Married in the Military: 8 Key Questions Every Military Marriage Should Ask

BY: - 6 Nov '17 | Marriage

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By Michael and Myra Holmes

Making a marriage work is hard…and the challenges are exponentially compounded in military marriages. Frequent deployments, separation from your family support group, and the extreme pressures of military life can take a heavy toll on military couples creating anger, frustration, loneliness, anxiety, heartache, and fear.

After you say, “I do,” no one gives you a user’s manual to guide you through the treacherous minefields of marriage.

Click here to download the 7 Practices of Highly Successful Couples from Michael & Myra Holmes for FREE!

No marriage is perfect; however, when you address these 8 questions, you will discover you have taken a huge step toward beginning the hard work to improve yourself, and to secure and transform your marriage. Remember the saying, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” By simply focusing on changing your attitude you will begin the transformation process of becoming more intentional in your thoughts, words, and actions. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Before you can begin to address the issues of your relationship, you have to first conduct an honest self-inspection assessment. While your spouse may be acting differently, distantly, or defiantly, it is unhealthy to retaliate in-kind. Rather, take a 60-second pause to search your own heart with willingness to accept the hard, naked, ugly truth about how your actions and attitude have contributed to your relationship challenges.

Sit down facing each other, holding hands, and while looking into each other’s eyes have a Strategic Brainstorming Self-Inspection Assessment session and address each of the following questions:

1) What do I need to “Change” to become a better husband, wife, companion, man, woman, and friend? Instead of making a resolution to exercise more or watch less TV, conduct an  introspective inventory of yourself. None of us are perfect and all of us need to grow. As Dr Gary Chapman, Author of the “Five Love Languages” says, “Marriages and relationships don’t stay the same; they either grow or they atrophy.

2) What do I need to “Sacrifice or Give Up” to become a better husband, wife, companion, man, woman, and friend? We enter the world as selfish little creatures, who grow up to be selfish big creatures. When babies are hungry, need their diapers changed, or want to be held; they cry…and they will continue to cry because THEY WANT IT NOW! Making the shift from selfishness to selflessness is a deeply personal gift that can create an atmosphere to foster healing, forgiveness, and deeper communication.

3) What “Commitments” do I have to make to become a better husband, wife, companion, man, woman, and friend? Which commitment takes priority? Does commitment to your service take priority or commitment to your wife and family? The strain associated with the competing  commitments of marriage and career can wreak havoc on a relationship. Military families find themselves caught-up in a never-ending battle of tug of war.

4) What should we “Start Doing” that perhaps we haven’t done yet? Identify specific behaviors, actions, and activities that will ignite (or reignite) passion, excitement, fun, and fulfillment in your marriage. Dare to be creative and challenge yourselves to think outside the box. Consider every aspect of your relationship (e.g., romance, lovemaking, date nights, intentional time together, sharing your thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, concerns, and fears).

5) What should we “Stop Doing” that’s not contributing or is getting in the way of our happiness? Most marriage teams consider this to be a much-needed, long overdue exercise. It provides an excellent opportunity to trim fat, declutter, and eliminate those things that don’t yield any relationship value. You eliminate time sink holes by aggressively seeking out activities that suck up a lot of time. We like to call this “garbage time.” Things that qualify as garbage time may include: television, social media, video games, sports, Lifetime Movies, etc.,).

6) What should we “Continue to Do” that’s working and we need to ensure it continues? As you conduct your Strategic Brainstorming Self-Inspection Assessment, it’s important not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Therefore, successful marriages maintain a laser-like focus on the things they do that work and generate positive results in the relationship. Maintain a clear situational awareness of these value-added actions to ensure they don’t inadvertently drop off your radar screen.

7) What should we “Do More Of”? This is closely related to the previous item (What should we Continue to Do?). However, now you can use your list of those things you need to continue to do as a baseline, and review the list to see if there are any high-value items that provide high-impact results. These may include things that are easy to do…you do them routinely…and they are responsible for much of the love, peace, and joy you enjoy in your relationship.

8) What should we “Do Less Of”? As you build this list, you will target things that are value-added, but doing them more frequently doesn’t produce significant gains. Activities fitting into this category might include: going out to dinner (a nice “to do” occasionally, but you don’t have to do it
every week).

