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The Save The Marriage Podcast

English, Education, 1 season, 231 episodes, 3 days, 17 hours, 40 minutes
About
Learn the secrets of saving a troubled marriage, and the methods to improve any marriage. Join Dr. Lee Baucom as he explores practical ways to save a marriage. Gain the understanding and tools you need in order to successfully solve your relationship problems with love and respect.
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Dealing With an Indifferent Spouse

For awhile, I have been answering listener-submitted questions, and continue to do so in this episode (if YOU want to ask a question, send it to [email protected]). This week, I respond to a couple of questions about a spouse's indifference and/or resistance to attempts at connection. It can be frustrating when you so desperately want to rebuild a marriage.  Maybe your spouse claims to want the same.  Maybe your spouse just doesn't respond much at all.  A little conversation... that goes nowhere.  Or attempts at conversation... that go nowhere.  It can feel frustrating and defeating. How should you understand the situation? What can you do about it? Can you make progress? We discuss these questions (and more) in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES 3 Step Process 3 C's of Doing It Importance of Connection When Spouse Can't See A Way Resentment and Anger Save The Marriage System The Connection Compass
4/3/202427 minutes, 7 seconds
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3 Failpoints You Face

Where could your efforts fail? Those are the failpoints. They can trip you up and make you think nothing will work in your efforts. But let me be clear.  They are potential failpoints. They are not inevitable. Failpoints, in engineering, is caused by stress on a particular point. In machines, a particular piece is stressed long enough that it finally gives. It breaks. In marriage, there are also potential failpoints -- caused by stressors on different points in the relationship. In this episode, I cover the three big failpoints that you face in your efforts... along with me talking about how to avoid the failpoints.   RELATED RESOURCES My new resource, The Connection Compass My Save The Marriage System Podcast episode: 3 Reasons Your Efforts May Fail Podcast Episode: 4 Failing Fears  
3/27/202417 minutes, 13 seconds
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Milestones and Markers — 500 Episodes!

When I started this podcast over 10 years ago, I wondered how far we would go. Well, here we are on episode 500, with over 5.25 million downloads to far. And at the same time, I celebrate 58 years on earth. A couple of milestones I wanted to mark, for sure! Which raises the question from a listener, on what I have learned in life. I’ll share 5 big things I’ve learned in my trips around the sun. But before I get there, I thought I'd tell you how I got here:  500 episodes of the podcast, a number of books and online courses, and lots of coaching.  How did I end up in this world, in this profession? And why do I keep at it?  I have long said that my job was to put myself out of business.  It won't happen.  But that is always my goal.  Until then, I'll keep showing up to help people build better marriages and have better lives. Thank YOU for being part of this journey!   RELATED RESOURCES: My Save The Marriage System My New Training Resource, The Connection Compass My Books The Husband Bootcamp The Field Guide To Marriage
3/21/202422 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Trick to Saving Your Marriage

Let's just say that the bumper sticker, "I used to be cool," has nothing to do with me. I was not cool. I was more the nerdy kid. And to be honest, I'm not sure I have really outgrown that. In my teen years, I was a magician. My friends were magicians, jugglers, clowns, ventriloquists, and carneys. I even started a magic club at my high school. And no, the cool kids did not show up for it. Ever. But I will tell you one thing about magic:  it taught me a ton of life lessons... and a ton of psychology! I still recall those lessons to this day. I probably learned more about humans and perception in my performing than I ever did in my psychology courses. I also learned lessons of perseverance and practice. That is the only way to master sleight of hand. I still rely on that to this day. Which is why I am always interested when people ask me about the "trick" to saving their marriage. They want some little technique, some "sleight of mind" that will shift their spouse. But more than that, there are some other lessons from magic that I watch play out. For example, people can come up with the most complex idea about how to do something. They complicate some simple things... in magic tricks and in life. And particularly in marriages. In this Save The Marriage Podcast episode, we discuss the problems people create in their attempts to find the trick to saving their marriage.     RELATED RESOURCES: My new free resource, The Connection Compass My Save The Marriage System My books A training on The Dangers of  the Shortcut
3/13/202419 minutes, 45 seconds
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Facing FACTs

Sometimes, just a hint or trick will do it.  Maybe you want a trick or hint for an online game.  Or even a trick for a better pancake.  A hint for a better pushup. But hints and tricks won’t work for saving a marriage. Which is what I try to explain when I get the daily emails and voicemails, just asking for a hint or trick.  Nothing wrong with asking.  But the answer is, “you need more than a hint or trick.  You need an approach.  You need a system.” But you also need a starting point, a way to get beyond the stuck point.  Most people just don’t know how to start, so they start with hints and tricks.  And then they realize there is more to this, more to the crisis. When people tell me that they had a great marriage “until a week/month/year/___ time period ago, when ___________ happened,” they are missing that the seeds of the crisis were planted long before. And that is why we need to fix the underlying issues, address the underlying problems, and rebuild in a sustainable way… for a long-term marriage. In this episode of the podcast, I use the acronym from Gay Hendricks of FACT.  We will FACT out your marriage crisis and get you moving forward. Pay attention to the choice of path (3 W’s), and your action plan (3 C’s) in order to make a real shift as you face the FACTs of your crisis. RELATED RESOURCES Connection is Vital You Need a Plan 3 C Approach 3 Levels of Connection Save The Marriage System The Connection Compass  
3/7/202422 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to Get Help for Your Marriage… and Mistakes To Avoid

Your marriage is in trouble, and you know you need help. But what type of help?  And how do you know if it is the right help for your marriage?  Tough question.  And I can't answer it. But I can help you get the answer. I created a guide to help you find the best help, whether it is therapy, coaching, a retreat or workshop, or an online course.  I tell you the pros and cons of each, along with the ways to find the right fit for you and your spouse. In this podcast, I do tell you how to grab that resource.  But more importantly, I tell you about four big mistakes people make... even before they get started with getting help.  These mistakes can cost you the possibility of even utilizing help.  At the very least, they make the process more difficult, and they make your spouse even more resistant. Let's cover the mistakes and get my report to you, so that you can find, get, and use the best help in saving your marriage. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Are You Helping or Hurting Save The Marriage System The Connection Compass - join for free to get the special report
2/28/202414 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Connection Trap

I know. I say it all the time. Connection is crucial -- even critical -- for the health and survival of your marriage. But what if there is a trap... a Connection Trap? Guess what? There IS! On this week's podcast, I answer "D's" question about their stuck place. She names what she thinks are the 3 C's that must be there for a strong marriage. She names Commitment, Connectivity, and Chemistry. Those aren't bad choices. They just set a trap. A trap I want to warn you about! But first, let me make it clear:  I wholeheartedly agree with commitment.  It is the guiding star for any marriage.  And it is critically important for guidance as you navigate your marriage crisis.  It can keep you pointed toward safe-harbor while you work on healing. The trap, then, is with the other two.  No, I am not against connection (it is at the heart of my approach in my System).  I get concerned with how people expect connection to work.  And that is the trap.  Chemistry is another complicator to the trap. Listen in below as I discuss The Connection Trap. RELATED RESOURCES Healing Disconnection -- Resources to Help "Space" and Connection The Connection Principle The Save The Marriage System
2/21/202420 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Pause Problem

