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Renew the Romance in Your Marriage


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Learn how you can make your relationship a comfortable place to be yourself and to share intimacy, love, and affection with your spouse.

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Renew the Romance in Your Marriage

  1. 1. Renew theRomance in YourMarriage by David J. Ludwig Part of the “WE, not ME” series
  2. 2. © 2005 Int’l LLL Revised 2008 Lutheran Hour Ministries is a global media and congregational outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide. It is also a volunteer movement of more than 100,000 people strong. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE; NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.Capitalization of pronouns referring to the Deity has been added and is not part of the original New International Version text.
  3. 3. The Mystery of MarriageA Romantic Evening: The day had beenuneventful, yet Jeremy felt a happy sense ofanticipation. He was trying to concentrate onthe customer complaint when he started day-dreaming. He let his thoughts wander to theevening. “Mom will pick up the kids at about7:00,” he mused, “then Rachel and I will havethe evening to ourselves!” He smiled as heturned back to work.Rachel’s day had been stressful, one crisisafter another. Even so, her warm sense ofanticipation would not go away. Her mindwandered to the evening. “It’s been too longsince we had an evening together,” she thought.“I can’t wait until his mom picks up the kids.”She let the glow of anticipation linger as shewent back to work.Whoops … the mood changes! “Why can’tyou ever stand up for me?” Rachel demanded,hurt and angry, as Jeremy stomped out of theroom. It was only 7:15 and the anticipatedevening was already a disaster! Jeremy hadhis own angry thoughts as he retreated tothe garage, “Why can’t she get along withmy mother?”What happened to the mood? The moodshift was dramatic! Rachel and Jeremywere kidding and touching as they got thechildren ready for grandma. 3
  4. 4. Ten minutes later, there was nothing but angerand tension between them. All that happenedwas a comment from Jeremy’s mother, “Lookslike I will have to teach him some manners.”“She didn’t mean anything by that,” Jeremyargued, defensively, as his mother drove off.“Then why did she look straight at me whenshe said that?” Rachel shot back. “She impliedthat I don’t discipline correctly. Why did youjust stand there?”Wow! The evening went from warm andromantic to cold and angry in seconds!What caused the dramatic mood shift?Who was at fault? Neither Rachel norJeremy wanted the evening to end like itdid. But as each assessed the situation, itwas obvious that the other person causedthe problem. They were both wrong.The problem was the relationship.Communication broke down between themand a bad mood set in. They blamed eachother because they could not see therelationship! They went from allies, usingthe word, “we,” to two individuals usingthe words, “you” and “me.” To put itsimply, the WE split apart into two ME’s! 4
  5. 5. Try these exercises:1. Write WE in capitals on a piece ofpaper. Go over the letters to make themdark. Flip the paper over and look at theletters from the other side. Now you seethe word ME. When communicationbreaks down, the sense of being alliesis lost and you feel the need to defendyourself. It’s like your relationship gotflipped upside down!2. So where is the problem? It may feellike it’s your partner’s fault. Try thisexercise to see it differently: Write thewords, “The Problem” on a sticky note.Stick the note on your spouse’s forehead,as a symbol of representing where youusually think the problem is. Notice thatyou can see the problem but your spousecannot! Now put it on the table betweenyou. Now you both can see the problemand work on it together. 5
  6. 6. Blame the WE!The WE controls the mood. When therelationship is connected, you are allies andthe mood is good. Your home is a safeplace. When the WE breaks down, themood is turbulent and things are no longersafe. At that point, you are more interestedin defending yourself (ME) than workingtogether (WE).Marriage means WE, not ME. There isgreat mystery in being a WE. It’s oneof the most powerful forces on earth.It can join the couple together for life,weathering all storms that would destroyit. The book of Ephesians in the Biblegives a graphic illustration of this powerfulforce: “ nd so a man shall leave his father Aand mother and the two will becomeone flesh.”It is helpful to see this one flesh, or WEas a separate entity. Building the WE islike constructing a house. There are manydifferent kinds of houses, but each oneneeds careful planning, a solid foundation,strong building materials, and a balanceddesign. The structure of your marriage isinvisible, but must be carefully organizedand put together in a balanced way.Think of your marriage as a “WE” that isbuilt on four pillars. Each pillar must begradually built and strengthened, and allfour must stay balanced in terms of depthof intimacy. 6
