw in your eyes and nose. If it's safe to put on your lips, it's safe to put on any other part of your body. It really does work and is cheap! If you want to spend a little more, there are other glow in the dark makeup products too.

Use your imagination. Most importantly, do it together.

Happy Dating!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Just Do It

HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT EVERYONE!



Is your marriage a prison sentence, or an eternity of blissful and joyful opportunities? It's all in how you look at it, isn't it? 


Tonight, do your favorite thing to do together. It doesn't matter what it is...just do it.

"Incompatibility is never the real reason for a divorce. It's a reason for breakup of a dating relationship...The real reason is likely to be that neither attended to the relationship. Perhaps one or both threw themselves into parenting, or a job. They stopped doing the things that they did when dating and that couples need to do to thrive as parents - take time for conversation, talk about how their day went or what's on their mind. Or perhaps the real love was undermined by the inability to handle conflict.

If you get to the point where you're delivering an ultimatum, you haven't been maintaining your relationship properly. It's like your car stopping on the side of the road and you say, 'It just isn't working anymore' - but you haven't changed the oil in 10 years.

What makes people the right mates for each other - is the willingness of both partners to be open and vulnerable; to listen and care about each other."

~ Doherty, Bradbury, Webber, "Are You With The Right Mate", Psychology Today, Feb 2012 pg 63



Friday, January 9, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Melting Together

Happy Continue-The-Courtship Night!

Tonight it's his turn and, as a guy, I like to think I'm pretty practical. I prefer practical things. 


As Mark Gungor teaches, we men have our 'nothing' box in our mind and we like to visit there as often as possible. (Gungor, 2012) Which can mean we enjoy things that allow us to focus and not have to think about anything.

The less we have to think, the more we like it, especially if the day was stressful. It allows us time to clear our minds, release the stress, and re-energize. Add some comfort and/or physical touch into the mix and you have a great date for a guy.

So, try this great stuck-at-home date idea:

Make Candles

They don't have to be huge. Wax, molds, and instructions can be purchased at a hobby store. It makes for great conversation, is something you do together, and lots of opportunity to touch each other.

Here is the practical part. You can use the finished product to give to home teaching families, friends and/or neighbors as gifts, or you can use them to set a romantic ambiance - maybe for when it's her turn again.  





For some easy step-by-step instructions, check out this video. There are also some other great easy-to-follow candle-making videos at YouTube. One thing I do recommend though is NOT to use your own dishes. You can pick up some old pots from a garage sale or thrift store for this purpose.  
 
Happy Dating!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Sexual Resolution

Happy New Year all you married lovers out there. Doing your New Year's resolutions together is a GREAT date idea. 

It's free, you can do it at home, it doesn't require a sitter, and it gets you talking, touching and working together. As you write down your New Year's resolutions, as spouses, ask each other this:

"What are your resolutions this year? Could any of them be used to strengthen our eternal relationship? If either of us feel our sexual intimacy is lacking, in what ways can we improve and make it more fun?


In what other ways could we modify our list to ensure we are doing things to strengthen our relationship this year - things such as temple attendance, regular dates, pillow talk time, prayer and scripture study together, touching, being more mindful to be nice to each other...etc?

Perfection may not be attained in mortality, but as Steven Covey said "A goal not written down, is just a wish." 

Perfecting a marriage takes time, practice, patience, trying, and forgiveness - all our eternal lives, but OH, the rewards. 

Happy dating!  


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Anthroplogy vs God's Definition of Marriage



I recently completed a course in anthropology, and through this class, became aware of some different perspectives that other cultures hold about marriage and similar unions that make up family units.

Anthropology is a most interesting study. What anthropology asks is that we practice cultural relativism – that is: suspend judgment of other people’s practices until we understand them in our own cultural terms.

However, it is up to each individual to apply their own religious convictions, internalized controls, conscience, and ethics in determining what is right and what is wrong. Anthropology cannot do this for us.

Its purpose is to help us respect everyone’s right to act according to the dictates of their own conscious, find beauty in the creativity of mankind, and preserve the cultures and languages created by all ethnic groups.

