Episode 222 | May 26, 2020

Extraordinary Love & Commitment with Alisa DiLorenzo


A Personal Note From Orion

This episode focuses on a hot topic, which is relationships. The early stages of a relationship are all about the butterflies in your stomach, being head over heels, and getting swept off your feet. And then time goes by, and you start to get to know each other. By then, the rose-colored glasses break after you discover each other’s quirks and flaws you never really noticed before. 

This is totally normal, and a lot of married couples have been here. But sometimes this can cause friction. Now even more than ever because of COVID-19 and a full-on quarantine. We are living in a time of uncertainty, and it can be very stressful. Sometimes partners don’t have the same opinions of what to do or what action to take.

That’s why I brought an expert that can help couples stay grounded in love. I believe solutions arise from a place of love. And from a place of calm and understanding, better decisions can be made collectively. Let this episode be a reminder that you chose your partner for a reason. You guys are bound by a kind of soul contract. You want to breathe life in your relationship because loving is not passive. Loving is living and living is doing. 

I would like to welcome Alisa DiLorenzo to today’s episode. She is the co-host of the #1 marriage podcast on iTunes, the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show. Alisa speaks to a worldwide audience about sex, love, and commitment. She and her husband Tony, challenge listeners to make their relationship a priority. For the last ten years, they have equipped couples with tools and strategies to create their own extraordinary marriage. And now without further ado, on to the show.

 

 


In this Episode

  • [00:39] – Orion introduces Alisa DiLorenzo, co-host of the #1 marriage podcast on iTunes, the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show.
  • [04:12] – Alisa explains the different factors of why and how marriages fail even after a decade of being together.
  • [08:00] – How can married couples remain intentional in their relationship even after all these years?
  • [12:35] – A simple daily trick to make your partner feel like they’re the most important thing in your life.
  • [16:58] – Alisa shares excellent advice on how to deal with negative emotions after arguing with your partner.
  • [20:37] – How can couples deal with the new normal and strengthen their relationship amidst the trials of quarantine.
  • [26:49] – The presence of fear can create a ripple effect within your family. Here are ways on how to create peace and love within your home.
  • [31:56] – Alisa and Orion share their own experiences during the quarantine.
  • [38:40] – Alisa shares how having more time to spend with her husband and kids is the greatest gift she will ever experience.
  • [41:39] – Follow Alisa DiLorenzo on her social media account and visit their website at www.oneextraordinarymarriage.com to take action on your life and marriage.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hi, Alisa, and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. It’s a pleasure having you here. Thank you so much for coming and for being on the show.

Thank you for having me. This is a true pleasure.

Yes, I love that. Before we begin, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your passion, so everybody will get to know you more?

Yes, I love sharing that answer. My passion is for marriages. My passion is seeing marriages become extraordinary. And that came from a place of my husband and I being married for 23 years now. It came out living the first 11 years of our marriage as almost dead. We’re like roommates and just going through the motions of being stuck in being roommates and not living the life that I expected when I got married in 1996, which sounds like forever. 

As we experienced our breakthrough and people started saying, “how did you do that? What did you do? How can I have what you have?” We realized that there was the opportunity to impact other people’s lives, and to see them have something that they didn’t think was possible, manifested itself into reality in their marriages.

So many people experience that. It seems like the 10-year mark is where marriage breaks apart. I mean it could be sooner, but for people who are really in love and they are determined to stay in the marriage, it’s usually about a decade where people start fading. Why do you think that is?

I think a big part of it is a lot of couples nowadays get married and they might wait a few years to have children. They want to travel, they want to pursue their careers, they’re doing these different types of things, and then they start having kids. So, around that somewhere between 7–11-year mark, they’ve created this family, they’ve created this home, and they’ve got these wonderful little kids—I’ve got two teenagers now, so I definitely did this season—but they’re very demanding. And they’re very needy.

Couples experience transformation when they make a commitment to connect with each other on a daily basis. Click To Tweet

Yeah. I have a baby and boy, life changes. Life turns upside down, inside out. Everything is different.