The late 1970s and early 1980s singer/songwriter Pat Benatar won a Grammy Award for the song, “Love is a Battlefield.” While it may be true that marriage sometimes seems like a battlefield, it does not mean that you should be fighting each other. Instead of fighting against each other, you should be fighting side-by- side to fortify, enhance, and enrich your relationship.

Regularly completing this Strategic Brainstorming Self-Inspection Assessment will help you to target and neutralize your relationship vulnerabilities, while further developing your strengths. This will generate an outcome that will transform your marriage, putting it on a path of continual renewal and improvement. Dr Johnny Parker, author of “Turn the Page,” says, “Marriage Success is Hard Work, It’s Heart Work, Do the Work Because It’s Worth It.”

Click here to download the 7 Practices of Highly Successful Couples from Michael & Myra Holmes for FREE!

About the Authors: Michael and Myra Holmes are the founders of LifeM8Z (pronounced Life Mates) Life Coaching and Marriage/Relationship Mentors. LifeM8Z is especially focused on strengthening and saving military marriages by helping them to overcome the unique stresses of military life.

Michael and Myra are a unique husband and wife Life Coach and Marriage/Relationship mentor team who work together to ensure the perspectives of both clients are given equal time to be seen, felt, and heard. Together they have coached and mentored hundreds of couples over the past 20 years.

Michael and Myra Holmes are Certified Professional Life Coaches, Certified Better Marriages Leader Couple, Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitators, and Co-Marriage Ministry Leaders at Six Mount Zion Baptist Temple in Hampton VA. Michael served 27 years in the U.S. Air Force before he retired in May 2006 in the rank of Colonel. Mike and Myra enjoy helping couples learn how to give and receive love.

Click here to download the 7 Practices of Highly Successful Couples from Michael & Myra Holmes for FREE!

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8 Milestone Anniversary Destinations Every Marriage Should Experience

BY: - 10 Nov '17 | Marriage

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By: Danielle Washington

Anniversaries are a special moment, but a milestone anniversary deserves a grand celebration. Taking a trip is an excellent way to celebrate a milestone anniversary as it allows you to step away from your daily life and refocus on each other. But, going somewhere basic just won’t do.

A milestone anniversary calls for a memorable travel experience that will leave you bragging about it until the next milestone anniversary. So whether you’re celebrating your first anniversary or 50 years of marriage, we believe any of the following destinations will make your friends envious.

MAKE YOUR MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY GREAT: Click here to book a free 15-minute travel consultation with Rogue Experiences and let us help you plan an experience beyond your imagination!

1. Santorini, Greece


Don’t let the media’s news of Greece’s financial issues fool you. The Greek Island of Santorini is still thriving and has not lost its signature magical feeling. Best known for its whitewashed houses, gorgeous beaches, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder that Santorini was named the #1 Island Overall in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards.”

For an Instagram worthy romantic moment, relax on your private terrace enjoying views of the caldera. Or take a romantic stroll to the town of Oia to experience one of the world’s most breathtaking sunset viewing points, but make sure to get there early. If you’re looking for history or adventure, take a tour of Santorini’s many ancient ruins or hike a volcano. As you can see, there is so much to do here.

2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If you love Vegas, Miami and everything that screams glam, Dubai is the location for you. With the largest concentration  of  5-star hotels and megamalls, Dubai is the hot spot for those looking for a fun-filled milestone anniversary. Like Vegas, you truly can do anything you want from skiing in the desert to exploring one of the world’s most beautiful skylines to lounging on a yacht.

If you can imagine it, it’s most likely in Dubai.

Dubai is also a foodies’ heaven with restaurants serving almost any cuisine, which matches the cities diverse cultures. Simply put, if you only live once, you’ll want to make sure you include a trip to Dubai in this lifetime.

3. Kenya – Giraffe Manor

Africa is a huge continent with a wide variety of ways to celebrate a milestone anniversary, but none really compare to the uniqueness of an African safari and beach vacation in Kenya. Start your journey at the Giraffe Manor, a charming 10-room boutique hotel located within 140 acres of an indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. This charming hotel modeled on a Scottish hunting lodge is an ode to the 1930s when European visitors first started coming to East Africa.

