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Tips for Running a Business with Your Spouse

Keelie and I run a couple of businesses together. To be honest, it’s a challenge. Today, Lynn Glover is with us sharing some tips for running a business with your spouse to help shave off some of the learning curve.

The 21st Century is bursting with young couples burning the midnight oil to make their way in the world by forming a successful small business. You and your partner have your dream, your vision is all written up in a nice business plan, one of you might even have a degree in graphic design, web development, or marketing. Great! But what if I told you tenacity, book, and street smarts will only get you 20% of the way to success?

Married couples going into business together seems like a foolproof plan for financial success. After all, you have a partner built right in! No need to go searching for a co-CEO who shares your visions, ideals, work ethic, and mindset!

Except, these assets that make you a killer team might also kill your dream.

1. Divvy Up Responsibility

If you’ve already written up your business plan, pull up your document—or notebook for the few Millennials like me who still like to use a good ole fashioned pen—and prepare to make a new section. Label it what you please, but in this section, you and your spouse are going to divvy up your business responsibilities. Why?

Charting out roles is absolutely essential for the success of any business. Would you expect the janitor to send out financial reports to China, or the head legal advisor to be giving out call-center advice? While these individuals are likely capable of stepping outside of their designated roles, when people leave their duties to go and perform others, several problems crop up. For one thing,

2. The person is operating outside of their strengths.

The beauty of going into business together means that you can tailor your duties to each other’s strengths and cover one another’s weaknesses. (Sounds an awful lot like marriage. Huh. Who knew?). So, if your wife is better at crunching numbers and you’re more inclined to customer service, would it not make sense for you to let your wife handle tax documents and order forms while you work one-on-one with your best clients?

Not only is delegating responsibilities going to make your business stronger overall, but you will avoid doing redundant work—which saves time, effort, and arguments.

3. Speaking of arguments…

Once you’ve delegated responsibilities, obviously tweaking can be done as you gain a rhythm of what works most effectively. However, the big takeaway here is this: 50-50 delegation, 100% authority.

If you are in charge of customer service, you are in charge of customer service. Your word is final. If your wife is in charge of the finances, she is in charge of the finances. No arguments.

Now, what was that quote about absolute power corrupting absolutely?

I am not advising that you become a dictator in your designated areas of responsibility. Quite the opposite. It is paramount that you listen to your partner’s input and concerns. Afterall, they are your partner and you married them for a reason.

Remember, you like the way their mind works, you like their ideas, and you like them. So, take their input into account. Listen, and really listen when you disagree. You never know when one of their ideas will take you from mediocre success to making your business boom!

Just remember, at the end of the day, someone has to have the final say. It only makes sense for that person to be the one who heads up the department.

To follow our example: you are your wife’s financial advisor and she is your customer service advisor.

View each other in both authority and advisory roles and there will be a more team-focused atmosphere. After all, every ruler has their cabinet.

And advisors, remember: No Backseat Driving. Your partner is in charge of their area for a reason—their expertise. Present them with all the information they need to make the decision that is right for the business.

4. Relationship Comes First

This last point is easily the most important. Your relationship with your spouse is first and foremost. Your successful business is merely an offshoot of your successful marriage. So, take time every day to step away from the business.

  • Go on dates and discuss anything but work.
  • Set aside hours and places that are purely for personal life.
  • Take some time apart to develop individually
  • Ask each other about your days: not just “did you finish that report?” or “I need you to fax those documents tomorrow…” but ask feeling questions. Though you were working towards a similar goal, you may feel very differently about your day than your partner does. So, ask, “how did you feel today?” and when it’s your turn to respond, use “I felt” responses.
  • Listen to each other’s sides, issues, joys, and fears
  • Forgive one another’s shortcomings
  • Leave your work at work, and your personal lives personal.
  • And lastly, tailor your business to suit your lifestyle so you may:
    • Work when you need to work
    • Play when you need to play
    • Rest when you need to rest
    • Care for one another always

If you keep these simple points in mind, you and your spouse will be able to manage change that benefits both your marriage and your small business.

My Struggle With Sex in Our Early Years

When we started having kids, things changed a lot for me. I was exhausted. It was an exhaustion I had never felt before. And I’m a hard worker. Really hard worker. But motherhood really took it out of me.

Our Sex Life Struggles in The Early Years

We struggled with several things in our sex life. For one, Austin loves to go to bed later than I do. As you can imagine, being a sleep deprived momma, going to the bedroom late and having sex was hard on me.

The other major problem that we had was that I would not initiate. It made me feel really uncomfortable to initiate, even though I’m an extreme extrovert (99% extroverted on the 16 personalities test). It’s so crazy that even as extroverted as I am, that I had a hard time admitting I wanted or needed sex.