The most glaring lesson I have taken from the whole experience is that the world cannot depend on anthropology to establish an all-inclusive moral or ethic character for the world. Because of its empirical (equalizing, puts everyone on the same level) and holistic (reserves judgment until after learning all the facts) perspective, restrictions and ethics, all anthropology can do is identify and define what is, not what is right or what is wrong. 

Cultural relativism is only a temporary tool that has built into it the ability to make judgments. It does not automatically establish that every culture’s practices are morally or ethically right and correct for them, or for everyone in the world.

If anthropologists had political power to create and enforce law and were allowed to create for us the standard of morality and ethics that applies for everyone, slavery, apartheid, Nazism, and the Indian caste system might still exist as acceptable cultural institutions, because it seeks to preserve and respect all cultural forms. They would only require that everyone understand, not correct, or try to change, disrupt or eliminate a uniquely developed culture.

They would establish a prime directive if you will. Do not disrupt, interfere, or alter the development of any culture no matter how small or insignificant.

Anthropology is a science. It is a science of observation. It is not a ruling government body or giver of religious, moral or ethical standards for society to follow.

Yet many anthropologist and society attempt to use the finding of anthropologists to justify homosexual marriage, cohabitation, and extramarital affairs as moral, ethical, and socially acceptable practices.

They will claim this by using some obscure cultures in the world that practice these, while completely ignoring the fact that those cultures that entertain these practices are nature and sexuality worshiping religions.

Those that are of Christian, Jewish, or Muslim generally do not share these beliefs, and even recognize those practices as morally incorrect and counter productive to the sustaining of a healthy society.

To exhibit how we cannot depend on anthropology to define our global moral ethics, they cannot even agree on a definition for marriage.

One group of anthropologists tried to be inclusive of all marriage practices by creating their own universal definition as:


“A culturally sanctioned union between two or more people that establishes certain rights and obligations between the people, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. Such marriage rights and obligations most often include, but are not limited to, sex, labor, property, childrearing, exchange, and status. Thus defined, marriage is universal.” (Haviland, Pins, McBride, Walrath, 2014)


Even my professor attempted to justify this line of thinking through his powerpoint presentation by listing his “three arguments against same sex marriage.”

The one that particularly stood out to me as a glaring contradiction was:

All Marriages are between Men and Women
        Same-sex marriages have been documented not only in a number of societies in Africa, but in other parts of the world as well. Anthropologists define marriage as unions between “people”, not man and women, because not all marriages are male and female based.” (Todd, 2014, p.30)

I found this to be contradiction because at the same time another group of anthropologists say “It is true that virtually every society in the world has an institution that is very tempting to label as “marriage,” but these institutions simply do not share common characteristics.” (Podolefsky, Brown, Lacy, 2013)

Many cultures have customs that help legitimize birthrights and family lines, but even they do not call it marriage. We have put that label on their socioeconomic cultural practice. An example of this would be the Hindu practicing Nayar of Kerala India.

This culture’s practices are used to justify gay marriage and adultery by anthropologists. Among the Nayar, they don’t have a practice they call marriage or a word for marriage. The word they do use translates to “tying rite.”

This “tying rite” allows for multiple men, begins when a man brings the family linen. The couple have no obligation to each other, and the marriage ends when the woman says it does. (Haviland, William A; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana, 2014,p.202-203)

My findings are that the Lord’s definition of marriage is not in danger of anthropology or any sciences defaming its validity or moral, ethical and spiritual foundations.


“…trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” (Mosiah 23:14)


Though the world and science may deride, I choose to stay with the Lord’s definition:


The Family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

 By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
(Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102)



References:

Haviland, William A; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana, (2014) Cultural Anthropology The Human Experience. (14th ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Sadasivan, S.N. (2000), A Social History of India., S.B. Nangia, A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. Retrieved November 8, 2014 from http://books.google.com/books

Todd, Jesse, 2014, Brookhaven College, 2014 Cultural Anthropology Chapter 9 Powerpoint presentation

Podolefsky, Aaron; Brown, Peter J.; Lacy, Scott M., (2013) Applying Cultural Anthropology. (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages

Friday, December 26, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Become Masters of Kama Sutra

HAPPY CONTINUE - THE - COURTSHIP NIGHT!