Here you can enjoy an incomparable moment of interacting with giraffes as they are known to poke their heads into guest rooms or the dining room’s french doors during breakfast. Or, take a guided walk around the forest and explore the region’s wildlife. One to two nights is all you’ll really need to get the full experience.

4. Kenya – TsavoWest / Mombasa

From there, continue southeast to Kenya’s largest game sanctuary, Tsavo National Park. This park is so big that it’s split into two parts, Tsavo West and Tsavo East. Tsavo West has a mixture of magnificent landscapes from swamps and natural springs to lava caves and rolling plains. Its variety makes it an ideal location to continue your African safari with opportunities to see red elephants, rhinos, and of course lions.

After you’ve gotten a chance to experience a real African safari, head to Mombasa to relax at one of its many beach resorts. Located on the Indian Ocean you can partake in many watersports like fishing, snorkeling coral reefs, or simply chillaxing under a palm tree on the white sand shores.

5. The Canary Islands

Spanish in politics, African in location and South American in culture, the Canary Islands are an  exotic mix, making it an excellent setting for a milestone  anniversary. The islands are also fortunate to have near perfect weather year-round, which is an added bonus. Each island has its own distinct character ranging from cosmopolitan to ecotourism. One of the largest and probably the most visited island is Tenerife.

SPECIAL OFFER: Click  here to book a free 15-minute travel consultation with Rogue Experiences and let us help you plan an anniversary experience beyond your imagination!

What makes Tenerife special is that it has something for everyone. Famous for its all inclusive resorts, volcanic golden sand beaches, tropical forest walks, and of course the island’s centerpiece, Mount Teide, the largest mountain in Spain, Tenerife is a worthy destination for your milestone anniversary.

6. Rhine River Cruise

Taking a Viking Cruise on the Rhine River is unlike any other cruise you’ll experience. This 15-day cruise starting in Amsterdam and ending in Budapest highlights some of the most scenic cities in Europe giving you and your spouse the opportunity to see these places up close from the comfort of the ship.

Just imagine how romantic it would be to lean against the rail of the ship with your loved one by your side as you watch the sunset over awe-inspiring castles in Cologne. Or imagine strolling down cobblestone roads in Vienna or wine tasting in the Rhine Valley? Talk to people who have been on this trip and they will all say what also helped make this a once in a lifetime experience was the staff and food. As these tend to be more intimate cruises, it feels more personalized, giving you an opportunity to get to know your fellow guests and crew-members.

7. Belize – Placencia

Want to feel like you’ve booked your own private island but got it for a steal? Well, you actually can book your own private island in Belize for as low as $100 per a night. Located in Central America, Belize often is overlooked for places like Jamaica, Costa Rico and Mexico. However, it is truly a hidden gem that won’t stay hidden for much longer.

When visiting Belize, consider staying off the beaten path in Placencia, a sleepy fishing village in Southern Belize that boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches. There is nothing fancy about Placencia, but that’s part of its charm. Main Street is actually a sidewalk that runs through the village and it’s not unusual to be the only ones on the beach for miles. There are luxury resorts in the village, but consider staying in one of the bungalows directly on the beach for some additional privacy.

8. Belize – Ambergris Caye


If you’re interested in something more upscale instead, go to one of the many offshore islands in Belize known as Cayes. One of the most popular and the largest is Ambergris Caye, the crown jewel of Belize. Located next to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, Ambergris Caye is known for it beaches and busy island nightlife. Book a horseback riding tour through the jungles of the Cayo District to see Mayan sites, snorkel with stingrays and sharks or explore the shops on the cobblestone streets of San Pedro. Whatever your desire, Ambergris Caye offers a wide selection of activities in addition to pure seclusion if desired.

Click here to book a FREE 15 minute travel consultation with Rogue Experiences and let us help you plan a milestone anniversary experience beyond your imagination!

About the Author: Danielle Washington is an expert Travel  Consultant & Founder of Rogue Experiences who specializes in helping busy people unplug & explore the world through unique unforgettable travel experiences.

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