(This article and the resources referred to below have been the starting point for over 2,000,000 people who have turned their marriage around.)
IT STARTS WITH CHARACTER
Some people wonder why they’re so well-liked at the office and amongst their friends, but not at home. I hear it all the time, “Mort. I have great relationships…except my marriage.”
This is a common frustration, especially among people in marital crisis. And a lot of people will use it as evidence that there’s something wrong with their marriage or their spouse.
In fact, it might be evidence of a different problem.
Someone once described to me their experience meeting Bill Clinton, years before he became President. They said that when he walked into the room, everything changed. They described him as electrifying. Charisma would be an understatement. Everyone loved him. Everyone wanted to talk to him. Everyone felt great around him. Everyone in the room would say he was the most likable person on the planet.
But now we know that there’s at least one person who would describe him very differently—his wife.
If you really want to know the depth of someone’s character, look at their relationship with their spouse and they’re children. They’re the ones who know them best.
Great people have layers of greatness and the closer your relationship the more you appreciate them.
The opposite is true of lesser people—initially, superficially they can be very impressive. But the closer you get, the more you’re exposed to their flaws, and the more your relationship with them will suffer because of those flaws.
People of substantial character don’t feel the need to impress you. They’re often unassuming, quiet, and humble.
People with less on the inside, on the other hand, often try to compensate with flash on the outside.
A tin can with one coin makes a lot more noise than one that’s filled.
Primary greatness is what we accomplish between the four walls of our home. Those accomplishments are directly correlated to the depth of our character. You can’t hide. You can’t fake it. There’s no salesmanship. More than any people on Earth, your spouse and your children know the real you, and what’s revealed will determine the quality of your relationships with them.
Secondary greatness is what you accomplish at work. You can get something done void of character.
So you see, it’s quite possible to be loved at work but not at home. And if that’s the case, you might want to take an honest look at yourself. Or, if that’s the case with your spouse, you need to learn how to get them to take an honest look at themselves.
To begin either process, subscribe to my free report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.”
If you prefer to learn more before subscribing, watch this video…
HOW TO GET YOUR SPOUSE TO CHANGE
THE #1 THING THAT HOLDS-UP RECONCILIATIONS
Do you think a lot about your marriage?
Is that an understatement? Is OBSESS more like it?
If you have marriage problems, you probably spend a lot of time and energy THINKING about your circumstances. You’ve probably analyzed your spouse, your marriage, and what happened to your relationship from every possible angle.
And the chances are good that others have weighed-in on your situation too. Have you discussed your problems with a friend, a family member, or a counselor?
An astute analysis of your relationship can be helpful. It sometimes leads to problem-solving ideas that work.
Talking about your situation can be helpful too. Most people find it therapeutic.
But sometimes the problem with thinking and talking about your marriage so much is that it becomes a substitute for DOING SOMETHING. Analyzing your marriage can be productive, but if you want change, there’s nothing like taking ACTION.
I once did a series of private phone sessions for someone who had been in therapy for over a year. In our first session, I asked what changes she and her husband implemented since beginning therapy. She said, “Well, no real changes. But I understand our problems much better.”
I call that “analysis paralysis.”
The great philosopher Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This is very true. But the unlived life is not worth examining!
THOUGHT and ACTION are like husband and wife. If you’re missing one, you can’t have a marriage.
Rigorous thinking gives rise to intelligent action. And action gives critical feedback for further thought. Ultimately, it’s the combination of the two that leads to clarity and a changed marriage.
Love is articulated in the vocabulary of ACTION. New thoughts and new words are useful when they inspire you to DEMONSTRATE new behavior.
You have to stop thinking about and talking about the fact that you want your marriage to change. Unless you take action, unless you do something, it won’t change.
Want to know exactly what to do? Subscribe to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.” It spells out for you specific steps you can take to reconnect with your spouse.
LISTEN TO INTERVIEW WITH NIA PEEPLES
I was interviewed by Dr. Russ L’HommeDieu and Nia Peeples. You may remember Nia from the TV show Fame or from Walker Texas Ranger or, more recently, Pretty Little Liars.
The interview covered a number of marriage crisis topics, including how to take a divisive issue and turn it into one that unites you.
You get access to the interview when you subscribe to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.”
HOW TO HEAL OLD WOUNDS IN YOUR MARRIAGE
When it comes to your emotions, there’s a big difference between being in pain and true suffering. What’s the difference? And how does this relate to your marriage?
Let me illustrate with a story.