  7. 7. When these pillars are strong andbalanced, your home can weather thestorms of life. The Four Pillars of the WEI. Intellectual (good communication)II. Emotional (a safe place to control the mood)III. Physical (familiarity and respect)IV. Spiritual (commitment and trust)Let’s take a look at how each pillar can bestrengthened, and how they work togetherto form a powerful WE. I. Intellectual Pillar of the WEBack to the Romantic Evening: Rachelwatched Jeremy turn away in anger andthought, “He doesn’t care about my feelings.He would rather take up for his mother … heshould be married to her!”Jeremy retreated to the garage workbench, alsoangry. “All she cares about is herself. It’s herway or no way! She has to control things allthe time.” 7
  8. 8. This is what they believed to be true of eachother. But they were both wrong! Racheldidn’t want to control things. She wantedJeremy to take charge. And Jeremy didn’t takehis mother’s side, he was just trying to bereasonable about how to deal with the situation.Boy, did they miss each other’s souls! It’s likethey really didn’t know each other.Think back to the first time you saw yourspouse. How much did you know about herat that moment? The answer is 0%! Yousaw the surface, but really knew nothingabout her soul.This pillar grows to 20%, 30%, 40%until the two of you become soul mates.Mental intimacy develops with greaterself-disclosure, honesty, and patientlistening so that you can each get intothe others world. What inhibits suchintimacy is lack of self-disclosure andmisunderstanding.Self-DisclosureBuilding the WE requires deeper anddeeper understanding of the other person’ssoul. This means each of you must disclosewhat you are thinking and feeling, tolet the other person understand yourinner world.It is tempting to present only what youbelieve the other person wants to hear, orwhat will make you look good in his eyes, 8
  9. 9. or whatever it takes to keep the peace andnot stir the waters. None of that is goodfor the WE.Your inner thoughts and feelings cannotbe seen. The only way for your spouse tounderstand them is for you to expressthem. Telling it like it is in a loving wayis good for the WE. I like the way thisinsight for healthy relationships isexpressed in the book of Ephesians inthe Bible, “Speaking the truth in a spiritof love, we are to grow together.”Understanding Each OtherBut then there is listening.Misunderstanding destroys the WE.About 90% of arguments are not truedisagreements, but misunderstandings.We each have a different way of expressingourselves, so it’s no surprise that wedon’t always understand one another.One helpful way to understand howpeople tend to communicate is to know thedifference between painters and pointers.In most marriages, one person is a painter,like Rachel. This person notices everythingand reacts to things as they occur. Manydifferent things go on in her mind at once.When talking, the painter will use manybrush strokes, or words, to paint thepicture. The painter often thinks out loud,putting the picture together as she talks. 9
  10. 10. The pointer of the relationship, like Jeremy,focuses on one thing. He will think thingsthrough and sort them out before speaking.The first thing out of his mouth is thepoint and everything he says will stickto this point.You can now see what went wrong asRachel and Jeremy tried to talk about hismother. Rachel, the painter, put up the firstbrush stroke. “Why don’t you ever defendme?” Jeremy reacted to the first thing shesaid, thinking this was the point, “Howshould I have known that you neededdefending. I can’t read your mind!”Rachel was then frustrated because Jeremywouldn’t let her paint the whole picture.Jeremy became frustrated and defensive atthe first brushstroke, but that was designedto get the pointer’s attention.Then Jeremy, the pointer, tried to bringup the subject. “I think we are making toomuch out of this,” he began in his usuallogical format, trying to find a solution.Rachel, looking for brushstrokes of detail,did not listen, but immediately begindigging for detail. “Why do you say that?Doesn’t she upset you at all? Don’t youfeel anything?” Jeremy quickly becameaggravated, since the questions forced himto jump from file to file inside.“Yes, I do feel things,” Jeremy objected ashe walked away, responding literally to oneof Rachel’s questions. 10
