Q & A with Ann Mainse 

See Hear Love: Ann, you have some surprising stats about marriage – let us in on these?

ANN:  We all know that statistics aren’t very encouraging when it comes to predicting a successful marriage.  In Canada a couple has a 40% chance of getting a divorce before they reach their 30th wedding anniversary, with the average marriage lasting 14 years.  But the good news is that if a couple both come from a stable home (where the parents actually worked on their marriage) then their divorce rate drops to only 9%.  And even if you’ve made mistakes (as we all have!) or are on your second marriage, you can start now to model for your kids what it takes to enjoy a healthy marriage… hard work, yes, but the pay off is definitely worth it!  By doing this you’re setting your kids up for success in their own marriages down the road.

See Hear Love: Ann, We’ve listened to Dr. Phil over the years and heard his advice… but what does he have to say about ‘divorce proofing’ your marriage? This is REALLY helpful advice for those who are not only married but those in SECOND marriages or in relationships after a divorce and separation?

ANN:  This is amazing to me!  Dr. Phil (yep, him!) wrote in his book, “Relationship Rescue” that if a couple regularly – prays together – their chances of divorcing drops to only 1 in 10,000!! Seriously!  And, yes, he even said it’s basically a way to “divorce proof” your marriage.  (I LOVE that!)  Why is that, you ask?  (I’m so glad you did!) J  When both of you regularly humble yourselves before God – together – you begin to realize that the world doesn’t actually revolve around you and your needs… that there is Someone greater who, while, yes requiring your heart… your will… actually gives more, loves better, accepts unconditionally, forgives freely, guides faithfully, woos continually, comforts tenderly… and that’s just for starters.  And His kind of love is available to each of us… and it’s the kind of love that, when practiced intentionally, leads to a marriage that will truly last a lifetime.  The key is that when each of you walk through life with God at the centre and acknowledge His centrality and invite His powerful Presence into your marriage daily, you’re taking the intimacy you share to a deeper level… and that’s something that life’s daily grind just can’t touch.

See Hear Love: Ann, your husband Ron recently found out something about WOMEN that was surprising? DO TELL?

ANN:  Ok… this is a GOOD ONE!!!  Ron and I have been married a very long time (will be 33 years this July) so you’d think he would know me pretty well.  I mean, come on, when you spend your life with someone day in and day out for that long there really is nothing left to learn, right?  Wrong!! Ron knows I love it when we talk.  Not the, “How was your day?” kind of talk (although that is important too) but the “How do you feel about that?” kind of talk (you know what I’m talking about!).  The kind of talk you have when you’re both relaxed and the kids are in bed and there is absolutely nothing else you have to do at that exact moment.  Yeah, that kind of talk. Well, while studying for a marriage enrichment certification course recently Ron came across a truth that, for him, totally put my need for those times in a whole new light.  Here it is…

The need for meaningful communication actually falls within a woman’s Top 3 Needs. And not only that but (and here’s the mind-blower) Meaningful communication has the same effect on a woman that SEX has on a man.  Let that sink in for a minute… I’ll wait.   There… isn’t that SO TRUE!!  While sex is totally enjoyable for both of you, there is something about meaningful communication… that honest and vulnerable moment with your spouse… that fills a need for a woman like nothing else can.  Thankfully, the light bulb has gone on and my dear husband now gets it.

See Hear Love: Ann, a MAN’S greatest need in your opinion? Cheryl? (hosts banter)

ANN:  According to marriage expert Jimmy Evans from Marriage Today, what a husband needs most from his wife is actually NOT sex… but honour and respect.  Honour is like oxygen to his soul and he WILL gravitate to that place where he receives the most oxygen (and I don’t know about you but I want to be the place that my guy gravitates to!).  So, how do we do that?  How does a wife show her man honour?  Simple.  And often difficult.  We show him honour by looking for the best in him… what attracted you to him in the first place… find even a hint of that and tell him you love that about him. Not hype.  Not flattery.  Genuine appreciation for that “thing” he does (whatever that “thing” is).  Build him up when you’re alone.  Build him up in front of YOUR family.  Build him up in front of your kids.  Build. Him. Up.  Even if you don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway because quite often a man will rise to the level of honour that his wife is showing him… AND (this point is crucial!)… HE WILL BECOME THAT MAN.

See Hear Love:  Tell us a little about Heart to Heart…

ANN:  At Heart to Heart Marriage and Family Ministries we are all about doing marriage God’s way.  That’s not to say we are perfect (definitely not that!) but that we are committed to conveying from the lessons we’ve learned over the years, sharing wisdom from others, and providing help to couples who are either in crisis or simply want to enrich the marriage they have through fun and engaging ways.  We conduct all day marriage seminars, host fun date nights, take couples’ road trips, host weekend getaways and more! We believe that whatever time you set aside to enrich your marriage will have a lasting impact, not only for today, but into the next generation as well. In fact, our vision is to see every marriage become a loving union that creates a safe family haven, building a legacy of hope for future generations.  We basically exist to establish, enhance and equip strong marriage and family relationships by sharing life-changing Biblical truths in creative and engaging ways using a variety of events and media, as well as personal marriage coaching.

The bottom line really is that we all have a 100% chance at a successful marriage if we do it God’s way.  And as He is invited, He has promised to stay with us every step of the way to help make that happen.