The Pause Button.  You didn't know you hit it.  But you probably did. "We'll get back to each other after the kids/ promotion/ travels/ hobbies/ events/ friends... (well, you get the idea)." AFTER life, we will get back to love. There is only one problem.  Relationships are either growing or receding, strengthening or weakening. There IS no pause. When you hit the Pause-Button, you are... even without realizing it... choosing the path of disconnection. Then, when you go to UN-pause, you look at each other, strangers.  Disconnected. In this episode of the podcast, I tell you why pause is such a problem, and point you to a path back. RELATED RESOURCES The Pause Button Marriage Connection in Marriage Surviving Disconnection Communication in Marriage Save The Marriage System
2/14/202420 minutes, 41 seconds
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7 Complicators to Your Efforts to Save Your Marriage

Saving your marriage is important. But not always easy. Isn't that a truth in life, though? What is easy is rarely important. And what is important is worth the effort. There are some things that can make your process of saving your marriage a bit more complicated though. Not impossible. Just more complicated. While there are others, I cover seven different complicators in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  If you feel stuck, you may want to see if one of these complicators is tripping you up... and what to do about it! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Stops Along The Way to Divorce Why Connection is So Important Can It Even Be Saved? The Save The Marriage System
1/24/202423 minutes, 21 seconds
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Dealing with Depression and a Marriage Crisis

Many people are struggling with depression.  And they find themselves in the midst of a marriage crisis. So, what does depression mean for those situations? How does depression affects a marriage.  Does depression cause a crisis? Or do people get depressed because of the crisis?  Or... and this is more central to the question... how do you deal with depression and a marriage crisis? Depression is a reality for many people.  And depression is a part of a marriage crisis many times. The question is how you move through both crises:  depression and a marriage crisis. In this podcast, I discuss the effects of depression, some thoughts about causation, and how to deal with the depression while addressing the relationship crisis. RELATED RESOURCES Beat Depression Series Showing Up In Marriage Connection in Marriage Save The Marriage System
1/17/202427 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Ghosts of Your Relationship Past

Do you settle down with a good book you have read over and over this time of year?  I read my kids the exact same Christmas book every single year.  And many years, I re-read a classic for myself… like A Christmas Carol.  This year, I offer you a redux of a prior podcast episode… about the Ghosts of Your Relationship Past.  Yep.  Christmas, with new opportunities.  Here it is: 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? But first, they 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.
12/20/202314 minutes, 28 seconds
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Stuck in the Negative

Several podcast listeners have asked why a spouse only remembers the negative, or only dwells on the negative.  Why don't they remember the good times or see the good things? Why does it feel like they only see the negative? Over the years, I have noticed this as a recurring and common issue in your efforts to save your marriage.  A spouse's thoughts just stay on the negative.  Maybe thinking about what is going on now or remembering what happened then.  (Memories are just current thoughts about past events -- not accurate representations of the past.) Since this is such a common phenomenon, I thought it might be good to cover it in a podcast episode. If your spouse is stuck in the negative (or you find yourself stuck in the negative), let's look at the reasons it happens... and what you can do about it! RELATED RESOURCES Book:  How To Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps (I have a chapter on changing limiting beliefs) How's Your Attitude? Hope and Stockdale Paradox Where To Focus "The Last Straw" Going Pro Program: Save The Marriage
12/13/202323 minutes, 6 seconds
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Dealing with Disrespect and Boundaries

"A" has been trying to set boundaries with her husband.  Trying to get the treatment she deserves.  Trying to get the relationship to a healthy spot. But then, her spouse throws a little shade her way... rolling eyes, using a demeaning tone.  What should she do to set a boundary on that?, she asks In this case, A has a good hold on what to do when, say, her spouse raises his voice or calls her names.  But what about those less-clear actions -- using a "you're so stupid" tone (note that this requires you to read a tone... not always a good thing to try). Sometimes, boundaries are clear.  You know how to set them.  I even have a whole chapter on it in the primary module of Save The Marriage System. But when it is more subtle... a little harder to pin down.  And a little harder to call someone on.  What about that? I cover it in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Setting Boundaries Boundaries and Control Healing Hurt Expectations and Agreements Conflict Save The Marriage System  
12/6/202321 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why You Can’t Force Connection

Surely you can convince your spouse to work on your marriage… right?  Yes, your marriage is in crisis.  But if you say the right thing… or say it in the right way… or convince, beg, cajole, argue, and somehow shift their thinking, then you can save your marriage.  Right? Not so fast. Usually, all of the above leads to more resistance.  Not less.  It does not lead to connection and healing, but more stand-off.  More insistence that nothing can be done.  That the marriage is beyond repair.  And that the only solution is dissolution. So, if begging, arguing, convincing, and cajoling won’t work, what will? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, we explore the concept of force, and how to shift it toward your goal of saving your marriage. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Don’t Convince Working on Connection Book:  Beyond The 3 Barriers Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Save The Marriage System
11/29/202329 minutes, 3 seconds
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Dealing with a Heavy Holiday — in the midst of a marriage crisis

When life is hard, Holidays can feel heavy.  When there is a marriage crisis, it can be tough to muster the energy to even move forward — especially when all the commercials and movies push the “merry and bright” of a mythic holiday. And here we are, on the cusp of the Holiday season!  It cuts across nations and beliefs.  The season is here. A client recently told me, “I just want to crawl into bed and get up on January 2nd." What a loss!  No chance to find the deeper meaning of the Holidays.  No chance at connection, re-connection, and healing. Her real desire was to avoid pain.  But her solution did more than avoiding pain.  It avoided life, and all it offered. My suggestion:  deal with the heavy Holidays in a way that brings depth, connection, and healing, by engaging in the holiday. I have 5 suggestions on dealing with Holidays in the midst of a marriage crisis.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Gratitude and Marriage How Gratitude Can Transform Your Marriage Ghosts of Marriage Past Holidays and Marriage Save The Marriage System
11/21/202316 minutes, 11 seconds
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How the Created Past Hurts Your Marriage

Sounds so philosophical, doesn't it?  Your "created past."  What is that? We all do it.  We remember things based on our emotional state, not on what happened. When someone hurts us, we think back on the other times they hurt us.  When someone is kind and loving, we think back on the other loving times. When a couple is connected, they remember connection.  When they are disconnected, they remember disconnection. We rewrite the past, based on the present situation.  Usually, we just think about how the past led to the present. But where we are forms what we think about where we have been. If you are wondering why your spouse can't remember the happier times, can't remember the passion, can't remember the connection, this is it.  The memories are being selected and created based on the current pain and disconnection. Let's talk more about this in the podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES: Connection And Marriage Perceptions In Marriage Fears In Marriage Restore Your Marriage
11/15/202317 minutes, 36 seconds
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Are Things Improving?? How do you know??

