Welcome to Marriage Laboratory!!

In which I outline the idea behind the new site switch and the calendar for upcoming challenges this year!

In case you didn’t notice, this site, which used to be A Thing Called Love Blog .com is now Marriage Laboratory .com.  There were a few reasons behind the switch (site name was too long and confusing, Google likes me better if I have marriage in the url), but mostly I wanted to create a hands-on community to improving marriages and what better way than to experiment together!

So, here’s the idea- we have five month-long challenges scheduled for the year all based off of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages book- words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gifts and acts of service. We’ll tell ya what the experiment is for the month, invite you to join in too of course and then report back how it went.

Here’s the schedule (which we reserve the right to change, but hopefully not):

February 2017: Words of Affirmation: daily texts/emails to spouse
April 2017: Quality Time: 10 minute daily connect
July 2017: Gifts: A little gift every Friday!
September 2017: Physical Touch: Sex every other day.
November 2017: Service: Do every favor asked of you (and ask what you can do to serve them every week).

Throughout the challenge month, I’ll bring you weekly blog posts on the experimental topic and let you know of some successful experiments of other couples as well as a little research behind it. Then the month after the challenge, I’ll re-cap it for you to let you know how it went! We’re hoping to get into video this year, so the plan is to do a re-cap video.

The best way to join in on the fun is by signing up for our email newsletter (scroll down to bottom of post to sign up), but you can also stay connected via our Facebook page or Pinterest site as well.

And just for kicks and giggles, I’ll include the “about page” version of the new site which I just wrote up.  Thanks for all your support!!

If you were to ask me if I prioritize my marriage, my answer would be, “Duh! Of course! I love my husband more than I love cereal (read: a lot), I bore his children, I run a freaking marriage blog!”

But then when you take a look at my to-do list . . . my kids, my productivity, my house, my blog, and my friends all tend to rank higher than my husband, who generally comes in somewhere around the double digits of my to-do list, which is a very lonely, neglected and all together sad place to be.

The problem with marriage is that it is important, but never urgent. There are no deadlines, no immediate consequences for letting your connection slip. So we forget our marriages take work and attention in order to thrive.

We forget to give it plenty of water and sunshine and to pick out the weeds. And take it from me, if you forget to water your plants, they tend to wither. And eventually, they die. (cue sad violin music)

The good news is plants can generally be revived. In fact, personally I think society has all together WAY too high of expectations of what our plants should look like. They should be vibrant green! And fun! And perky! And happy! All the time! And if they are not, there is something wrong!

If your marriage plant isn’t a vibrant green, if it is a little withered and sad, I don’t think there is anything wrong with your plant.

Marriage plant
(added bonus if you subscribe to my blog, you can look forward to cutting edge graphic designs- like this one!)


Marriage is the perfect laboratory for human growth (marriage laboratory? hey! that’s the name of your blog!).

We grow. We change. We mess up. Its all part of the process. There are bound to be some growing pains. The important thing is that we keep trying. Maybe we water it at different times of the day, maybe we change it’s location. Maybe we go see a therapist to ask for watering and weeding help.

The point is that we need to EXPERIMENT to figure out just how to nurture our own plant to make it thrive.

Because every plant is different (we’re still talking about marriage here guys).

If your plant isn’t as green as your neighbor’s or as healthy as you’d like, don’t beat yourself up.  Just start experimenting a little.  Switch things up.  Try a little of this, a little of that.

And set deadlines.  Make it urgent.

That’s where I can help.

Here at marriage laboratory, we’re all about experiments for busy couples.  We hold a marriage experiment every other month.

Marriage Laboratory
See? We love experiments.

Reader, if you find yourself wanting to improve your marriage, but don’t know quite what that would look like or where to start, pull up a chair and make yourself at home (or rather, make your email address at home in that little box down there 😉 ).

If you want want better communication and better connection with your partner and are not opposed to experimenting a little to figure it out, you’re at the right place.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I’m not a better wife than you, but I am trying. I’m committed to experimenting to figure out what works best for us. If you want in on hearing about these experiments- both what they are and how they went- put your little email address in this box here, and I’ll let you know what my marriage wins and failures are twice a month: (don’t worry, I don’t bite, or worse, try to sell you something).

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Let’s get that plant a little bit happier.

Marriage Laboratory happy plant


Want to know a little more about what my marriage philosophies are?

* Start here with my marriage manifesto.
* Then mosy on over to my #1 marriage tip: the weekly check in.
* And you can round yourself off by reading how to bring out the best in your spouse (spoiler – its not by nagging! I know, I was surprised too).

Spiritual Sunday: The Blind Men and The Elephant (and God and Church and Marriage)

The Blind Men and The Elephant

In the Indian fable of the blind men and the elephant we learn that we are often blinded to reality by what we connect with.  This parable extends to God, church and our spouses. Spiritual Sundays are back!  Last year, I started doing a spiritual Sunday post once a month, but got out of the habit.  This year, I want to get back into it.  I really enjoy writing my thoughts about God and religion.  It is an important part of me.  And if you aren’t religious, that’s fine, I’ll always try to tie the topic into marriage at the… Read More

The Kissing Challenge for Married Couples

The Kissing Challenge: Kiss your spouse for six seconds, twice a day for a week! The result: stronger connection. Are you up to the challenge? Click through for more benefits!

The Challenge:  Kiss your spouse for six seconds two times a day every day this week. Hypothesis: Stronger connection. Happy feelings. Good times. Rob from Family, Good Things is back guest posting today! Wahoo! And he’s here with a simple yet effective experiment in love for busy couples (hey! that’s your tagline!): the kissing challenge.  Thanks Rob!  – Celeste The Verdict When you were first married you kissed your spouse more often (and longer) than you do now. Your Sentence You need to read this brief article and be willing to do the homework (best homework ever). Warning #1 If… Read More

Couple Goals: What One Goal Will Improve Your Marriage This Year?

Want to set some relationship goals? Be sure to make them specific, measurable, and within your control. Click through to read how!

Want to set some couple goals this year?  If you actually plan on achieving them make sure they are specific, measurable, and within your control.  If not, do your thing. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I am in full-blown New Year resolution mode right now.   Last month I watched this productivity summit as well as an excellent goal-setting webinar (any Michael Hyatt fans out there?) and whoa I am PUMPED for the new year! *fist pump* Those summits were mostly for business-related info, but I’m realizing that the goal-setting information I’ve learned applies perfectly to marriage. Specifically I’m thinking of the… Read More

The Real Miracle of The First Christmas: A Marriage Able to Survive It

The birth of the Christ child was obviously a miracle, but there is another miracle often overlooked in the story- a marriage able to survive it. By Rich I’m resurrecting this Christmas post by Rich because I love it so much.  “Remembering how tough marriages can be sometimes, and facing the sometimes ugly realities of life and marriage, shouldn’t keep us from recognizing that miracles really can happen. It can only help us appreciate them more.”  That’s good stuff.  Thanks Rich! If there’s anything I think we can say for certain about the night Jesus was born in a stable… Read More