The Third ‘Person’ in Your Relationship

Thoughts on a napkin

My wife had a friend over recently. In the midst of chit-chat (you know how much I like that), I probed for more meaningful conversation. I asked, “How are you and John doing? How’s your marriage? She replied, “It’s OK, I guess.” “You guess?” I asked. “How could you not know for sure?”

She responded with an oh-too familiar scenario…

She explained, “Well, we are both doing our part. I am taking care of the kids, the house and my elder parents, and he is working long hours providing for the family. He shows up for dinner and soccer games, so I think we are doing fine.” I responded, “Sounds like you are both performing your roles as domestic partners, but what about your relationship? How is that going?” “Well, life is so busy I think we are doing the best we can,” she  said.

“That’s dangerous,” I warned. “What do you mean?” she asked.

Then I drew out this diagram on a napkin. “There are three ‘people’ in your marriage. One is you, the other is him and the third is the relationship.” (see figure.)

“Here is what happens if you don’t realize there is a third ‘person’ that needs to be cared for. Both of you are doing your part and you do it for 10, 20 or more years. You are living together, raising a family, ‘doing your part’ just fine, but this third entity is never (or rarely) cared for, fed, nurtured or nourished. It gets weak and in many cases withers and dies. You wake up 20 years later. While you are good roommates and you might genuinely care for each other, your romantic relationship has starved…  to death. All the while you thought you were ‘doing fine.’ ”

I explained further, “Yes, you have to take care of the kids. You have to take care of making money, running a household, and caring for other family members. But equally important (if not more), you have to proactively and regularly take care of, contribute to and nurture ‘the relationship’ with your spouse. So, separate what you are doing for the kids, the house, your career and your other family members and look only at what you are contributing to make the relationship special, deeper, more connected…. How is your relationship doing?”

“Wow, I never looked at it that way,” she said. “In that case, I would say we have a very malnourished relationship. No wonder I have been feeling unhappy and discontented, but I didn’t know why because it ‘looks’ like we are doing just fine. Individually, yes, but as a separate relationship, not so much.”

“You’ve heard the saying”, I added, “ ‘And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.’ It’s not that you aren’t two individuals, but that together you create a ‘third person’ and that is ‘the relationship’ and it has to be fed, cared for, contributed, protected and nurtured just like any other living entity.”

Now, this is easier said than done, I know. Every day I am challenged with the same question, what am I doing to care and feed the relationship? And I certainly don’t bat 1,000 (no one does). As I outlined in The Compound Effect, to ensure a better batting average, I had to create a scheduled plan to make a routine of how I would continually be prompted to contribute and nourish the relationship. In the book you can read what my yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plan looks like. I suggest building one of your own. You don’t want to wake up after 3, 5, 10 years or more to realize you have inadvertently starved and killed your ‘one flesh’ relationship.

What do you do to regularly contribute to your relationship? What do you do to keep the magic, love and intimate connection alive? Share what you do (or will do) in the comments below.




150 responses to “The Third ‘Person’ in Your Relationship”

  1. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the foreseeable future.
    I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work,
    have a nice afternoon!

  2. These contain Omega, Rolex, Cartier, and Breitling watches. If you are rational of shopping for a Breitling wakefulness for a loved one and you want it to be affordable with serviceable quality, you can opt to select of great altitude quality Breitling replica watches from creditable online retailers, such as Replicall. We know there are a lot of dealers in the mart who are trying to tender autograph copy designer watches, so be picky and pitch upon the one you feel most acceptable with..

  3. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, great written and include approximately all significant infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

  4. Hello There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn. This is an extremely smartly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  5. Very good topic about dating. Simply what I used to be wanting for. I used to be redirected from a online dating site i found on google and landed here. This siteabout singles is amazing. Anticipating extra such great articles regarding free dating with real world examples.

  6. We have been married 20 years against the opposition of her “grown” children. We continue to kiss publicly, as we always have, and often enough when they are around. Our grandchildren take it to be natural. We used to go out into forests just to be together: some of our finest hours. We love kissing publicly!

  7. Sanjay, my belief is each individual needs to be complete in themselves before coming together. Two complete individuals come together to enjoy, recognize and experience their completeness with and through another. To seek what they lack in another individual is unhealthy and will ultimately be what they end up resenting about the other. As Jim Rohn said, “It’s not, I’ll take care of you if you take care of me. It’s you take care of you for me and I will take care of me for you.”

  8. Darren,

    Thanks for this. It’s a lesson not often taught, but a very important one. Thank you for acknowledging it!

  9. Ideal match is established between two imperfect persons where imperfection of one compliments the perfectionist within other and vice versa. This is my take on establishing a good relationship with our partner by accepting both perfection and imperfection of each other. We should not despise others shortcoming, instead take it as an opportunity to make each other complete.
    Love to know your takes on it, Darren. Though I can understand you are busy with so many things and may not have any time for it.

  10. I completely agree Darren, no doubts! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life in this way. I have never met you, but look forward to the day I will.

    I pick fruit from your tree of wisdom and in giving back to you, my gratitude and appreciation of your effort is the fertilizer. I APPRECIATE ALL YOU DO FOR ME!

  11. Great testimony and great advice, too, Jody. Kudos to you and your husband for making your relationship a priority and getting away alone together a few times a year, especially with three kids! Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. Darren, your are absolutely right. Understanding this is so critical not only to the health of our individual marriages but to the health of our communities and our country. People who feel loved can overflow into the lives of others in encouraging and positive ways.
    My husband and I try to spend an hour or so every night after dinner talking to each other while drinking tea. He reads a lot and shares with me what he’s been learning. Sometimes I do my mending or we include our teen-age daughters in some of our conversations. We also try to have breakfast together a couple mornings a week. Talking in the morning when we are fresh and have the day before us seems to work well.
    (If you need some help with conversation starters, here are some little books you may want to know about: “Creative Conversations Starters for Couples” by Robert and Pamela Crosby and “Opening Lines – 458 Great Conversation Starters” by Susie Shellenberger & Greg Johnson. Both little books are available through

    We also try to take about 3 week-ends away (we have 3 daughters) each year to spend time alone – talking, planning and re-connecting with each other. It is something we really look forward to and it has helped our relationship tremendously.