  11. 11. “You feel for your mother, but what aboutme?” Rachel shot after him.Skills to strengthen the intellectualpillar of the WE• Talk about specifics.You probably need to work on this if youtend to talk about things in the abstract,in general terms, or in absolute terms.(“You only think of yourself.”“You always … ”)At any point in the conversation, focus ona concrete situation. (“Let’s talk about lastnight when you got upset and walked awayfrom me.”)Then bring the conversation “in here” andshare what you were thinking and feelingat that moment. (“I walked away because Ifelt … ” “When you turned and walked away,it made me think that … ”)• Tell the truth about yourself.Sometimes what you really feel is disguisedin a question or critical comment. Thismakes your feelings the other person’sproblem. (“Why do you always say that ‘It’snothing’?”)Instead, take responsibility for yourself andtell your spouse how you feel. (“Maybe youdon’t see this as a big problem, but I am anxiousabout it.”) 11
  12. 12. Then let your spouse know that all youwant to do is share how you are feeling.Be clear that you are not trying to put herdown. (“I just need you to listen and not reactfor a few moments until you understand whatI am feeling.”)• Listen.No buts. When your spouse is talking, don’tprepare your rebuttal. (“I know you think ithappened that way, BUT … ”)Pointers, like Jeremy, must learn how tolisten by waiting for the whole pictureto be painted before reacting. (“Mom’scomment left you feeling upset. I want to knowexactly how you feel. Paint me a picture.”)Painters, like Rachel, must learn to double-click on the pointer’s first words, like anunderlined word on the Internet, askingfor more detail. (“Tell me more about ‘makingtoo much of this.’”) II. Emotional Pillar of the WEBack to the Romantic Evening: Rachelthought about going into the garage andcontinuing the conversation, but stopped herself.It didn’t feel safe to be vulnerable again. Shetried to tell Jeremy how she felt, but it felt likea slap in the face when he walked away withhis jaw set. 12
  13. 13. Jeremy thought about going to find Rachel, butknew it would just be another argument.This wasn’t the first time there had been anargument over his mother. It was about the137th! Each time, nothing got settled and thesides were drawn even more rigidly until themood shifted as soon as Jeremy’s mother wasmentioned. Their home certainly was not anemotionally safe place at the moment! Therewas no way to be vulnerable in this area oftheir relationship.When you first laid eyes on your spouse,how vulnerable did you feel with him?The answer is 0%. You had no emotionalattachment. You had to be on yourbest behavior.As the emotional pillar grows, you developdeep emotional connections. Positiveconnections create a good mood, closeness,and emotional intimacy. You can kick offyour shoes, get comfortable, and talk overanything. When you’re together, you knowyou have an ally. Your relationship is asafe place.Unresolved conflict weakens the emotionalpillar, making home an uncomfortable,unsafe place. When you get frustrated andpull away from each other, the turbulencedoes not go away! It becomes freeze-driedand sticks in the atmosphere between thetwo of you. I call these freeze-dried moodparticles (FDMPs). 13
  14. 14. These mood particles hang in theatmosphere of your relationship. When thesame upsetting topic comes up again andagain, that adds more and more freeze-dried mood particles to the atmosphere.Rachel and Jeremy have 137 of these moodparticles accumulated in the atmosphere.Now just a mention of his mother willchange the mood as quickly as a tornadosweeping through the house! With suchunresolved mood particles, anything to dowith his mother will not be a safe place.Skills to strengthen the emotionalpillar of the WE• Money in the bank keeps a goodmood going.Most couples give nine disconfirmingstatements for every affirmation. Wedo it without thinking because there isalways something that seems to needcorrection. (“Why don’t you just ignoremy mother?”)Reversing this ratio puts money in thebank. Give each other five affirmingcomments before you earn the right toexpress one item of concern, and you builda reserve of good mood. (“I love how younotice everything. Very little gets by you!”)• Be allies to get the good mood back. 14
  15. 15. When the WE breaks down and yourfeelings are hurt, it’s natural to blame yourspouse. (“Why are you so critical?”)Instead, recognize the problem as amisunderstanding and shift from “you”to “WE.” (“I think WE missed each other.Let’s try that conversation again.”)• Clearing the air keeps bad moodparticles from accumulating.Deal with conflict as soon as possible.The author of Ephesians recommends,“Do not let the sun go down while you arestill angry and upset with each other.”(“I guess WE both have a right to be upsetabout the situation with mother, so let’sstop blaming and get to the bottom of ourdifferences.”) III. Physical Pillar of the WEBack to the Romantic Evening: Jeremyremembered how natural it was for the two ofthem to touch before the “mom” situationoccurred. Now he felt like the last thing hewanted to do was touch Rachel. Then, beinghonest with himself, he did like things a lotbetter when they were close. He didn’t like thecold wall between them. He wished he couldreach out and break it down so they could feelclose again. 15
