101 Lessons In Love: A Couple's Guide To Choosing Passion

101 Lessons In Love: A Couple's Guide To Choosing Passion

by Deborah M. Mueller

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Overview

Discover new pathways to finding more love, more joy, and more acceptance with your partner, spouse, soul mate, or lover. Whether you are passionately in love looking for that new adventure or struggling to stay connected 101 Lessons In Love: A Couple’s Guide To Choosing Passion will help you learn how to sculpt each other with love, how to recognize the power of your attention, and how to keep your love evolving as one. Each chapter contains a question to spark communication between you and your partner about avenues into each other’s lives that have yet to be explored. The hope is that this exploration will lead you to a deeper understanding of both yourself and your partner that enhances your happiness and love. Then you and your partner are challenged to take the lesson and make it your own by taking specific actions to create a stronger, more intimate, and passionate relationship. It is never too late to capture the fun and excitement. The time is now. Begin your journey to passion and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477261798
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 09/14/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 454 KB

Read an Excerpt

101 Lessons In Love

A Couple's Guide To Choosing Passion
By Deborah M. Mueller

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Mueller
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4772-6180-4


Chapter One

Lesson #1 ~

Simple, kind gestures can mean so much more.

One day as Andy and I stood in the shower together, I realized I had to write a book about being in Andy's presence. I wanted to make sure all the ways that he loved me would live beyond our lives. In that moment, I wanted to leave a recorded history of what my life was like living with this wonderful man and share all the ways that he was beyond kind and thoughtful.

What had Andy done in that moment to possess me to write a book about him? He had turned the water warmer before stepping aside during our weekend ritual of showering together so I could step under the spray of the water and rinse the shampoo out of my hair. This weekend ritual, what I affectionately called the "Mueller Spa," was more than a mutual drive for cleanliness, but rather, tender loving care mixed with erotic pleasure as we playfully washed each other's bodies. Andy knew I liked the spray of the shower water to be warmer than he did, so he reached down and turned the handle to ensure the water temperature was perfect for me. It was at that moment that I realized this man, my husband of two years now, went out of his way to make sure my path in life was as pleasant for me as was within his power to give. It was obvious to me now that both small and significant ways of loving me were equally important to him, whether it was in a small way such as turning the shower temperature to my liking, or in something as significant as wrapping his life around me with love.

I was touched by his thoughtful gesture and told him so. "I want to write a book about you, about us," I exclaimed. We spent the rest of our shower time together brainstorming titles and ideas for the book. Andrew's Love, Andrew's Light, just Andrew, or Andrew & Deborah: 101 Ways to Get Marriage Right were some of our inspirations. It was fun to talk about chapter ideas, about the ways that I had recognized his love for me, and sharing thoughts about special actions he had taken that he didn't even realize had impacted my life.

The fact that I am not a writer in the true sense of the word did not matter in those moments. What mattered was telling the love story about a marriage that went right. More importantly, I would focus on which actions spoke louder than words and which words were spoken with love. I wanted to share what connections were made that would enable us to see our way through the times of dense fog that would inevitably appear as it does in any committed relationship.

All of this began because Andy reached down to turn the handle and change the water temperature to make my experience with him as perfect for me as he possibly could. I, in turn, accepted and appreciated his gesture for what it was and loved him that much more.

Question #1 ~ What is one simple, kind gesture that you could do for your partner that would be meaningful to them, and what is one simple kind gesture that your partner could do for you? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

Challenge #1 ~

Once a week, schedule a few minutes to sit down next to your partner. Face each other, look into each other's eyes, and take turns asking for a specific act of kindness that you could perform for each other over the next week that would be meaningful. This act could be something as simple as giving your partner a five minute backrub, going for a walk together, or allowing them one hour of uninterrupted time alone to read a book or take a bubble bath. The idea with this lesson is to find out specific acts of kindness that you want to receive from your partner and to discover specific acts of kindness that would be meaningful to your partner in return. What often happens is that we give our partners what we are looking to receive. That is not necessarily what our partners need or want. Take the time to find out what you would both appreciate receiving, and then enjoy giving that gift to each other.