There once was a man who was sentenced to 25 years of backbreaking labor. His wrists were tied to the handle of a huge wheel that was inlaid in the wall. His job was to turn the wheel 10 hours a day.
For years, day in and day out, the prisoner would wonder what he was doing with this wheel. What was the meaning of his work? What was on the other side of this wall? Was he grinding grain? Pulling up water? Moving some sort of conveyor belt?
For 25 years he contemplated the meaning of his work, and for 25 years he spun that wheel. It was grueling, but he survived.
When his sentence was complete he was released from prison. The first thing he did was run to the other side of the wall to see what he had been doing all this time.
What did he see?
There was nothing attached to the wheel. For 25 years, 10 hours a day, he was spinning a wheel for absolutely no purpose. When the man realized his true sentence, he collapsed and died.
The prisoner was able to survive 25 years of backbreaking labor, but when he realized that it was all for nothing, he couldn’t survive for another moment.
So what’s the difference between pain and suffering?
Pain has a purpose.
Suffering is true torture because it has no meaning.
Pain is bearable. Suffering for no reason is devastating.
Ask any woman about child labor. How was it? Would you do it again? Most women will answer: It was painful, but I didn’t suffer. I would do it again.
This is the key to surviving marital problems and making it through to a new love and peace with your spouse.
If you think there’s no purpose to your emotional hurt, you’ll just want out. You’ll run from your kids, your responsibility, your vows…you’ll run from it all just to get relief from an unbearable suffering.
But if you can come to understand why you’re in this situation, then you’ll succeed to make it through like a woman in child labor.
Why is this happening to you? What are you supposed to be learning from all of this? Can you see how your marital problems are really an opportunity for you and your spouse?
I remember when my wife and I were going through what seemed to be unbearable emotional pain as a result of the loss of our 3 children and our marriage problems. But now I see it all differently. Yes, we were in pain, but we didn’t suffer. And although I might script things differently if I were God, my wife and I now feel a sense of peace and happiness that we wouldn’t trade for anything. Yes, we lost a lot, but we gained each other and forged a marriage that has become a wellspring of joy in our life.
Since those painful times, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to lead thousands of people who are suffering in their marriage to a new peace and happiness with their spouse. I’ve found a way to do it even with the most difficult and unusual situations.
To get started in that process with me, subscribe to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.” In this report you’ll learn so much, including how to find meaning in your hurt and turn your pain into peace with your spouse.
FIGHTING FOR YOUR MARRIAGE
Mari Frank is a well-known divorce attorney who hosts a radio show called “Fighting for Your Marriage.”
Amazing, right? A divorce attorney trying to save marriages. I love it!
Anyway, she had me as a guest on her show and we talked for 30 minutes about how to turn your marriage around. We covered some good stuff that might help you.
You get access to a recording of the interview after subscribing to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.”
ONCE A CHEATER ALWAYS A CHEATER? SHOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER CHANCE?
A woman who just discovered that her husband cheated on her for many years recently asked me a great question.
She said, “My husband apologized 100 times, stopped his affair, and is committed to being a new man. I see he’s changed. But wouldn’t I be better off divorcing him and starting fresh with someone new?”
I can understand her point of view.
Right now in her marriage there’s so much pain, baggage, and a mountain of hurt to heal. The same is probably true in your marriage, whether the issue is infidelity or something else.
Is it possible to come back once the trust is broken? Can you heal from your ordeal? Or maybe it just makes sense to just start over with someone else?
Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.
In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.
According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.
Now let me ask you, at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.
Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.
If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.
Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.
I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.
In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.
Do you see the irony here?
The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.
So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.
In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!
The question is: how do you heal from your ordeal? How do you forgive? How do you get to the head-space where you’re able to give your spouse another chance? These are all questions I answer in my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.” You can subscribe here.
Or, if you prefer to keep learning, here’s a 3 minute video about an important lesson that everyone is marital crisis needs to understand.
DID YOU MARRY THE RIGHT PERSON
STEP 1 TO FORGIVE
The closer you are to someone, the more likely you are to step on their toes. And being married to someone certainly puts you in close quarters. So the chances are good that you and your spouse have sore feet.
Okay, enough of the smelly metaphor. The point is that it’s NORMAL for you and your spouse to err and for those “misses” to cause hurt…sometimes serious hurt.
Did your spouse hurt you? Have you made mistakes that hurt your spouse?
Except in the case of physical abuse, you can “move on” from anything. In fact, your marriage can end up even BETTER!