Right, and the connection that the two of you had prior to having kids, a lot of times takes a backseat to somebody who needs a diaper change, somebody who needs a snack, somebody who didn’t take a nap today, we gotta get him in the bath, we’ve got this lesson, and we’ve got that practice. What was once just about the two of you suddenly becomes this world that feels like it’s turned upside down. All of a sudden it’s all about your children. A lot of times, the intimacy fades, and couples find themselves in this place where they’re just going through the motions or feeling more like roommates than lovers. They’re not so excited about the marriage, and it feels old and stale.

What do you do about that?

It’s the same thing that most people do about any area of their lives where they want to succeed. It’s really interesting that whether it’s in our finances and we go find a financial planner, or if it’s fitness and we want to have a bikini body, and I’ve got three months to do it or six months to do it if you’re looking at the beginning of the year. What do you do? You get help. You start researching. You start learning because so often, marriage feels that one relationship where the mindset is we’re supposed to know how to do it, but it’s probably the one area where nobody innately knows how to be married. We just watch movies, and we see romantic comedies and—

But it looks so perfect in movies.

And so easy.

Yeah, even on Facebook, everything looks so beautiful, like everybody just posts their beautiful photos. That’s the illusion that marriage is easy, and marriage looks like an everyday smiley photo.

And it’s not. I was talking with a girlfriend the other day, and she’s like, “My little one,” she has a four-month-old baby. She says, “Today was just a rough day.” We were social distancing—rules all in play—we were on our phone, Facetime, I looked at her, and I said, “It is okay to say that. Not every day with your child is going to be the whole rainbows and unicorns. Some days it stinks.”

Yeah. My little one is teething, so he’s cranky.

Orion, you are living it. If you got a teether in the house, you’re living it.

Oh, my goodness. He’s more clingy than ever, and I feel like there is no time to do anything. Even cooking breakfast takes me two hours.

Right, and because he’s so clingy—this happens for a lot of women—when our children need so much from us, it can be hard then to go and feel romantic or want to be touched by our husbands because it’s like, “I’ve just been touched all day. Stop touching me.” But he’s over there going, “I haven’t been the one touching you.”

I’m starving.

I’m starving.

Yeah, I can see that with my man. It happened for us as well, where there is so much focus and energy on the baby, and my journey to conceive was very difficult. I got a 5% chance to conceive, and my pregnancy was difficult. For me, it’s like, “Oh my God. I got this gift from God, and I’ll take care of this gift.” Plus I’m a coach, so I keep asking myself, “what can I do to not screw his psychology up? I don’t want him to cry.” 

At age 40, he will be talking to a hypnotherapist and say, “Yeah, my mom left me when I cried when I was four months old.” I’m a little bit of a helicopter mom, where I’m just like, “What do you need? What do you need? Okay, let me do it,” new mom kind of thing. Sometimes I do feel like my husband feels neglected. We’re getting more into rhythm and balance, but still, it’s difficult.

Staying together for a long time can get boring because life can get in the way. Your duty to each other is to keep the flames burning.

It is, and you used the phrase a few minutes ago that I just want to circle back around. You talked about the fact that your child is a gift from God because you have to work hard, and you just see this precious gift. A lot of times, when I’m coaching my couples, I ask them to back up and look at the first gift from God, and that was their spouse.

Absolutely. Yes, you are so right, and I tend to say you’re my gift from God, and he is my gift from God.

Yeah. I bring that back because a lot of people will look at their children, and it’s easy to identify our children as gifts from God. But sometimes, it’s harder to look at our spouse and like, “Oh yeah, you were the first gift.” It’s so neat to hear you say how you’re able to do that with both.

Yeah, because you know what? When I say attract, it’s not like being attractive. It’s also co-creating, surrendering to a higher force, and doing vision boards. A lot of it was a long journey and a lot of work for me to attract my first gift. I love what you’re saying, that I have the best husband in the world. He’s extraordinary, he’s amazing, and some days I tend to forget that.

That’s where so much of what we do with our children. Actually, if we just pivot that 90 degrees and direct it to our spouses, it can be beneficial because we’re hyper-intentional with our kids. You were talking a minute ago how when he’s 40, and you don’t want him going to a therapist being like, “This is what my mom did to me.” To combat that, you’re super-intentional with him, whether it’s the food that he eats, the books that you read to him, or how you—

Oh my God, yeah. Even baby food, it’s organic, I’m a little extreme.

What you are is intentional.

I love that. Thank you.

You’re intentional. Using a word like ‘extreme’ may feel that there’s a lot of judgment behind that, but if we just say that you’re being intentional and this is the way that you choose to be intentional. It’s because that’s the plan and the life that you want to create for your child. We take a step back and say, just like you’re talking about being intentional in attracting your husband, what does it look like to be intentional about keeping our spouses and growing the relationship?

For some families, it may be organic food, but it can also go into how do we invest in the emotional connection? How do we make the physical connection such a priority? How do we take those actions that were super important to get and attract spouses? And use that? Because that’s what I had lost the first ten years of my marriage.

We got married. Someway we’re going to end up at the 50-year mark, and we’ll have this big party in 50 years, and we’ll figure it out. What I didn’t realize was that those conversations that Tony and I had when we were dating, those epically long two-, three-, four-hour conversations that seem to have no end, and we could talk about everything, I still need to do that as a married woman. I needed to show up for date nights, not just wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I needed to put a little effort into myself. I needed to find out what he was learning about, and how he was growing, and what was changing in his life. We’re married 23 years, and I can’t just accept that the man who Tony is has the same needs as the man that I married 23 years ago because he’s not. He’s changed a lot.

Yes, that’s a lifetime for sure.

It is.

I’m going to an RTT training, which is Rapid Transformational Therapy training by Marisa Peer. She’s the number one coach in Britain. She’s extraordinary. It’s doing hypnosis and helping people recover in 1–3 sessions. It’s really powerful. I have a mentor, her name is Hunter Moore, and we had a conversation. She’s also a sex therapist. We went beyond RTT. Somehow we got into this conversation, and one of the things that she gave me that was beautiful was, you don’t need to schedule the time for a sexual connection, but it doesn’t have to be about sex. Even if you have 15 minutes of touch every day, it doesn’t matter what kind of touch, and as long as it’s with no expectations.

We're so ruled by our calendars and the notifications on our phone that even if we're living a connected life, we lack the connection. Click To Tweet

We’re touching to touch, and we’re touching to connect. Maybe we breathe together, maybe we look at each other’s eyes, and we started doing it, and it’s really beautiful. Another thing, at the beginning of our relationship, I went to Oneness University in India. It’s a spiritual school of wisdom. I learned to be a Diksha giver, which is an oneness blessing giver. You channel divine light, and you bless the person. We are going to do a global Diksha for the world. They were calling all Diksha givers, and we’re talking about millions.

Before we’re going to do that, the week prior, they asked to give ourselves and each other Dikshas before we get there, pray for healing, and stuff like that. I started doing this with my husband, and that’s just another beautiful thing that helped us connect because we don’t think about what’s going on. We don’t think about all the craziness, and the baby just sleeps. We’re just blessing each other, and that’s beautiful. It’s been beautiful.

You bring up such a good point there that it’s the time. I tell my coaching clients all the time that we’re so ruled by our calendars and by the alerts that pop up on our phones. Everything that’s important makes it on to some kind of alert: interviews, appointments, meetings, kid’s lessons, and stuff like that—even getting into this point of scheduling time with our spouses. You don’t have to completely structure what that time is going to be like, but where is that time regularly? Because so often, we just think it’s going to happen spontaneously.

No.

That laugh tells me everything I need to know about your world right there.

The world is way more demanding. The news is way more demanding. Everything else takes your attention away from what’s real.

Absolutely. To be so intentional in saying that we’re going to take 15 or 20 minutes a day. Within 24 hours, what is that small fraction? And we’re just going to be fully present with one another. We did it when we were dating. You would drop everything, I don’t know about you, but I would drop everything if Tony was going to call if he was going to come over if he’s going to do something. Then we got into this rut when we got married where it’s kind of, “No. I’m going to go do this,” or, “I’ve got to do that first,” and all of a sudden this man that I’d said, “You’re the most important person in my life,” I’m putting all kinds of stuff in front of him.

You’re the most important thing, and my baby is the most important thing as well.

I’ve got all these really important things. To say, what does it look like? I think more couples would experience transformation in their relationship if they got diligent about making a 15–20-minute commitment daily. Whether it’s touch, whether it’s walking together, whether it’s having a conversation, whether it’s just being cuddled up together and knowing that nothing’s going to interrupt this time.

If the baby were to wake up in the middle, we’d only talk for seven minutes where the baby may have to self-soothe or figure it out, there’s probably no therapy down the road for a 7-minute cry.