Marriage experts agree that regularly dating your spouse (even if you don't feel like it) is less costly than divorce. ;0)

Have you tried this one? It's cheap and great for LDS married couples with young children at home!

Get the Cosmo Kama Sutra book of positions. (about $9 at Amazon) - No...I don't get a kick back, but thank you for thinking of me. I'm recommending this book because it doesn't have photos of live people demonstrating the positions. It does have good visually instructional drawings, and clear easy to follow instruction.


Kama Sutra is an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translates to mean " desire procedures ".  It was (and still is) taught to Hindu boys and girls in India to help prepare them for marriage. From an American perspective, it was like your grade school sexual education classes, except it also taught techniques to help love making in marriage more enjoyable, and positions that could help with conception. It also trained young men and women sexuality ethics.(Devi, 2013, http://www.hinduhumanrights.info/the-kama-sutra-beyond-the-sex/)

Try to do all of them. Make up a few of your own. Become kung fu masters of Kama Sutra in the bedroom together. Remember to be patient, practice good communication skills, stretch first, make sure the kids are safe and occupied first, lock the bedroom door, and (most important) don't take it seriously. There is no pass/fail and the only contest is how unified you can be as a couple. have fun.

Happy Dating!



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- Winter Wonderland

A Very Merry  Continue The Courtship Night to all you married lovers out there.

If you were wishing for a white Christmas, I think some of you may have got more than you bargained for. But, we can take a lemon and turn it into a  lemon chiffon cake with a warm creamy Christmas spice sauce.

Today's totally free stuck at home (because you are blessed with small children or just because you're snowed in) date idea is to build a snow family together. Or, you can build an igloo and cuddle up inside with a candle and some snacks just for the two of you.

Happy Dating!



Here's a bonus: found this fun recipe for snow ice cream.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Wrapped In Love

"Keep your courtship alive. Make time to do things together – just the two of you. 

As important as it is to be with the children as a family, you need regular weekly time alone together as a couple. Scheduling it will let your children know that you feel that your marriage is so important that you need to nurture it. That takes commitment, planning, and scheduling.

It doesn’t need to be costly. The time together is the most important element."
~Elder Joe J. Christensen, 1995


This can something as simple as closing yourselves off in a room and wrapping presents together. Play some Christmas music. Wrap presents naked. Wrap each other in leftover Christmas wrap. Include some treats. When you're done, wrap yourselves around each other. 

Here's a tip - how about having sex first? Sex alleviates tension, floods the system with endorphins (a natural feel-good drug), and oxytocin (bonding drug) that both improve mood and assist in making conversation more pleasant. 

In her sexless marriage talks and writings, Michele Weiner-Davis said that many married couples report having their best conversations after sex. (Weiner-Davis 2012)

Happy dating!


 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- Christmas Quickies and Cookies

A Very Merry Continue-The-Courtship Night everyone! (It's fun being a member of an exclusive club of married folks)

"Couples should work toward complete mutual fulfillment in every lovemaking experience, but sometimes that may not be possible due to energy and/or time constraints. You may both decide to enjoy a "quickie" together when only a few moments are available or when one of you isn't in the mood for 'gourmet' sex.


A quickie most likely will not provide sufficient time and/or stimulation for the wife to reach orgasm, but if your attitude is right and circumstances are such, a quickie can be like a little gift. Quickies can be okay, as long as they are mutually agreed upon and do not become the regular fare." (Laura M. Brotherson,2004)

Tonight's activity: Have a quickie, and bake some Christmas cookies together.
Here's a fun video of how to make these easy quick Italian Christmas cookies made with anise.


Happy dating!


!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) --- REALLY Thankful

Hello all you married lovers out there. Here's a fun stuck at home BYHSC date idea:

Write 25 things that you are thankful for about your spouse, and then share it with each other.