I know…you’re probably thinking, “Better? How could it be better than before we screwed up?”
It CAN be better, but you have to do one thing first. You have to forgive.
What does it REALLY mean to forgive?
Many people will say, “I forgive you,” but continue to harbor anger in their heart. Some people say the words, but it’s obvious from their actions that nothing’s changed.
Other people will say “I forgive you” but what they really mean is, “I don’t want to talk about this. I can’t deal with this. I’m turning you off.” And so the 3 magic words come out and form a wall that shuts out their spouse. True, they’re not angry, but that’s because they’ve shut down all emotion and refuse to reconnect.
Saying “I forgive you” is an entirely different ball game than truly forgiving.
Look carefully at the word “forgive.” It tells you what it means. “For-Give”…in other words, to GIVE as you did beFORE.
That’s true forgiveness. When you GIVE of yourself like you did beFORE you were hurt, then you know you’ve forgiven. When you stand as close to your spouse as you stood the day your feet got stepped on…that’s forgiveness.
That’s a step you can take today. Treat your spouse like you used to, even if they haven’t forgiven you. Show leadership. Take the first step. Demonstrate forgiveness.
For more details on how to do this, subscribe to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.”
And once you forgive, you’ll see that your marriage will be BETTER than it was before. You’ll be happy that the mistake was made (in a strange way) because you’ll realize that you would never have achieved the love you finally did without that mistake as your catalyst.
Did you know that when a broken bone heals it’s stronger than it was before it was broken?
You too can be STRONGER than before things broke down between you and your spouse.
Did you ever make love after a big fight? Did you ever think after you made-up, “Hey, this is great? We should fight more often.” (Ha Ha) Sometimes the highest-highs follow the lowest-lows.
Subscribe to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.” Don’t miss out on this free incredibly helpful information.
A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT MARRIAGE CRISIS
Filmmakers Toroes Thomas and Blayre Pichon from Out the Box Productions made a documentary that chronicles people in marriage crisis. The film is called Back from the Brink and you get free access to it when you subscribe to my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.”
HOW TO TALK SO YOUR SPOUSE WILL LISTEN
Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
It felt good to say that in elementary school, but was it true? No! The words did hurt.
The truth is, words do MORE than break your bones. They break your heart.
During a recent phone session, a husband said to me, “Mort, after she said bleep, bleep, bleep I looked at her and for the first time in our marriage I HATED her.”
Hate? Wow, that’s a strong feeling.
Isn’t it amazing how a few words can change everything?
“I want a divorce.”
“You’re just like my first wife.”
“You’re just like your mother.”
“I hate you.”
“You’re a loser.”
“You can’t do anything right.”
What have you said that’s been hurtful? What has your spouse said to you that broke your heart or poisoned your relationship?
In frustration or rage, people say the dumbest things and use the most obscene language. Even if you or your spouse didn’t mean to say it, once it’s said, the damage is done.
It’s like tearing open a down-pillow in a wind storm. You desperately want to get the feathers back, but they’re blowing in every direction. Like feathers of a pillow, hurtful words are irretrievable.
That’s why it’s so important for spouses to learn to control themselves and watch what they say. Start now.
You see, there’s actually a MARITAL reason you have 2 ears and only 1 mouth. It’s because you’re supposed to LISTEN twice as much as you talk. Imagine how different your marriage would be if you and your spouse did that.
“But Mort, I was just being HONEST.”
People think they can say anything in the name of honesty. But when you hurt someone with your words, it’s not honest; it’s stupid. And it’s insensitive. Start being smart and sensitive. Watch your words, carefully!
Truth (in relationships) is not just a statement that’s factually accurate. It’s a statement expressed with the utmost concern for another person’s feelings. That’s more than honest; it’s Truth with a capital “T.”
I’d love to share with you more about truth, honesty, and how to protect your marriage from destructive dialogue. In my FREE report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage,” I show you:
– How to express your feelings in a healthy way.
– How to know what you mean and mean what you say.
– How to say what’s on your mind without destroying your marriage.
– What does it really mean to be honest with your spouse?
– How to control destructive impulses and calculate your words.
– How to listen so your spouse will talk.
– How to talk so your spouse will listen.
– How to heal from past hurts and mistaken comments.
You can subscribe here. It’s FREE.
We unsuccessfully went to marriage counseling. I wanted to make things work but didn’t know where to turn. I found Mort’s program on the internet. I liked the alternative approach to counseling. Overall it has been a steady improvement.
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