  13. Hi Paul

    I can relate to you because I once felt the same way in my own marriage. The feeling of being alone not feeling loved and just not getting enough out of the marriage. There is a great book I read called The 5 Love Languages By: Gary Chapman (I suggest everyone read this book) that really help me to understand that everyone’s needs are different and sometimes in relationships most of us try to fulfill our partners needs the way we would like our own to be meet. Allot of times this is wrong because we are all different and our needs have to be meet in a way that make us fulfilled in the marriage. I also found that if you give what you want in the relationship it usually comes back to you.

  14. Paul,
    God did not put you in this situation and praying will not fix it. You must choose the life you desire. Your children will be happy if you are…. not if you stay in an unhappy relationship. Life is too short. If people think kids don’t pick up on your unhappiness you are fooling yourself. People say we are staying for the kids…. your children want you to be happy!! Would you want them to settle? be in a relationship like yours? They learn what they see.

    Free yourself and your wife to be with some one who gets you both. You both deserve it!
    What else could be possible for you all?

  15. Hi Paul,

    I read your comment being lonely. i don’t have much to say but to let you know that real communication is the key to a successful marriage.

    Take it to the Lord Jesus in prayer bcos it is the only solution you have to build your relationship. Open up to your wife how you feel, how you need her.

    Please understand her behaiour, there is nothing prayer cannot do if you totally bring it to God who have join you in matrimony

    Please don’t bring the idea of sleeping separately bcos the two of are one not seperate individual. Think about your children and the happpiness of your children, how it will affect them both in physical and spiritual aspect of life.

    There is nothing God cannot do for you, after giving his life for you and me. believe in him and trust him.

    Let the peace of Christ be with you.

  16. I have been married for 8 years. I feel like I’m living with a roommate. My wife is happy when everything is calm, not much talking, no making love, she just wants peace in the relationship. I’m passionate. I want more. I’m 47 and I don’t want to waste my time with a roommate. I can find a roommate anywhere. When she tries to kiss me on the mouth to say goodbye for the day, I turn away now because i just dont want to pretend that we have a healthy, vibrant, passionate relationship. She does not like to talk about feelings because that would not be quiet and peaceful. She is just a pratical person. If bills are paid and there is no disagreement, then that is enough for her.

    I’m think of setting up one of the bedrooms for mtself because every night I go to bed, I watch her get in bed, turn away and fall a sleep. I feel so alone in our bedroom, but when i sleep in another room, i don’t feel so alone. Some people say: “just love her”. Thats really hard when there is nothing in return. Nothing but quiet respect. But that is not enough for me. I want to talk and be real, hug , kiss, laugh, cry, and all that stuff!

    On the other hand, there is always that question: “is it me who needs to change?”

  17. Darren –

    Maybe it’s just me, but I find this really simple in my marriage. I do more than my share or what is required. Simply more than is expected, I care more, I love more. When I do that, I get back the same thing and together our third person “Marriage” is always overflowing. Yes, we do our differences of opinion and disagree, but the foundation is respect of one another.

    Do more, and respect the other. It’s made a strong marriage of 20 years this past June 2nd. Not perfect, but strong and loving.

  18. Start putting some money away on the side in case he comes up to you out of the blue & says he wants a divorce like my ex did or so when you are ready you can use the money to start your new life! It sucks but no one has the right to put you down! I dealt with that crap for 20 years myself!

  19. The problem with my ex is that he wanted to feel the first date jitters & when he didn’t feel those anymore he decided he wasn’t “in love” with me anymore & decided to go find a woman that gave him those first date jitters. He was always “too busy” to do things with me or buy me anything but he sure had time to do stuff with his girlfriend & buy her tons of gifts with MY money!

  20. This is exactly what happened to me & my husband. But instead of believing in us & actually trying to salvage what we had he went & found comfort with another woman, threw in the towel & then because I was scared & felt bad for our baby we reconciled & he did it again years later with a DIFFERENT woman! He wanted a woman to spend every waking moment with him & boost his shattered low self estemed ego! I belive that I wasted too many years with that man. I am so happy now to be rid of him! I would recommend to any young girl about to get married to keep some money hidden because more than likely you will need it someday! And if he ever finds it just tell him you were saving up to buy him a b-day or x-mas present!

  21. Can you say viral. It is always a good sign when the replies, posts, authentic feelings come out from your readership. Definitely have struck a nerve. Keep up the great work Darren!

  22. i knew our 3rd party (relationship) was terminal when about 10 years ago when i mentioned in a very polite way,. i really enjoyed her dressing up for me and staying in shape along with me.
    she basically said, thats not important to her, and she has continued to let her self go to the point of being obese. but, of course a guy is a scum for wanting his wife and partner to be in good shape, and if he says anything about her getting back in shape, it’s always,. ohh, you should love me for who i am and not what i look like.

  23. Hi Darren,

    I think that is so true and haven’t really looked at it that way before as relationship as the third person and I think allot of people need to work on that third person. I just don’t buy that people fall out of love or the person isn’t the same person they married. Maybe in some ex-stream cases. I believe that we do change over time in our relationships and that the new relationship magic does fade but there are many reasons this happens. You get caught up in career, kids and other responsibilities is understandable but you can’t forget about each other. My wife and I set time aside that is our time and we do something together whether it be go for a walk or go out for dinner and a movie. The thing is we make time to spent together like we did when we first meet. Think about how you scheduled your life to be with that person when you first meet. Just because you have them and other responsibilities doesn’t mean you don’t still need that time together. I personally think that you have to put your relationship with your spouse as top priority in your life even before kids and other responsibilities. If you don’t and it falls apart it will only trickle down into every other part of your life.

  24. Some time ago I made a decision that my wife and I would only talk about things that matter. Ask yourself: “How many times did I really want to talk about her goals, feelings, hopes, concerns, and dreams and we got off track talking about nothing (my definition of small talk and chit chat-which I completely despise)?” When that happens your time balloon bursts and you walk away feel cheated and empty. We made a deal to focus only on things that matter and leave the small talk to small people. Focusing on each other and what really matters (the relationship) opened up a whole new world for us and after 19 years we seem to grow together more every day. Further, reading motivational material such as The Compound Effect and actively discussing the ideas and putting them into place TOGETHER makes us feel like teammates working towards the same goals.