Chapter Two

Lesson #2 ~

Never underestimate the power of your uniqueness.

Name five things you could not live without. Those were the instructions given for the next step in the process of matching me with someone whom I would be compatible with on eHarmony.com. Hmmm, five things. First would have to be something that represented my children. I could not live without the framed picture of Jennie, Jarrod, and Matthew when they were four, three, and one year old. After all, when I left my 22-year marriage, I did not take much more than that picture of them, so I was aware of its significance in my life.

Okay, four more things to go. Ahh, my piano. My piano was handed down to me by my mother. It certainly represented the best of my childhood. I spent many hours absorbed into the music produced by my mother as her fingers glided over the keys while my father stood behind her singing songs such as One Alone, which told the story of their love affair. Yes, definitely my piano.

It occurred to me that while I did not have an abundance of material possessions, I discovered there really was not much I could not live without. What would I want to reveal about myself to a future suitor in order to complete this exercise? Oh wait, I know. I could not live without a Christmas tree during the holidays. Putting up a Christmas tree was a very special occasion, because I had the opportunity to reminisce about past events that each ornament I unwrapped represented. Ornaments from my childhood as well as those that I had received as gifts from my children, family members, and friends brought my loved ones into the room with me. It was a tradition I looked forward to every year. Placing 'Christmas tree during the holidays' on my list of things I could not live without made me happy.

I completed the assignment by adding my guitar and Diet Pepsi. I received my guitar from my mother and father as a gift when I graduated from eighth grade. I never learned to play it well, but I loved the hours I spent trying. Anyone who knows me knows that there is always a bottle of Diet Pepsi within my reach. It was my energy drink of choice without the burden of calories as I made my way through my full-time day job and then classes at night toward my undergraduate degree in psychology.

When my profile was matched to Andy's profile, he had the opportunity to study my list of five things I could not live without. He spent a considerable amount of time comparing my list with other women's lists that he had also been matched with. He reviewed his list of five things he could not live without to compare and contrast with his matches. His list consisted of fishing, golfing, tools, grandkids, and his close friends.

It just so happened that the Christmas tree on my list caught Andy's attention and resonated with him. It stood out from all the other typical responses from women such as children, bicycles, gardening, bowling, etc. It made him think the two of us may have something in common: our love of Christmas trees and decorating for the holidays in particular. As it turned out, Andy had a Christmas tree ornament collection that he cherished. He put up two Christmas trees every holiday season, one with a religious theme that held his sacred ornaments, and then one life activity-themed tree that represented his adventures with his family and friends.

My not being able to live without a Christmas tree during the holidays was one aspect that peaked Andy's interest and pointed him in my direction. Oh, Christmas Tree!

Question #2 ~ What unique characteristic peaks your interest in your partner? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

Challenge #2 ~

Gaining an understanding about your unique characteristics and your partner's unique characteristics helps to shed light on what you both bring to the relationship. Make sure that your differing characteristics mix well. Try creating a list of the characteristics you bring to the relationship. Share your lists with each other and then go one step further by adding characteristics that you see in each other. Talk about how you envision those characteristics interacting over time.

Chapter Three

Lesson #3 ~

Trust your feelings about first impressions, for they are your first dues.

I knew him well. We had never met, but I knew his heart from all the words that we had shared over the past five weeks, and I was already deeply in love with him. This was our first date, October 1, 2004. Earlier in the day, I had left a few items at the hotel for his arrival; a jar of Hershey's kisses and hugs, a Tiffin-Columbian High School football t-shirt, a set of Heidelberg University golf balls, and a box of potato chips made in Tiffin at Ballreich's Potato Chip factory. When he entered his hotel room, he was surprised and delighted by the gifts that awaited him. He immediately picked up the phone and called to leave a message on my voicemail at home. This was the first time I heard the sound of his voice. He thanked me, said he owed me a hug for all the brightly wrapped presents, and then ended the phone message by stating, "You've already made it a perfect weekend."

