Sex, Children, Relatives, Pets, Social Life, Celebrations & Traditions


The ability to sustain romantic and sexual energy in a relationship over time involves more than it “just happening.”

The story of dwindling desire is well documented in long-term relationships and there are a number of factors that lead to that. It is not just the “familiarity” of a person but often the attempt to keep our partner “familiar” by not supporting an adventurous spirit and experimentation.

One of the issues is that sex is “another one of those things” that couples avoid discussing. Often they just don’t know HOW to talk about it. So in this section, we will guide you playfully and curiously into the conversation about sex. Being “lazy lovers” will not enhance your sex life. There are many ways to explore sex together and individually and to keep your marriage “hot.”

And this is where the willingness to explore and to intentionally create a juicy love life requires your full participation as well as, yes, planning! Especially if you have children, the need to arrange time for romance is crucial, or it is in danger of not happening at all. Once a couples get “used to” not being sexual with each other it can go on forever. I know couples who are still together but haven’t had sex in over 10 years. This creates a host of issues, including a loss of aliveness or juicyness to the relationship and the increased “risk” of your partner rediscovering their eros elsewhere.

Since we cannot have our partner’s sexual experience of us, it is only through dialogue that we can discover these things! So how do we talk about sex? Talking about sex can be difficult even for partners who have been together for a long time. One of the primary considerations of any intimate conversation is that we feel safe enough to have the conversation.

  • Sexuality is another of the highly emotionally charged areas of relationship. It is a basic physical need and desire as well as mentally and emotionally engaging. Being a good sexual partner is part of the fun as well as the responsibility of both people in the relationship. Learn what it means to be a good sexual partner for your partner as well as how to get what you really want.
  • Find out what turns your partner on sexually. Couples often find talking about sex difficult. We will walk you through fun and interesting ways to converse with your partner around this subject. Warning: This conversation may turn you both on!
  • Play with your sexual fantasies. Couples often get into habitual ways of lovemaking, yet one of the ways to keep sexuality alive in long-term relationships is to be willing to adventure and explore. This conversation will engage exploration together.

Use the template below to get started:

  • Worksheet – Sex!
    Click to download this text template — it’s .rtf so you can open it with Word


Money, sex, parenting (perhaps not in that order) are the 3 top issues in relationships and marriage. For now, the primary question to agree on is whether or not you both want you to have children. Parenting itself is beyond the scope of Marriage2-0. It’s just important that you are in fundamental agreement as to whether or not you both want children. If you or your partner have children, there is much to talk about since they will be a part of your relationship.

  • Discuss the big question: Do we want children? Wanting children and looking at all of the ways that that will impact your life and your relationship both positively and negatively is one of the most important conversations that a couple will have. Discussing these things ahead of time will allow you to come up with strategies that work for each of you.
  • If you are combining families, discuss expectations and desires regarding children, parenting together as a “step-parent”, and boundaries with your children.

Use the template below to get started:


When you marry someone you are marrying into a network of relationships that have been in existence long before you ever showed up. It’s important to be aware of and honoring of the relationships that you are marrying into. Becoming “competitive” with pre-existing relationships creates unnecessary drama and stress on both partners and on all of these relationships. So give each other plenty of space to have the relationships that matter to each of you and look and see which ones that you would like to be part of. Are there certain people that you would rather minimize contact with for some reason? What are those reasons? Be sure to discuss this without needing to be “right” about your point of view or needing to make anyone “wrong.” Avoid putting your partner into a position of “If you really loved me you wouldn’t want to spend any time with them!”

Use the template below to get started:

Road Trip Idea!
Download and print-out the worksheets and take them with you on your next road-trip. Great for conversations in the car!


Pets can be a lot of fun, and there may not be much to say here about them except that it would be a good idea to have a conversation about the pets you have and/or the pets you want. Who is going to take care of them, which responsibilities we will share and anything else about the care and treatment of your animals.

It’s important to discuss, if it is your pet, how you want or don’t want your pet treated or disciplined, what you expect inside the house (i.e. It’s not okay for the dog to be on the couch, no animals on kitchen counters, etc.), no pets on the bed!

  • How about Pets? What can you agree on?

Use the template below to get started:

  • Worksheet – Pets
    Click to download this text template — it’s .rtf so you can open it with Word

Social Life

Having a good social life can be a great element of your life as a couple. Having other friends and couples that you regularly participate with and share experiences adds dimension and brings new energy into your relationship. Often times when couples first get together they may “hunker down” and kind of disappear off the radar of their social life, as they are very drawn to spending exclusive time together and are getting to know each other and developing important bonding. As time goes on, it’s important to include other people into your life socially. This prevents us from becoming so focused on expecting all of our social and people needs to be met by one person! We start wanting our partner to be our lover, our best friend, our confident on everything, our advisor, our playmate, our buddy, our pal, our creative partner, our shopping buddy, our hiking partner and included on all the activities we like to do. Having other people that you do these things with takes the pressure off of your partner to provide everything for you that you actually need from a variety of people, not just one person.

  • Create a rich and fulfilling social life together — now that you’re in a relationship does that mean that we have to do “everything” together? Couples often make many assumptions about each others social lives and what we “should” do together or independently. This often leads to disappointment when expectations are not met. By discussing your true desires and how you want to participate together as well as apart allows each of you to create a life that you really love.

Use the template below to get started:

Celebrations & Traditions

All of us grew up in families in which various celebrations and rituals were part of the family tradition. Celebrations can include birthdays and holidays as well as special events such as graduation or other accomplishments. Rituals are about an established way of doing things that can have spiritual or non-spiritual connotations. Some examples are common:

  • Reading before bedtime
  • Going out to breakfast every Sunday
  • Family vacation at the lake each summer
  • Birthdays…

However, for some people holiday time is fraught with emotional baggage… You can follow the traditions you most enjoyed in life and you can also CREATE YOUR OWN. It should be meaningful and enjoyable to you and your partner. Remember, traditions were made up at one time, so why not make up your own?

  • Create celebrations that you love and enjoy – it’s important to celebrate our wins in life as well as holidays and other meaningful events, however not everyone sees this the same way and that can lead to disappointment or hurt feelings. Discussing the events and the things you wish to celebrate together and the ways you enjoy doing that can open up new and creative possibilities for both of you.
  • Keep traditions that are meaningful to you but also create new traditions for your marriage and family. Start your own legacy as a couple!
  • Come to terms with relating to each others immediate and extended families and discuss expectations and desires.

Use the template below to get started: