A Relationship With Purpose

Happy New Year!

A new year always brings that feeling of getting to start over, at least for me it does. It's time for a fresh start in so many of the areas I feel I may have fallen short 'last year.' And when I am reminded of my failures I often say, "Oh that was so last year!" And I move on. Hopefully to better and better things. You should to.

This brings me to 'A Relationship with Purpose' ... I woke up this morning and thought what is the magic in a relationship? I mean really?! What is it that makes some work and others fail. Way too many fail, we all know that. No one intends on being "that relationship" do we? No! We start with 'purpose' then we lose focus of the purpose of the relationship. This happens to us all. Even me.

We are all selfish by nature. It's just who we are, BUT we don't have to live from that nature. One of the most important purposes of every relationship is to make it about about we not me. When I walked the aisle and committed myself to Jana I gave up thinking only of myself as I had done for the last 25 years. It's now about us. And I had to think, what's good for her? And I have to confess here, I have failed so many times on this. I still struggle with being selfish. I hate it about myself. It's my struggle.

Another purpose in a relationship, if you have kids, is just that. Creating a happy healthy home for your children to thrive. Yes, I do believe that if marriages were happier and healthier this would lead to better home environments and produce better well adjusted children. Of course kids are going to do what they do no matter what (just like we did when we were kids) but we give them a much better shot in a happy home.

I know for my relationship there's a purpose of helping other couples. I must admit I sometimes feel it as a pressure, I shouldn't, but I do. It's also a challenge. I love challenges. And I consider being in a 21 year infidelity free happy marriage pretty awesome! In this day and age it's almost a bonafide miracle.

So, does your relationship have a purpose? Define it. Talk about it. Write it down. Commit to it. Live to fulfill it. Focus on it. Pray that God helps you stick to it. If you fall down, get back up and move towards it. 

You can do it!    

Grow Together Not Apart

We've all heard it said, "we just grew apart!" So how do you grow together?

Like with anything in life that you want to go well you must give it attention! You must tend to it. Relationships are no different, you must be diligent in tending to the needs of your relationship (partner).

Here are a few simple things to help you continue to grow together rather than apart:

1) Regular Date Nights.

I am not surprised when I hear people say they grew apart when they never went on dates because they were too busy with their career, the kids, their friends, or their extended family. Make your marriage your priority! Not anything else. 

There is no excuse that is acceptable here. There is no justification, none! It doesn't matter what it is, you absolutely MUST make time for each other. "But Timmy, our kids are small ... bla bla bla." And? "We don't have the money for a babysitter." And? "Our kids freak out when we are away." And? Seriously, there isn't anything you can say to make it okay to not spend alone time with your partner.

Babysitting Tip: Find another couple with kids and do a trade off; one week they watch all the kids, the next week you watch all the kids for them. Etc. This is what we did when we had $2.34 to our name back in our early 20's. You do what you gotta do.

2) Daily talk time.

Everyday taking even a few minutes to run through the day with each other. Making sure to ask questions like: What did you do today? Who did you meet? What were they like? What did you learn today? Anything super exciting? Anything new? Anything weird? Anything funny? Anything I can do? 

It's important to really engage with your partner here. Ask questions, speak freely.

3) Make sure to have sex. 

The guys are like, "See honey, Timmy said ... !" ha ha!  On a serious note, sex is not everything I realize that, BUT it is the ultimate act of intimacy. And it's fun. It relieves stress, it's good exercise, it's good for your health ... on and on the research shows! It's amazing! I know I love it. It's one of my all time favorite things that just doesn't get old. It's like the first time every time but with more experience. 

I believe that sex is usually an outflow of a healthy relationship. Actually I know it is. Happy healthy couples are having sex, and typically lots of it. I coach many couples, and when they come to my office and they aren't happy, they aren't having lots of sex, sometimes aren't having any sex at all. I can hear someone saying, "we're happy and we don't have sex very often." I bet you a million dollars if I ask your partner they'll see it differently, don't lie to yourself!

A happy healthy relationship is ONLY when BOTH the people in the relationship are feeling fulfilled, happy, and healthy.

