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CONTENTS FROM THE SPRING 2010 ISSUE
Read our special story from the Spring issue on Wedding Cakes, featuring a list of Vermont cake designers with large, detailed images to look at and savor. Read And Now For The Cake online here.
Cover Photograph by Justin Cash Photography
The beautiful bride on our Spring cover is Sabrina Marie Sikora.
Julia and Ken came to their first session with the wedding coach with some questions about the logistics of their new life together. They started living together when they got engaged. Julia’s place was larger than Ken’s, so he moved in with her. Pooling their incomes for joint expenses like the electric bill was simple enough. But they had different ideas about long term planning, like how to save for a down-payment on a home, vacations and retirement. Ken’s career had been compromised by the economic downturn, so his approach to finances was more frugal. They didn’t doubt their decision to get married, but they were somewhat stalemated in their planning for the wedding and the honeymoon.
When the wedding coach suggested that Richard Foster’s classic book Money, Sex, and Power summarized three basic areas which challenge all couples, they were intrigued. Ken immediately ordered the book, read it, and encouraged Julia to read it. Reading and discussing it together, they began to see how their families of origin shaped different approaches to handling money and decision-making. They began to use Foster’s ideas on creating a new “covenant” beyond their old ideas as a basis for a common approach to saving, spending, and decision-making.
What challenged them the most, as it turned out, however, was the shift in their sex life after moving in together. It was Julia’s place. She was an introvert. And she had daily and weekly routines that she found difficult to continue around Ken’s more extroverted routines with the TV and the radio, for example. They found it difficult to create a life together that accommodated their individual preferences for spending time at home. A joint rythym for meals, cleanup, and bedtime didn’t come easy. Julia became less interested in sex. Ken was frustrated. And they weren’t even married yet.
They were feeling a need for a breakthrough before invitations were sent out. Wedding planning came to a complete halt. Ken called the wedding coach.
“Sounds like you need more than Foster’s book,” the coach said to him. “Tell Julia this is not uncommon. All couples have to negotiate this sort of territory at some point or another in their life together. I encourage you to do that with a marital therapist. Invite Julia to go.” And the coach recommended a therapist he knew did good work in the area where they lived.
Julia was not immediately amenable, but agreed to go when he shared how important it was to him. She was not disappointed. The therapist was not only good; she worked what Ken thought was a minor miracle in one session. A breakthrough came with the therapist’s simple disentangling of bedtime and sex. While a lot of couples attach lovemaking with going to bed, it can be a routine of which they quickly tire, especially because even young couples are tired at the end of the day.
The key for Julia and Ken was seeing their lovemaking as something so precious and sacred that they didn’t leave it to chance at bedtime. They fantasized together Saturday morning times with coffee and incense as well as after work times with a glass of wine and candles. Something major shifted. They found the spark that originally ignited their lives. Friends asked what was up. Why were they smiling so much? Wedding invitations went out the following week. They contacted the coach to work on their vows.
Read "Listening to Learn, Learning to Listen" by Michael Caldwell, online, from the Summer 2010 issue of Vermont Bride
Rev. Dr. Michael Caldwell (whose parishioners call “Rev Michael”) runs the Partnership Center of Vermont (www.coachingcenterofvt.com) from his home in North Wolcott, VT. Along with his ministry in New England’s Congregational tradition, he coaches couples preparing for marriage, and officiates ceremonies all over Vermont, indoors or outside.
Contact Michael for a free consultation at 802-888-5811
michael.caldwell.75 - AT - alum.dartmouth.org