Are You “Dissing” Your Marriage (right into a disaster)?

Are you Dissing your marriage?Let me just be clear that I have never been cool or hip enough to tell someone they are “dissing” me — at least not with a straight face!

But many people are doing that — dissing their marriage, with 5 different levels of “dis.”  Ending in a Disaster!

Think of these as layers — levels, headed toward deeper and deeper trouble.

And it all starts innocently enough, with disappointment.  It may be disappointment over what marriage is about, or disappointment with the spouse.  That opens the door to a deepening level of pain and difficulties, unless it is addressed at the earliest stages.

Here are the 5 Dis’s that lead to Disaster:

  • Disappointment
  • Disconnection
  • Distrust
  • Disgust
  • Disdain

So, let me ask again — Are you and/or your spouse guilty of Dissing your marriage?

Learn what happens at each stage, and how to pull back from the looming DISaster.  Listen below (and share, if it is helpful).

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By |February 10th, 2016|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

3 Problems With Marital Therapy (That Therapists Won’t Tell You)

3 problems with marital therapy, therapists won't tell you!Let me say it here, in writing:  I am NOT opposed to marital therapy.  I am quite concerned, however, on how marital therapy happens now.  I am concerned about the effectiveness of marital therapy.  And I am concerned for people who blindly seek out marital therapy, expecting it to help.

If you don’t know it, my training and background is as a marriage and family therapist.  I spent years, and several degrees, preparing to be a marriage therapist.

And I was pretty disillusioned to see how ineffective marital therapy, overall, has been shown to be.  Statistics are about the bigger view, not the specific therapist with a specific couple.  But from the overall view, according to meta analysis of studies, about 75% of people who go to marital therapy still divorce.  Only around 10-15% report a positive help.

Now, you see my issues.  Why, if this is the primary way of helping a marriage, is it so ineffective?  Three reasons:  1) Therapist training, 2) Therapist orientation, 3) Client resistance.

Listen in to this podcast to understand the issues.  Then, you can make a better choice about whether therapy makes sense, how to find a good therapist, and how to make sure you and your spouse are truly ready for therapy.

(And if you aren’t, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do!  That is why I created the Save The Marriage System, and why we offer Relationship Coaching.)


By |February 3rd, 2016|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

Try A NEW Marriage Model!

Find a new model of marriage.We all have ideas, “mental models,” of what things are and how things work.  Those models tend to change over time, both throughout history in in your own life.

A great example is marriage.  Did you know that several millennia back, a marriage was a property transfer?  A man needed help, a wife and kids.  So, the man made a deal with another family, paying that family a “dowry” for that woman.  She (and the kids) was property.

Did you know that same model is still true in some areas of the world?

If you are reading this, that is not likely to be your model of marriage.  Over time, western culture has shifted through several other models of marriage.  Some were utilitarian — a marriage was designed to be a place to have a family and be secure.  Some were more about companionship — to have someone by your side, throughout a lifetime.

More recently, we have arrived at what some relationship theorists have called the “self-expressive marriage.”  We live in a self-expressive world, where if you feel it, you do it.  Follow your passions.

Let me be very clear:  I am all for personal growth.  I am all for a fully engaged and fulfilling relationship.  Unfortunately, we have taken this “self-expressive marriage” and turned it into “self-gratifying marriage.”

There is a vital shift that seems to happen shortly after marriage for many couples.  You probably married because you wanted to show your spouse how deeply you loved him/her.  Many couples (how about you?) then make a subtle shift, asking “How are you showing me you love me?”  Said slightly more cynically, that amounts to “What are YOU doing for ME?”  Thus, the self-gratifying marriage, and one major side-effect:  when it is no longer gratifying, it is time to leave.

New mindset leads to new results.Is there, perhaps, another model for marriage?

Yep.  Marriage can be the stage for growth, relationally and personally, when we take that on.  Life is all about growing — or stagnating.  Are you growing?  Is your relationship growing?

Learn more about the new model in this week’s podcast (Listen Below).


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By |January 27th, 2016|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

End Your Dance of Hurt and Blame

End the dance of hurt and blame.Hurt.  Blame.  Hurt.  Blame.

The dance goes round and round, each person dancing the steps.  That dance isn’t fun.  But it certainly seems to be a popular dance for couples!

Every relationship has its unique “dance,” and both people generally stick to the same steps. . . until it doesn’t work anymore.

Then, the marriage can easily lapse into trouble.

Unless you decide to change the dance.

Since we are on this dance theme, many people tell me, “Well, it takes two to Tango.”  True.

And if you are married, you two are dancing.  In other words, the dance is already in progress.  But you know what?  In every dance, someone can choose to “lead” in a different way, choose to dance some different steps.  And maybe even decide to change the music and dance a different dance entirely.

Tired of the dance you are in?

Stop the “dance of blame and hurt!”

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By |January 20th, 2016|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

4 Marriage Crisis Mistakes To Avoid

4 marriage crisis mistakes to avoid.A marriage crisis doesn’t ever start as a crisis. It may start as a deficit in action or understanding, inattention, neglect, or some small altercation.

But it can spread over time, engulfing the entire relationship in crisis.

Many times, people tell me, “I should have taken action long ago, but _______.”

