Dr. Jennifer Degler is an author, speaker, practicing psychologist, and marriage counselor. As the founder of CWives, Jennifer encourages Christian women to have sizzling sex lives! You can find all kinds of resources over on her extensive website!
In this interview we focus on the 5 “Magic” Hours we need to spend in our marriage each week. According to the work of Dr. John Gottman, Jennifer shares, “Happy couples aren’t spending that much more time together than unhappy couples. It’s what they do with that time that makes a difference.”
This is a perfect interview to start the new year with as Jennifer shares with us five magic hours we need to be intentional about each week–and No More Perfect Date Night fits right into the mix!
Note: We are working with some new tech equipment and still finding the right settings for our interviews. Occasionally you’ll notice some background noise and differing mic levels that we are adjusting to eliminate in future interviews.
TRANSCRIPT: Coming soon!
Talk about It:
When would it work best for us to have our “parting” conversation (2 min each)?
When would it work best for us to have our reunion conversation (10 min each)?
One thing I admire/appreciate about you is ________________________________.
What kind of affection would you welcome?
I love when you do this______________. I don’t like it when you ______________.
What is it you love that I do? What would you prefer I don’t do?
When can we have a weekly date?
Is it better for us to do No More Perfect Date Night at home or away from home?
What is one thing that was talked about in this interview that really has you thinking?
Think About It:
How can I be more intentional about showing interest in my spouse’s day?
How can I facilitate the reunion conversation–when I ask him/her about their day?
How can I remind myself to express one appreciation a day?
What can I do to be more affectionate?
What can I do to make a date night happen?
Partings—2 min a day=10 min a week
Take the time to find out something’s that happening in your spouse’s life today. At the end of the day you can ask them about that. It communicates to your spouse, “I’m making room in my head for you,” and “I care.”
Note: It’s okay for us and our spouse to write down reminders about marriage. That doesn’t make it less sincere.
Reunions—Stress reducing conversation—20-30 mi conversation everyday= 1 hour 40 min a week.
- This is where your spouse helps you manage your stress everyday and where you help him/her manage their stress.HINTS:
- This is NOT a time to talk about your marriage.
- Have your kids leave the room. This is healthy for them to see you prioritize your marriage.
- You need to talk about any subject outside of your marriage.
- If you’ve had a bad day—you whine about your day. If you’ve had a good day, you shine about your day.
- Don’t give unsolicited advice.
- This is a time to listen and be there and not solve problems.
- Do not say “I told you so.”
- Be on your spouse’s side.
You will begin to look forward to it and you’ll think, “I’m going to have this place of safety.” Have kids leave the room.
Admiration—5 min a day=35 min/week.
Express genuine admiration to each other. Start seeing your spouse through a lens of abundance rather than a lens of lack.
Affection—5 min a day=35 min/week.
When we’re dating we can hardly keep our hands off each other. But in a long-term relationship, we tend to stop kissing and hugging. 5 minutes a day of affection keeps emotional connection. Suggest: one last kiss before you go to sleep—a forgiveness kiss. Choose forgiveness in your head. This helps us keep short accounts.
Hug for at least 30 seconds. Scratch his or her back. Hold hands. It gets oxytocin–bonding hormones– going. It gets bonding hormones going.
Weekly Date—2 hours/week
There’s no excuse for not making a date work. The question is are we going to be intentional about making this work?
What do NOT constitute a date?
- Going to a movie (unless you go to coffee or dinner too so you are interacting)
- Going out with your children.
- Going out with other people.
What DOES constitute a date?
- No More Perfect Date Night videos/conversations
- A date at home when you truly focus on each other.
- Disconnecting from the busyness of your life and connecting with one another.
- Getting out of the house to do some fun things together.
- Unplug from everyday routines and PLUG INTO your spouse.Tell yourself, “I’m going to be more energized after this.” Take turns planning those dates, too!
“My real wealth in life is relationships.”
“Happy couples aren’t spending that much more time together than unhappy couples. It’s what they do with that time that makes a difference.”
“A lot of couples find adjusting to parenting to be a huge stressor.”
“In your own life you can lose perspective and your emotions can overwhelm you, so you need good wisdom.”
“It was John Gottman who studied the difference between the masters of marriage and the disasters of marriage. Happy couples spend 5 intentional hours a week doing some specific things that unhappy couples don’t do.”
“The longer you do something well, the less likely you are to get affirmation for it.”