I pulled into the hotel parking lot, anxious to see his face for the first time in person. Great anticipation of who this person really was and what would occur between us now that we would be face to face for the first time engulfed these next several hours. Andy drove down from Anchorville, Michigan to attend my son, Matthew's, senior year Columbian High School homecoming football game in Tiffin, Ohio. He had suggested that I pick him up at the hotel so that the location of my apartment would not be revealed to him until I felt it was completely safe to do so. I parked the car and opened the door to step out when I spotted Andy. He was walking toward me through a field next to the hotel. Our eyes locked and he was already smiling. That smile was a spark that lit a fire inside me that radiated throughout my entire body.

He stepped toward me, and I toward him. I smiled back. Finally, I had the opportunity to be in the presence of this gentle man who had warmed my heart over the past month with his words, words that we exchanged in an effort to get to know each other through eHarmony.com.

I was not disappointed by what I saw. Andy's eyes were a light blue that sparkled with energy. His smile melted my heart and I felt safe with him, even in those first moments. We said our hellos and then he leaned in and kissed me gently, his lips lightly touching mine. Then, he sighed audibly. His sigh surprised me. It told me that we shared a connection that was pleasing to both of us. Andy explained that he could not wait inside the hotel, but needed to be out in the fresh air to wait for my arrival. Knowing him now and how much he gains strength from being outdoors in a natural setting made his appearance in the field that evening all the more fitting.

After the first kiss hello, we headed to my car to begin our first date at Reino's Italian Restaurant to give Andy an opportunity to taste the best pizza in town, and then we headed to the football game. That night could not have been more perfect. We were joined in the bleachers by my daughter, Jennie, and my son, Jarrod, and both of the people they were dating at the time. Plus, my friend Teresa was there to meet Andy. All the sights, sounds, excitement, and energy of the homecoming football game surrounded us: the newly crowned homecoming king, queen, and their court; cheerleaders, parents, students, fans, marching bands, and, of course, the two rival football teams. Andy told us that his son, Chris, had played football in high school as had he. It was fun to be able to welcome him back to the game.

Andy spoke with a warmth and excitement for life. He engaged the kids in conversation and fell in love with them that night in the stands, as much as he did with me. He watched how my relationship with Jennie and Jarrod flowed easily and he was captivated by our bond. It gave him a sense of comfort that drew him closer to us. This was what he was looking for that was missing in his life. This is why he had joined eHarmony. com.

Tiffin-Columbian High School won the game that night, 55-0. Andy was able to capture a picture of Matthew, the kicker for the football team, on the field just seconds before successfully kicking one of several extra points. After the game, I was able to introduce Andy to Matthew for a few minutes before he went off with his teammates to celebrate their victory.

Then I drove Andy back to the hotel. We had decided ahead of time that we would both call the front desk the next morning and leave a message for the other. The message would state our preference about getting together on Saturday. If we liked the date on Friday night and wanted to see each other on Saturday, we would leave that message. If, on the other hand, we did not want the relationship to continue after meeting for the first time, we could leave that message for the other person without any awkward good-byes. If that is how either of us felt, Andy would drive off into the sunset and we would lead separate lives, each continuing the search for our life's true partner.

I pulled the car up to the front doors of the hotel. I did not want our time together to end. I put the car in park and turned toward Andy to say good-bye. I told him I would be sure to call the front desk and leave a message by ten o'clock the next morning. This was my attempt to obtain some type of feedback from him about how he felt about the evening without putting him on the spot. Andy smiled at me and said he did not need to leave a message because he wanted to see me tomorrow and continue our weekend date. Fireworks went off in my heart! I was sure he could hear them and see their reflection in my eyes. He leaned over to kiss me once again, and then he sighed.

