I recently heard my husband tell someone on the phone that we haven’t been dating as much lately. I thought that was funny to hear because we do make an effort to spend time together with three kids under 5 in the house. But we aren’t unique in finding that a good marriage is hard work...especially when kids are in the picture.
Right out of the gate, the idea of participating in a boot camp sounds like hard work and my first tendency is to think about physical pain. I also don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands and already get up so wickedly early that getting up even earlier to push myself to do more than I already do seems killer. But wait, this is no ordinary boot camp….
Enter two local women and best friends, Peg Melnik and Leslie Mancillas, who found themselves mystified by the daunting statistics of divorce in this country. They had, after all, managed to keep their marriages strong even after having kids. Together they teamed up to write a book called Make Love Whenever Possible When Married With Children.
Thanks to suggestions from Peg & Leslie and their Intimacy Boot Camp, marriages don’t have to take a backseat to kids anymore. Couples no longer have to fear becoming a statistic and they can enjoy having a fun, intimate, and fulfilling sexual relationship with their partners.
After hearing a little bit about their bootcamp from friends, I thought to myself, “How do I sign up? Where do we meet? And most importantly, how much does it cost?" I was excited to learn that the first thing I needed to do was to pick one of their following tips and try it for a month. Then I could share my story describing my results on their website.
10 Simple Love Acts (detailed explanations can be found their book)
1. Go on a weekly date with just your partner. (No kids allowed)
Ideas: A meal out, a walk, a hike, a cup of tea, or you can export the kids and have it at home. But you must be alone with your mate once a week for at least an hour.
2. Apply the 15 minute rule. You must talk to your partner for 15 minutes every day in person, uninterrupted without the kids around, no texting, no calls. And the conversation cannot be about the kids, money or unpaid bills. And you each get 7 1/2 minutes. (If you are apart due to business, Skyping is acceptable with no kids nearby.)
3. Compliment your partner daily. You must say something positive or it can even just be a "Thank You" statement daily.
4. Have a weekly sex date -- even if you really, really don't want to. Schedule it on your calendar and you both need to honor the sex date time and place.
5. French kiss your mate weekly. (The kiss needs to last more than 7 seconds.)
6. Flash each other once a day -- even for 2 seconds.
7. Hug for more than 60 seconds daily.
8. Offer a sexual favor or trade once every four weeks during this four week regimen. Maybe a clean kitchen for ... well, that's up to you. But make the offer.
9. Dance together once a week. In the house, out of the house, in the garage, but move together in a sensual way to music.
10. Plan one 24-hour getaway per year away from the house and the kids. If you can't afford a hotel, plan camping or a house trade with a friend without kids.
I have found that when I make more of an effort to be intimate with my husband, I feel happier in my marriage and I feel more connected to him as we parent the children together. While I haven’t given the Intimacy Boot Camp the full 30-days it asks for, I am hopeful that the results will be reaped well before the 30-days are over.
A boot camp dedicated to improving my marriage? That's something I, and I'm sure my husband, would gladly get up early for.