If he cries, it stops. I’ll go calm the baby and then go back.

There you go.

And then he will be asleep.

That happens too because everybody is exhausted these days.

Yeah, let’s talk about these days. These days are crazy—absolutely freaking nuts. We woke up one day, and we found out that we are in this new movie that is completely different from the life we knew before. Some people were super excited, some people were completely in denial, some were in-between, some people were really sad, some were angry, and still people were experiencing all these emotions.

Though I think the denial is fading because this is from what I think, it’s going to take a long while before the world is going to become a better place, and I’m a very optimistic person, and I still think it’s going to get a little worse before it gets better. We are cooped in our houses, and life is not the same. Before we started our conversation, you talked about grieving.

You’ve hit the nail on the head. We did. We woke up one day, and the script had changed. Everything had changed, especially the first few weeks of this pandemic, where something changed dramatically every day. Different stay-at-home or shelter-in-place rules, restrictions on one day you could have a gathering of 250 people, then it was 50, then it was 10, and then you can’t. Schools are closed. No, we’re going to try and keep them open. The sheer amount of information we were having to process and take in was overwhelming to virtually everyone.

I know some people are like, “Oh no, I’ve got this,” but it was so fluid that for a couple of seconds, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, what are we doing here?” Then, all of a sudden, things started being canceled, big things. Whether it was college graduations, high school graduations, weddings, funerals, or whatever it was. These things were being canceled, and we were losing out on what our normal had been. We have to stop and permit ourselves to grieve what we’ve lost to stay there.

Rom coms and social media portray marriage as something that is all rainbows and butterflies. In reality, it’s working on yourself and your relationship day in and day out to strengthen your bond.

It’s an emotion, it’s normal. For some people, it comes out as tears. For some people, it comes out as anger. However, you process grief, there’s no right or wrong, but permit yourselves to process it to work through. As I was telling our audience on the show a week ago, I said, “You have permission to grieve all of the things that you’re missing out because of this pandemic, canceled sports seasons…”

Which episode is that? What’s the name of your show, and which episode was that?

The show is called, the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show, the episode that we did is episode 577.

My goodness. Wow.

We were podcasting for ten years.

Wow.

It was to navigate the pandemic together. It was our new normal. It’s what we were talking about in this. It’s okay to grieve, and it’s good to grieve if you’ve got that emotion inside of you, but don’t stay right there. This pandemic will require all of us to step into a new normal and put aside what we had. All of those routines. All of the gatherings. Sports, school. All those kinds of things, and at least for the duration of the season, that this is going to last. Who knows if we’re talking two months, six months, or whatever it is, that we step into this place where we choose what our new normal is going to be. We choose what the change is going to be.

Also, people need to change their mindset to this can be a long-term thing. Some people are like, “I heard this astrologist just said that it’s going to end in May.” By science, it’s going to end in five months, six months, or seven months. We don’t know when this is going to end. This is one of the most important times to rethink your mindset because if you don’t plan for it to end soon, you won’t get extremely depressed and disappointed if it’s not. If it does, then what a beautiful, blessed surprise.

Right, because there’s no definitive timeframe when all of these stay-at-home orders are going to be lifted when people are going to be able to go back to work, restaurants open, etc.

We’re talking about a global thing that we’ve never experienced before. I’m from Israel. When I was a little child during the Gulf War, I had to wear a gas mask, watch TV with my family, and wait for the bombs to stop because we were afraid of biological weapons. I don’t know. It was one of the most entertaining times for me. I was with my family, and there were really funny shows on TV. It was scary, but this something that, as an Israeli, we’ve been through plenty of wars and terror attacks, but this is very different. We’ve never been alone. We always had each other. This is something completely new.

It goes back to how intentional we can be about the connection that we have. When our normal means were getting together, going to a restaurant, going to grab a coffee, or sitting at the game together, we would do these things that we would normally do socially face-to-face. How can we be so intentional about our connection that we don’t lose that? I was at Costco yesterday, just making an essential run and finding toilet paper, so it was a really good day. A whole roomful of toilet paper. I thought I had won the lottery.

I think toilet paper is coming back.

I think you’re right.

I was at Target the other day. I have enough toilet paper, and I have the urge to buy another one just in case.