*Definition: Lots of sex - I get asked all the time, "How much sex should we be having?"  That's easy, ask your partner. And allow them to be brutally honest with their answer. The husband might think once a month is enough, but you ask his wife and she wants it three times a week. We have a discrepancy. There needs to be a coming together to come up with what works for both in the relationship. Maybe they land on twice a week? Or once a week? Whatever makes each person feel loved and cared for ... met needs.  

Here is my philosophy: In a committed relationship neither partner should be starving. Not starving for affection, not starving for intimacy, not starving for sex, not starving for attention, not starving for loving touches, not starving for compliments!

Your thoughts?


Dealing with Difficult Family During Holidays

The Holidays are approaching, like in just a few days we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our precious (but a bit crazy) family. We all have some crazy in our family, it;s the reason we love the Griswolds Christmas Vacation so much ... we can relate! Maybe even you have an Eddie in the family! And if you are thinking, "no one is crazy in our family!" Guess what ... YOU are the crazy one! Ha ha!

So here are a few tips to enjoy the Holidays even when hanging out with some crazy family members!

1) Have a Meeting before the Meeting.

What I mean is that if you are attending a family gathering with a special someone, make sure to prep before the gathering to get on the same page with each other. Like, how are we going to handle Aunt Cindy drinking too much egg nog at breakfast, or Uncle Jim's long hugs and attempted open mouth kisses.

2) Stay Clear.

Stay clear of the conversations you know will bring out the crazy. For example don't get all heated about politics, religion, or being a vegan or whatever hobby horse we may have, specially if we know it's going to cause an uproar! Just stay clear. And the reality is that we all know what those "stay clear" discussions are. Just don't!

3) Decide ahead of time what kind of time you will have.

Much of life is about decisions. So, before you go to a holiday gathering tell yourself, "I am going to enjoy myself ... I am not going to let anything bother me! It's going to be a good time. Yes, maybe fascinating at times, but great!" Manage expectations, as they say ... even though it's your own expectations. 

And lastly ...

4) Embrace the crazy.

I mean really, it's the "Eddie's" in life that make it all memorable. Again, we love the movie Christmas Vacation, why? Crazy Eddie! And all the other nutty quirky family members. Just embrace it, find it fascinating, maybe even entertaining! Find the humor in it all! Do this, and the Holidays will be so wonderful, and memorable! 

Just a closing thought: It's not your job to set everyone in your family straight. Get them to vote right, live right, think right, behave right, invest right, or even eat right! Let them be! Seriously, you just take care of YOU! 

Happy Holidays!

What Is Love?

Is love that tingly feeling you get, the butterflies in the tummy? Is it when you feel that instant connection with someone? What about that passionate sexual feeling? Is that love? What about when your hair on the back of your neck stands up? Is that what love is? Is it that feeling of just wanting to be with someone, like all the time? Is it love when you just don't want to leave their side? Is love a happy feeling? Is love when you just can't stop thinking about someone? Is it love when you can't help to smile at the thought of them? Is it love when someone makes you laugh? Or when you can make them laugh? Is that love?

Love is a mystery. I mean to totally figure it out. I am like you, I want the love that I have for my wife to last a lifetime. I don't want to go through the heartache that so many of my friends have gone through. It doesn't look like any fun to me. It's heartbreaking even to watch from a distance. I have been up close and in the middle of some of those moments and they are tough for everyone no doubt!

So, what is love? 

Love is definitely a decision ... it's something we decide to live by, and to commit to. And what messes it up is the "feeling" part of love. Yes, love is a decision, but there are feelings involved in love too. You just can't allow feelings to reign supreme and rule love. That's when it gets all messed up. You can't live according to feelings.  

I love my wife, and I feel love towards her too. But that is because feelings follow my decisions and actions follow my decisions. I am far from perfect, but we both make decisions that foster and nurture the love we have towards each other. Even when we don't "feel" like it. Trust me, we've both had feelings that were contrary to the love we have for, and have committed to each other. And there have been times in our 22 years we've done things only because we knew it was the thing that love would do, because had we done what we felt like doing we'd be in a mess.