Also, the holidays are a great time for dates when you have small children. It gives you a chance to get out and go somewhere and get back into boyfriend/girlfriend mode. Having lots of family around means "FREE BABYSITTING". Take advantage of it!

Happy Dating 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Feeding The Flame

This one is one of my favorites for helping me reignite the original flame. When your marriage settles into a  comfort zone and the passion starts to flicker try this:

Re-live the past:


One of the techniques therapists use to bring a couple back together is help them remember why they got married in the first place. Why wait for a therapist? You can remind yourself regularly and watch it bring that spark back into your relationship


Make a nice meal, or get some take out
Break out the wedding photos and look through them together
When was the last time you looked through your school yearbooks together? Take advantage of the fun of sharing the good times and bad times of those periods in your lives and remembering what brought you two together in the first place.


Happy Dating! 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Wholesome Sex Toys

YEA! It's Continue-The-Courtship Night!

Tonight it's his turn:

It's not totally free, but doesn't have to be terribly expensive either. Shop for and try out a new sex toy together.  

 
I've not found anything in gospel doctrine or the scriptures that prohibit the use of  any apparatus or device in marital sexually intimate activities. In fact, just the opposite. I believe all creations and inventions are inspired by our Father in Heaven and are for the intent to do good. 

It is the Adversary who inspires their use for evil. Sex toys are an excellent example. There are many couples who (due to physical disabilities or limitations) struggle to have sexually intimate relations with their spouse, or are incapable of reaching the full sexually bonding experience without the aid of a sex toy. 

We keep the use of these tools sacred by using them in the bonds of marriage to bring a couple closer together and strengthen their eternal relationship.
 
It would be a good idea to discuss first how you both feel about using it and any concerns. Practice being open-minded and respectful of each other's feelings. The gadget can be for you or him or both.

Discuss how you would go about getting what you want. I recommend going online as opposed to going to a store. If you do go online, look for a vendor that is tastefully done, (ie. no nudity, profane language, etc...), tastefully displayed, and won't send you flyers in the mail.

I recommend Simply Sweet Marriage.Com as a good guide for the type of vendors that are respectful of you and the sacredness of sexuality. They also give good descriptions and definitions of the items you're considering.



No, I don't get a kick back (though I probably should  :-)  ), but I'm always willing to promote anyone who put the sacred above worldliness.

If this brings up concerns you can't resolve together, drop me a line @ samzaragoza@sbcglobal.net

Happy Dating!



Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Continue - The - Courtship Night --- All Saints Day Eve

It's hard to pick just one idea for a Halloween Date - because there are SO many.

It's a night for the kids, but that doesn't mean there can't be some Mama and Papa time in there too.

All Saints Day Eve is a perfect time for some fantasy and role play in the bedroom - because there are some fun costume ideas all around you and many are very cheap, and many of them are probably only appropriate for a married couple's bedroom anyway. 

Wearing them to a costume party would be provocative and profane YES! But, a husband and wife wearing them (in the bedroom) to arouse each other is sacred erotica and a sacred wholesome activity!  Reclaim that birthright from the world.

Masks
Boas
fishnet stockings
Buttless chaps
Cowboy/Cowgirl costumes
Shepherd boy/girl costumes
Nurse
French maid
Superhero
Etc...

Write your own fantasy and playing out together, or make it up as you go along. Be hammy and make it fun.

Here are 50 more wholesome Halloween date ideas from the dating divas: Happy Dating!

http://www.thedatingdivas.com/just-the-two-of-us/50-fun-fall-date-ideas/





Friday, October 24, 2014

Continue - The -Courtship Night (At Home) --- FALL In Love

Happy Contiue - The - Courtship Night everyone! 

I love the fall. The weather is cooler. Allergens are down, the bugs are starting to go away, and Mother Nature is changing into her most festive gowns. What a great time to get outside and be a part of it together.

Fall also usually means that the leaves are falling in your yard, but oh, what an opportunity!

For this totally free stuck-at-home date night idea, MAKE PILES OF LEAVES AND JUMP IN THEM!