Phil asked, "How do you know you are making progress?"  And perhaps fearing that the signs point the other way, he also asked, "how long is long enough to be trying before it is unhealthy for me." Those are two great, if somewhat polarized, questions.  They point to fears of not being able to save a relationship.  What to look for?  And what to do if those signs are not there? This can be a bit like staring into the crystal ball... or asking the magic mirror.  But these are such important questions that I wanted to answer Phil's questions... at least as much as I can.  There are lots of dynamics and subtleties to a marriage and a spouse, it can be hard to be precise. But I want to discuss some signs to look for, both in when there is progress and when it is becoming unhealthy. Listen in for details in this episode of the podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Confusion or Connection Showing Up Having a Plan Spouse Is NOT The Enemy Save The Marriage System to Guide You
11/8/202322 minutes, 42 seconds
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Take These 3 Steps To Save Your Marriage

You want to save your marriage (or you wouldn't be here, right??). But you may not know what to do. Most people don't. I mean, let's face it:  most people don't do a lot to prepare to be married.  Maybe a little pre-marital counseling.  Perhaps a weekend event.  Or maybe you read a book.  But that doesn't really cut it, does it?  Most people find that out when they hit a problem. They often discover that they didn't really understand how to have a good marriage, much less how to fix a hurting marriage.  But we can change that! In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I tell you 3 steps you can take, with or without your spouse's involvement, that can start the process to saving and restoring your marriage. No, they aren't hard, nor complicated.  They are, however, important.  So listen in and take action. Listen below.   RELATED RESOURCES: Why Communication Isn't The Issue Why Connection Matters How Therapy Can Cause MORE Problems Why You Need A Plan Here is the Save The Marriage System
10/30/202317 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why Your Spouse Can’t See A Way Forward

We all have limiting beliefs.  You... me... and your spouse!  I always work to change my limiting beliefs.  You are probably doing the same.  But you can't just change your spouse's limiting beliefs! What is a limiting belief?  It is a mostly-FALSE belief.  But more than that, it is one that keeps you stuck... unable to see bigger possibilities.  Potentials for change. Mostly, limiting beliefs are about what CAN'T happen, what is NOT possible. Even when there are possibilities. Even when things CAN change. If someone can't see a way to move forward, they are unlikely to be willing to try to move forward.  So, they stay stuck.  And if it is a spouse who can't see forward on saving your marriage, it can keep YOU stuck, too! In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss what to do when your spouse's belief is "if a marriage was meant to be, it would be easy."  I also address several other false/limiting beliefs... and what to do about them. Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES Survival Series What Happy Couples Know Showing Up Save The Marriage System  
10/12/202322 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Road to Divorce: 8 Stops

Just to be clear, people don't simply end up divorced.  They don't go from a loving, connected marriage to a painful, hurting divorce.  There are some stops along the way. As people progress along the path to divorce, they have some options along the way, to either take the off-ramp or jump back on the road.  And the further along the road they go, the harder it is to turn around, to turn back toward the marriage. But what if I were to tell you that even at the last stop, things can still turn around?  You can still turn things around. More than that, what if I told you about those 8 stops along the way?  Because most people aren't even aware that they have blown through the first one, two, or even three, without even realizing it! In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I tell you about each stop... and the options of the off-ramp.  Tune in to hear and to find where you are. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: 7 Stages of Disconnection The Pause Button Marriage Why Connection Matters Grab the Save The Marriage System
10/4/202318 minutes, 54 seconds
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The 7 Stages of Disconnection

The shift from connection to disconnection happens when people (inadvertently) hit the Pause Button on their marriage. It isn't ill-intended. It usually just happens in the busyness of life. Still, relationships, in general (and marriages, in particular), do not do well being paused. Because they don't "pause." They atrophy and recede. (SEE MY PODCAST ON THIS RIGHT HERE) But being simply disconnected is not the end of the story. It is actually the beginning of the arc of disconnection.  And yes, it is on the other side of the arc of connection. Unfortunately, this arc tends downward, with accelerating speed and momentum.  It is painful, frustrating, and ever-more difficult to turn around.  Can you turn it around?  Yes.  It just takes more time, effort, and resources, as it approaches the end. And just how many stops are there on the arc of disconnection? I highlight 7 in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. This episode is the audio from a recent video I released.  (If you would rather see the video, you can GO HERE to watch.) I reveal each of the 7 stages of disconnection, the dangers of each, and how to make a shift away from the stages.  If your marriage is stuck in disconnect, listen in to discover your stage, and the off-ramp that heads back to connection. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES The Pause Button Marriage You are a Team Resources to help heal Disconnection Save The Marriage System
9/27/202320 minutes, 24 seconds
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Why You Aren’t Getting Started

Many people tell me how they WANT to save their marriage (they really, really do), but they aren't DOING it.  They can't seem to get started with their efforts.  Yes, they know the clock is ticking.  Yes, they know it is important.  But getting started... doesn't happen IF someone WANTS to save their marriage, then WHY CAN’T THEY GET STARTED? There are several typical reasons why people get stuck and can’t get started.  And there are some issues beneath these reasons that must be addressed, one way or the other. I cover the problems and issues in this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES "Can I Even Save My Marriage?” “What If I Can’t Save It?" Why Does It Matter? Working on It Alone Healing Your Anger Save The Marriage System
9/20/202320 minutes, 32 seconds
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Are You Showing Up??

We all "show ourselves" in our interactions with others.  Sometimes, we truly Show Up, bringing our best self to the relationship. Other times, we bring an angry/resentful presence to the table.  Other times, it might be a cold/distant presence.  And still other times, it might be a needy/desperate presence. As you may have guessed, an angry or distant or needy presence rarely serves the relationship or the improvement of a relationship. Maybe you think you are just responding to what is coming your way... that you are just following your spouse's lead... or the lead of the world around you. But we all get to choose how we will Show Up. We get to choose how we want to be, who we want to be, in all of our relationships.  We don't have to leave it to reaction or fear, resentment or hurt.  We can choose how and who we will be in life. How do YOU Show Up? Listen for how to Show Up the way you want to! RELATED RESOURCES 3 C's of Saving a Marriage Forgiveness and Marriage Apologies and Marriage How To Really Show Up Grab The Save The Marriage System
8/16/202321 minutes, 46 seconds
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When Your Spouse Has Lost Hope

Has your spouse lost hope in your marriage's future? You want a warm and loving relationship, but it has had a rough patch.  You see a way forward, but your spouse can't see it.  If that is the case, then you need a way forward.  The first stop is dealing with the hopelessness. How important is it? Incredibly important!  Humans do not do well with feeling hopeless.  Any bit of hope helps us to move forward.  But when we lose all hope, we lose our way.  We give up.  We wander around.  And we deepen the crisis. What do you do about the hopelessness?  How do you avoid falling into it? On this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I cover what to do when a spouse loses hope.  We discuss what hope is, how to recover hope, and how to stay hopeful yourself. (This is the audio version of a video you can see RIGHT HERE.)   RELATED RESOURCES Hope vs. Hopelessness Crisis Clarity Book:  Beyond the 3 Barriers Save The Marriage System
7/19/202324 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Perception/Connection Trap