I’m a Sexual Responder

Another issue we deal with to this day is that I am a sexual responder. Austin is a sexual pursuer. These are terms coined by my friend Jay Dee. He’s a sexual pursuer and his wife is a sexual responder.

I’m a sexual responder, meaning, I don’t feel aroused unless something sexual is happening. And even then, being able to identify what is happening in my body is hard. There are studies that show women’s body will show signs of sexual arousal, but they don’t even realize it is happening at the start.

He’s a Sexual Pursuer

Since Austin is a sexual pursuer, he couldn’t understand why I was never “in the mood”. Because of that, when I agreed to have sex with him, every conversation started out like this, “Is this for both of us or just me?”. He wanted to know, should I hold off so you can reach climax or can I just go for it.

I didn’t understand my own sex drive, I would gauge the way I was feeling with a cold engine. I would say it was just for him about 3 times out of 4. Then, I would get really frustrated because I realized way too late in the session that I was, in fact, interested in getting there. But, it was too late and I would go without. Since I couldn’t initiate or admit I was excited, I couldn’t even tell him I wanted him to do something to help me get there afterward.

I was talking with my friend Bonny, who writes to low libido wives. She wrote about mislabeling your libido as low instead of understanding your sexual response. 

Sexual Rejection

stop sign in a grass field

There were times when I would say “not tonight” when I was approached for sex. This caused Austin to feel rejected. Even though I would always try to initiate the next day, the damage was done.   

In his mind, I had rejected him. In my mind, I was asking if we could wait until it was a better time for me. I felt like I wasn’t being heard or understood and he felt the same way. 

We Both Felt Resentment

A lot of resentment started to set in for both of us. I resented that he wanted sex when it wasn’t at a good time for me. Also, since 3 times out of 4 wasn’t for my enjoyment, it made me feel frustrated.

Even though I was busting my butt for our family, I felt like it wasn’t enough, because this was an area of our marriage that I was failing. No matter how much I did, it felt like it was never enough because I wasn’t able to say yes every time. 

He felt resentment, too. I wasn’t able to see his true need for sexual intimacy. I like what Bonny says to a wife about what sex means to their husband.

He Gave Me Space

What ended up happening is that Austin made noticeable efforts to leave me alone and give me space. It really bothered me a lot and I realized there was a problem that I had to do something about. He didn’t want to come across as unloving and continually push me. So, he took a few steps back.  

I Worked on Me

I made real changes in my own attitude. First, I knew I had to figure out how to initiate sex. I knew I had to take sex off of my chore list and make it an integral part of my relationship. 

Another change I made was about orgasming. I started expecting to orgasm every time we had sex. Instead of saying ahead of time I wasn’t going to try, I made the decision to try every time. Because of that, I got to the point where I was able to climax every time.

I Enjoyed Sex More

Once I mastered initiating, I looked for ways to be more enthusiastic while having sex. Rather than just lay there and wait for things to happen, I took an active approach. I started having more fun and enjoying our time together. Instead of seeing it as a chore, I saw it as a retreat from the normal things in life. 

Eventually, my desire to be more enthusiastic in the bedroom led to me finding The Dating Divas. They were the sole inspiration for the first bedroom game Austin and I created, which turned into a passion for creating bedroom games. It completely revolutionized our sex life, even though we were having great sex at the time.

That’s a rundown of the struggles we dealt with. What are your struggles? If you want to share them with me, email me at keelie@lovehopeadventure.com. Or, if you feel comfortable and want to let others know, you can leave a comment.

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You Can Talk to Me and I Want to Talk to You

This weekend, I’m sitting in a conference for writers and we are talking about emails right this very second. Next to me are 3 of my blogger friends. I’ve introduced you to all of these guys before. Chris from the Forgiven Wife, Bonny from OysterBed7, and J from Hot Holy Humorous.

I have read these guys blogs for many years and we connect with each other online. It’s so great to meet them in person for the first time. And you know what? They are just regular folks- like me. Right now, I’m in a room full of bloggers, but it feels like Sunday School. We’re just a group of people that are all here for the same reason and we are being real with each other.

It got me thinking about something, a lot of people read my blog and follow me on social media. They have a chance to get to know me. They feel connected to me. My stories and sex games are changing their lives. But…I don’t get to know them like that. And, I hate that.

If you didn’t know about me, I love to talk to people. I’m an extreme extrovert. I’m always looking for ways to build community. In fact, Austin and I packed our kids up and moved to Texas to develop closer community with people we chose as our family.

