I’ve had the privilege to review Stephen and Misty Arterburn’s new book, The Mediterranean Love Plan: 7 Secrets to Life-Long Passion in Marriage. It’s been personal and is impacting my marriage. Here’s why.

The seven relationship principles in The Mediterranean Love Plan describe what I instinctually knew about life, culture, and relationships growing up in an Italian home. Steve and Misty’s description of Italian men and how they love women describe my Dad. My father is the son of Sicilian immigrants and has been passionately in love with my mom for 58 years of marriage.

Even today, at 86, he introduces her as his “mistress” and they tear up the dance floor when given the chance.

My husband and I at 25 years of marriage.

However, I wasn’t prepared that being on book’s launch team would impact my marriage so personally. The 7 principles address things I’ve longed for in marriage, especially in the early years: Connection. Intimacy. Acceptance.

The book is an extraordinary resource for couples wanting more than merely “surviving.” It’s a tool to help you go deeper with one another emotionally, relationally, and intimately.

The #TheMedLovePlan principles are ones I wish my husband I would have had years ago as we struggled with disconnection while raising four kids, working hard, and hurrying through life.

Why The Mediterranean Love Plan is Important

The Arterburns present cultural qualities of Mediterranean countries which deeply impacted them while vacationing in the region. Similar observations impacted me on a trip I took to Sicily with my parents.  These characteristics include:

  • The cultural balance of work and play and how it impacts relationships and lifestyle.
  • The confidence and beauty women convey, no matter what size, shape, or age.

     Beautiful Taormina, Sicily.

  • The appreciation of beauty, passion, and sexuality in a way that’s natural, subtle, and gracious.
  • The longing for a marriage filled with passion and joy as God intended.

The book is more than a practical how-to resource for making good marriages great. The authors lay out seven intrinsic, emotional, and spiritual principles we all crave in relationships but don’t know how to obtain. The 7 Secrets are:

  • Atunement
  • Playfulness
  • Savoring food (really!)
  • Enjoying Beauty
  • Creativity
  • Health and Longevity
  • Blending the Sacred and the Sexual

My husband and I are going through the book together. Even after twenty-eight years, we still have things to work on in our marriage. Our relationship is like the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Italian girl marries Mennonite farm boy. Talk about a clash of culture, faith, and family systems.

For many of us, marriage is bogged down by differing cultures, personalities, and lifestyles. Add to that emotional baggage each partner brings. Passion, playfulness, and connectivity get lost while raising kids, paying bills, and surviving another day in the rat race. Though my husband and I have a strong marriage, we’re constantly working at it. What I love about these 7 principles is that they aren’t work–they’re things to look forward to while building your emotional and physical relationship.

The principles are critical to a vibrant marriage. As a therapist, I’m aware how many marriages simply survive or derail for multiple reasons. That’s not what you long for when saying, “I do.” God intends for marriage to be as beautiful, colorful, and breathtaking at the French Riviera.

But a healthy marriage takes work. Hard work. The Mediterranean Love Plan is a tool to make marriage all God intends it to be for a lifetime–hard work, joy, and laughter all built around emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy.

No matter how long (or short) you’ve been married, you’ll want to get The Mediterranean Love Plan. The Arterburns put everything about a Mediterranean experience into a resource so each of us can live a passionate, loving lifestyle within our marriage every day.

I’m excited to build my marriage around principles my Dad just knows–how to be scandalously married to your mistress, even at eighty-six.


*These opinions are my own. I received a free sample copy of The Mediterranean Love Plan. 


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