If you are married, and are struggling with wondering why did I ever marry this person I want to challenge you to do something. Now, I must say I thought the movie was a bit cheesy, but the Love Dare is actually a great concept. And if you are considering divorce, I would recommend you take the Love Dare. (google it)

Disclaimer: I understand that some situations are beyond repair. And maybe there is so coming back. I get it. And as a Marriage Coach I like to help people restore their broken relationships, but I have encountered relationships that were so toxic and dysfunctional that it was better for both parties to walk away. Especially when it comes to abusive situations.  

Satisfying Sex

One of the most common complaints I hear from couples is that their sex life is lacking. Typically the guy feels that their not having enough sex. To be fair I have almost had as many women share the same sentiment.  And again, 'typically' the girl feels it's not as romantic or as passionate as she wished it was. So basically both are experiencing sexual frustration. Nearly every relationship will face sexual frustration at some point. It's normal. But not normal continue on that way for very long ... it's something you should work on to overcome.

There are many reasons for this, and there is no need to talk about all that. But what I feel is important to talk about is how to achieve satisfying sex in your relationship.


1) Have an open and honest conversation about your expectations, likes, dislikes, dreams, desires, and/or fantasies.

I am amazed at how many couples I talk to who have not had this conversation with their partner. I mean this is like the first step in having any satisfaction in any area of life really. Talk openly and honestly about it. Your partner can not read your mind and most likely will do what they like if you don't tell them what YOU like. It's essentially like learning your partner's 'sexual' love language.

And what happens is that secret fantasies and desires will lead to issues in the relationship if not discussed openly and honestly. It's not good to have secrets. And I can tell you as a guy who is coming up on my 22nd Wedding Anniversary ... you might not have had some fantasies (likes, dislikes, etc) early on, but you'll develop some. Again, like so many things in life that change and develop over time, so do your desires, tastes and interests. 

Your partner should know what you like, what you don't like, what you wish for, dream about, fantasies about. Why? So they can play a role in fulfilling those, if possible.

Obviously I am speaking within the normal zone of "fantasies" here. Some fantasies you may just have to live without. But most likely your fantasies fall within the "normal" and "moral" zone and can be fulfilled by your partner. But to live with those fantasies and not share is just not good at all. 

Honestly, if you do this first thing really really well, the other two should hopefully play out just fine!

2) You must be a willing participant.  

In a loving committed relationship there should always be a willingness to meet our partners needs. I mean isn't that a huge part of what we're in the relationship for anyway? To give to someone else, not just get something from them. It's a give and take deal. Mutually beneficial.   

3) Let down your guard.

We all have hangups about things. And most people have insecurities when it comes to sex. It's very normal. But again just because it's normal doesn't mean it's a good thing. We must let down our guard when dealing with sexual issues within our relationship. 

Here is what I am learning about relationships, and I do mean ALL of them ... the good, the bad and the ugly. And that is this, it does no good to hit a snag (like sexual tension) and jump ship to only find out that there will come a time in that relationship there will be sexual tension, and so on. Work hard on the one you are in, especially if you are married ... have the tough conversations, it will often lead to great joy and fulfillment. 

Thoughts? Questions?

For Private Questions? Email me: timmy@timmygibson.com 


Always Come to a Resolve

Everyone fights. Even couples who are happy and have a healthy relationship. Frankly, if you don't fight with your partner that could be a warning sign that you are not communicating openly and honestly with each other.

I'll never forget a couple I had met a few years back who boasted, "We never fight." I ran into the wife at the mall the other day, and I guess I should say, "X-Wife" because they got divorced. And she admitted, "We didn't communicate!"

Fighting isn't a bad sign at all! Now, obviously HOW we fight makes a huge difference. I am not saying we should be throwing punches, or cursing at each other when we are fighting. But having a heated discussion is completely normal and even encouraged. You can't sweep stuff under the rug. Pull away the rug, dig deep and share openly and honestly. Get to the bottom of every issue. 

Okay, let me get to the main point here ... so you fight, we all do. The important thing is that you come to a RESOLVE! You must always come to a resolve. Always! If you do not, then it's just like getting a splinter and not ever getting the splinter out. It stays in there and can be a constant irritating little booger, if not worse get infected. 