Needless to say, I think community is important and I’ve gone to great lengths to make it happen. It’s exactly why we created the Love Hope Adventure Community on Facebook. If you haven’t joined us over there, be sure to request to be a member here.

The group is the best way for us to get to know each other and talk. If you have questions, email me or post them up in the group. Guys, I want to get to know you all. I’ve got things I’m struggling with in my life and I know you do, too. Let’s no go this alone.

Marriage Tips For Newlyweds to Have a Peaceful Home

You’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about setting up your house when you get married. But, have you thought about how to set up your marriage so there is peace in your home. Even if you have the perfect furniture and decor, a bad relationship can make a home uninviting.

I invited Jennifer Dawson on to share a few tips to set your marriage up to have a peaceful home. This is what she has to say-

The number of unmarried couples cohabiting has increased from 430,000 in 1960 to over eight million in 2015, yet reportedly those who live together before marriage are 50% more likely to divorce than those who did not. Whether you lived together or not, a perfect wedding day does not guarantee a good marriage. You should consider what happens after the wedding and how effective communication can create a happy home. 

Spend Time Together

It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to fall back into a fast-paced way of life once the wedding is over. Ensure that you make time for each other. That’s not to say you have to spend every moment together, but try not to become like ships in the night who rarely see each other for more than a fleeting minute in the morning or evening. Manage and discuss your schedules to fit quality time in each week to keep your bond strong.

Be Realistic

You may love each other completely, but in any relationship, there will be things that annoy the other person. These don’t need to be huge issues but may be insignificant behaviors or habits. It’s normal to have such niggles, but ensure you discuss minor issues before they transfer into something more serious. Don’t let resentment build, talk to each other.

Be Kind to Each Other
Sometimes it’s the little actions that make a big difference, like leaving notes for your partner, making their fave foods or telling them how much you love them. Do make a big deal when you reach your first wedding anniversary, because all wedding anniversaries are an achievement and a celebration. Be honest too, if you have your eye on your dream ring for your birthday mention it, but remember that gifts don’t make a happy marriage.
Don’t Neglect Your Sex Life

Sex is an intrinsic part of marriage and although life may be busy, it’s essential to keep having sex. If you have to make plans to book it in, then so be it. A study of almost three hundred married individuals found that discussing sexual information gave increased relationship satisfaction and closeness. Talk to each other about your needs and be honest about what you want. People may worry that they shouldn’t need to discuss their sex life because it should just happen naturally, but when you commit to a person for the rest of your lives, it may require a discussion now and again. 

Marriage is a wonderful and lifelong commitment, but living together can be a huge change for both individuals. Communication throughout marriage is key in relation to spending time together, a healthy and active sex life and for airing concerns or issues. It’s like many things, the more you communicate the easier it gets. 

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3 Ways Alcoholism Impacts your Marriage

Alcoholism destroys people. Everyone involved in the situation feels the effects of the addiction. The alcoholic themselves, the family, friends, co-workers, and often times, strangers.

I invited Jenn Ward on today to share more information about the effects of alcoholism in marriage.

Alcoholism is an addiction to the drinking of alcoholic beverages. An individual suffering from alcoholism will often choose to drink even when required to fulfill certain obligations like work and family matters.

The alcoholic may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit drinking. They will also often feel as though their body cannot function properly without alcohol.

The effect of alcohol use disorder in marriages can be quite devastating often causing problems that lead to alienation and divorce.

Signs of Alcoholism

  • Drinking frequently
  • Failing to realize how much alcohol you have consumed
  • Drinking too quickly and gulping
  • Performing dangerous tasks while drunk for example drink-driving
  • Intentionally missing critical social events and activities for drinking.
  • Making excuses to continue drinking for instance stress

3 Ways Alcoholism Impacts Marriage 

1. The Effects on Health

Alcohol abuse increases the risk of diseases such as ulcers, cancers such as stomach, colon, liver, breast and mouth cancers. It also increases the probability of stomach problems. Alcoholics who have abused alcohol for long may also experience seizures due to changes in the GABA system of their brains.

Alcoholism also leads to diseases such as liver cirrhosis and alcohol-induced hepatitis in the long term. The buildup of fat around the liver may also result in liver failure. In some cases, alcohol abuse leads to constant high blood pressure by damaging the circulatory system.

By causing reduced cognitive function and harming memory, alongside the effects above, alcoholism causes unending stress to the spouse of an alcoholic.

2. Effects on Finances

An alcoholic spouse will divert your family’s money towards buying and consuming alcohol. They will also fail to report to work which will lead to a loss of income for your family because they will lose their jobs.

In the long run, when the health effects of alcoholism begin to affect your spouse, you will spend a lot of money treating them. This strains your marriage financially.