Fill in the blank with:

  • “I didn’t know what to do.”
  • “I didn’t know we were in trouble.”
  • “I was afraid to do anything.”
  • “I was afraid I would make it worse.”
  • “I shouldn’t be the one who has to do something.”

Mistakes along the way begin to escalate the marriage problem, until it is a full-blown marriage crisis.  Then what?

Then, you have to avoid these 4 mistakes.  (My bet is that the first mistake has already been made.)

Learn what the mistakes are, and how to avoid or correct them.

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By |January 13th, 2016|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

How To Make Each Day A New Start

New year, new you; new day, new way.We tend to love the “new.”  A new outfit, new car, new year, new whatever.  It always feels like a fresh start, full of possibilities.  But the newness tends to fade fast.  Then, it is just another outfit, just the car you drive, just another year.

Take that car, for example.  If you are like me, that first ding or dent changes something.  That first stain or damage takes out it out of “new.”  Oh, sure, you keep the car.  But it loses a little of the allure.

Unfortunately, the same is often true with relationships.  A new relationship, without all the history, the hurts and laughs, can seem to be the easiest way.  But it never has the same depth, the same “soul.”

I have this scar on my leg that reminds me of that huge wipeout on a skateboard when I was 13.  I still remember the pain (I don’t remember the actual accident, thanks to cracking my head on a cinderblock).  But I also remember the epic run that led to the accident.  That scar tells me a story (and certainly didn’t keep me from skateboarding!).

Relationships are like that.  We find strength from the struggles.  We find comfort from the joys.  Together, they can knit a powerful relationship.  But too often, we just get mired down in the pains, ready to walk away.

We have to find some way to hold onto the relationship, but release the pains.

One way is to see each day as a new beginning, a new chance.  Not just to keep making the same old mistakes, but to create something amazing.

So, why isn’t each day a new beginning?  Because we stay trapped to the past.  We don’t move forward in new and better ways.  We end up reliving the same day, over and over.

We have a chance to embrace each day as a new opportunity, for ourselves and for our relationship.  In today’s episode, I tell you the 6 steps to take, in order to make each day a new way.

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By |January 6th, 2016|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

New Year, New You in 1 Word

New Year, New YouHere we are, on the cusp of a new year.  Just another day.  But in another way, a whole new day and whole new year.

No matter what this year has been for you, time to let it go and move forward.  We spend way too much time looking back at what has been.  That keeps us from truly looking forward toward what will and can be.

Let the last year stay behind you as you turn the calendar page.  Let’s move toward something new.

Who you were is someone you never have to be again, unless you want to be!  Otherwise, lets choose a new direction in the New Year.

If you are waiting for a lesson in making New Year’s resolutions, look elsewhere.  I used to do that.  I would end up with a list of 5 to 10 resolutions, made completely sober, that would fall one-by-one during the first few weeks of January, each year.

One word.

That is all you need for your change in this year.

One word.

Listen for how I do this, and how you can do the same (along with a few suggested shifts in perspective).

What is YOUR word?


By |December 30th, 2015|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

Holiday Edition: Ghosts of Relationship Past

The Ghosts of Relationship Past.Christmas Eve.  Chris and Holly have settled into bed.  Neither can sleep.  It is not, however, sugarplums dancing in their heads.

Both are replaying the arguments and hurts of the past.  Neither feels connected, although both are desperate for that warm embrace each used to treasure.

What happened?  Where did their relationship fall into trouble?

Can they find their way back?

First, they will have to make it through a night of haunts, as the Ghosts of Relationship Past visit them this night.

Are they the same ghosts that haunt your relationship?  Is there a path through the pain?

Listen in as Chris and Holly face the hauntings of their relationship.

By |December 23rd, 2015|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

Confusion or Connection?

Confusion or connection?Last week, on four separate coaching calls, I listened as a client said, “I’m confused.”  The client would then describe some behavior from a spouse that was causing my client to feel confused.  Maybe they had a good interaction, but an hour later, things went south.  Or perhaps they had a warm conversation before bed.  But in the morning, the chill had returned.  Or maybe the spouse was talking about working on things, only to say a day or so later, “This just won’t work.”


Understandable, right?  Understandable, but not helpful.

Generally, once someone is confused, they are far less effective in connecting.  It seems it is a choice between confusion and connection.

Don’t be confused.  That is not where you want to focus your energy.  Learn why to not focus there, and how to re-focus.

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By |December 16th, 2015|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments

Break Your Agreements!

Break your agreements!Yep. Just break your agreements.  All of them.

No, not your agreement to take out the trashcan, clean the house, bring home the paycheck, pick up the kids, or some other agreement you have WITH your spouse.

Break your agreements you have ABOUT your spouse.

Your agreements are your beliefs you have “agreed” with yourself about.  They are beliefs you have, and remind yourself of, that you have of your spouse.

Perhaps you believe that your spouse is controlling or angry or distant or cold (even frigid) or rejecting or. . . any other belief you have.

You “agree” with yourself about these beliefs.  Without really finding proof or evidence, you decide that these beliefs are true, just by agreeing with yourself.

BREAK those agreements!  They do not serve you or your relationship.

Listen below to learn more.

And then join me in the Save The Marriage System.

By |December 9th, 2015|Save Your Marriage Podcast|0 Comments