Marriage is far from how it's portrayed on social media and romantic movies. It's constant work, dedication, and commitment to your spouse day in and day out. Click To Tweet

Just in case. One of the things that I noticed was that so many people in some areas require people to wear masks and stuff; it was striking to me how quiet it was in Costco. I was sharing this with my followers on Instagram, and I realized it was because nobody was talking to one another. One of my biggest concerns about this quarantine and isolation is that we will forget how to have conversations and connect. How do people draw them out and say how things are going instead of just the polite wave, maybe the head nod, and then just keep walking.

We have to take it upon ourselves to say, “I’m going to foster a connection with someone else.” Maybe your listeners are hearing this show for the first time. Somebody is coming to mind, reach out, and text them. Pick up the phone and call them. They’re coming to mind for a reason, and they need the connection from you. Be the one that is that lifeline to them. I sent a text to a girlfriend yesterday because she came to mind, it just put a smile to my face thinking of her, and that’s all I said in the text. You came to mind, and it put a smile on my face. I could just tell in the text that came back that it made her day.

That’s not to pat myself on the back. There were 12 words in a text. It wasn’t anything crazy. I didn’t send her a whole book on how wonderful she is. If we take this extra step during this time when we have all of this social distancing and isolation, what if we become more connected and more vulnerable? What if we step into this place where we see what we’re able to accomplish, not what was taken from us. 

I come from a different culture. In Israeli people are in isolation, in quarantine, and all of that. But people still talk to each other from a safe distance. I feel like people here are afraid to talk to each other from across the street. I want to urge my listeners, if you are across the street from somebody and let’s say you have 8 feet or 10 feet and you have a great distance and are both protected and talk to people from far away. If you are far away, you will be safe, but you still want to keep that connection. You don’t have to just nod and go because if you’re talking to somebody from across the street, that is enough distance for you to not hurt somebody or get hurt.

The most important thing is to keep that human connection, as you said. If you have a neighbor, you can talk from far away, and it’s still good. Yell a little bit, raise your voice but still connect. Still have those conversations instead of, “There is the coronavirus, so I’m not going to even look you in the eye.” It’s a little weird. I think it’s because of the word “social distancing.” We don’t need social distancing. We need physical distancing. We need to be social now more than ever, but physically to be with a safe distance.

I love how you explain that, and I do think you’re right. I think that’s part of the challenge that we’re facing right now. We do have this notion that we have to suppress the social and be distant instead of focusing on the physical distance. That was excellent.

Thank you. We have a herd mentality. We’re animals. We need to be together. If we can’t touch, at least we’ll touch each other’s hearts.

Another thing that you brought up there was the presence of fear. When we are within our own homes, and we are getting all these inputs in terms of media, news, and whatnot, it can be very easy to succumb to fear. It is having those conversations with people. It’s doing more than just making eye contact, but saying hello and, as you said, do it from a safe distance. Neither one of us is advocating getting in people’s bubbles—don’t do that—but what does it look like to step out of fear and step into connection?

It’s vital to understand when you argue it should be with the intention of finding the best solution not to win over one another.

It’s good for us not to be living in a place of fear. Fear does all kinds of horrible things to your immune system. It wreaks havoc. I think it suppresses the immune system. We’ve got enough going on with people being immuno-compromised. Let’s not let this fear, and all of these thoughts of fear do more damage to us. Let’s step into this place where we’re like, “No, I’m going to connect. I’m going to overcome my fear so that I’m not even making myself more vulnerable to what this could be.”

The way you are creates a ripple effect within your family, especially when you come from a place of fear, stress, and anxiety. If you keep reading the news all day long, you’ll have a negative effect on your spouse, you’ll have a negative effect on your family. And they don’t necessarily have to be in the same house. Even when you connect to them on the phone, you can stress them out. For kids, they model by watching their parents. If you’re stressed, your kids are going to be stressed out. It affects everybody. What are your thoughts about creating peace within the house and changing from fear to love between partners?

A big part of it is looking at where your inputs are. My husband and I had this conversation yesterday. I read the news, and it just bounces off of me. I’m like okay. Sometimes it’s entertaining. I’m not saying coronavirus is entertaining but just all of the different viewpoints. I’m like, all right already. Nobody knows what they’re talking about. I can listen to this side, so making a decision. If reading the news or watching the news is creating more fear and anxiety, I’m going to encourage you to turn it off. You’ve got to make that choice that it’s not healthy for you in this season. Then you start looking at the things of what do recharge and rejuvenate you.