A great fall activity for anyone. If you don’t have a yard of your own borrow the park's leaves and go make piles there.


In addition, working in the yard together is great exercise and facilitates pleasant conversations. Working up a sweat together also releases endorphins and testosterone into the bloodstream for both sexes.  These chemicals are what kick up the mood to engage in more intimate activities.

Happy Dating!


Monday, October 20, 2014

LDS Doctrine or Cultural Myth: Mormons Don’t Make Love Naked



You may have heard the stories. I’ve heard several.

 For example, the brother who claims that there is never a reason to take off the temple garment and all of his children were conceived while wearing them. The sister who was so unsure about when it was appropriate to take off the garment that she never took them off and even bathed in them. I also heard one story of a temple matron who was teaching that the garment must be touching the skin at all times and nothing should be worn underneath the

The Lord Jesus Christ taught us that we should be living by the spirit of the law and not do as the Pharisees do with the doctrine by looking for a letter of the law in every little detail, but ignoring the purpose of the doctrine. (Matthew 23:23-24 )

I believe this also applies to the wearing of our sacred garments. When it comes to making love to our spouse, I have found nothing that supports the belief that we should never take them off. What I have found is instruction that there are times when it is inappropriate not to wear them.
Endowed members should wear the temple garment both day and night. They should not remove it, either entirely or partially, to work in the yard or for other activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath the clothing. Nor should they remove it to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. When they must remove the garment, such as for swimming, they should put it back on as soon as possible.
Members should not adjust the garment or wear it contrary to instructions in order to accommodate different styles of clothing. Nor should they alter the garment from its authorized design. When two-piece garments are used, both pieces should always be worn. The garment is sacred and should be treated with respect at all times…”
(Handbook 2:Administering the Church, 2014,  21.1.42)
 I was unable to see anything in this that suggests it is inappropriate to take the garment off while having sex with our spouse. 

For this purpose, I have to put “myth” on the belief that we as married Saints are not allowed to take the garment off while having sex with our spouse. I only see that the garment should be "put back on as soon as possible". Because circumstances vary, a spirit - of - the - law provision is built in. We have some flexibility to decide when to put it back on.

To help quell any concerns about the appropriateness of discussing this sacred topic regarding the garment, I hope those with concerns will note that the directions for how the temple garment should be worn is posted by the church online for all to read: (https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/selected-church-policies?lang=eng#21.1.42 )

The Church has also posted this video that openly discusses and shows the sacred temple garment in an effort to also help dispel any myths or concerns outsiders have about our faith. It is also done in the hopes of dispelling prejudice toward our faith through education. The video can be seen below or on YouTube.

I will accept any honest questions, but ask that all be respectful with addressing this sacred topic. Disrespectful comments will be deleted.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home!) --- PIG SKIN

HAPPY CONTINUE-THE-COURTSHIP NIGHT! 

Okay all you married lovers out there, it's his turn tonight. Here is your (well it might cost a little to get the meat and supplies) stuck at home BYHSC date idea.

Fall is in the air and what does fall mean? PIG SKIN!
Two great loves of many men is football and really good barbeque. Well, this time - it's barbeque.

Every guy knows that good barbeque takes a long time - if it's done right, and standing by the smoker can get pretty lonely. So wives, for this date, help him get the pork together, he can start up the smoker, break out some chairs and spend some quality time together while he makes you the best barbecue you've had all year.

This would be a good time to break out the "365 Questions For Couples", the guitar, or just cuddle in the cool smokey October air and watch Mother Nature change her gown from green to gold.

Happy Dating!



Friday, October 10, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Get Into Position

Good flexibility can greatly enhance the comfort and pleasure of your marital love making.

Here's your stuck at home, can't get a sitter or because it's too cold outside date idea:

Get a yoga video and do some yoga together. If you already have one, break it out and take an hour to do it together. If you have never done it before, be sure to pick up yoga instruction for beginners. I recommend Rodney Yee's Yoga For Beginners.

Have a very flexible date night!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Take It To The Roof

Alright all you married lovers out there! Are you ready for another great Continue-The-Courtship night?

