Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three Ways to Keep Romance Alive in Your Marriage and Romance Novel Giveaway

Good morning everyone, and thanks for stopping by. I'm super excited today, partly because we're joining author Noelle Marchand for her Fourteen Days of Love Contest, and partly because I'll be doing my first ever giveaway of my book, Sanctuary for a Lady. The book doesn't release until April, yet I'm anxious to get an early copy into the hands of one lucky winner. Before the giveaway, however, we're going to look at some real-life romance. Noelle has done a terrific post for single women facing Valentine's Day, while I've done a post for married women. So be sure to check out Noelle's corresponding advice here.

I love writing romance, and I don't think I could ever write a book that didn't have a love story in it. But in a book, I get to play around with the characters, write and rewrite scenes, and keep revising until the romance in the story is perfect. Real life isn't so easy. You can't use the delete button to erase the words you speak to your spouse, or rewrite your most recent argument until it ends in understanding and a kiss rather than tears and damaged feelings. So today I want to look at three ways to keep romance alive with your real-life prince charming.

1. Spend time together. You might think this one rather obvious. After all, at one point, you and your hubby spent a whole lot of time together . . . back when he was your future hubby or first dating you. But somehow, as the years pass, you each become busy with different things. Working, raising kids, buying a house, making improvements to the house, carting your kids to soccer and ballet, and the list goes on. Yet it's still important that you spend time together. Hire a babysitter for one night a month. Or feed your kids hotdogs and put them to bed early once every couple weeks. Then make (or buy, if you're me) a nice dinner for your husband.

2. Pay attention. Every woman wants to feel that her husband loves her. But on the flip side, women also need to ask themselves whether they make their husbands feel loved. Do you know when he has a bad day at work or a mountain of chores to do at home? Or do you let him live his own life until you needs something from him? One of the easiest ways to pay attention is to greet him when he gets home. Whether he's been at work or running errands, put down the phone, spatula or laundry basket, and call your kids away from their toys or the TV to greet their dad. If you make your man feel like he's important to you, I'm betting he'll reciprocate and show his wonderful wife how important she is to him.

3. Say thank you. Having a general attitude of gratefulness toward the man you married can do miracles for your relationship. Of course you're grateful that he pays some (or all) of the bills and takes the trash out on trash night. But do you tell him "thank you" or simply take for granted that he'll work endless hours? Now let's take the situation a step farther. Regardless of how wonderful a wife you are, there will always be those busy times when you ask for help with sweeping or putting the kids to bed or doing the dishes or any other number of household tasks. When your husband takes time out of his busy schedule to help you, do you thank him? Or do you look at the kitchen floor, see a dog hair in the corner, and tell him he didn't do a good enough job sweeping? Try to be grateful for the effort your husband puts into helping rather than pick out his imperfections.

Well, there you have it. Three ways to keep romance alive in your marriage, and they aren't even expensive or time consuming. Again, feel free to read the advice romance author Noelle Marchand has for single women on her blog.

Now for the giveaway. Married women, leave a comment below sharing one thing you're grateful for about your husband to be entered. If you're not married, leave a comment sharing one thing you're grateful for about your father or some other man that has impacted your life in a positive way. Be sure to leave your email address, so I have a way to reach the winner.

If you want your name to be added in the drawing a second time, go visit my brand new (as of yesterday) facebook author page and click like. (I have a whopping 11 fans as of this moment, and while I admit that the stress of being so popular is rather burdensome, I think I can handle a few more fans before I suffer a breakdown.) If you "like" my fan page, be sure to come back here and post another comment saying that you did so in order to be entered a second time. The contest will run until next Wednesday, February 15, at midnight.

26 comments:

  1. Naomi, I am SO EXCITED with you about your book! Naturally I would love to get my hands on a copy early, but rest assured this is one I plan to buy too. =)

    Now, my hubby. Golly, I love that guy! We both work from home, so we probably see each other more than most couples. We talk about absolutely everything, and our life's goals are incredibly intertwined. We talk publishing, we talk my writing, we talk his other jobs, we talk the kids. We joke, we laugh, we worry together. The thing I appreciate most about him--hmm, hard to pick, but I think it would have to be how encouraging and supporting he is.

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    1. That's a great thing to be thankful for about your hubby, Roseanna. It makes me smile just to read it. :) And thanks for the compliment on my book!

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  2. I love this post. My hubby is a small group leader in our church and our group focuses on marriage. In todays busy world it is so easy for couples to grow apart. Especially as they grow older and children get married and go off to college.

    Advice that was not asked for but I'll still share because I'm so passionate about it is know each others love language. Because it IS important. You may be doing your love language for your husband but if his love language is different (and it usually is) he isn't getting the fulfillment you think. Gary Chapman has a book out the 5 love languages. I tell my children they can not marry until both them and their future spouse has either read the book or gone through the course. lol.

    Okay, what I appreciate most about my husband? That is so hard. He truly is close to perfect in my eyes. I will have to do two though. He pitches in and helps me out even though he works at least 50 hrs a week and secondly he is very supportive of my writing and so proud of me.

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    1. Those are great traits to have in a husband, to be sure. I haven't read the 5 Love Languages, though I'm pretty sure my husband has. Thanks for the advice Debbie Lynne. It's much appreciated. :)

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  3. Congratulations Naomi! Hmmmm, I appreciate my husband for his sense of humor. We make each other laugh every day, even after 15 years.