  27. Never go to bed angry! Every couple must hear this piece of advice on their wedding day but how many actually live by it? Kudos to you and your wife, Dereck, for being such great examples of commitment! :)

  28. Darren,

    I have been with my high school sweetheart for over 10 years and married for 4. This principle has been the life line for our relationship. Not only do we have Trust and Respect for each other (because once you lose one the relationship is sure to go next…) but no matter what happens in our lives together we make time every week to do something for our 3rd person ;). Lately it has been going to a matinée movie together every Wednesday. Our lives are worked and shaped around that 3rd person. People always say we are so lucky and blessed, which we are; but as you know, we use the compound effect on our relationship and have been doing so for 10 plus years. THATS THE KEY!

  29. The third person should be GOD!

    When everything else is wrong, it is no longer who is right or wrong but what does GOD says and His Word can be found in His Word of God, only from the Holy Bible! GOD Bless!

  30. Darren,

    Your advice is spot on. I am actually happily single and an ND who deals in mind-body medicine…ie I work with all the ways we sabotage ourselves with our ‘crazy thinking’ and then how it ultimately appears as some sort of disease or disfunction. I see so many unhappy relationships and some people even to the point of dieing to get out of them quite literally. They become more like a business of running the family, home and kids. This is also where so many begin to look elsewhere for that emotional connection and fulfillment they are not getting in their primary relationship. We have this crazy notion that I made this commitment years ago and I must stay , even if it kills me. Our commitment to ourselves and our own happiness and wellbeing must be first. You can only give what you’ve got and if you are miserable what are you offering the world? So many say they are staying for the kids…. do you think your kids do not feel how miserable you feel??? They are very aware and would usually be much happier if their parents made a choice for themselves. Plus we are then just telling our children that their happiness does not matter and then they grow up believing that is just how life is.
    What if we all made a commitment to bring more joy into our lives? Then what else is possible?

  31. One thing my wife and I do is not allow disagreements to carry over from day to day. As much as possible, we try to work through them before the day is over. This may involve getting to bed later than planned, but it does provide for some very sweet moments prior to going to sleep and allows us to reaffirm our commitment and love to each other.

    Admitting responsibility, compromise, and forgiveness are key in this as well. We get a better night’s sleep and feel good in the morning that the situation is resolved.

    Unresolved matters can get buried in hearts and minds. Over time, this can build a wall in the relationship.

    Thanks for the post.

  32. Hi Darren

    Thanks so much for a great article … its timing could not have been better. My husband and I run a business and have a young family and we certainly get caught up in the day to day and neglect the “glue” that holds us together. Time to re-focus!


  33. Well, actually, I don’t agree. The word, relationship, is a nominalization. It is not real. You can’t put a pound of it into the trunk of your car. A nominalization is a process word, i.e. relating, that has been turned into a noun. The only way that relationship can be denominalized – in other words, experienced – is through relating… and that can only happen inside the body, where one lives. I relate with you; you relate with me. There is, then, no need of a third entity. It is not required and it is sheer folly to think that it is. The moment I turn how I relate with you into a noun, I have just created the 3rd party entity and disassociated from experiencing mySelf in your presence and from experiencing you… 2 decidedly different sensations, all of which can only happen in the body, which is a living expression of me as Source. My focus, then, can no longer be upon relating to mySelf in your presence,,, and on relating to you… (not the same thing), it is entirely on the relationship, as if a third person, an interloper, that would keep me from mySelf. Disassociating will disconnect me. Associating will connect me. Relating, as an internal experience, lies in simply Being mySelf; it is alive. Relationship, as an external reference point, holds little if any life force and lies in the complicated strategies for doing something, anything to keep it alive, when it is always, in all ways, in death throes. Pretty darned exhausting, if you ask me. Excuse and say good-bye to the 3rd party called relationship. Choose, instead, to relate to Self and to other… or not… (it is, after all, a choice in every moment). You might just live and discover your own essential gratitude for your own life. You might just stop bankrupting your life to the 3rd party (remember, not real) called relationship – a needy, clinging, soul-devouring idea by which we forget ourSelves and each other. Relating is the path to joyous living. Relationship is the doorway to a life, off its hinges, that is numb, yet, so often, unrealized or expressed for the truth that it is. Focus on the relationship, instead of relating to each other, is the lie that we keep on choosing to fool ourSelves with. I have to say, that relating with my partner, means that no 3rd parties are ever invited to my table, unless they are alive to actively engage with us… that means that the unseen one called relationship is not welcome. It has no life force. Period.

  34. You gotta do what you gotta do, Josh. If planning the time works for you, DO IT! We have busy lives and get through them whatever way we can. All that matters is that you take the time out to nurture the relationship and fully enjoy the time with your wife. :)

  35. Dear Darren,

    thank you for all the inspiring presentations on Success especially the CDs and all that Jim Rohn excerps they are changing lives all over the world.

    as a woman it is very easy to be turned off sexually especially when you are ladden with work, drive through traffic and contend with house chores. But as a mattter of principle no matter how tired I am I never ever refuse my husband sex when he reaches for me. I found out that if you turn the men down often and regularly they will not ask you again and that really can deepen the gulf between husband and wife, then you become room mates; sex is critical in strenghening the intimacy between husband and wife. Sometimes the men never reach for you because they are burdened with several deadlines at work and bills to pay but you have to initiate sex at this point and that could provide all the relaxation they longed for. Except when one party is out of town I think having sex with your spouse atleast once every week puts everything in perspective and contributes to the third person.

  36. Dear Adrianna,

    Forty years of age is short compared to a 20 years investment in a partner or relationship the question is are you planning to go to the monastry and live all your live as a single in active sex being or you are planning to start a new relationship? truth is since you say you have Jesus and you pray you can commit this relationship into God’s hands and let Jesus fix it after all he turned dirty water to wine at a wedding in Canaan meaning He can turn all the bitter waters in your marriage to sweet celebrations. Keep at it girly do not give up all that for the un-known because if you end this relationship you are obviously taking a leap in the dark

  37. It takes a lot to remember to focus on the relationship with my wife with all of the other things in life taking my attention. That is why I have set planned time that I give her my attention. I still falter some times but the planned time holds me accountable.

    Josh Bulloc
    Kansas City, MO

  38. Hey Sofia,
    Check out The Shift, from Dr Dennis Waitley. He talks about how we all came from God and are connected to ‘the system’ throughout our lives but most of us (without knowing) spend our lives trying to detach. When we’re attached we’re pursuing our passion and the law of attraction works for us. He explains the concept much better than I do. Also check out the compound effect as I can tell you that it is changing my life.. cheers, Richard.