It’s deciding, “you know what? We’re going to do family movie night” or “we’re going to have a game night.” With a lot of our couples here at ONE Extraordinary Marriage, we’re encouraging them, just because you can’t go out and date, what does it look like to date your spouse at home? What does it look like to have special dinners? One couple shared with us that, on Friday nights, they are still building a fort. They don’t have kids. They build a fort in their living room, they crawl into the fort and watch movies on their TV. It’s their special little Friday night thing.

I love that, and I love how you laughed because I could tell that even just sharing that brought joy and happiness, I hear what a couple is doing. Get a paint by numbers kit or learn to dance together in your living room. Do these things that maybe you wouldn’t if your schedule was super busy, but you’re choosing to bring in the fun. You’re choosing to bring in connection. If you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety, fear, or worry, even allow yourself to have a safe space within your relationship to say, “I need to bring this up. I need to talk. This feeling is strong. I’m wrestling with this.”

We always tell a couple, don’t have those big heavy conversations in the bedroom because you’ve got enough emotional energy going on in your bedroom. Sit on your front step, go on the back patio, sit by the fire, be somewhere else, and be side-by-side. Sometimes it can be really scary to be vulnerable when you’re facing your partner.

Wow, that’s cool.

Tony shared many times from the stage when he and I have done our conferences. He’s like, “Sometimes, Alisa gets the mom eye, and she’s super intimidating.” Then I see pictures from the conference. I’m like, “Yeah, there’s the mom’s eye.” A lot of times, with us, we’ll just sit side-by-side. It’s easier, too, because you don’t have that, “Oh my gosh, you’re peering into my soul.” It’s easier to just be vulnerable and to just be in that place and say this is what I’m struggling with, this is what’s concerning to me, or this is what I’m worried about.

Always wrap it up with how can we tackle this together? How can we be a team around navigating finances through a coronavirus or juggling how we’re doing kids, teleworking, and everything else that’s on our plate right now?

Fear does all kinds of horrible things to your immune system. All it does is wreak havoc so why succumb to it? Click To Tweet

You mentioned being intentional, and this is exactly it. You mentioned being a team. If we are aiming to be a team, then we’ll solve things. If we’re having a conversation to be right, nothing’s going to happen that is good.

Right. Exactly what you say, we come into a conversation with either wanting to be right or just wanting to complain. We’re in these homes right now with our partners, with our kids doing all this stuff. Let’s face it. Many things can start to annoy when you’re spending so much time with the same people. If I sit down and have a conversation with Tony, and I just want to complain about what he’s doing, he’s going to go on the defensive. It’s not going to go well.

But if I sit down and say, “Here are my concerns right now. We’ve got these teenagers in the house, and I walked in the kitchen this morning, and obviously, somebody decided to eat at eleven o’clock last night and left the kitchen a mess.” This is my world. Real-life. Instead, I just said, “We need to have a conversation with the kids. I don’t care that they’re eating at eleven o’clock at night, whatever. They’re teenagers, they’re up, and schedules are a little more fluid. I just need to remind them that I left the kitchen clean, and I’d like it cleaned up when I walk into the kitchen at seven in the morning.” It was looking for a solution instead of just berating someone or complaining because there’s enough of going on in the world, we don’t need anymore.

What are some really fun things that happened to you with your family during this quarantine?

I have a 17-year-old son who is a football player. Because everything has been shut down, he has not been able to work out, and he hasn’t been able to spend time with his friends. As aggressive as he is in the football field, he’s also a really big teddy bear, but he thrives off of interaction with his buddies. There have been a lot more wrestling matches in our house right now. The only person that he can wrestle with is Tony and the difference in size, Alex is much bigger than his dad. It’s just funny to watch the two of them.

That’s happened. We’ve had times when the kids will walk into our office because we have a home office, and they just want to sit and have a conversation. We’ll just engage in conversation. We’ll linger over dinner because nobody’s running to a lesson, a practice, or a game. It’s just laughter over silly things that maybe they saw on Instagram, a YouTube video, or something on one of their online classes.

