As David and I approached our 14th anniversary in 2014, we thought about what we envisioned for ourselves in the months leading up to our “I do’s” a decade and a half earlier and took stock of where we were. WE realized if we didn’t do something intentional — even radical perhaps — our life would just sort of … happen. We reflected on how much we’d been through as a couple, celebrated how much we’d grown as individuals, and got honest about how much further we still had to go.
Don’t get me wrong. We had a pretty good life. Full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Children, trips, homes, businesses, etc. We hadn’t been passive necessarily, but much of the way we operated was out of a reaction to life’s circumstances rather than making a plan and intentionally going after what we wanted from life.
When we boiled it down, we realized what we really wanted was a more vibrant, fun marriage, stronger family, and more meaningful relationships in general.
We were (and still are!) a normal couple with common challenges. We weren’t particularly gifted in one area or another. We loved each other, we annoyed each other. Our kids could, and still can, be simultaneously awesome and awful. And in general, we made little impact on the community around us.
We weren’t exactly the world changers we dreamed we’d be when we were growing up. In fact, we were quite average.
So, in the spirit of living intentionally and loving extravagantly, we made a commitment to do everything in our power to achieve the marriage, family, and life we wanted.
We began researching practical ways to take our marriage to the next level and strengthen our family. We read books, listened to podcasts, and asked for the advice of our family and friends — and frankly anyone else who would chime in!
We were looking for practical and meaningful actions — no pie in the sky ideas. We knew these ideas needed to be ACTIONABLE or nothing would come of our effort, so we grilled everyone. From coworkers to missionaries who showed up on our doorstep!
We asked questions like:
- What is one thing you do or try to do each day to stay connected to your spouse?
- What is one thing your father did to make you feel special growing up that stands out?
- What was the most meaningful gift you ever received?
- Best ways to connect with in-laws and reduce conflict in the marriage?
And you know what? Crowdsourcing seemed to work! With the help of our family, friends, and complete strangers we were able to gather hard-fought wisdom, amazing advice, and practical ideas, we would’ve never come up with on our own. The result was the StrongLUV Experiment.
The StrongLUV Experiment Consisted of Two Phases:
- PHASE 1: 21 days devoted to becoming a better lover and spouse
- PHASE 2: 21 days to strengthening our children and family
We weren’t philosophers or family counselors — just two people who knew there was more. The experiment was our attempt at becoming stronger in the areas that mattered most to us. Our relationships. We launched StrongLuv on Valentines Day, 2015, by chronicling our adventures and misadventures of the StrongLUV Marriage Experiment.
In the years since, our commitment to brutal truthtelling and raw vulnerability has never wavered. It has been messy and it has been beautiful.
Many of you have asked for our help to inspire a little LUVolution in your own lives. We are happy to announce that we’re in the process of creating an online StrongLUV Marriage Course. The course will combine the best advice we’ve accumulated over the years(only the stuff that actually works!) with research-based recommendations from leading relationship Pros and PhD’s around the world.
The StrongLUV Marriage Course will provide you with a Clear Step-by-Step Roadmap to:
- Understand and Appreciate Each other like Never Before
- Reduce Friction and Frustration
- Jumpstart Joy and Return to Fulfilling Friendship
- Quickly Aquire (proven) Communication Skills that will Change your Marriage Forever
- Ignite Emotional Intimacy (the kind you gave up hoping for)
- Discover the Redemptive Purpose of Your Past and Present Pain
- Restore Trust
- Rev up the Romance (the kind that feels safe, mutual, and exhilarating)
We’re in the middle of a very busy season of moving, running a business, educating our kids, etc. and are unsure how long it will be until we can offer a resource we’re confident will make a difference. When we do, we hope you’ll join us. In the meantime, comrade, link virtual arms with LUVolutionaries everywhere in the revolt against mundane relationships! Enlist yourself in the LUVolution for amazing (and free) stuff delivered to your inbox on a regular basis!