06/26/2013 02:28 pm ET Updated Aug 26, 2013

6 Attitudes That Every Married Couple Should Have

Marriage can be an exciting experience between two best friends -- two lovers who share a heart-clenching journey of radical love, sometimes unspeakable joy and a deep, abiding passion. In fact, passion to the core, the kind that often takes you by surprise and leaves you wanting more -- feeds the spirit and grows the heart in ways often unimaginable.

Creating this kind of love becomes an adventure that takes courage but also action - the type that builds love, creates energy and sustains deep bonds between two partners.

This doesn't happen by accident. Rather, true, abiding love is built on a model of care and affection that takes skill, undaunted persistence and an intentional pursuit between two lovers to grow the marriage into all it can be.

We believe there are six attitudes that are crucial for married couples to develop and experience which will help love blossom and create a marriage filled with amazing experiences in and out of the bedroom.

#1 Potential - Our marriages have a unique potential to grow and to develop intimacy that's amazing. It takes creating a vision filled with wonderful possibilities, defined by two lovers who take time to spell out their future together. True growth, spiritual and emotional, happens as a result of planned success! Where you map out what you want from each other in terms of love, care and even lifestyle. What do you want out of marriage? What do you want from each other? What does closeness look like in the bond of love you create together? Take time to write down all your ideas, hopes and dreams and develop a path to get there!

#2 Presence - It is vital that each partner in marriage knows who they are -- what they have to offer in creating intimate, lasting connections with their mate and what challenges in their personality get in the way. Growing and bringing your "best" presence into the marriage makes amazing intimacy possible. It is vital, for example, to identify areas you need to grow in that will make you a more effective lover, listener and friend to your mate. Developing communications skills, managing your emotions better and bringing compassion into the relationship are often areas of focus that build love and lasting connection.

#3 Pursuit - So often, we get married and stop pursuing our mate as we did in dating. We don't reach out with love, care and concern and instead settle for complacency. Creating an amazing love with your mate means pursuing your lover with effort, passion and consistency - all the time - with the right ingredients that keep love alive.

#4 Pleasure - With pleasure, two lovers have a way to create fun, joy and passion with each other through all the stages of their life. Pleasure can happen both in the bedroom, with sex being center stage or out of the bedroom, with actions that ignite energy and bring positive experiences of joy between soul mates. Imagine learning how to please your mate with renewed sexual energy through the five senses and a focus on brining pleasure to one another physically. And picture learning how to touch each other's spirit out of the bedroom with all the ways you reach out through touch, through talk and specific actions that say "I love you with all my heart and soul."

#5 Affirmation - Intimacy that's truly amazing happens when two lovers learn how to affirm, care for and reach out to one another with positive affirmations - words and behaviors that say "I love you," and "You are my best friend," and "You are it for me!" These can happen every day and tell the true story of devotion and compassion between two lovers in marriage.

#6 Awe - We all need to commit to ideals and virtues that lift us up and that support our desire to reach out and consistently love our mate. Our need to connect with ourselves and our spiritual nature forms the basis for loving our spouse in hard times and good times as well. Awe takes us beyond ourselves in a way that motivates us to love boldly and with heart!

For more information on these six attitudes, Doug and Leslie Gustafson wrote a new book called Amazing Intimacy: Create a Spectacular Marriage In and Out of the Bedroom. This book is different from other books on the market because it covers everything a married couple needs to know about building exciting romance, sexual passion and true love. It helps people move from inaction to action - from an OK marriage to an amazing one. Amazing Intimacy can be purchased on

Doug and Leslie Gustafson's approach to marriage therapy and individual counseling for men and women focuses on growing relationships and solving personal challenges. They believe that true healing and growth comes from fully embracing wisdom, authenticity and truth. Their expertise extends to several specialties, including marriage counseling, sex therapy, addiction recovery services¸ overcoming sex addiction and individual counseling focusing on men's and women's issues. For more information on marriage or individual counseling, speaking engagements or workshops, call (720) 398-0720, or visit