Here's your totally free at home date night idea:

This one might be too early to put the kids to bed, but you can put on some entertainment and snacks for them and a baby monitor works great for keeping an eye/ear on them.

Sit on the roof and watch the sunset together. To add some extra fun, bring your portable radio and play your favorite songs from high school.

Happy Dating! 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Go Fly A Kite!

HAPPY CONTINUE-THE-COURTSHIP NIGHT!

Something I noticed in my town that doesn't get much attention paid to it anymore is the local Hobby Shop.

Well...it's always kite flying season, so for today's stuck-at-home date idea, how about making kites together? Then take them out tomorrow with the kids or grand-kids and fly them. They also make awesome gifts. All the supplies should be available at your local hobby shop.

If kites don't suit your fancy, check out some of the other cheap and cool things they have there and build something fun together. You're not just building a craft project, you're building memories that will last an eternity.

Happy Dating!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Intimate TRADITION!!

Happy Continue-The-Courtship Night!

One of the cool things about being married: you can make it any way you want it.

I know there are a few months in the year where there are no federal holidays. Why not make up your own?

For tonight's date idea, create your own national holiday as husband and wife.

Pick a month in the year to celebrate that day. Plan together what you want it to be about. It could be National Sock Day, or national Traditional Marriage Day, or National Pizza Day, National Sleep-In Day, or Finnish History Day - or whatever ancestral ethnicity you most identify with, or something to reflect on a significant religious event like the Second Coming. You decide!

Write down together what day it will be. Will you take time off? How will it be celebrated? What kinds of foods will you celebrate with? Will there be costumes? Decorations? Music? Songs? Special kinds of worship? Gift exchange? Service project? Plan whatever you want.

Special family traditions are an excellent way to tie you closer together.

Happy Dating!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Continue - The - Courtship Night (At Home) -- Need A Sitter?

Happy Continue The Courtship Night

Tonight's date idea is courtesy of WWW.Six Sister's Stuff.Com:

BABYSIT FOR A FRIEND

If you have kids, offer to watch a friend's kids while they head out on a date and then trade them the following weekend. If you don't have kids, watch some kid movies, play with Play Doh, and eat chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. Don't have any friends with kids? You could always try dog-sitting! You'd be surprised how many people would love someone to watch their dog and/take it out for a walk.

For more of their great stay at home date ideas visit the Six Sister's Stuff website:

Happy Dating!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Continue-The-Courtship Night (At Home) -- Chocolate!

Happy Continue The Courtship Night!

This idea is courtesy of "The Dating Divas" who also had some other wonderful ideas. The way to a woman's heart is through her...chocolate?

This one will cost about $20, but well worth it.

Have a chocolate tasting night:

Go to your local supermarket and/or health food store and purchase 10 to 20 bars (one of each) of the most "gourmet" or exotic looking chocolate they have. Be sure to pick something you've never tried before.

Make up a simple grid chart showing type, look, touch, sound, smell and taste. Share your findings with your eternal lover.

You can do the free printables at the Dating Diva website, or just make your own.

And, it can all be done at home - but be sure it's just the two of you.

Happy Chocolate Flavored Dating


Friday, August 29, 2014

What's the difference? Abuse vs Miscommunication



We all get tired and hungry and cranky at times, so it’s not always easy to know if we are being abusive. The good news is, we can repent and correct our habits.

Abuse in a marriage inevitably leads to terrible sex. Mark Gungor teaches that the formula for the best sex possible is a turned-on man and a turned-on woman.[i] Abuse can come in many forms, but always retards the trust and arousal capability of the offended spouse.

But when is abuse not really abuse?

I’d like to share with you what my Neuro-Linguistic Programming professor David Glenn teaches about how to identify an abuser. I invite you to ask yourself “Is this me? Am I behaving like this?” Then make the appropriate course corrections. This isn’t gender-specific. A husband or wife can be abusive and not even be aware of it.