  39. Darren Thank you so much I listen to al f your cd in succes agazine which by the way they are GREAT . They are so so so so encouraging, I thank God for them really . You know I just want to say that this is such a great honest topic to talk about and I ‘m so Glad that i found it..
    It’s so just cool to read about other peoples responses because that just proves that we are not alone and that God made us all in the same idea, is that not cool or what? You are an amazing writter and I have learned so much from this simple article that you wrote that my husband and I are on a mission for it. Finally, the perfect thing I needed to hear . which he thought your speech in California was awsome! Thanks for taking the time to do all you do!

    God Bless!

  40. You are still here because he loves yo and because you are very special to him…. We are all the same to him, you do need to go and most important you need to have that special relationship with him and ak him to guide you in every decision that will honor him in every way, God does not want you sad or down especially about your elf. so you need to be around good positive people and allow your heart to start healing as well as his. but you can only pray for him you do your part. and I promise you will ee a difference in your life! Listen to good chritian music always and never listen to discouraging music at all. try it and you will see.

    You have a an agenda in this world and that is to bring people to Christ and honor him , ok so start with you. nothing matters bt the kingdom of God, ingrave that in your head , heart and soul, say it a few times a day and will eventually stick.

    God Bless!

  41. Darren, thanks for a great post that most people, me included need to be reminded about. I’m studying your book, The Compound Effect, and implementing a morning routine of stretching, gratitudes and mental love notes (the mental love notes are worth the price of the book! :)
    So, I usually wake up about 30 mins before my fiance and I’m going through the routine when she wakes up. As soon as the bedroom door opens in the condo I race over and we give each other the biggest hug of the morning. This hug sets up the day and gives us a really warm start. I think that that hug makes everything else we have to do to nurture the relationship that mush easier :)

  42. Thanks Darren, for all of the encouraging words and insights you give in various forms of media. I enjoy the SUCCESS magazine with audio interviews, along with the book summaries. I have just started to read The Compound Effect, what a WONDERFUL, POWERFUL book in helping us DO and BE better members of society, by bettering ourselves one person/relationship at a time. Thanks again, for all the love and service you give, to help us to be better. May God Bless You!

    A quote from an audio I heard in last few days, “A secret of Success, is Service”, not sure who said it.

  43. Hi Scot,

    The nature of his work just doesn’t give him the time to ‘be in a relationship’. We live oceans apart and I bet even if I lived next door to him, he still would not have the time to date me. He even sleeps in hospital at times due to shortage of physicians as he is multi tasking in a few specialization.

    But I feel the THOUGHTS we have for each other is genuine. The last thing I want is to add pressure to his already stressful work.

    However when we are together (that is, once a year :)-, he pays full attention to me. He is a darling and we are eager to do things for each other.

    I call him once or twice a week and we have good relaxing talk. He often tells me I am a DELIGHT.

  44. I loved this article because I started a process with my wife called Project FILA ( Fall in Love Again). I want to rekindle the things we did to fall in love the first time and build on it. We dont take anything for granted. Just like in personal development, your relationship is either growing or its dying. A lot of people make excuses on why it can’t work. The job, kids, stress. Well we think EXCUSES ARE TOOLS OF THE INCOMPETENT, USED TO BUILD MONUMENTS OF NOTHINGNESS, THOSE WHO USE THEM ARE SELDOM GOOD FOR ANYTHING ELSE. I learned this phrase in my fraternity days and it has been a way of life. Like Tony Dungy says, “No Excuses, No Explanations”.

  45. I believe in the third person so much I have been working on project FILA (Fall In Love Again) with my wife for our entire marriage. I want us to fall in love all over again so I try to remember what made her fall in love with me and how do I build on that to keep her and I both falling. It’s working very well because constant improvement is a way of life for us and our relationship is the biggest part of that. Just like everything in life, your relationship is either growing or dying. We choose growth

  46. I’m committed to treating my husband with respect. This resolve has helped me to build a strong relationship with him as he responds in love to my respectful attitude towards him. We recently celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary and counting.

  47. Every year, we sit down together to do our goal setting. We both set our personal goals and our business goals and then we set our goals as a couple. As we keep all our journals, we can go back and see if we can tick our goals as a couple off as being done. We have a date every week and I guess that is why at the end of next month we have our 25th wedding anniversary. We are both very much each other’s best friend.

  48. well, it’s probably not as close, but still a, i think it’s probably nothing wrong here.

  49. Darren thank you for your article. This is a subject that has been troubling us for some time and now we have some ideas to get things back on course. Also I stopped by your coporate offices a few miles down the road from where I live and received a copy of the July issue which I had missed. Realize again what I have been missing from not renewing my subscription and will do so today!


  50. It’ll be 4 months that my wife and I have been married on July 29th. We’re both 21 years old and love reading posts like this Darren. Everyone on here is so positive and gives great advice. My wife Kristin and I have made our relationship a priority since day one. We believe that the key to our relationship (been together 4 years), is communication. There isn’t a topic for us that is off limits. We talk openly and honestly about our goals, dreams, and fears. We appreciate each other and make sure to thank the other when they’ve done something considerate. I find that the more she thanks me for doing nice things for her, the more I want to do them. I’m so glad that I’m young and that I subscribed to Success! I appreciate the great posts and I’m looking forward to picking up your book this week Darren. Thank you for everything!

  51. My great aunt & uncle who have been married for over 50 years are getting divorced! She is 77 and he turns 80 this year!!!! She stopped by last night and said she served papers on him because she has been unhappy for many years. She said she will not waste another day of her short years left to live being talked down to and feeling unappreciated. She is leaving town this weekend and moving into their second home in arizona and he will keep their home here. As in shock as we all are, I give her credit to have the strength and courage to say, enough is enough and to move forward and start over this late in the game. Life is far too short to not be happy!

  52. I have similar but different problem. I have not been in a relationship for several years and have lost the desire to seek one.

  53. Hi Laura,

    I know how you feel about such ‘restriction’. I used to think just like you but I have come to learn those aren’t working.

    He doesn’t use computer much, etc.

    GRATITUDE works miracle. I can see that he appreciates me.

    We’re heading for a vacation in October. Or should I say, our yearly date.

  54. You mean to tell me with all the technology available….He does not call you…..or skype you on the computer…..
    I thing you are in denial …… what is it you really want?……a relationship or a pen pal….You obviously dont want a relationship……You must be afraid to ask for what you really want.