It is not about "communication," no matter what you hear (from friends or a therapist).  Most people communicate just fine.  They have another issue:  perception.  How they perceive each other, that is the bigger issue. And then the trap is laid. Perception and connection.  They create a downward spiral (unless you escape it) that traps you into a fall into disconnection. I call it the Perception/Connection Trap.  You have perceptions of each other (that are always at least partly fictional), and you have some level of connection.  When your perceptions of each other are poor (negative), your connection begins to falter.  When you are feeling disconnection, your perceptions grow more negative.  Which leads to further disconnection.  Which leads to further negative perceptions. The spiral downward. The bad news is this pattern traps many couples into a painful marriage crisis. The good news is that you can escape the Perception/Connection Trap.  And the great news is that you can use the reverse of the cycle to re-grow the connection and the relationship. Learn how in this week's podcast trying (and if you find it helpful, please use the SHARE buttons below). RELATED RESOURCES Connection Tools & Resources Happy Couples Do Differently:  Connection 7 Stages of Disconnection 5 Communication Errors You May Be Making Why We Don't Change (And How To) Save The Marriage System
7/12/202325 minutes, 56 seconds
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Apology ≠ Forgiving

We all have hurts from close relationships -- and especially in marriages.  It is impossible to be in such an intimate relationship and not bump into each other (in hurtful ways) over and over.  The problem is when the hurts don't heal. Bumps, they happen.  Continued pain and hurt from the bumps, that doesn't have to happen. Yet, many times, I watch couples dragging the hurts around for way to long.  Weeks, months, even years.  Not noticing the damage that is happening to the relationship along the way. There are two parts to the process of healing:  apology and forgiving.  But, and this is important, they are not dependent upon each other.  They are separate.  Sometimes, people lump them together.  And while they are related, one does not link to the other. You may apologize and the other person, for example, may not forgive you.  Likewise, the other person may not apologize, and yet you still choose to forgive. Let's talk about each of these processes and why they are not related... and why that is important.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Hurt and Blame How Hurt Keeps You Stuck Book: The Forgive Process Anatomy Of An Apology Why To Forgive Save The Marriage System VIP Virtual Coaching
7/5/202320 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Blame – Shame Trap

Do you ever feel like you are dancing with your spouse... and not a fun dance?? Most of the time, couples get into habits.  They both know the steps, and they just keep going through them, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.... No, the dances aren't particularly helpful.  And yes, we keep dancing them, anyway! One dance that many couples fall into is the Anger-Blame-Shame 3-step.  And that particular dance?  It keeps on repeating.  Except that the anger grows.  So does the blaming. And so does the feeling of shame!  "Why can't I/we figure this out?", they wonder. And then, they dance it again. How can you stop the dance?  How can you find better steps?  Better ways of moving through life? That is the topic of this podcast episode (listen below).  I tell you about those dance steps and why we do them... along with how to make a shift. RELATED RESOURCES Show Up Anger and Resentment (Yours) Anger and Resentment (Your Spouse's) Stepping Up The Save The Marriage System
6/28/202326 minutes, 52 seconds
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Derailed? Why and what to do…

When a marriage crisis hits, people kick into gear!  They dig in and work on their relationship. Many times, they start to see results.  Things are turning for the better.  The relationship is warming.  Things aren't quite so hostile. But then.... They get derailed.  Thrown off-course.  Lost in the crisis. Not surprisingly, any gains made are quickly lost.  Things become even more tense and fractured. Why did they get derailed?  Four reasons:  Distracted, Distanced, Doubtful, and Discouraged. I go into each of these... as well as how to avoid falling into the trap and getting derailed... in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast.  You can listen below. RELATED RESOURCES You Need A Plan Can Your Marriage Be Saved? When Is It Too Late? Your Fail Points Book:  The Marriage Fail Point Save The Marriage System
5/31/202322 minutes, 8 seconds
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Saving your marriage… 2 dangerous approaches

I just googled, “how to save your marriage.”  There were 607,000,000.  Over 1/2 a billion results! How do you sort through them?  How do you find a real approach, from someone who knows what they are doing? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. And the problem is, some approaches do more harm than good.  And many times, you don’t even know who it is that is giving you the information.  What are their qualifications?  How do they even approach it? I started my website in 1999 (THAT makes me feel old! — so last century!), before Google even existed.  And to be honest, there weren’t many places to look for stuff.  I remember when Google started.  That same search, “how to save your marriage,” might get a couple hundred results.  Still a lot. But far more manageable. With all that info, you are likely to feel overwhelm.  Which means that some people will do absolutely nothing, not sure where to start.  Others will try to do absolutely everything… also not sure where to start, but thinking everything is better than nothing.  And others will stumble upon approaches that do more harm than good.  There are two that are particularly prevalent.  And at best, not helpful. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I give you 3 criteria to use in judging any information, and I dismantle 2 common (and dangerous) approaches to “saving” your marriage. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Reverse Psychology as an Approach No Contact is Crap Why I STILL Believe in Marriage Why I do this Work Therapy Problems Save The Marriage System
5/17/202322 minutes, 48 seconds
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Changing… and proving it

Things hit a bad spot in your marriage… and your spouse isn’t sure about staying or leaving the marriage.  Sure, it may have been a relationship issue, but you may be feeling blamed. It’s pretty common to go looking for the “bad guy” in any situation.  And even if both of you are in pain and frustrated, you may be wanting to stay.  While you may be able to point to things your spouse needs to change, you can probably see that approach is unlikely to get you very far. And noting the relationship problems?  That might “fall on deaf ears,” too. Which means you may just be catching the blame. And maybe you even agree with the critiques aimed your way.  Maybe you even agree that there are some changes you need to make. Now what? Yes, you absolutely want to make the changes. Maybe to prove you can.  Maybe because you know you would be a better person for having changed. Here is the problem:  Change is hard, and rarely straightforward.  When we make any significant changes in life, we are highly unlikely to hit 100% success.  Every now and then, you are likely to fall short.  You are likely to drift back into old habits, old actions, old responses. That doesn’t mean you have failed.  Only that change is often a journey. But those slips?  They will absolutely be seen as failures by a suspicious spouse who is not trusting the changes (or even your capacity to change). And that is the problem with change. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I cover some questions about this that were submitted by listeners.  Take a listen below! RELATED RESOURCES: We Change When We Change When Your Spouse Doesn’t Believe “I’ve Changed” and Other Things Not To Say Why Your Spouse Doesn’t See The Change Responsibility Formula Save The Marriage System  
4/26/202327 minutes, 44 seconds
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Finding the Energy to Continue

“I’m just out of energy,” she told me, “I don’t think I can even try to save my marriage.  Besides, what is the point?" Let’s face it:  right now, many people are feeling exhausted and drained.  And working to save a marriage can be tiring when the world is rightside-up.  Much less when everything feels upside down! Many people feel pulled in so many questions… but when something is important… as important as marriage… why does it get shifted down?  Relegated to the “left over energy,” if there is any? There are some underlying reasons why it may feel like there is no more energy… and it isn’t really about not having energy. More importantly, there are some things you can do to do an “energy reset.”  Make a shift… then save your marriage. I cover the underlying issues and the way to solve them in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Self-Care Series Dealing with Fear Having a Plan Simplify your Efforts Save The Marriage System
4/12/202326 minutes, 41 seconds
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“I need space!” — that’s tough!