Now this can be more challenging. We each have such different personalities, you must figure out what works for each of you as a couple. Let's say you, or your partner does not like to be wrong, ever. Ha ha! Then that means you feel you are right and unless your partner agrees with you, or you get your way then it's not resolved ... and that won't work! 

To come to a resolve there must be wiggle room (give and take) for both you and your partner. I want five kids, you say two kids ... so we land on three kids. Make sense? See how that works?

When discussing an issue (fighting) make sure to be open, honest and vulnerable. Speak from the heart. Do not hold anything back. Now, you may not want to blast your partner with too much at once, BUT it is important to give that last 10%. I can not stress enough the importance of complete honesty! No secrets! 

I wrote a lot of stuff here that was unnecessary really, ha ha ... but remember this one thing: When discussing an issue (fighting) make sure to always come to a resolve. Maybe you are wondering what a resolve is?  

settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter).

Coming to a Resolve doesn't mean you GET YOUR WAY and the other person gives in to your persuasion! It means you both feel good with the decision. As Stephen Covey has said, "Must come to a WIN WIN solution!" No one wins if one loses!


Timmy's 25 Must See Romantic Movie List

I love Romantic Movies. I am a sucker for a great love story. I haven't seen every Romantic Movie out there, but I have seen my fair share. Here are my top 25 picks, not necessarily in order of how much I liked them.

1) Age of Adaline.

2) Up.

3) Just Like Heaven.

4) Safe Haven.

5) Notebook.

6) The Vow.

7) Sabrina.

8) Timeline.

9) PS I Love You.

10) Time Traveler's Wife

11) Return to Me.

12) Shallow Hal.

13) My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

14) Beauty and the Beast.

15) Cinderella. (2015)

16) Kate and Leopold. 

17) Leap Year.

18) About Time.

19) Liar Liar.

20) Serendipity.

21) The Family Man.

22) Sweet Home Alabama.

23) The Wedding Planner.

24) A Walk to Remember.

25) French Kiss.

What about you, what are some of your favorite Romantic Movies?





Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not - 1.jpg

It's quite possible you are feeling 'forgotten' in your relationship, and if not maybe you are the one who has forgotten, and it's your partner who feels 'forgotten'. Either way it happens to all of us. 

I think we all feel like we worked so hard to get someone to fall in love with us that once we've gotten them to love us, we're done. We've conquered, we've won, we've captured, we've "hunted and killed" as they say. But what we did to get our partner is typically what we need to do to keep them. It's not over once you walk the aisle. It's only just begun! 

Too many times we assume our partner knows how much we love them. We think, "I told you I loved you on our wedding day, surely that's enough, right!? " Ha ha! And if I can trail off here for a second and say, it's no wonder she isn't as interested in sex anymore... you aren't paying as much attention to her, she feels forgotten.  When you first met you were doing it "like rabbits," but of course you were calling her 20 times a day, doing special things, saying special things, etc. Just sayin! I would imagine if you started doing all the things you did when you first met maybe you'd find everything would go back to those early days.

No one wants to feel forgotten in a relationship. And frankly no one even wants to even feel 2nd place. We want to be 1st place. We want to be #1. And when we're not, troubles are likely ahead, so it's important to correct it fast.

A Few Simple Things To Let Them Know You Haven't Forgotten Them

1) Use Your Words.

2) Notes, Cards.

3) Small Gifts.

4) What Do They Like To Do? Take them to do that!

5) Small Get-Getaways.

6) Get Creative ... put some thought into it.

Make and take time for each other! You'll be so glad you did! 


Just Let It Happen

I remember back when I was single and I wanted to be married so bad. I was on the search for that special someone. I was going on two and three dates a week, frantically looking for love. And it wasn't until I just let it happen that it finally did happen ... now 22 years ago! I don't feel that old! Ha ha!

So this blog is for those of you in the "dating" phase of life! Listen up, this will help you in so many ways. Frankly it could save you from marrying the wrong person and being miserable and one day getting divorced! Yeah, for realz!

Calm the freak down! Don't be desperate. Have faith that the right person is out there and you don't need to go crazy to find them, they will come to you! I promise! Of course, if you live under a rock then maybe we should figure something else out. I am a firm believer that God (or whatever it is you believe in: the stars, the planet, mother earth, etc) will bring you together. The most important thing is that you are working on yourself! 