To identify the patterns of abuse Professor Glenn taught,

“…an abuser can easily be identified by simple warning signs.
  • An abuser makes alterations to the victim’s environment.
  • They intend to bring about a change in a victim’s mental condition by changing his or her external circumstances.
  • The abuser is always defensive, and has a tendency to blame every mistake, failure, or mishap of theirs on others. They also may blame them on the world at large.
  • They never assume personal responsibility, never admit their faults or miscalculations, and always blame the victim or others. For example, they say “You provoked me”, or “Look what you made me do.”
  • They are hypersensitive, picking fights by arguing unnecessarily.
  •  They treat animals, children and mostly the opposite sex impatiently or cruelly.
  • They express negative and aggressive emotions toward the weak.
  • They may have a history of violent behavior coupled with vile bad language, threats, and hostility.
  • Sex with an abuser is almost like rape, as they want to control. They are forceful in and out of sexual intercourse.
  • They like physically hurting others, or find it amusing.
  • They do not respect people’s wishes.
  • They treat the victim as an object, or an instrument of gratification.
  • The abuser always has to be in control of any situation and interrogates the victim if they have not seen them for a few hours.
  • They make insulting jokes or remarks.
  • Permission is needed if the victim wishes to go out, or do new things, even if it is simply meeting a friend or family member.
  • They are patronizing, condescending, and criticize people often.
  • They are wildly unrealistic in their expectations from others, and life in general.
  • In short, they have a low opinion of themselves and take it out on others. It makes them feel better when the victim feels worse than they do. It gives them a sense of pleasure feeling that someone else is weaker than they are.

…They need a sense of control over others to give them a sense of power, which is delusional.”


Our habits of abuse come from many sources within our culture or subculture and are many times a trained reaction to a given situation…TV, our parents’ examples, how we interacted with our friends, etc... All of these can train our subconscious mind. However, we can change these patterns into patterns of love, humility, patience, forgiveness, and charity.

As I mentioned in the beginning, some abuse isn’t necessarily due to an individual’s lack of self-esteem, and unhealthy desires to be in control. Abuse can arise for many different reasons. One can arise from a couple’s inability to communicate.

What may appear as abuse may actually be a couple’s ignorance in knowing how to communicate with each other. Every word or action seems to be misinterpreted by the other.

To illustrate, Professor Glenn goes on to share an example of one of the clients who visited him:

“I had a young male client who would shout at his [wife], and this caused them both great concerns. This was an anger management session.

They truly loved one another, but this shouting from the [husband] was slowly breaking up the relationship. My client knew the reason he was shouting, but did not know why he could not control his anger towards his beloved [wife]. Let me explain.

They were [newlyweds]. Before they were [married], they had travelled together for four years. For them it was bliss travelling together several weeks a year, and loving each other’s company.

The shouting from the [husband] only started once they [married] and moved in together. He would clean the house, make the dinner and perform other household jobs before his [wife] arrived home from work.

He would even run a bath for her, and have all her clothes washed, ironed and a warmed towel waiting for her.

He was a nice guy with highly respectable morals. By seeking my help to save his relationship, he demonstrated even more that he was a nice and caring guy.

However, this was the start of his problem. He assumed that his [wife] would have the same relationship expectations that he did, and would act accordingly once they moved in together.

At times, when he was home from work later than his [wife], he expected her to have done the same housework as he had done. However, he would get home and she would be sitting in front of the T.V. with no meal ready, no bath prepared, and the clothes unwashed and not ironed. He would shout at her for not doing the work, but at no point had he communicated with her beforehand what he would like done prior to his arrival home.

Also, he had not considered what sort of day she’d had. She could have had an extremely stressful day and just needed to relax. He was only considering himself; not the woman that he loved.

However, he genuinely did not know this. In his mind he had created a perfect world of what he perceives as ethically right. He would see his [wife] waiting for him in a perfectly clean home with everything prepared. This thought gave him a lot of pleasure.

So, when what he imagined was not the real situation on returning home, he would shout.

He knew why he was shouting, but did not know how to control it. This was due to his lack of understanding in his own mind. But, whether real or imagined, he was in a different mental reality to that of his [wife’s].