So many marital crises start with this phrase, "I'm not happy."  In panic mode, a spouse reacts and things get worse. The next step is often, "I need space."  But that is even scarier!  And in panic mode, a spouse reacts and things get worse. Maybe an in-house separation.  Maybe a full separation.  Emotional separation becomes physical separation. All from a spouse stating an emotional state of concern:  "I'm not happy." One part of dealing with a marital crisis is dealing with "emotional space."  It is crucial to understand emotional space. In this podcast episode, I want to discuss why that emotional space is so difficult to manage.  Why do people get sucked into taking actions that cause more issues?  Why do people find it so hard to give a spouse that requested "space"? We discuss why "space" is so hard on this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Where is the Gap? Fears and Marriage Boundaries in Marriage How To Show Up Save The Marriage System
3/29/202318 minutes, 7 seconds
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Enemies, Victims, or….

Roles.  We all have them.  We all play them. Some are "identity roles."  They identify us in the role.  For example, I am "son," "father," "brother," "husband." Some are "function roles."  They identify what we do.  For example, I am "coach," "therapist," "author," "speaker,"  and "podcaster" (among others).  They tell you what I do, what role I play in life. Then there are "attribution roles."  They try to describe why we do something. And it is in the arena of attribution roles that I want to focus some attention.  Because those attributions, both on ourselves and others, can serve to keep us stuck.  And keep others stuck in the roles we attribute to them. Two very toxic roles are the roles of Enemy and Victim. To be clear, there is a difference between being a victim of some circumstance and playing the role of Victim. And to be crystal clear, no matter what has happened in your marriage to this point, you are NOT Enemies.  That is a role that you may assign.  But it will keep you stuck. Listen in to this podcast episode for more on avoiding these roles... and what to do, instead. RELATED RESOURCES: Being On The Same Team How To Be A WE Dealing With Anger Showing Up Save The Marriage System
3/22/202325 minutes, 10 seconds
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Dragged Under

Every marriage crisis starts as a crisis of an individual.  As it expands into the marriage, the question is whether you, the spouse, will get pulled under by the crisis. Have you ever tried to save a drowning person? This can be kind of like that.  Get too close, and they will drag you under with them.  Their desperation will overcome any sensible decision.  Running purely on terror, they will flail, grab, and pull at anything that is nearby... and anyone. And when someone is in crisis, it can certainly feel like drowning... even with no water (other than tears).  The desperation is there.  The flailing is there.  And if you aren't careful, you can get pulled under. One person in crisis is enough.  Two people multiples the complications and difficulties in recovering the relationship. Don't allow yourself to get pulled under. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss 4 rules to keep from getting pulled under. RELATED RESOURCES Your Spouse Is Not The Enemy Conflict In Marriage Control What You Can Save The Marriage System
3/15/202326 minutes, 21 seconds
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4 Failing Fears

You've decided to save your marriage. You start the process, maybe even make some progress. Then, BAM!  You hit a wall. A wall of fear.  Fears that sabotage your efforts, pull you back from your plan, get you to give up. But those fears do not have to be the end of your efforts.  In fact, those fears need not do anything to your efforts.  Fears and actions are not the same.  Fears are fears.  Whenever we base our actions on fears, we give them too much power. When you are working on saving a marriage, there are 4 fears that strike many people... and they may just hit you! And then, you have to decide whether the fears stop your efforts or if they are just "background noise." Which will they be for you? Listen to the podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Relationship Fears 3 C's of Saving A Marriage Why Save It? Facing Fears and Moving Forward Save The Marriage System
3/1/202319 minutes, 58 seconds
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It Isn’t Just About Romance

Since Valentine's Day is passed and the hearts have come down in the stores (except in the clearance area), we can face a reality that confuses many people. “Our marriage is broken,” she told me.  “We don’t have the passion anymore, so I don’t think we should stay married.” Missing passion… is it the end of marriage, or something else? Most relationships are sparked by infatuation.  Call it passion or romance, but the desire to be with that person, that overwhelming attraction, is a building-block for a long-term relationship — including marriage.  It is, though, not the goal. For most, that part of a relationship is a stage.  It naturally cools over time.  This is just the nature of an attraction.  It tempers over time.  Which means that we can get back to the rest of life — the parts of life that get disregarded in the heat of passion. Does that mean you must just let romance and passion fall by the wayside?  Not at all.  You just can’t count on it as the focus. Unfortunately, people often judge a marriage dead because the passion is missing. Also unfortunately, they haven’t nurtured the passion and romance.  The fact that it disappeared is more a reflection of the damaged connection than a sign the marriage was not meant to be, or has irretrievably failed. I discuss the Passion Paradox in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Love Is Not Effortless Does Romance Kill A Relationship? Where DID Those Feelings Go? Save The Marriage System
2/15/202325 minutes, 1 second
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Is a Marriage Intensive for You?

Recently, more and more people have been asking about "Marriage Intensives."  If you aren't familiar, these are often week-end (and sometimes week-long) events with lots and lots of (usually therapy) sessions.  The theory is that an intensive treatment is needed to save a marriage. Often (but not always), they are run by therapists.  Either they come to you or you go to them.  And then, you "hit it hard."  You may do multi-hour, multiple times per day, sessions over the days you spend together. The plan is to send you home, having resolved your issues and all fixed. If that is something you have (or are) considering, please take a listen to the podcast, as I talk through these approaches.  I am hoping I can help you make an informed decision.  And if you have already been to one, listen in to see if you think I am accurate.  I'd love to hear your experience. Listen in below as we discuss whether a marriage intensive is for you.   RELATED RESOURCES The Dangers of Therapy Am I Against Therapy? How to Guarantee Therapy Fails Save The Marriage System
2/8/202322 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Marriage Murdering Myth

There are lots of myths about marriage.  But there is one myth that comes up over and over.  In fact, the trap for this myth is set at the very early stages of every relationship. The question is whether you step into the trap or not.  Will the myth trip you up and start the deterioration of your marriage?  Or a better question:  has it already damaged your marriage? How is the trap set? Think back to the beginning of your relationship.  The early days.  When you were so happy to have found that "one."  Remember how giddy it felt to hear from that special person?  How happy you were to see each other?  How much better life seemed?  It was intoxicating. And plays directly into this myth. This myth is all about marriage and happiness... and the role of a spouse. Listen to this week's podcast to understand this myth... and why it is so dangerous! RELATED RESOURCES: The Goal Of Marriage Being A WE Other Myths of Marriage "I'm Not Happy" Save The Marriage System
2/1/202318 minutes, 40 seconds
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Sharing Power

It’s a partnership.  Right? Right? Well, in any partnership, there has to be a way to make decisions.  And how a couple makes decisions reveals how they balance power (or don’t balance it). Not every couple will balance it in the same way.  But trouble comes when the two people in the couple are not both in agreement and on-board with how power is shared. Many arguments and disagreements are either fueled by or end in a power struggle. And when decisions are made without a feeling of shared buy-in, those decisions rarely get us anywhere useful. In fact, when one person feels left out of the decision, it is unlikely that the outcome will serve the relationship — if it succeeds at all! So, how DOES a couple share power.  How DOES a couple make decisions that both feel good about? In this episode of the podcast, I discuss how couples can do a better job of sharing power with Dr. Wyatt Fisher.  A Licensed Psychologist, Wyatt draws on his clinical work and his own marriage experience to answer how couples can better manage power in their relationship. Listen in as I pick Wyatt’s brain about couple decision making and power sharing. RELATED RESOURCES: Wyatt’s Website Being a WE Are You a Team? Lee’s System
1/18/202335 minutes, 39 seconds
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Helping or Hurting??