  16. 16. Rachel felt lonely and confused. Why hadJeremy shifted so completely from being close tonot even wanting to touch her? Was she thatbad? Then she realized that their moments ofaffection had diminished as the bad moodsseemed to stay around longer and longer. Theydidn’t kid around as much, either. “I miss ourfirst year together when we seemed to be in eachother’s arms all the time,” she thought.When you first laid eyes on your spouse,how comfortable and familiar did you feelwith her? The answer is 0%. You had notyet touched. Her presence was not familiar.The physical pillar of your relationshipdevelops as you become more comfortabletouching and being close to each other.Touch must stay pleasurable for both andgradually become more intimate, stayingin balance with other pillars of the WE.Appropriate touch creates intimacythrough familiarity. It grounds therelationship in a powerful way and leadsto the wonderful, mysterious intimacyof becoming “one flesh.”Inappropriate touch or the lack of touchdamages this pillar. In fact, not touchingallows bad moods to persist, but resumingconsiderate, non-sexual touch is the fastestway to get the good mood back.Often the physical pillar is out of balancewith the intellectual, emotional, andspiritual pillars. 16
  17. 17. If sex enters the picture too early, thatskips many of the steps to building touchintimacy. The couple never experiencesthe joy of simple touch — holding hands,hugging, playful touch. If touch becomesexplicitly sexual too quickly, this pillaris weak and cannot remain robust andexciting. In fact, a couple with a poorlybuilt physical pillar may gradually stoptouching altogether, until even sex stops.(See the section on skills to build thephysical pillar for specific suggestions ondealing with this problem.)Make your marriage an embrace place.A healthy physical pillar means that thereare dozens of casual touches every day.Most relationships are several quarts lowon hugs and run a real danger of theengine overheating. To keep thingsrunning smoothly, strive for at least ahalf dozen hugs a day, three handholdingopportunities, two longer snuggling times,and a dozen playful touch moments!Men and women tend to crave differentkinds of affirmation from their spouses.Men generally like that look of respect ina woman’s eyes in order to feel masculine.Women usually appreciate that powerfullook of love in a man’s eyes in order tofeel feminine.Advice to Rachel: For the sake of the WE,do not belittle Jeremy. Show him respecteven if he doesn’t deserve it at the moment. 17
  18. 18. This gift will help him value your needs ashighly as his own.Advice to Jeremy: For the sake of theWE, do not regard Rachel as hard orunimportant to you. Show her that she isthe most precious, special part of your life.Do this even if she doesn’t deserve it at themoment. This gift will help her value yourneeds as highly as her own.Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, your spousegradually becomes what you believe her tobe. People are truly changed by beingloved, not by being criticized!Skills to strengthen the physical pillarof the WE• Strengthen the WE.See the WE as the “third person.”It starts out as a “baby” that needsnurturing and attention.Make WE-time a priority, developinghabits that include time each day (liketaking a walk together) to catch up on eachother’s life and time to talk through things.Set aside one night a week as a “date night”— this is good for the WE!• Build better physical intimacy.Initiate non-sexual touch every time youare with your spouse. For example: 18
  19. 19. Hug each time either of you leaves or comes home. Hold hands, touch knees, or lean against each other when watching TV.For Jeremy: Think of touching Rachel asa way of giving her security and love.Your touch can make her feel like youwant something, especially if the touchhas sexual connotations.For Rachel: Think of touching Jeremy as away of showing admiration and respect.Your touch can feel condescending to him,especially if you don’t feel close to him.If the physical pillar was not built carefully,you may be missing the richness ofnon-sexual touch (and sex may havelost its passion because this richness ismissing). Consider going back to thebeginning and starting touch over! Agreenot to have sex for two weeks while youlearn again how to enjoy being close. Startwith holding hands, hugging, and othernon-sexual touch. Focus on how the touchfeels. Imagine giving your spouse warmthand love through your touch.Then, gradually become more intimateover the two weeks. Keep talking to sharewhat you are feeling. You will find adifferent kind of connection, and a strongerphysical pillar, when touching means morethan just sex! 19