Question #3 ~ What was your first impression of your partner? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

Challenge #3 ~

It may feel risky to trust your own feelings about first impressions. Here is a suggestion: don't go it alone. Consider checking with family and friends about their first impressions of a potential suitor. Compare their first reactions with your own. Others may pick up on negative aspects of the person that you may not see because you are blinded by the hope of finding true love.

Chapter Four

Lesson #4 ~

Be mindful of the behavior on both sides of the door.

He is the same. This is one of the many qualities I adore about Andy. He is the same wonderful, caring, loving man behind closed doors as he is for everyone to see in front of those doors. As a young woman, I never knew how important that quality would be in the man whom I would marry. At the age of twenty, when I said the words, "I do," I was not prepared to protect myself from my husband's sadistic demands that grew more intense over our 22-year marriage. I did not believe I had the right to say No to him until I had my awakening, the profound growing awareness that continuing to say Yes to him would lead to my destruction. The struggle to escape from that marriage, the guilt for hurting him and our children that he attempted to bury me with was nearly more than I could endure at times. I desperately fought to break free with the help of a professional counselor who empowered me to believe I could stand alone, and I did. It was 12 months later that I was matched with Andy through eHamony.com.

Andy, in getting to know me that first weekend, was curious about what brought an end to my 22-year marriage to the father of my three children. How do you tell someone at the beginning of your relationship that you were breaking up your marriage because you had reached the point where to continue in the marriage would kill you? How do you share that type of information, but at the same time, not too much to overwhelm him and scare him off? Andy seemed genuinely interested and open to hearing the truth. I had already written a manuscript about my prior marriage. I would one day be sharing that with the world. I did not know how to begin to share that information with Andy. Everything had been so perfect that weekend. What would he think of me now?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from 101 Lessons In Love by Deborah M. Mueller Copyright © 2012 by Deborah M. Mueller. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................xi
Lesson # 1 Simple, kind gestures can mean so much more....................1
Lesson # 2 Never underestimate the power of your uniqueness....................4
Lesson # 3 Trust your feelings about first impressions, for they are your first clues....................7
Lesson # 4 Be mindful of the behavior on both sides of the door....................11
Lesson # 5 Be open to trying new adventures....................14
Lesson # 6 Be brave enough to risk your heart once again....................17
Lesson # 7 Protect yourself until you feel safe....................20
Lesson # 8 Act on your instincts....................23
Lesson # 9 Look at the individual as a whole....................26
Lesson # 10 Give each other faith, hope, and love....................29
Lesson # 11 Recognize and celebrate your creative gifts....................33
Lesson # 12 Attention is a powerful force....................35
Lesson # 13 Graciously accepting a gift can be an act of love to the giver....................38
Lesson # 14 The consummation of love is so much more than the joining of two bodies....................41
Lesson # 15 Open your mind to explore new ideas....................44
Lesson # 16 Find yourself within the relationship....................46
Lesson # 17 It all depends on whom you kiss....................48
Lesson # 18 Meet your partner's basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter....................50
Lesson # 19 Feed the hungry wherever you may find them....................52
Lesson # 20 A romantic gesture is the energy that keeps love alive....................55
Lesson # 21 Stand strong....................57
Lesson # 22 There is safety in living with a survivor....................60
Lesson # 23 Seeing people is a gift you give yourself....................64
Lesson # 24 Create new ways to connect....................67
Lesson # 25 Lighten the mood....................69
Lesson # 26 Be generous with your support of each other's goals....................71
Lesson # 27 Cultivate friendships outside of the relationship....................74
Lesson # 28 Smile your childhood smile....................78
Lesson # 29 Discover the great outdoors in your own backyard....................81
Lesson # 30 Be playful....................85