  55. thanks for the thoughts and advise. my husband and i go on “dates” weekly…its called grocery shopping but we also so ‘us” stuff. I said a long time ago that when the kids move out I don’t want to look across the table at him and ask “who are you?” grocery shopping may not be considered date night for some, but its something we do together, gives us a chance to talk, share and just be us…not mom or dad, or business associates.

  56. Thanks for ur reply. I know I need to go. I do have jesus in my heart n do pray n go to church I think that’s y am still here.

  57. Darren,

    Thanks for the tip about the third person. My wife and I have two young children and with life being so busy, we were slowly moving apart and we both knew it. After reading your article, I forwarded it to my wife and just having her read it and becoming conscious of how we need to nurture the third person, it already changed how we started treating each other.
    My wife wants to pass this article to her friends who are in a similar situation.



  58. You know Adriana my heart and my Prayers go to youm because you need to realize that you are a beautiful craetion and you are so much more than what you think, your heart belongs to God and all of you belongs to God and youare not in control and never will be. You need to come to the feet of Christ and leave it all to him just pour your heart and soul to him, and know that he is God and is just waiting for you to ask him for help as he already is with people that respond to you. Pray for him and you lift your head up and NEVER NEVER GIVE UP. God is not a God of fear and stress he i amazingly graceful to us, look at your self now and just be thankful for everything because every negative will have a positive in your life! You are beautiful and don;t you ever forget that , You are the daugther of a KING and your Father in heaven will never leave you. If you just allow God to take over and contro your situation he will Promise. Love u sister and always see the light,

  59. I am glad you mentioned smooching in the kitchen! My kids are 13 and 11 and hate when we hug or kiss in front of them. I want them to see and know how much we do love each other. I am glad Darren brought this topic into the light. I think it is a huge issue in many marriages but no one really wants to discuss it.

    We make plans to spend time alone and also remember the small gestures like packing lunch for one another, picking up their favorite candy on a whim or a quick email to say ‘hello’ during the day.

    Thank you Darren again for ‘going there’ with this topic. It is a wonderful reminder and so important!

  60. Fantastic and honest article Darren, thank you!

    My husband and I have been together for more than five years now; as of this September, we will have been married for a year. The concept you explain in your article (or should I say “teach…”) indentifies for me what we are aren’t doing right. We have been struggling to identify why we are already experiencing so many challenges staying connected and loving to one another. We are so exhausted from taking care of our roles as a partnership, whilst creating a debt in our “relationship bank account.”

    Prior to our marriage date, our wise minister offered us valuable advice – “A man needs to feel respected to feel loved, a women needs to feel cherished by her husband in order to respect him and feel love.” – Minister Massey. While love is far more complex than any one thing, I think Minister Massey hit home with his advice. I beleive you, Darren, have further elaborated on the key point our minister was trying to make to us.

    Starting today, I am going to open a new “relationship bank account” for our husband and I, and I will track its progress and invest in its portfolio with the same vigor, drive and passion that I give my new business.

    Thank you. God Bless and Happy Trail Blazing!


  61. Good Day! so excited it is TODAY! Thankful for it and enjoying every moment of it bad good it’s all worth it. I Just simply Love life and most important out creator!
    I’m blessed to say that I am married and we have had ups and downs totally , but I have faith and Hope and I never give up. My husband at first was not so appreciative but I honestly had to just be open and tell him Im very thoughtful and loving so I needed some of that Also.
    1st I Know that I am Loved by God, so that is enough for me.
    2nd knowing that everyday is a gift is very important.
    3rd No matter what I always kiss him good bye and Hello, and If I feel like he is in a bad mood well I just totally start talking positive to him It works being positive and accepting it makes a big diference, talking grateful and jut full of hope helps me to help him. and he does the same now.. for me.
    4th Since Im a little to thoughtful well i always give him little cards or just anything to show appreciation..
    5th At least once a week WE try to cook a meal from the Island that he is from for our children.

    I think the thing we need to work on is the third person as in going out alone just us. or anything that we can do alone, any ideas would be great?

    God Bless.

  62. My heart aches for you. I hate to see a long term marriage end. My parents had six divorces between them and all of thier spouses in ten years and it really messed me up. Having said that after seeing the circumstances you describe I think you really need to consider leaving now, and please do get counseling for yourself. It will be hard but it will help you to heal and since you are having trouble making a decision a counselor may help you with that as well.

    I tell my wife frequently that there is no easy road for us from here, staying together or divorcing will be very difficult. The same is true for you and your husband. Given his addictions leaving him may be the best thing for him. It may help him to face his problems. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  63. My husband left me 4 years ago he bagged to come back n I took him back my children’s didn’t want him back. The kids n I were happier with out him. Well he came back with the condition we were going to be better with each other. He promise to stop drinking n there have been some drugs but he is in denial never have admitted to it even after a over dose. I have started drinking with him n I feel I will b like him after the kids are gone. My morals r to the ground now because he took my self steam. Am not a bad looking person but he has made me feel like the ugliest person out there. I feel a little different about my self now. I will get counseling
    For my self, he doesn’t need any help he says. all my love I had for him it has turn in to hate for him to he doesn’t look at me when he speaks to me. He doesn’t make love to me. Were just here. I have ask y can I make a decision. Hope I make one soon

  64. My wife made the same decision about our relationship last fall. For different reasons she also was not ready to leave the realtionship. However she asked for a divorce in January of this year. I said yes but asked if she would go to marriage counciling while we are still living together. She said yes but she never thought that there was any hope until about a month ago when we actually seperated. Now she says she thinks leaving may be the wrong thing to do. If you are going to be living with him for a few more years you should tell him how you feel now and go to marriage counciling. Even if you think it’s useless you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, if you don’t plan to leave him now.

  65. 1. Each morning as we walk the dogs we share each others schedule, goals, etc… 2. One weekend each month we get out of town together; San Diego, Santa Barbara, Yosemite…no cell phones or computers allowed.

    And still we haven’t had sex in over ten years.

  66. Hi Greg,

    My boyfriend and I do the same. And you won’t believe it, we only get to date once a year! And that once a year is the only time he CAN have some time off from work!

    Friends tell me this is not even a relationship but I know that is the best he can give me for now. He is a traveling physician whose work schedule is very hectic and he also has to be on call to serve the army from time to time.

    I have come to know relationship is a matter of hearts, not distance.