  20. 20. IV. Spiritual Pillar of the WEBack to the Romantic Evening: “I guess Idon’t trust him anymore when it comes to hismother,” Rachel thought. “He just will not backme up or stand up for me.”Jeremy was having the same problem withtrust. “I would rather go to my mother’s bymyself. When Rachel is with mom, there alwaysseems to be tension.”Rachel remembered when she would havetrusted Jeremy with her life. They seemed tobe such allies. “How can we get that feelingback?” she wondered.When you first laid eyes on your spouse,how committed were you —how much didyou trust him? The answer is 0%. Youwere two separate persons. There wasno WE.We have seen so far that when you builtyour marriage relationship, you createdsomething that did not exist before. I liketo call this a spiritual structure, or a WE.It is spiritual because the relationship cannotbe seen and contains some of the mostpowerful forces in a person’s life. It isa structure because it is constructed ofthe interaction patterns that become thehabitual ways you and your spouse relateto one another. 20
  21. 21. A Team of ThreeAs a couple, you are really three, YOU,ME, and WE. This is where your twospirits are united so that the mysteriousoneness can occur in all of its power.You start out as two MEs. As the spiritualpillar grows, the two of you become a WE!You gradually shift from concern foryourself and what you can get out of therelationship to concern for one another.I like the way this quote from the secondchapter of Philippians in the Bibledescribes the concept of you, me, andWE: “Be like-minded, having the same love,being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothingout of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but inhumility consider others better than yourselves.Each of you should look not only to your owninterests, but also to the interests of others.”When you actually start thinking andsaying WE, there is commitmentand trust!In every relationship, however, there areways of communicating that cause the WEto break down. In a typical argument, youcould probably predict what each of you isgoing to say. You could write the script!You don’t have to go far into one of thesearguments before the mood shifts becausethe WE broke down.You become most concerned with yourown hurt feelings and frustrations (ME). 21
  22. 22. When you are thinking “ME,” you willkeep track of everything you contributedto the relationship. When argumentscome up, you remember every thing that“ME” did.When things are turbulent and you arethinking ME, not WE, do a reality check.Go to your heart. What is really moreimportant to you: your hurt feelings or yourrelationship? The moment you find thelove in your heart for your spouse, realitychanges. The WE actually becomes moreimportant than the ME.This attitude is revealed in the next linesof the above quote from Philippians, wherewe see an example of this selfless thinking.“Your attitude should be the same as that ofChrist Jesus: Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God somethingto be grasped, but made Himself nothing,taking the very nature of a servant, beingmade in human likeness. And being found inappearance as a man, He humbled Himselfand became obedient to death —even deathon a cross!”Jesus gave His life, the ultimate selfless act,to restore and heal humankind’s relation-ship with God. Jesus offers you the benefitsof His love. He offers you unconditionallove, forgiveness for all your failings, andHe can give you the power to focus on theWE instead of ME. 22
  23. 23. Sometimes this is the only hope you have,especially when you don’t feel like doing areality check because things are really badand you are convinced that it is all yourspouse’s fault. Then try this simple prayer,“God, I don’t want to be loving right now.Help me want to!” Jesus can changeyour heart.The promise of God’s power is expressedbeautifully in the book of Ephesians in theBible, “I pray that out of His glorious richesGod may strengthen you with power throughHis Spirit in your inner being, so that [Jesus]Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”When you can think WE, not ME, thespiritual pillar of your relationship growsand becomes stronger.Skills to strengthen the spiritual pillarof the WE• Show respect.Research has shown that healthy couplesshow respect even when they are upsetwith each other. (“I know you may feeldifferently, but I don’t like how she speaksto us.”)Couples with poor relationships showdisrespect more often. (“Boy, that isso stupid!”) 23