Lesson # 31 Dance....................88
Lesson # 32 It really is the thought that counts....................90
Lesson # 33 Choose your most valuable possessions carefully....................93
Lesson # 34 In your absence, leave a trail of love....................95
Lesson # 35 Playfulness is hereditary....................97
Lesson # 36 Surround yourself with representations of your love until you are surrounded by each other....................99
Lesson # 37 When in doubt, trust in love....................101
Lesson # 38 Believe in love's existence....................103
Lesson # 39 There is no greater gift for a mother than to truly love her children....................105
Lesson # 40 Honor thy mother....................107
Lesson # 41 Choose rich lives over monetary wealth....................110
Lesson # 42 Be serious about being silly....................113
Lesson # 43 See the goodness within you and then share that goodness with others....................115
Lesson # 44 Throw in the anchor....................118
Lesson # 45 Go out of your way for children....................121
Lesson # 46 Appreciate heavenly-being qualities in your partner....................124
Lesson # 47 Celebrate life....................126
Lesson # 48 Convey your love to your children....................129
Lesson # 49 Selflessness for children's sake is heroic....................131
Lesson # 50 Bring out the best in each other....................136
Lesson # 51 Want nothing more than your partner's happiness....................138
Lesson # 52 Honor thy children....................141
Lesson # 53 Read with your heart....................144
Lesson # 54 Commit to forever love....................147
Lesson # 55 When life gives you a miracle, thank God....................150
Lesson # 56 Laugh together....................152
Lesson # 57 Kiss....................154
Lesson # 58 Diminish fear with pleasure....................156
Lesson # 59 Be a good catch....................159
Lesson # 60 Appreciate beauty....................162
Lesson # 61 Be in eternal love....................164
Lesson # 62 Speak words of love when you leave each other's side....................167
Lesson # 63 Label with care....................169
Lesson # 64 Balance the power....................172
Lesson # 65 Make peace with life and death....................175
Lesson # 66 Be the gift of enlightenment....................177
Lesson # 67 We are connected in more ways than we know....................179
Lesson # 68 Offer what you have to give....................181
Lesson # 69 Play in bed....................184
Lesson # 70 Trust what your partner sees in you....................186
Lesson # 71 Be present during life crises....................188
Lesson # 72 Initial your love....................190
Lesson # 73 Nurture trust in lovemaking....................192
Lesson # 74 Have fun with your fortune....................195
Lesson # 75 Relationships take work and play....................197
Lesson # 76 Provide a protective coating with prayer....................200
Lesson # 77 Don't ever give up....................202
Lesson # 78 Touch each other's heart....................205
Lesson # 79 One hundred years are not enough....................207
Lesson # 80 Be lost in love....................209
Lesson # 81 Compromise....................213
Lesson # 82 Keep challenging yourself....................215
Lesson # 83 Enjoy nature....................218
Lesson # 84 Work with love....................220
Lesson # 85 Believe in your own heroic possibilities....................223
Lesson # 86 A little mystery can be exciting....................226
Lesson # 87 Make the holidays merry....................229
Lesson # 88 Back each other up....................232
Lesson # 89 I am as close as you want me to be....................235
Lesson # 90 Our lives may be fragile, but our bond is strong....................238
Lesson # 91 Strength lies in sensitivity....................241
Lesson # 92 Do not be afraid of the cocooning....................243
Lesson # 93 Release anger without hurting each other....................245
Lesson # 94 Listen with your heart....................247
Lesson # 95 Never give up because circumstances do change....................249
Lesson # 96 Acknowledge each other's pain....................252
Lesson # 97 It doesn't matter....................255
Lesson # 98 Lifelong goals can be reached when you are armed with love....................258
Lesson # 99 Sculpt each other with loving hands....................261
Lesson # 100 Be thankful....................264
Lesson # 101 Give one hundred and one percent....................266
References....................269
Name Index....................279
Note of Thanks....................283

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