The Art of Having It All: Working Marriages

  1. How did you meet?  It was a memorial celebration for a departed friend. It was one of those things where we saw each other across the room and came together. We went out the next weekend and that was it. We’ve been together ever since. Ten years ago this month.
  2. How old were you then? Judith was 60 and Frank was 69. Actually being older and having a lifetime of experience really worked in our favor. Frank had been married three times and as a result he now knew what he wanted and what he didn’t want. Judith had only been married once but had many relationships and was looking for someone who knew the value of committed relationship and was willing and able to work through the problems that inevitably arise.
  3. Did any problems arise? After about a year of dating, Judith came down with cancer and had to undergo pretty severe chemotherapy. Frank’s last partner had died of heart attack, so he was asking himself “why am I attracting and loving women who can die?”  Judith was 96 pounds, bald, with no eyebrows and had chemo brain and was still trying to create this new relationship. So that was our first collaboration: how do we stay together? Even though there were some tricky times, the challenge wound up bringing us closer.
  4. How did you start working together? While Judith was doing chemo we began to talk about how we both wanted to help people find a fulfilling loving, sexual relationship. Frank had been studying love, sex and relationship for years and working with men. Judith had been counseling people in those areas for 37 years. Plus, with all our personal experience, we felt we had a lot we wanted to give people.
  5. What did you create? At that point we were talking to a friend who asked us how we could bring what Frank used to do into what we wanted to do now – which was to coach and teach about love, sex and relationship. Since Frank had been a fighter pilot we came up with Top Gun Love. Top Gun fighter pilots are always striving for excellence in what they do and we thought that the analogy really worked for learning how to be skilled in sex and relationships. We all want to have a great relationship that fulfills us, but there really isn’t a lot of training for that.
  6. What do you do? We felt that we needed to put all we had learned into a book. It started out to be laid out like a manual for a jet fighter. Section One, the most important, is Description and Operations. Then there are sections called: Normal Procedures, Emergency Procedures, Crew Duties, All Weather Operations and Performance Factors. We soon realized that it would take at least three books to cover all the information we wanted to put in it. So we started with hormones. Our new book,  “So THAT’S Why They Do That! Men, Women and Their Hormones” falls into the Description and Operations area because we think it’s really important to know how you and your partner are built and how you operate so that you can function effectively sexually and in relationship. Pilots must know this or they could crash if something goes wrong. It’s not like anything ever goes wrong in a relationship.
  7. How do you work together? We have the same vision. We collaborate on what it is we want to say and the direction we want to take. Then we divvy up the tasks depending on our strengths. Judith was also a visual artist, wrote song lyrics and screenplays, so she did most of the writing for the book and the website, and is in charge of anything visual. As a former flight instructor Frank loves teaching the theory, principles and practice of love sex and relationship, so he’s currently developing eCourses. He also studied film so he knows how to write, produce and direct our YouTube videos. Plus, he’s in charge of marketing.
  8. What are the challenges? Time and fatigue.  Since we both have day jobs, and we are working to create this new concepts to teach and coach people in love, sex and relationship, it take pretty much all the time and energy we have. It’s like launching a rocket into space. We are at the liftoff phase and there is a lot more work to do before we get into orbit, but we can see that it’s happening and we’re very excited. Having enough time to nurture the relationship is very hard to find.
  9. How do you nurture the relationship? We have a lot of rituals that we use. We take a few minutes every morning to tell each other what we love about each other. We call it our daily worship. Then at dinner we tell each other everything we did that day, blow by blow, task by task. That way we are in tune with what the other has going on in their lives, emotionally as well as physically. Then at night, before we go to sleep, we tell each other: what we are grateful for that day, what we liked about ourselves that day, and what we did for fun that day. We’re always are grateful for our relationship and what each of us is contributing to it.
  10. How do you cope with conflict? We use the principles we teach. We know that conflict is inevitable so we have some processes to deal with that. Something that we learned in our vast research for our book is the different way that men and women deal with upset. So we recognize those traits in each other and can deal with them more comfortably knowing it’s not a personal vendetta but simply an expression of that gender trait.  Also, because of what we do, if we have a conflict and are getting heated up about it, we remind each other and ourselves that we’re supposed to be the experts.  So, we need to handle it quickly and respectfully. Otherwise, we’d be hypocrites. It keeps us walking the walk.