    Oh by the way, I haven’t told you, he has never rung me but I’m ok with that as I ring him from time to time perhaps twice a month, if I am lucky to catch him answering :)-

    And… he replies to my everyday emails once a month :)-

    Despite, I am positive with this RELATIONSHIP.

  67. With marriages falling apart left and right, this is a great topic of discussion on the importance of making marriage great, making it thrive. We have been blessed to have happily married parents to set the example and will personally celebrate 20 years of marriage in a few weeks. The wise counsel we received during engagement and all along the way is that a couple needs to give 100%. A relationship is not 50/50. Couples also need to be be good at saying sorry and asking forgiveness.

    Last summer my husband and I went through a course called Dynamic Marriage. It included a small group of 7 other couples and we went through Willard F. Harley, Jr’s books His Needs, Her Needs, Love Busters and a workbook called Five Steps to Romantic Love. This course really helped us to see the most important needs of our mate. This week while on vacation, I brought the 2 books along and have almost finished rereading them. It helps me to remember what we learned and refocus on what I need to be doing to show love to my husband – where it means the most to him.

  68. I understand your predicament. We have had long-term ‘house guests’ in the past. Tara, you have to take control of the situation. You have to make your ‘one flesh’ relationship a priority. Make sure both your husband and your guest understands you and your husband need separate time to nurture this separate entity. Set boundaries, set priorities and protect them.

  69. Fantastic plan Claudia – thanks for outlining for everyone. Of course nothing ever goes according to plan, but the key is you have one and you continue to pull yourself back on it. It’s a constant and never ending discipline.

  70. Daren, Your article is right on the money. My wife Peggy and I have been married twenty five years and we are more in love now then when we first met. I believe the key is that we put each other first all the time, I want nothing but the best for her and to excel at everything thing she does and be successful at every area of her life and she feels the same way. We compliment each other daily and express our love to each other. We take time each morning over coffee to discuss our thoughts and dreams. We also work together daily in our business and have learned over time that every once in a while you need to go and have personal time away from each other for a couple of hours.The bottom line is we love each other unconditional and want each other to succeed and be happy at everything we do.

  71. Thanks for this articles, it has reminded me of so many thing i have been neglected in my relationship. I always felt you are very connected to most of the things we are doing in life.

    Thanks for this publication, it will come a long way for people that are in relationship.

    God bless you

  72. Thanks Darren. You were spot on. Society can only thrive when relationships thrive and you’re making a great contribution to a happy, peaceful,and prosperous world.Keep going.However, I think your magazine is not known in Africa and in East Africa in particular.
    Could we distribute for you to enable access of thii gem to a greater audience? God bless.

  73. they said it all. i think as a single young man um learning a lot from those who are experienced. thanx Darren for this article. it cannot only benefit those who are married alone but also for those young men and women out there willing to be having families. yes sir, i salute you. i know you are training them so that this third kid/person called relationship will never suffer. Let put it this way, 1. God first(because he created the family), 2. Then secondly family and 3. thirdly business or providing for the family. this should be the next diagram after the one Darren came up with. i would like to repeat what Darren said. Once again none of this three should also suffer.

    you are champions keep on saving our is important and should come first regardles how busy we are in this life. God created it.

  74. I always felt you are very connected to most of the things we are doing in life. I have been in a relationship for 8 years and everyday I am trying something to add on to present. I feel restless if everyday is same and nothing else is being added to our relationship. That’s why it is much better and exciting with every day pass by. Thanks for articulating your thought in very simplified way. Love to keep sharing your articles with my friends and people I know.

  75. After reading some of the comments, this is serious business? Is there any hope for those couples? Can their relationship be saved? We live a life of fantasy. We play the game of been busy at all times, busy doing what? We blame, condenmed,we critize. We look for the easy way. We register our children on every sport, clasees that there is, to avoid our responsabilities.
    We look for excuses. Parenthood is a share responsability, so does marriage. We live a life of confusion, go, go, go, not stop. We get paralize by circumstances that affect our lives and we stay there, in the limbo. We let the internet, gameboy,play station,and events to raise our children. We let the fast food restaurant, TV dinners cook for the husbands. We allow sports to consume our husbands and TV shows hyptonized wives. Why, because is easy to do. We lost the human touch. We dont sit down for dinner anymore, we don”t communicate verbally, we text. We don”t write letters, we email. We allow jobs consume our lives and dictate what to do or not to do. We dont think we are worthy. We are to busy for our husbands/wives. For better or worth, really? when? Can these couples be saved? People have jobs, yeah jobs, full time and part time. Why dont live your live with a schedule? Pencil in everything. Treated like a business. Take time for each other, by doing that, the third person will bring the other two together.

  76. A few years ago, my husband was busy with his life, and I felt like I was not a part of it, so I was going to slip quietly out. When I told him this, he was devastated. He had no idea. I was surprised. I didn’t even think he would miss me. Since that time we have made it a priority to go on a date at least once a week. We go on vacations without the children two or three times a year, (even if the kids don’t get one.) We go for drives on Sunday, just the two of us, and we make our relationship a high priority. He calls me during the day. I travel with him when he is working. I dress up for him, and he goes to chick flicks with me. We have a great relationship. Learning to play and be spontaneous again was very important. We have been married for almost twenty eight years now, and I have had people say that we look at each other like he has only seen high school kids look at each other. You can have a great relationship if you work and play at it. The biggest difference is that we make our relationship a high priority. Darren hit it right on the nose. I do not want to waste 50 years of my life and wake up one day to a stranger. Even though our goals are different, we are safe in our relationship, and we can both exercise our goals and support each other in them. He does not understand what I enjoy (goal setting, reading, self improvement, education), but he supports me in it. I don’t get the same happiness that he does out his interests, but we love, respect, and are supportive of the other persons interests. Marriage can be a safe place. You don’t have to leave your spouse to find freedom. Pray, treat him as you would like him to be, fix yourself, and you will be married to the most amazing person!

  77. Thank you for this great article! Great Reminder to take care of that “third person.”

  78. There isn’t a meal that goes by that my husband doesn’t say thank you! Whenever he does something for me I hank him also. We always say and most importantly show that we appreciate eachother. Even when things are not going well in other areas i.e. bills, kids, work etc…, we always make time to appreciate eachother.

  79. We try but there is no more love. I care about him I just think we lost each other along the way. He is not the person I thought he was. He is not a bad person. We have three girls on in college n one in high school the other middle school. We r not to old we are on our thirty n he will b forty. I have given all I have n sometime I want to start a fresh new life. Am just waiting for all my girl to finish high school I think he is too. My husband talks about our future together when we get old but I just don’t see my self in it.