You've been working on saving your marriage... and you aren't seeing the traction you want.  Or maybe is just isn't moving as fast as you would like. Sometimes, it can take more time than you think or want. But are there times that your efforts are doing more harm than good? Are there times you are hurting, not helping, your relationship and your chances at saving it? Yes. There are common situations I see in my coaching, where someone's efforts to save a marriage are actually doing more harm than good.  Interestingly, people make the same mistakes others have made. More interestingly, they are easy to see when they are pointed out.  And more importantly, they can be corrected, once you can see them. So, let's talk about the times when people do more harm than good in their efforts to save a marriage. RELATED RESOURCES Importance of Connection Stop Chasing Apologies and Forgiving You Need A Plan Show Up Save The Marriage System
1/4/202321 minutes, 35 seconds
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A-ha Moment or Slow Turn-Around?

You’ve been following my 4 C’s to work on the 3 C’s of saving your marriage, right?  (Hang with me if that seems like gibberish — just me trying to make it simple.  I explain it in this episode/) Maybe you can see some ground you are gaining, progress you are making. Which may lead you to wonder how this all turns around.  Will it be all-of-the-sudden, in an “aha” moment, or will it be a slow, steady climb to normality and love in the relationship? It is a great question.  And one that “D” sent to me, hoping I would respond on the Save The Marriage Podcast. And I did!  I cover it on this week’s episode. RELATED RESOURCES 3C Approach 4th C Will It Turn Around? Book: How To Save Your Marriage System:  Save The Marriage
12/14/202219 minutes, 17 seconds
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Staying Together for the Wrong Reasons??

I’ve been answering listeners’ questions on the Save The Marriage Podcast.  And in this episode, I pull together a repeating question about “Should we stay together because of this Insert Bad Reason Here?" Several people told me they were still married, just for the sake of the kids.  Several told me that their spouse was still there because they could not afford to separate, much less to divorce.  And some told me they stayed married just to avoid having to hit the dating scene.  And then, there is that anxiety of “what will people think?”  So, they stay together. But is that enough, they ask?  Should they only stay together for these “wrong reasons?" You can make a perspective shift and use those “wrong reasons” to get you to the right place in your relationship. I cover 4 ways to get there in this episode of the podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Connecting Changing Conflict Convincing - don’t! Save The Marriage System  
12/7/202220 minutes, 24 seconds
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Your Spouse Isn’t…

Many times, I have someone telling me what their spouse should be.  How they should act, what they should do… and what they should do, particularly, for the spouse.  Rarely are they telling me what a spouse is, but should be. There is an immediate problem (or a few) right there.  You see, “should” is based in shame and expectation.  And we don’t use it when someone is doing what we want.  It is when they are not. As I have discussed in other episodes, expectations almost always end badly.  It is a dead-end street that does nothing useful for any relationship.  But especially a marriage! I often watch couples (or one spouse) struggle with wanting things a spouse cannot give.  And when that happens, it slowly moves a marriage to hurt, resentment, disappointment, and even disdain. All because of an expectation that can’t be met. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I look at 5 things a spouse is NOT (and cannot be).  Then, we spend some time discussing what a spouse CAN be (once you get past the disconnection and hurt). Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Is Your Spouse a Teammate? Are You Living in Expectation? Why Does Connection Matter? Who are YOU for Your Spouse? Do You Need Help?
11/30/202221 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Next Phase: Chronic or Thriving?

Has the crisis in your marriage passed… but you aren’t sure where things are now? Well, that would put you in good company!  I have been asking for listener questions, and noticed this was the theme for quite a few. What’s the theme? The immediate crisis has passed.  The separation or divorce is off the table.  The affair is over.  The spouse has returned to the home or bedroom.  For most, communication was much improved.  For many, lots of things had improved. Several told me how they had used my program and were closer now than ever before. But…. And this is where there is often some diversity of answers.  Things felt stuck/stagnant/in limbo.  Physical contact and connection was still missing.  Trust was still struggling. In other words, they had left the crisis phase of things, but were now in a chronic phase. The marriage was not fixed.  It just was no longer on life-support. So, what now? Well, I discuss it in this episode of the podcast.  You can listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Crisis and Chronic Dangers of Tea Leaves 3 C’s Approach My Books My Save The Marriage System
11/16/202224 minutes, 34 seconds
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Is It Too Toxic??

You probably know that I'm on the side of your marriage.  I'm all about saving a marriage. But does that mean that EVERY marriage will be saved, or even should be saved? No. First, there are times when BOTH people want to leave the marriage.  At that point, there is nothing that WILL save the marriage.  There has to be energy from AT LEAST one person, in order for anything to change. Second, there are times when the toxicity level is high, creating a toxic situation for the spouses.  In fact, there are 3 times when it MAY be too toxic.  And there is 1 time when it absolutely too toxic to work on the marriage. Let me tell you 5 symptoms of elevated toxicity, 3 times you may need to step back, and 1 time you definitely need to step back from the marriage. RELATED RESOURCES: Domestic Violence Help Anger & Resentment Coping Issues And Marriages Save The Marriage System
11/9/202222 minutes, 19 seconds
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The Dangers of Emotions and Decisions

It's a false belief in our culture that we need to "trust our gut" and "follow our emotions."  Emotions change.  Feelings shift.  And we can't even say what our emotions are, much of the time. Sure, you can feel an emotion.  But tell me what it is?  What it means?  Why it is there right now... and might be gone in 5 minutes?  Or tomorrow? Let's be clear:  a hurting marriage is painful.  Conflict is tough.  Not connecting with someone close to you is frustrating.  But does that mean that it is time to give up and walk away?  What if your emotions are all over the place, making you feel like you need to give up and walk away. Is that a reason to give up? Notice:  "feel like" is seen as a "reason." Many people tell me they just need to "follow their emotions."  I remind them that there is a group of people who do this... children -- around 3 years old!  Because they think that the emotion is truth.  They are angry, so they throw a fit.  5 minutes later, the anger is gone, so they are happy to play.  Until the next upheaval. Part of maturity is recognizing that emotions are temporal.  And we don't have to react to an emotion.  We can choose our response. Especially around things like marriage.  Important things. Listen to this podcast episode to learn more. RELATED RESOURCES Anxiety-Anger Anchor "Why Does It Hurt So Much?" Addicted To Blame Expressive Or Avoidant 3 Relationship Killers The Save The Marriage System
11/2/202219 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why “Limbo” is a Lie