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    1. Laughing is a great thing to share with your man, Sherri! It sure beats crying. ;) And what a lovely book cover you have! I noticed it the other day, and since I've had a sneak peek at your beginning, I love that he's holding a baby.

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  4. I'm always so grateful for how wonderful my husband is with our children. He can be a bit of a workaholic, but when he's with the kids he really enters into play with them. And they have such a great time. In fact, he's way better at playing with them than I am. I'm also grateful that at some point he fully adopted the dishes. He does them in the early morning when the teens are getting ready for high school and makes them breakfast too. I think that's pretty awesome since I don't work outside of the home.

    And yes, I'd love to win your book dina sleiman at gmail dot com.

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    1. Oh goodness, a man who makes breakfast AND does the dishes? I'm feeling mushy already! Sounds like you've snagged a pretty special guy, Dina.

      And my hubby's better at playing with our kids than I am. I find it strange. I can imagine all sorts of things and situations for my novels, but when my son asks me to play Thomas the Train, my mind goes completely blank. I can't think of anything fun for poor Thomas to do. I've got to be the world's most lame Thomas the Train player. My hubby and my dad are both awesome at it, though.

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  5. NAOMI!!! Can you believe it's finally almost here??!! Your baby is about to be born, and I can't wait to hold her, so toss my name in the hat!! EXCELLENT points as to how to keep romance alive in a marriage, girl!! You know a lot for one so young. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Julie! Thanks for stopping by! I'm not sure I've seen you in my corner of cyberspace before, but then, I should have guessed a post with the word ROMANCE in the title would attract you!

      And I wouldn't say I know so much. This was a post about what people should do, not about all the mistakes I make every day. LOL! But I hope it can be an encouragement to others. :)

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  6. Um, was I the inspiration for this post? Were you hiding in my cupboards yesterday? I'm quite sick at the moment and hubby chose to come home early to take the girl to ballet and do the grocery shopping for me and when he got home, I was a bit put out that things on the grocery list weren't bought and things not on the grocery list were bought. Very bad me, and hubby called me on it, and yeah, I had a fever and my whole body ached and I'd only gotten maybe 4 hours of sleep, but I could have been better. Good thing my hubby is enamored with me.

    He plays better with the kids than I do too. He's a great player.

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    1. Nope, no cupboard hiding for me, but I'm sorry you're so sick. And you do have an incredibly sweet man!!! Just try to do better next time. The words "Thank You" aren't that hard to spit out. Then a few hours later you could always suggest a way he could be even more helpful next time than he was last time. I use that one a lot. But the important thing is to let your man know you appreciate his efforts, even if he didn't go about doing a task the same way you would have. If you don't make him feel appreciated, he'll be a lot less likely to help next time.

      Wow. I feel like I'm writing another post. I better stop typing right about now.

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  7. My husband has lymphoma. He is currently in remission and I'm sok thankful that he has always kept a good attitude during his treatments. His faith inspires all of us.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for. I'm so glad your hubby's in remission, and that you admire his faith. Here's to hoping his health improves even more.

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  8. Like you on facebook
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  9. This book looks great. My husband is my best friend. He works hard for our family. I love that he really enjoys being with our kids and takes the time to know them individually (we have 6.) He also usually goes along with my crazy ideas for the house with only a little mutter here and there.

    sweetedarknectar at gmail dot com

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    1. Love it when one's husband is also her best friend. Sounds like you have a really sweet man.

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  10. Naomi, I am so excited about your book! I can't wait to read it. I would LOVE to win it! I did like your page on FB.

    My husband and I have been married almost 29 years (this April). We have been in ministry together for the majority of our marriage. But he works long hours and we don't get to spend much time together anymore. I love to watch him with the kids. He is a GREAT dad. They adore him. We have two grown children (25 and 19) and two still at home (12 almost 13 and 10). Even though he doesn't have a lot of time at home he takes time to spend with the kids and shows them how much he loves them. He works hard to support out family. He takes great pride in his work and does his very best at it. I am proud that I have a godly man to spend my life with, I would just like to spend a little more of it with him, :)

    angelmom1165(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Yeah, it's tough when hubby is busy ministering to everyone else and doesn't always have time for family. But I'm glad he gives what he can. My hubby's a pastor, and there are definitely days and weeks where I feel like things get out of balance. That's part of the reason why I like doing this blog. It helps me think about what's most important: my family and then my writing.

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  11. When my Dad was alive he always called and sometimes we went out to eat. We usually talked several times a week. He was always there when I needed someone to talk to and would give me advice if I asked. I sure to miss him.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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    1. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and a great role model. Thanks for sharing, and I'm sorry he's gone.

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  12. We have been married nearly 54 years. Last year he went through the surgery, chemo, and radiation for aggressive lymphoma. No complaints. But what I love most about him is his steadfast faithfulness to God, himself, and to me.

    I'd love to win a copy of your book.

    You can "yahoo" me at godleyv @ yahoo [dot] com

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    1. So glad your husband is doing better, Vera, and that his faith was an encouragement to you.

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  13. My husband is very good about telling me that he loves me daily. He also takes the trash out without being asked all the time! Last night we both lost sleep taking care of a sick little one, and he took good care of her today while I took the rest of the children to church.

    kathae at jacobfam dot net

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    1. Ah, nothing tests a husband's devotion like sick kids! So glad you have such a wonderful man in your life. :-)

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  14. I liked your FB page. Your book sounds great. Hurray for you!

    kathae at jacobfam dot net

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