  24. 24. Decide not to cross the boundaries bycalling each other names. Build this partof the WE by showing respect every timeyou talk. (“You have a right to feel that way.”)• Work on your 1/2.We all see, and want to fix, the otherperson’s faults before we work on our own.But you have no power over your partner’shalf of the relationship.Instead, focus on your half of therelationship. Your relationship is a seriesof interaction patterns. You can break thepattern by doing or saying somethingdifferently. (Do you usually look away fromyour spouse and emotionally withdraw whenthere is conflict? Instead, try looking directlyat her, ready to listen to her perspective.)• Communicate heart to heart.The spiritual pillar of the relationshipstrengthens through heart-to-heartcommunication. Through such talks,conflict can help the relationship grow.First, prepare inside your own heart beforeyou start talking. God can help you withthis. (“God, I’m upset and blaming my spousefor my hurt feelings. Help me see things as Yousee them. Create in me a clean heart and renewa right spirit within me.”) 24
  25. 25. When your heart is right, and you see theWE as more important than ME, makethe first move to have a heart-to-heart talk.(“I know WE are upset with each other, but thisis not helping our relationship. Why don’t WEsit down and talk?”)Pray together, silently or aloud, for theWE. Then talk about the problem withrespect for the WE. Stay in your heartand you will gradually restore the WE.Another name for this process is confessionand forgiveness. (“I was out of line last nightwhen I made fun of you in front of our friendsand you have a right to be upset with me. Iunderstand how much that hurt you. I don’tdeserve it, but please forgive me.”) Renewed RomanceBack to the ruined Romantic Evening:“Why did you just stand there?”These words echoed in Jeremy’s mind as heputtered in his garage workshop. “Why can’tyou get along with my mother?” he fumed,putting all the blame on his wife, “Why can’tyou just ignore her offhand comments likeI do?”He tried to stay angry, but deep down herealized that he would rather be close to Rachelagain. He was confused and uncertain, part ofhim still angry, but part of him wanting tobe close. 25
  26. 26. He wasn’t used to praying, but that was all hecould think to do. “God, help me with my ownmood,” he sighed.The rest was mysterious. As he worked, hefelt his mood shift. Then he rememberedthe “WE.” And he did something quiteextraordinary.He went back into the house to find Rachel.“I think we need to talk.”“Too late for that,” Rachel replied, still hurtand angry. Jeremy felt his mood sink againand started to walk away, but then rememberedhis determination. “I’m not going to let thismood destroy our evening,” he thought.Turning back toward Rachel, he said witha loving firmness, “No, we are going to dosomething different. Let’s talk about how WEare going to deal with my mother.”Rachel was taken by surprise. She felt her moodshift. This was different. “I think WE shouldlet your mother know that it’s our job to raisethe kids, not hers,” she began, expecting hisusual defensiveness.“I think you’re right,” came the surprisinganswer. “We need to talk to her together and setthings straight.” 26
  27. 27. The rest is history! As soon as both said “WE,”the mood shifted between them. The closenessreturned and … well, the evening turned outquite differently. After talking with his mother,Jeremy realized that he felt different inside.Like he had grown up some. And Rachel knewthat now she and his mother could build agood relationship.Think WE, not ME! “If you have anyencouragement from being united with Christ… make my joy complete by being like-minded,having the same love, being one in spirit andpurpose” (Second chapter of Philippians,verses 1 and 2).For more information and insight intobuilding a healthy marriage relationshipvisit 27
  28. 28. Lutheran Hour Ministrieshas a variety of materials to helpyou deal with the challenges ofdaily life: • Addictions • Finances • Cancer • Balance • Peace • Depression • Grief • Alzheimer’s • Parenting • Communication • Marriage • StressWe also can help if you arelooking for someone in yourarea to talk to about spiritualissues. For more information call: 1-800-876-9880 28
  29. 29. This booklet is distributed by Lutheran Hour Ministries 660 Mason Ridge Center Dr. St. Louis, Missouri 63141-8557 In Canada, write: LLL — Canada 270 Lawrence Avenue Kitchener, Ontario N2M 1Y4 Our ministries are designed to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.We would be happy to hear your comments afteryou read this booklet. If you would like morematerials for spiritual comfort and hope, or if youwould like more information about Lutheran HourMinistries, please write to us, or call us at: 1-800-876-9880 In Canada, 1-800-555-6236 You can now reach Lutheran Hour Ministries through: E-mail: U.S.A. Canada or on the World Wide Web: Printed in U.S.A.
  30. 30. Do you feel like you’ve traded in romancefor the irritation of everyday conflict, atense feeling at home, and a spouse whodoesn’t seem to care about what you needor want? You can renew the romance!Learn to focus on your relationship, the“WE,” when problems arise. You canregain control of the mood to make yourrelationship a comfortable place to beyourself and to share intimacy, love, andaffection with your spouse. 6BE86 660 Mason Ridge Center Dr. • St. Louis, MO 63141-8557 1-800-876-9880 •