Do you feel like you are stuck in limbo?  That crazy spot where you can’t move forward, but aren’t ending things?  Is it a spouse who has you stuck there? Well, that was the situation for “J.”  He wrote me because his spouse could not decide on whether to stay or go, work on things or walk away. He told me he was stuck in Limbo, didn’t know what to do, and didn’t know how to get his spouse to work on the relationship. What should he do?? I respond to J’s question in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  And it may just be where you find yourself, too.  Not able to move forward, but not ready to walk away. How do you deal with “Limbo”?  We discuss it.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: 3 C’s of Saving Your Marriage 3 A’s in Your Control 3 Levels of Connection Save The Marriage System
10/26/202222 minutes, 22 seconds
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Midlife Marriage Crisis and Connecting

Mid Life Crisis… the butt of many jokes.  And a crisis for many marriages!  I have seen several studies that challenged whether there is such a thing as a mid life crisis.  I don’t find many of my therapist or coach friends wondering that.  We see it every day. And I see the strain a MLC can place on an already-hurting marriage.  If the marriage is disconnected already, a MLC turns into a MLMC (mid life marriage crisis).  Which often leads to compounding issues, like an affair. What can you do, if your spouse is having a mid life crisis?  And what if it is complicated by an affair? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss what a MLC is, when it can become a MLMC, and what to do in response.  Even if there is an affair. (Why this episode?  Because a listener asked.  If you have a question — a Goldilocks question, as I discuss in the episode — you can send it here.)   RELATED RESOURCES: Mid Life Crisis Series Why Connection is So Important The Pause Button Dealing with Affairs My Book:  Recovering from the Affair My Program:  Save The Marriage
10/5/202220 minutes, 10 seconds
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Stuck in Questioning??

Are you stuck questioning whether your spouse is the RIGHT spouse, whether your love is REAL, whether there is someone ELSE, or maybe your spouse is being unfaithful? That is often very normal. To a degree. It is entirely normal for people in regular, normal, healthy relationships to have questions that just pop up from time-to-time.  That is just what our brain does.  It tosses out “bait” of thoughts, to see which ones you bite on (which just sets the hook) and which ones pass.  Which ones you LET pass. And there are times, when a relationship is toxic, that you have those thoughts because your mind is trying to get your attention — to get you to ACT. And then, there is a third category.  When those thoughts become obsessive.  When they keep you stuck.  There are some clinicians that refer to this as ROCD — Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The problem is, those 3 points can be, ummmm… less than clear. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I answer a listener’s question as a way of jumping into thinking about thoughts.  When does it matter and what can you do about it? Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Thinking about Thoughts Relying on Commitment Save The Marriage System My Books
9/28/202225 minutes, 5 seconds
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Mistakes Were Made (Now What?)

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t do things perfectly.  I make mistakes. Okay, I’ll admit it:  I DO know about you.  You make mistakes, too.  And how do I know?? We ALL make mistakes!  Especially when we are doing things that are tough, important, and stressful.  And when we don’t know what we are doing, anyway. And I’m pretty sure that saving your marriage is tough, important, and stressful.  Oh, and if you are like most people, you don’t really know what you are doing (if you did, you wouldn’t be here — on this page or with a struggling relationship). So let’s just assume that you have made some mistakes.  On this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, we talk about what to do.  I cover questions from two T’s.  Different questions, it would seem.  But at their core, they are very similar.  So, I give some info that applies to each situation, and then we dive into what to do when mistakes are made. And they WILL be made! Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES What NOT To Do The 4 C’s Why Things Aren’t Turning Around Staying In It When You Feel Like Quitting Save The Marriage System VIP (If you have the System)
9/21/202223 minutes, 4 seconds
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Hot & Cold

Hot and cold.  That is often what I hear people describe.  About their spouses.  One minute/hour/day/week, there is warmth and connection… things seem to be improving.  And in the next minute/hour/day/week, the cold returns.  Distance and dread return.  Are things going south?  Is this the time when things don’t turn around? And then… the pattern repeats again. It can through you off your efforts, discourage you, even tempting you to give up. So, what is that all about, anyway? “M” is in this very situation.  She wants to understand it, so she knows how to respond (not react, but respond).  It may be YOUR question, too.  Especially if your spouse did what M’s spouse did:  Gave the “ILYBNILWY” speech (“I Love You But Not In Love With You”) I explain what is going on here, and what to do about it.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Confusion or Connection 3 C’s 4th C Don’t React Save The Marriage System My Books
9/14/202220 minutes, 2 seconds
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When to Talk?

You’ve taken steps to save your marriage.  And it seems to be working!  Things are improving.  The ice is melting.  Perhaps you are treating each other better, maybe even laughing here and there. And perhaps YOU took some big step — like writing the apology letter the way that I recommend.  But you also know that when to talk — when to address the issues — is a big concern.  If you ask too soon, do you risk a setback? A podcast listener recently sent in a question about that.  Her anxiety has been building about their progress.  She can see the signs.  But what about that “elephant in the room?”  Is it time to address it? In this episode of the podcast, I respond to “S” to bring some clarity to the question, “When to Talk?" You can listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Save The Marriage System My Books What NOT to Do The Importance of an Apology
9/7/202218 minutes, 35 seconds
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Taking Back the Hurt

We all do it.  We say something in the heat of the moment… and feelings get hurt. Sometimes, though, that can be the “last straw,” that final tap over the edge that leads to crisis.  For a listener of my podcast, “R,” that is what happened. He wrote me, asking, “how could I take back the strong/attacking/hurtful words I said to my wife." I answer him in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. But before I answer that specific question, I go into some dangers of separation (they ended up in an “in-house” separation).  And I pull apart the myth of “work on myself OR work on the relationship." As is often the case when I respond to an email question, this doesn’t just apply to R.  It may very well apply to YOU! (Oh, and by the way, if you have the “Goldilocks question” — not too broad, not too specific, but just right — send me your question for possible answers in future podcast episodes. I tell you how in the podcast episode.) You can listen to the episode below. RELATED TOPICS: Apologies Forgiving Working on Yourself Dealing with Separation Save The Marriage System
8/31/202212 minutes, 21 seconds
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Limiting Beliefs Blocking Your Spouse

We all have limiting beliefs.  You... me... and your spouse!  I always work to change my limiting beliefs.  You are probably doing the same.  But you can't just change your spouse's limiting beliefs! What is a limiting belief?  It is a mostly-FALSE belief.  But more than that, it is one that keeps you stuck... unable to see bigger possibilities.  Potentials for change. Mostly, limiting beliefs are about what CAN'T happen, what is NOT possible. Even when there are possibilities. Even when things CAN change. If someone can't see a way to move forward, they are unlikely to be willing to try to move forward.  So, they stay stuck.  And if it is a spouse who can't see forward on saving your marriage, it can keep YOU stuck, too! In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I respond to JJ's question about how to deal with her spouse's belief that "if a marriage was meant to be, it would be easy."  I also address several other false/limiting beliefs... and what to do about them. Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES Survival Series What Happy Couples Know Showing Up Save The Marriage System (Have a question you want answered on a future podcast?  EMAIL ME HERE -- let me know if you want me to use a pseudonym!  Make sure the question is one that can help others.  I'll try to answer!)
8/4/202222 minutes, 37 seconds
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You are NOT Enemies!