I believe that spending energy on being the best version of yourself is way more important than the energy you would spend in desperate search of the "right" person. Then when you meet that person, relax just let it happen. 

One of the worst things I've seen people do when they meet someone they really like is live out of fear of losing them rather than thankfulness for having met them. (that is a twittable quote right there!) And when you live out of fear you do things you wouldn't normally do, you say things you wouldn't normally say, you act in a way that's no longer attractive. Does this make sense? 

I've done it, you've done it ... acted almost neurotic? You even have said to yourself, "what am I doing ... I am losing myself here! Why am I doing this?" I recently told a single person I was coaching, "Live out of love, live out of faith, live out of compassion, live out of peace, live out of joy and then you will be so attractive and desireable."  Plus, it's important to be the person you are normally so you don't attract someone who likes the crazy version of you when that's not really you. Make sense? You want to make sure they are falling in love with the right person, who you really are, not the nutty version of you. 

It's important to not be bringing undue stress into the relationship, you want to be bringing love, joy and peace into the relationship. Relationships are stressful enough, it's not helpful when you add to it because we are living out of fear rather than thankfulness! 

Let me know your thoughts! Please comments!

The Right Time to Have Sex

I was recently asked to be on live TV on a panel of men to answer questions submitted by women. One of the questions asked was, "When is it right to start having sex in a relationship?" That is a fair question, and I am sure I am going to upset the hyper conservative religious crowd as well as the hyper non-religious liberal crowd. So read on to be upset. Ha ha! Of course you, just like me, have opinions on most things and this is just my opinion based on what I understand about love, relationships and sex.

My, live on TV, answer was basically that, "we should wait until we are in a committed relationship... we should wait until we are in-love to make love." Now, on one hand my religious upbringing screams at me that we should wait until we are married to have sex. And that was kind of what I was saying by a "committed relationship." And maybe being a virgin and marrying a virgin on the wedding day is the ideal, a goal to shoot for, or what we might call 'God's best' but let's just be real here - how realistic is this? That was indeed my goal... but I failed as a teenager, and I lived with a lot of guilt and shame over it. I'm not sure that was all that helpful either. 

There are so many things we could talk about here, but I do not want to dig a hole so deep that we all fall in and get trapped. If you are a Christian, like me, you do want to live a God-honoring life, especially sexually. And it's a difficult thing to get a perfectly clear answer from the Bible, at least to me, when I look at the entire Bible there are some interesting things in there. I mean many of the great men in the Bible had many wives, can't relate to that... though if I am honest I think it would be awesome (hey, don't judge!). And many couples in Bible times were getting married very very young ... like 14, 15, 16 years old. Anyway, all that to say it's a bit more convoluted than what some religious people like to think, in my humble opinion. (And yes I am okay knowing that my teenage children will read this!)

So, why do I feel it's important to wait til you are at least "in love" before you "make love"? I'm glad you asked. Ha ha! Before I answer that let me say, I am human and trust me I had many encounters in high school and college that didn't involve being "in love" ... and not all those encounters were bad. Some were very special and I have fond memories from them, so I get it. (I know, I know you religious people are saying to yourself ... "it was sin Timmy, sin!" To you I would say be careful before you go throwing stones, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean!" - Jesus

Okay, so why wait? To me it's about valuing myself. It's not just about sex, it's so much more than that. To me sex is a very precious, even sacred, thing. It's a gift to couples. To me it's a gift that we give our partner. And to just share that gift with anyone that comes along, in my opinion cheapens it, again in my opinion. It just doesn't seem as special to meet that special someone and fall in love and give them something you've already given freely to many others. 

I was not a virgin when I got married, and while I do not regret every encounter, I do regret those that were not made while in a loving committed relationship. I am sure it's a bit strange hearing this from a guy, I know that most guys relish in the number of sexual escapades, but to me sex is an expression of love, or should be. So, that said we should be making love when we are in love.

Disclaimer: Please know that I do not judge anyone here... trust me, I have no room to judge anyone! Ever! I am sure many of you see it different than me, and that is totally okay! I would like to hear from you, if you are brave enough to share openly here as I have! Please, make a comment!