  80. You can start now, and rebuild the relationship. It’s more difficult that existing, but it’s worth the effort!

  81. Hey Darren! After hearing you speak in Las Vegas last January, I immediately came home and bought a little leather notebook. I’ve been writing something I admire, appreciate, love about my husband every day since. The book doesn’t quite have 365 pages so I’ll be running out of pages on the 10th of next month. That is perfect timing, though, because we’ll just be coming back from our family reunion trip and I intend to make that my “Welcome Home – I’m Glad We’re Not Them” Gift. Some of the relationships in the family are 30, 40, up to 70 years in the making (or dying) and I truly am glad we’re still paying attention after 20+ years. Thanks for sharing that…..and for “The Compond Effect” – got the book and audio. My husband and I have both listened on our road trips and had some very good and enlightening conversations!

  82. I didn’t see any comments addressing the many marriage relationships still together, yet fractured due to infidelity. What’s left but the roommate scenario then?

  83. I’m a single 55 yr old woman, and this advice helps me even in my dating life. I was married years ago and always thought of the marriage as a combo of my husband and myself. I never thought of the relationship as a living, breathing entity. My focus is changing.

  84. 1. My husband, Vj, and I have a date night that is sacrosanct–we never cancel it unless we are in other cities. Even on those nights, we do our Date Night Ritual to get connected. Some of the aspects of that are: recite our vows (how can we expect to uphold them if we can’t remember them!?), our unified couple’s values and our couple’s mission. Then we uphold them to the best of our ability, including the part in our mission to “uplift fellow beings” by teaching others how to have so much fun in their relationship.
    2. We try to never take ourselves too seriously and are awfully goofy and silly.
    3. Appreciation, gratitude, and celebration of each other and our successes.

  85. I have been with my partner 20 year n we have killed our relationship. We are roommates.

  86. We ask questions: What are the top five things I do(or could do) to make you feel loved and valued? What are the top five things I do that make you feel UN-loved and undervalued?

    We always thank each other for little things done for the other and after love making. The vulnerability of intimacy is a gift we never take for granted. In fact, we don’t take each other for granted in any area.

    We always speak in ways to build each other up–never barbs or jokes at the other’s expense. We know we are on the same team.

    We don’t keep secrets and we always make significant decisions after communicating and entering into an agreement as to the process.

    We always focus on ways to make things work instead of focusing on the things that are not how we want them.

    We have 31 happy years together as husband and wife, and there is no one I would rather spend my time with in any endeavor than my beloved.

  87. This is an excellent post! We have been married for over 21 years, and we happen to work together doing many things. Our kids know us as one, probably because that’s how we’ve always carried on. They don’t easily run to one or the other, because we got that understanding that “the two shall become one flesh”. When all is said and done, and the kids are off to school or married, it comes back to us two. You hit the nail on the head! THE RELATIONSHIP! We frequently go out to pow-wow, brainstorm, talk–especially laugh together all day long. In fact, most nights we are up talking and talking for hours. We’ve done that for years. We are always conscious to spend quality time together DAILY! Thanks again, Darren, for all your well rounded posts!

  88. I agree so much. But what makes it harder is there is literally a third person. A friend who is divorced for about 2 years now but is over our house 5-7 days a week. We do nothing without her and it definately taking a toll on our relationship. I have talked to both about how I feel and my partner feels bad because we are all she has. I say that will always be the case if she doesn’t get out there and meet someone. The only time alone we have is for work, chores and drive the boys to their games or friends. The rest of the time we do things it is always with her, skiing, sailing and even goinng to our friends. My partner thinks I am jealous, I guess maybe I am because it seems there is more concern for her happiness then keeping our relationship Happy. I am going to order your book today! I need all the help I can get

  89. Really, really love this. You and me must share it, must teach to our children. Nothing can be without efforts. Relationship doesnot exist, you must create it, must do for it. Every day, every moment of your life. Never stop. As you wrote – the third person – born, rise, care etc.

  90. Great conversation here. I totally agree with you regarding relationships. We’ve waxed and waned around who works the most. Basically, to steal John Assaraf’s word, I’m a work-a frolic! 😉 Right now, he’s the one putting in the long hours as he takes over a neglected department at his company. We have to make special efforts to stay connected.

    Some things we do:
    1. We sit down at the beginning of the month and set goals. They are individual goals but really helpful to get a sense of what the other person is grappling;
    2. We also set yearly goals in an ‘arrow’ ceremony (awesome ritual – you have to try it Darren. The kids will love it too.shoot me an email if interested) .
    3. We take classes together – we took spanish and are now taking ballroom dancing classes;
    4. We IM via GTalk a few times a day just to check in;
    5. We try (and mostly fail) to get away once a quarter, but the effort is there.
    6. For the last year or so, we’ve been working out together, which is wicked fun. He set up a gym in our basement when I got sick of being followed around by guys at the gym. Now we workout together – much more fun;
    7. more than anything, and something you’ve talked about, we are very polite and thank each other for the things we do. It’s amazing how just a 2 minute, thanks for taking the trash out, can make thing work.

    It sounds like we spend a lot of time together. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. These things take almost no time. They only take a small amount of effort. And they make a huge difference in how connected we feel. Things we never skip? Yearly goals, month goals. No exceptions. They are a big deal to us.

    Great topic, of course, Cheers!

  91. You are so right! I really like this concept but really I like all of your books, They are the ones that keep me dreaming and never give up. Thanks alot . I do seem to agree with you on this relationship thing you can be thinking that it’s all ok, but We all need that Love, tender, wanted feeling especially the wife! I will definently try to do this alot more often. and talk to my husband about it straight forward and not beat around the bush. you think? or would that be to cold?

  92. Darren- That is so very true. My husband and I have been married almost 17 years, yes, my ENTIRE adult life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. We have 3 children and he runs his business, I care for the house, kids, my own business, etc. Typical, right?
    The difference is we really do have a great and successful relationship. We make it a point to have our time most evenings. We sit outside and have a glass of wine together (kids are indoors) watch sunset (when we have one) and just talk. Sometimes about nothing at all but we talk about our dreams, goals, work, kids, our day, etc. Its nice. We also make sure to kiss every day. I know that sounds corney, but we kiss everyday and flirt with eachother. 😉 There is still fire, love, respect.

