If you’re reading an article about how to improve your marriage, you’re probably expecting to learn problem-solving strategies, communication techniques, and insights about gender differences. Do I have a SURPRISE for you!
The key to renewing your marriage is none of those things.
How do I know this? Because I experienced it!
Hi, my name is Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness, and unlike other relationship experts who approach the topic from a clinical perspective, for me marriage renewal is very personal. I’d like to share with you my story.
My wife and I started out deeply in love. I remember staying up all night talking, surprising each other with thoughtful gifts, and speaking to each other in code words. You know the feeling of really being connected? That was us.
But then something happened that destroys most marriages. We had a son who died when he was just one week old. And then we had twin daughters, who also died as newborns.
Understandably, my wife became depressed. I coped by immersing myself in work. We ran from each other emotionally.
Your situation probably was not so tragic, but something happened. What was it? How did you lose each other? Maybe you can’t put your finger on it, but things just aren’t the same, right?
For us, after losing 3 children, everything felt different. Instead of talking all night, it was a chore to talk for a few minutes. Instead of using our code words, we used curse words. Our relationship consisted of screaming matches and silent treatments.
Somewhere deep in our heart though, like you, we knew we didn’t want to lose each other. So we made a commitment to work on our marriage. Sometimes I tried and my wife didn’t. Sometimes my wife tried and I didn’t. We went through different stages of “trying.”
What did we try?
We tried the obligatory, “Honey, let me repeat what you said to make sure I understood you correctly.” We applied conflict resolution strategies. My wife learned about Mars and I learned about Venus. We even went to therapy to wrestle with our problems. But guess what. Nothing changed. Nothing worked.
All the advice we got (books, counselors, CD’s, whatever) asked us to face our problems. But that just made us feel worse. And fight more.
Then we had a breakthrough.
We decided to SET ASIDE OUR PROBLEMS and try to CONNECT with each other.
We used “POSITIVE relationship exercises” that transformed our marriage. Not only did we resolve our differences, we fell in love again! And we did it—not by dealing with our problems (as serious as they were)—but by establishing HEALTHY HABITS that brought positive energy to our relationship.
This is the solution to most marital situations! Believe it or not, the secret is to STEP AWAY FROM YOUR PROBLEMS and SPEND YOUR TIME AND ENERGY building your relationship through POSITIVE ACTIONS.
It’s counter intuitive, but if you strengthen your relationship, most of your problems will dissipate and what remains of them can be more easily resolved in a safer, softer, and more forgiving marital environment.
Before you deal with your problems, you first have to build good will with each other.
If your marriage is stressed, do NOT tackle your problems. If your timing is off, trying to solve problems with your spouse will damage your marriage and make it LESS LIKELY that you’ll ever find resolution.
If you have lower-back problems, sometimes the solution is to do sit-ups. Strengthening one part of your body can heal another. Your marriage works in a similar way.
Now you can see why my system for relationship renewal, Marriage Fitness, is fundamentally different from any other approach to relationship success. It’s not about conflict-resolution or communication skills because these are NOT the key to renewing a marriage. The key is NOT to fix what’s wrong. The key is to make new things right.
And there are, in fact, specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to make things right in your marriage.
Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable—you can “make” love.
Marriage Fitness offers you a step-by-step system to make and maintain love in your marriage. The program works for any marriage even if only one spouse does it. And the best news is that you don’t have to dig into your past, dredge up your problems, or practice communication techniques. This is not marriage counseling; it’s Marriage Fitness.
CLICK HERE to receive the FREE breakthrough report “7 Secrets for a Stronger Marriage,” a FREE confidential marriage assessment, and FREE information about the Marriage Fitness system of relationship renewal.
Author of Marriage Fitness