What he was shouting about was actually created in his own mind. He was unknowingly angry at the real situation not being what he had imagined. He was his own worst enemy.

The [husband] told me that he had expected the same nice treatment that he gave her, yet he had never told her this.

Lack of communication with his [wife] just added to the problem. He needed to tell her what he would like…again the [husband’s] fault, not his [wife’s]. Knowing this was a revelation for him. It created a sense of guilt in his mind for what he had done. This was the first steps on the path for change.

Now let’s look at this same situation from his [wife’s] point of view. She is sitting at home, knowing her [husband] will arrive home soon. When he enters the living room, the [wife] is expecting a nice “hello”. Instead, he starts to shout at her. This creates a startled response in the [wife’s] mind as she was not expecting a raised, angry voice.

The husband had unknowingly created a fear in his [wife’s] mind of him. From that moment forward, the [wife] will associate fear with her [husband]. He was pushing the woman he loves away. This was explained to him.”[ii]

In this case, the relationship was healed through improved communication skill between the husband and wife.

However, other forms of abuse may not so easily be healed. Elder Richard G. Scott offers this advice:

“The beginning of healing requires childlike faith in the unalterable fact that Father in Heaven loves you and has supplied a way to heal. His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, laid down His life to provide that healing.
But there is no magic solution, no simple balm to provide healing, nor is there an easy path to the complete remedy. The cure requires profound faith in Jesus Christ and in His infinite capacity to heal. It is rooted in an understanding of doctrine and a resolute determination to follow it.
Healing may begin with a thoughtful bishop or stake president or a wise professional counselor. If you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t decide to fix it yourself. Serious abuse can also benefit from professional help.
There are many ways to begin healing, but remember that a full cure comes through the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Master and Redeemer. Have faith that with effort His perfect, eternal, infinite Atonement can heal your suffering from the consequences of abuse.
As impossible as it may seem to you now, in time the healing you can receive from the Savior will allow you to truly forgive the abuser and even have feelings of sorrow for him or her. When you can forgive the offense, you will be relieved of the pain and heartache that Satan wants in your life by encouraging you to hate the abuser.
As a result, you will enjoy greater peace. While an important part of healing, if the thought of forgiveness causes you yet more pain, set that step aside until you have more experience with the Savior’s healing power in your own life.
If you are currently being abused or have been in the past, find the courage to seek help. You may have been severely threatened or caused to fear so that you would not reveal the abuse. Have the courage to act now. Seek the support of someone you can trust.
Your bishop or stake president can give you valuable counsel and help you with the civil authorities. Explain how you have been abused and identify who has done it. Ask for protection. Your action may help others avoid becoming innocent victims, with the consequent suffering. Get help now. Do not fear—for fear is a tool Satan will use to keep you suffering. The Lord will help you, but you must reach out for that help”[iii]

Likewise, if you are the abuser, there is hope. There is help and the Atonement applies to you as well. Find the humility and courage to get the help you need and correct the pattern of abuse. There is only sorrow down the path you are on. 

Choosing to get help will put you on a path with a much brighter future.
Our goal is to create healthy happy relationships that will want to be together through all eternity. Abuse is one of the tools the Adversary uses to prevent this from happening…to separate us for eternity.
Your marriage can win. The best sex possible is still attainable. 

But, like anything worth having, it requires work, patience, consideration of the other spouse, humility, good communication, and careful planning. 

Most people are not born knowing how to recognize abuse or how to be great communicators. These have to be learned. Marriage is the ideal lab to perfect these. Repentance is your best tool. Be patient with each other and make it a marriage you want to keep for eternity.



[i] Gungor, Mark. Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. DVD. Crown Comedy, 12 Jan 2009.

[ii] Glenn, David, Learn beginner to advanced NLP Hypnotherapy Psychology Course Practitioner & Self Help, Amazon Digital Services, Inc.


[iii] Scott, Richard G, To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse, Apr 2014 Gen. Conf. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/to-heal-the-shattering-consequences-of-abuse?lang=eng