What I found is that we’re just making more time to hear those things and to sit with one another. We’re pulling out games that we haven’t pulled out in years. Last weekend, Tony and I did a Zoom call with some friends, and we all played in the same game. They were in Iowa, and we’re here. We’re getting creative. A couple of times a week, we’ll just do Zoom calls with another couple that’s like our version of double date in a pandemic. We’ll just all sit around like, “Hey, let’s all have a coffee date.” We’ll have our coffees and teas and sit around and hang out for a half-hour, 45 minutes to an hour because it’s just having that connection.

I had a really fun night last night.

Tell me.

Last night it was Passover. In the morning, I connected with my mom, who had to do it alone in Israel. I did it with her, and she was on video. I don’t know. We had this beautiful sweet connection, and she didn’t feel as alone. That was great. I’ve never hosted my own Passover. I always go to people or do it with somebody else. It’s too much work. But this time, now that I have a baby, I decided that I want to give him this tradition because when I grew up as a child, it was really fun. I love this holiday. Even though he’s small and doesn’t understand, I want him to see, and I want him to hear the songs I sing to him.

My mom was born in Tunisia, and when Israel became a country in 1948, her family immigrated to Israel. They left their houses, they left jewelry, they left their wealth, and they came to Israel in tin shacks just because it was the Promised Land. She’s a phenomenal cook. For Passover, she makes this amazing lamb stew. I’ve never made it before, so I made it, and it was incredible. I created a Seder dinner. I didn’t have everything, but I had enough to have a Seder. Both my husband and I dressed up, and we had this lovely dinner. It was so much fun, and it was delicious. I just feel like, “Yeah, there is a lot of bad happening in the world right now, but we can create our light.”

We can make an effort. We can dress up. We can keep traditions. We can connect to our spirit, our guidance. Whatever it is, just hold on to that light or whatever religion you practice. If you are non-religious, just trust that that power that is breathing in you is going to take care of you and focus on that instead of focusing on fear. I love what you did with your family and how creative you’ve been. I can imagine your husband and your son wrestling on the floor and how much fun it is for you to watch. Something like that never happened before, right?

Not like this. They goof around but Alex, he’d just go to practice, and he’d hang out with his buddies. Even our daughter, just walking in just sitting with us on the couch, and we get into these conversations that maybe wouldn’t have happened because we were too busy. One of the biggest mindset shifts that I made and made it early on in dealing with this pandemic, is looking at this as a gift of time. I know that there are many people in the frontlines, and my hats are off to them because they are probably working more.

Look for the gifts in all situations. Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to realize that our spouses are gifts too. Click To Tweet

Yeah. Let’s take a minute to acknowledge all the doctors, nurses, and everybody that are still working out there, risking their lives, and taking care of all of us because they are amazing. Also, acknowledge the people who are grieving for real and the people who are sick. We love you, and we send you lots of blessings and light.

Acknowledging all of that. Where I am and where we are in our lives, I’m looking at this and saying, “What if this was the greatest gift of time that I will ever get to experience?” I often hear couples that I’m coaching, folks that write into the show, “We’re too busy to do that,” or “We don’t have time to do this.” Now, I’m looking at this and going, “Okay, for the most part, everybody’s got time.” It may look slightly different, but sports schedules have been wiped off, and volunteering has been wiped off. All of these things have been wiped off our calendar.

What if you took the gift of time and said, “What is the rest of my life going to look like? What can I create in this space with my loved one, with my family to say this is the great reset?” All of these things that we thought we had to do, what our normal was, what if we get the opportunity now to choose differently? Yesterday, I was watching on Facebook, and their little guy had a birthday. I’m seeing more and more where there are these birthday parades now.

Yeah. My friend had one. I was so jealous because we are two days apart. She had her friends come over. They were in cars, and they were honking. I was like, where are my friends? Where’s my parade? Hello? Actually, I had the best birthday ever. We just had a beautiful little family gathering, and it was great. I made a chocolate cake that was to die for, so it was great.

But it’s those types of things.

One thing that happened to me too is I started baking. I never baked before. Pretty good.

There’s a gift. Maybe if you hadn’t had this time, you wouldn’t have started baking. Throughout this podcast, I’m hearing all about different food. I’m so hungry listening to you because I’m like there was the lamb stew.