  93. Spontaneity is a great way to nurture the relationship, Derrick. Often times we get stuck in a rut THINKING we are doing all the right things at the prescribed, scheduled time but it’s not always best. Keep the relationship alive and flourishing by changing things up here and there tends to work wonders. Thanks! :)

  94. Darren,

    Great topic to discuss.

    Every morning when I wake up in bed, I’m happy, grateful, & honored to be next to my amazing, beautiful & talented wife, Deb of 33 years. Deb lives a life of love, integrity, & service and inspires me to be better & better.

    Married as teenagers and now entering our early fifties. Each day keeps getting better & better as we work to improve our relationship. What fulfills me the most is kissing her first thing in the morning, all day long (when we’re together) and kissing before we go to sleep. Kissing primes the love pump. Love produces everything…

    Our life goals are aligned:
    1. Excellent Health.
    2. Excellent relationship / family / home
    3. Excellent career / service
    4. Excellent friendships.
    5. Giving back. Philanthropy.

    See you in Carlsbad in 2 weeks.

    All my best,
    Barry Schlouch

  95. This is a very important message for this day and age where every one is busy running the rat race
    and caring for so many things but each other. You wake up one morning after 30, 40 years of marriage, and all you were caring about is gone. You gaze at each other and you don’t know each other that well. Your life have no meaning without those things you care about that are now gone. You are now total strangers. you don’t even know how to converse interestingly with each other. You are now empty nesting. The children you care about, talk about and solve their problems have found a life of their own. This is why we hear about divorces after 30, 40 years of marriage and we wonder how can this be. Therefore couples, do things together (pray, go to church, go places, read, play together.) When your marriage is on a rocky ground seek for help as you will when you are physically or emotionally ill. Nurture and care for your marriage.

  96. Real communication is key here. The ability to talk the way you did when only going out together, sharing thoughts, dreams, hopes and truths. All this type of communication can so easily be lost in the day to day running of a home, work, children etc …… and before you know it years have slipped by and without actually realising both parties have drifted into their own worlds and no longer communicate on the receivers level.

    This is dangerous territory as one can find that the really meaningful conversations only start to take place when something doesn’t feel right and there is tension in the air. Then one or other of the couple start to tell the other what they think the person wants to hear ……. as they no longer know how to communicate or want to divulge their secret thoughts.

    Marriage is definitely a third entity and to make it work longterm, it needs an investment of time and energy in order to Reap On Investment in the latter years when the couple can observe the wonders of what they created together, a future generation with God’s blessing hopefully.

  97. It’s not me, but my parents that I always think of when I think of a great relationship. They’ve been married for 46 years and still smooch in the kitchen :) Dad was career military, so they learned early on that they really had to stay connected and treat each other as best friends, lovers, and partners in the business of running the household and raising kids. I think they recognized, though, that it takes all three roles to really last and that each role and sometimes each person takes prominence at different times.

  98. I know for a fact we let the years of teenagers and work get by us in a whirlwind and we lost much precious time. Luckily my husband and I were committed to the vows and when the dust settled we started spending weekly time….a date night…..and mornings over a cup of something :-) together. We recently took a trip to Hilton Head via car and brought all of our favorite CDs of old rock and roll and had a blast just singing. Its like everything else….you simply HAVE to schedule it in or you lose it. Great question!!

    PS I listened to your interview with John Asserof and LOVED your comments on making a list of what you wanted in a bride, then worked on those qualities in yourself. What wisdom for a 39 year old….LOL!! I told both of my young adult kids your words right away….it was really powerful. Thank you much for sharing!

  99. This really hit the nail on the head, my relationship is on life-support… if it’s alive at all. I’ve been so busy with the practice that I didn’t even see it comming. Hopefully it’s not too late.

    Thanks for the eye-opener.

  100. Darren,
    Once again you are right on the money. I am on my second reading of “The Compound Effect” This is an Amazing book. Easy to read and listen to while in my rolling university (car). You really do have great tips for all around SUCCESS in everything you do from relationships to business.

    I would assume that everybody reading and contributing to this blog has there own copy of “The Compound Effect” and if you have any friends the best thing you could do for them is to buy them all a copy. Read and take action and one day you too will hosting your own success blog of some sort.

    Thank you Darren for doing what you do with who you are.
    Kenny I

  101. I love the ‘Third Person’ concept…reminds me of another important trilogy which is the foundation for your concept here. My wife and I have been married six years as of July 17th. On our wedding day we vowed to never let the “honeymoon” end. That does not mean things are always “lovey-dovey” but that we are active partners in ensuring that the honeymoon phase never ends, which means we must be open to one another about how we see the relationship going. Other than open communication, I believe the most important aspect of a relationship in being honest with one another thus nurturing the ‘Third Person.’

  102. We have breakfast every morning and dinner every night together. When possible I take my wife away with me on business travel trips. We plan time for just us thoughout the year, small mini weekends to just get away and reconnect.

  103. Started this recently and it is a daily “work in progress”. Thankfully we are both working on it together!

  104. This is pretty much everybody’s problem. It is good that Darren brings this subject up; we all tend to fall in that pattern of tending to everything around us BUT the relationship. Scheduling quality time with our partner at least once a month, taking off on a trip alone with no kids once a year, showing our appreciation for the little things they do, all count.

  105. I can’t think of many couples where the guy will ask a serious relationship question! The women I know get to these types of conversations pretty quickly. I suggest more guys talk about this stuff. It took me three years to convince my husband of the concept that relationships need to be invested in. Great topic.

  106. Awesome, we feed our relationship by having a plan that 2 nights a week we walk our dogs together, and we keep it spontaneous by letting each other pick a night. That way it is still 2 nights a week but not the same night each week. We also have a dinner date once a week. This gives us that much need kindling to keep the romance fire burning strong.

  107. Thank you, Darren! It is a message I learned too late but am now implementing into my second relationship. It is true, every word of it. Blessings.

  108. We eat breakfast together every morning. That way we can plan our days and figure out which direction each of us is going. Toward’s the end of the week, we can plan our weekend adventures.

  109. My wife and I make an effort to appreciate one another for the little things. We never stop recognizing when one makes the other’s lunch or takes the trash out. A heartfelt “thank you for ….” is one of the most common phases heard in our house. Not only does it make the other person feel appreciated but it is a reminder to the person doing the thanking of all the little things being done out of love. This is and many other habits help us appreciate every day what we have in each other.