Eventually, all this financial strain will start to stress you and affect your productivity at work. This will further affect your marriage in the economic aspects of it.

3. Domestic Violence and Loss of Trust

Alcoholism causes extreme mood swings and behavior changes which could make your spouse very irritable and prone to spurts of violence. They also will begin to practice deceit in almost every aspect of their lives because they have to cover up their drinking habits.

This will eventually erode the trust between you and your spouse hence negatively impacting your marriage.

Encouragement For Recovery For the Alcoholic

The effects of alcohol abuse on marriage are calamitous. It is thus crucial to deal with addiction as early as you can.

When you identify your partner or yourself as an alcoholic, you have to decide to stop drinking. Recovering from alcoholism is an eventual process so you should not expect immediate results.

Once you have decided to quit abusing alcohol, you may choose to follow one of several treatment programs which include;

  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Outpatient programs
  • Sober living
  • Therapy

It is essential for a recovering alcoholic to form new social networks that will give them the moral support to overcome alcoholism. The unfortunate thing about alcohol addictions is that it leads to other addictions like drugs. According to Amethist, a facility that hosts AA meetings in West Palm Beach, roughly 64,000 people in America died in 2016 from an opioid overdose. 

The effects of alcoholism on marriage are hard to ignore. It impacts different unions in different ways, but its results can always be summarized into financial and emotional ones.

Alcohol abuse affects both partners physically and psychologically and extends its effects even to their children. It is therefore essential to identify it and find ways to overcome it as soon as it rears its ugly head.

Sign up to Get The Sexy Scavenger Hunt For Free

If you remember, a few weeks ago I shared my idea of a Sexy Scavenger Hunt and I got some great feedback. I put together a short game with some of the sexy things you can find before sex and then some steamy things to find DURING sex!

I’m giving the game away when you sign up for the webinar my friend Brooke and I are hosting on Friday at 1 pm. Even if you can’t show up live, you can always tune into the replay. Sign up here and I’ll send you the Sexy Scavenger Game and the link to our webinar. On Saturday, I’ll send the replay link so you can listen in.

We are talking about how you can use oils to boost your libido, make hot sex hotter, and help out with hormone imbalances. I’ve used oils over the last year with success. I read the book, Lucy Libido, because my friend Stacey over at Humorous Homemaking sent it to me. It was a great book- that I actually read in full by the way. You know how I rarely read books in full.

I’m looking forward to chatting about this. Hope to see you there!

 

Don’t forget to signup below!


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My Biggest Tip for Doing Your Makeup Well

I haven’t been a consistent makeup wearer except for the times I worked in a professional office. But, over the last year, I’ve been working in an office more. I’ve been putting on makeup more because of it. I don’t know about you, but there are a million beauty products on the shelves and it overwhelms me. Not only that, I only know one way to apply eyeshadow, and I have looked like a raccoon on a number of occasions.

A while back, I found a resource that has helped me tremendously! It’s an app that has helped me figure out good looks and how to put my makeup on.

YouCam Makeup App

This YouCam Makeup app has been so cool! You can go here to get it for Andriod and here for iPhone. Originally I downloaded it because it had a hair color feature. I was trying to find an app that would help me with hairstyles. This won’t do hairstyles, but it will let you choose different colors for your hair. It’s crazy realistic.

The makeup feature has been really awesome. It’s helped me see exactly which colors to use and how to put them on my eyes to make the look.

 

The picture on the left is the one I took with the app. I chose a style I liked and closed my eyes so I could see how I was supposed to apply the makeup. Then, I used that image as a reference while I picked the colors from my pallet. On the right is my version of the look. I realize it is not as vibrant and dark as the app, but in person, it is very noticeable and the right amount of makeup.

The Makeup I Use

Here are all of the makeup products I used to create this look:

Loreal Paradise Enchanted

Loreal Paris Voluminous Superstar xFiber

Flower vinyl-eyes glossy gel eyeliner 

Rimmel Scandalize Precision micro eyeliner

Revlon Lacquer Balm 145 ( I used 140, but I can’t find it on Amazon)

This app has really helped me feel a little more confident with my makeup and brushes. I just look at the lines and follow them. Not sure if this will work for you, but I hope it does!

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Expired Great Marriage Resources for Just $1

As you know, I love The Dating Divas and they were a huge inspiration for me for the blog. They have put 4 of their ebooks on sale for a $1 until August 29th at midnight. I actually own two of these books.

 

Go here to buy the books. 

 

Check out this video I did showing the Ultimate Date Night Guide:

I know it looks like I’m picking my nose in the thumbnail, but I’m not.

Here’s a few screenshots from the Quick and Easy Rock the Romance book:

 

 

 

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