I think I’m hungry too, that’s why I’m talking about food so much. I’m like ah, food.

If this hadn’t happened, you might not have chosen to do the Passover. You might not have chosen to do that meal yourself. As you said, I would’ve just gone somewhere else, or I would’ve celebrated with other people. There’s been a gift and even yourself being able to say, “You know what, I don’t have a choice, so what am I going to do?”

Let’s make whatever we can. You can choose to watch Netflix and binge or choose to take this precious time that you have and do whatever you can with it. Connect to your loved ones, connect to your friends, pick up a new hobby, or meditate. Make good changes. Make healthy changes.

Absolutely. All of it is a choice.

7 Days of Sex Challenge by Alisa DiLorenzo & Tony DiLorenzo

Or take your 7 Days of Sex Challenge.

We have had a few people, and it’s true. Tony and I wrote 7 Days of Sex Challenge years ago. You have a lot of time on your hands. A lot of people, like so many things we’ve talked about today, say they’re too busy with their spouse. You’d probably have seven days if you’re going to be at home, for the most part, why not? Why not make that a priority?

Where can they go to take this challenge?

You can find the book, and you can find the resources at 7daysofsex.com. We wrote a book. I know it seems like why do we need to have sex for seven days? Because you’d be surprised once you get into it that having sex for seven days in a row has so much more to it. There’s such a depth to the emotional connection, to having the creativity on each of those days, and doing different things. You can get all the details at 7daysofsex.com.

That’s amazing. Before we say goodbye, is there anywhere else that you would like people to go to? Maybe your Instagram, Facebook, or anywhere else?

You can find anything related to us at ONE Extraordinary Marriage. Our website is oneextraodrinarymarriage.com. You can find us on Instagram @oneextraordinarymarriage. We keep everything super simple that way, and we’d love to have you come and check us out.

You should. She is awesome.

Thank you.

What are your three top tips for living a stellar life?

I’ve said it several times today, (1) be intentional, (2) look for the gifts in all situations, and (3) stay connected.

Yes, love that. It’s so important these days. Thank you so much, Alisa. It is awesome to have you here. It was a really fun conversation. Thank you so much for being with us.

I loved it. I love to spend time with your audience. Thank you.

Thank you, and thank you, listeners. Remember to be intentional, look for the gifts, and stay connected. Please, stay connected and have a stellar life. This is Orion, until next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓} Keep the excitement in your relationship with your spouse. Staying together for a long time can get boring because life can get in the way. Your duty to each other is to keep the flames burning. 
{✓} Don’t believe in the media depiction of married couples. Often, rom coms and social media portray marriage as something that is all rainbows and butterflies. In reality, it’s working on yourself and your relationship day in and day out to strengthen your bond. 
{✓} Be intentional and always consider your partner’s best interests even during arguments. It’s vital to understand when you argue it should be with the intention of finding the best solution not to win over one another.
{✓} Put effort into your relationship. Let your spouse feel special from time to time by making sure you dress up for them during date nights or cook their favorite meal now and then. 
{✓} Don’t lose physical touch even in a non-sensual way. Show daily affection for each other by kissing each other goodbye whenever you head out the door or cuddling on the couch while you watch TV. 
{✓} Do activities that help you connect. Steer clear of your phones for an hour or two and just be present with each other.
{✓} Be creative with dates during the quarantine. Since it’s advised to stay at home, think of ways to spice up date night. It can be a nice backyard movie or an impromptu game night. 
{✓} Focus on the gifts, and not the material kind. Sometimes it’s easy to be annoyed with your husband when things get super busy, but don’t forget to be thankful for all the beautiful memories you have together. 
{✓} If necessary, seek help from guides, books, or even marriage counselors. A lot of us didn’t study or master how to be married that it’s okay to ask questions and seek answers. 
{✓} Visit Alisa DiLorenzo’s website to learn about her marriage tips and check out her book, 7 Days of Sex Challenge, if you want to spice things up.

Links and Resources

About Alisa DiLorenzo

As co-host of the #1 marriage podcast in iTunes, the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show, Alisa DiLorenzo speaks to a worldwide audience about sex, love & commitment. She and her husband, Tony, challenge listeners to make their relationship a priority. For the last 10 years they have equipped couples with tools and strategies to create their own extraordinary marriage.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.

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