Read an Excerpt
I Love You More
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real-life problem solvers
Below is a listing of some true stories you will find throughout this book. Each story focuses on a specific marital struggle and is written by a courageous couple who strengthened their marriage in spite of their struggle. We offer these contributions as a source of inspiration and examples of practical problem solving.
1. How We Overcame Unfulfilled Expectations 38
by Scott and Debbie Daniels
2. How We Won over a Bad Attitude 65
by Kevin and Kathy Lunn
3. How We Found Time and Space as a Couple with Kids 81
by Andrea and Chris Fabry
4. How We Reignited Our Sexual Fire 87
by Rick and Jennifer Newberg
5. How We Tamed the Busyness Monster 96
by Steve and Thanne Moore
6. How We Brought Back the Fun in Our Marriage 102
by Neil and Marylyn Warren
7. How We Survived Financial Debt 108
by Doug and Jana McKinley
8. How We Found Forgiveness after an Affair 129
by Richard and Linda Simons
9. How We've Stayed Committed 135
by Jeff and Stacy Kemp
10. How We Learned to Speak the Same
Spiritual Language 149
by Chuck and Barb Snyder
11. How We Find God's Will Together 156
by Norm and Bobbe Evans
12. How We Found Hope in the Midst of Infertility 186
by Mark and Victoria Eaton
13. How We Won over Depression 192
by Dennis and Emily Lowe
14. How We Found Joy with a Disabled Child 195
by Norm and Joyce Wright
15. How We Dealt with a Rebellious Child 197
by Dave and Jan Stoop
10 i love you more workbook exercises
Below is a listing of the exercises and self-tests you will find in the two workbooks we have designed to go along with this book (one for husbands and one for wives). In each chapter we will point you to a specific exercise to work on once you have read a particular section. This list can serve as a quick reference to the location of the exercises within this book.
1. Taking Inventory of Your Marriage 24
2. Exploring Your Marital Armament 28
3. Why Every Marriage Has Everyday Problems 34
4. What Did You Expect? 37
5. The Big Question 42
6. So Many Choices 48
7. Your Attitude Quotient 56
8. What Have You Been Looking For? 61
9. Coping with the Invasion of Intimacy 77
10. When Husband and Wife Become Mom and Dad 83
11. Refueling the Sexual Fire 89
12. Taking Control of Your Time-Starved Marriage 98
13. Getting to Know You . . . All Over Again 106
14. Healing Your Painful Past 111
15. Owning Up 120
16. High Hopes---Even When You're Hurting 122
17. Walking in Your Partner's Shoes 125
18. Assessing Your Spiritual Language 148
19. Finding the Inspiration around You 161
20. Taking Cover from a Bombshell and Its Fallout 178
21. Surviving Your Private Gethsemane 191
12 i love you more love is not enough
A marriage survives and thrives when a couple learns to use problems to their advantage.
All beginnings are lovely.
Two days after our wedding in Chicago, Les and I were nestled into a cottage, surrounded by towering timbers along the picturesque
Oregon coast. A few miles to the south of us were the famous coastal sand dunes where we planned to ride horses later that week. And up the coast was a quaint harbor village where we thought we might spend another day leisurely looking at shops and eating our dinner by candlelight in a rustic inn some friends recommended. Other than that, we had nothing on our itinerary for the next five days except enjoying the beach and each other, rain or shine.
Neither of us could have dreamed up a scenario that would have been better for our honeymoon. Not that everything was perfect.
For starters, we accidentally locked ourselves out of our rental car the day after we arrived. I was commenting on how the sun was trying to poke its way out of some clouds when Les realized the keys were in the ignition and all the doors were locked.
'You stay here in the cabin,' Les said, taking his first stab at being an everything's-under-control kind of husband. 'I'm going to walk to that filling station on the main road and get some help.'
'I'll go with you,' I responded.
'Are you sure? It might rain.'
'It'll be fun; let's go.'
We walked and talked the two or three miles to find a pay phone, where we made arrangements for the locksmith to pick us up and take us back to our car. Sitting on a curb, we waited,
saying nothing. Les was fiddling with a stick he'd picked up on our walk when I realized several minutes had passed and neither of us had said a word. It was an easy stillness, though; a kind of eloquent voicelessness where we were content, comfortable,
to not talk.
I think it was there and then, quietly sitting on a curb next to a phone booth under a cloudy sky, that the thought hit me like a ray of light. I had captured true love. The thing I'd been chasing ever since I was old enough to know it could be sought was now in my possession. I had married a man who loved me deeply, just as I loved him. We committed ourselves to love together, forever. Love's ethereal mysteries were now unfolding before my very eyes. Its elusive qualities were fading. True love was no longer out of reach. The very opposite, in fact, was true. While I stood by doing nothing, love was enveloping my being. I'm not talking about the dizzying effects of falling in love that happen in the early starry-eyed stages of a new relationship. Les and I had dated for nearly seven years before we found ourselves married and honeymooning on the Oregon coast.
The love I'm talking about experiencing that day was cleareyed and grounded. There was no sunset on the horizon, no piped-in background music. This was reality and I was simply taking it in, relishing the silence and stillness of having no other purpose than that of being together. Husband and wife. We had_____
created a marriage. And it was good. So good was this love we had at the beginning that we could practically live on it. And we did, for a time.
Can We Keep a Good Thing Going?
Like most couples deeply in love, Les and I longed to find ways to make our love endure even before we were married. Part of the impetus for our vision came from reading A Severe Mercy,
the real-life love story about Sheldon and Davy Vanauken, two lovers who not only dreamed about building a soulful union,
but devised a concrete strategy for doing so that they called their
'Shining Barrier.' Its goal: to make their love invulnerable. Its plan: to share everything. Everything!