Roles. We all have them. We all play them. Some are "identity roles." They identify us in the role. For example, I am "son," "father," "brother," "husband." Some are "function roles." They identify what we do. For example, I am "coach," "therapist," "author," "speaker," and "podcaster" (among others). They tell you what I do, what role I play in life. Then there are "attribution roles." They try to describe why we do something. And it is in the arena of attribution roles that I want to focus some attention. Because those attributions, both on ourselves and others, can serve to keep us stuck. And keep others stuck in the roles we attribute to them. Two very toxic roles are the roles of Enemy and Victim. To be clear, there is a difference between being a victim of some circumstance and playing the role of Victim. And to be crystal clear, no matter what has happened in your marriage to this point, you are NOT Enemies. That is a role that you may assign. But it will keep you stuck. Listen in to this podcast episode for more on avoiding these roles... and what to do, instead. RELATED RESOURCES: Being On The Same Team How To Be A WE Dealing With Anger Showing Up Save The Marriage System
7/13/202225 minutes, 10 seconds
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Can a Marriage Turn Around Quickly?

Lots of people have asked me how long it takes for a marriage crisis to turn around... for the marriage to start heading in the RIGHT direction.  Does it take days?  Weeks??  Years??? I often tell them that marriages in crisis can often turn around amazingly fast. That doesn't mean YOUR marriage will.  But it often does happen. Why is it that a marriage can feel like it is on the edge of collapse, and then seemingly come back to life overnight? It all has to do with a basic human need that we all have.  It is the central part of a marriage, and goes so deep that when it is missing, it is painful.  When it is restored (the right way), it is immediately healing.  Listen below for why marriage turn quickly (and why the don't). RELATED RESOURCES Connection is the Lifeblood There is no Pause No Manipulation Healing Disconnection Save The Marriage System  
6/29/202221 minutes, 33 seconds
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Crisis Clarity

Nothing gets your focus and attention like a crisis.  But sometimes, that Crisis Clarity isn't so helpful. Let's backtrack just a minute.  What is Crisis Clarity? Just for a moment, let's assume that you have had a sense that something was not right with your marriage.  Maybe you asked about it.  Or perhaps you just hoped for the best -- that things would turn around, settle down, and get on-track. Then suddenly, the crisis emerges.  You learn about an affair.  Your spouse gives you the "love you, not in love with you" speech.  Your spouse wants to separate.  You get divorce papers.  Or... fill in the blank ____________. It is no longer a theoretical problem. It is a full-blown crisis! And that crisis gets your attention.  Your FULL attention. That is Crisis Clarity. Yes, it can be helpful.  And it can also be harmful. How do you understand and handle Crisis Clarity?  I cover it in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES The Pause Button Marriage Why Connection Matters Having a Plan No Contact is Crap Grab the System
6/24/202214 minutes, 6 seconds
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Crisis vs. Problem

On a regular basis, people want to tell me about the problem with their marriage.  Then, they tell me about the current crisis:  "my spouse doesn't love me/is having an affair/won't talk to me/wants to separate/wants to divorce/etc./etc." They want to solve the crisis.  And they think THAT is the problem! They would be wrong. What they are describing is a symptom.  Not the problem. If you try to solve a symptom, all you get are other symptoms.  No resolution, no help, and no change. We don't just do it about a marriage issue.  If you are running a fever, you may decide to take some acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  And you might feel better (the fever likely comes down).  But if there is an underlying problem, treating the symptom means that some other symptom will just emerge... and it may be even worse! In this podcast, I look at the difference between a symptom (the crisis) and the problem (what led to the crisis). That will help you to actually make a difference in your marriage, solve the crisis, and resolve the problem. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Why Connection is so Important Help with Re-Connecting Wack-a-mole? Dealing with Infidelity Save The Marriage System Coaching Services
6/15/202214 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Dad Edge

Every now and then (well, actually quite frequently), people tell me stories about how parenting didn’t exactly elicit the best response.  Many times, people tell me with regret over words and actions they wish they had not expressed.  Sure, there is some shame, maybe some blame. But there is often very little change. On this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I sit down with Larry Hagner and discuss how his bad moment with his child led to change.  Not just for Larry, but for many other people. You see, Larry didn’t have a great example of how to be a good parent.  So he was doing the best he could with the tools at hand.  But it was not going the way he wanted.  So, he decided that something had to change. He decided that HE had to change! It became a quest, to be a better parent… to be a better partner and person, too! Larry started (some time back) by starting a FB group that looked to get others to share their parenting wisdom.  This grew and grew. When it became clear that others were looking for support and guidance, Larry got serious and created The Dad Edge. In this interview, Larry and I talk about the struggles with limited parenting models many people got from their childhood, how important the parenting (specifically, the Dad) role is in development, and how to start on a path of better parenting. Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES The Dad Edge Website Impact of Divorce on the Children The Husband Bootcamp
5/4/202250 minutes, 12 seconds
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Some Truths for Every Couple

Many of my podcast episodes are really aimed at those in the midst of some marriage crisis. Maybe it is hanging on by a thread. Perhaps it is just in the beginning stages. Today, I want to share some information that applies to every single marriage -- happy or hurting, starting or staying, even barely hanging on. If you are at the beginning of a marriage -- this applies! If you are struggling through -- this applies! If you aren't sure if it will survive -- this applies! A few weeks ago, a reporter asked for some truths for couples. After nearly 3 decades of working with couples, and almost 30 years of marriage, those truths were pretty quick to come to mind. And after I was done talking, I realized that I needed to share the information in my podcast, so that you could access it, too. Please, feel free to share it with others who are married, so they know the truth about marriage -- and can build a great relationship! RELATED RESOURCES Immutable Laws of Marriage Series Connection Resources Dealing with Conflict System to Build a Great Marriage
4/13/202218 minutes, 42 seconds
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3 Steps to Better Communication

Many couples make the mistake of assuming that their problems are due to poor communication. That is not (or rarely) the case. Why do couples think this? Because many therapists use that as the default problem to attack in therapy. But communication is merely the method of passing information. Helpful in connecting with a spouse, for sure. It's just that most people express themselves fairly well. For years, people would come to my office and ask for help in communicating. After 20 or 30 minutes of listening, I would note that I understood everything each one said. They were communicating just fine. They had an issue, for sure. Communication, though, was not THE issue. Still, communication is not irrelevant. It is one of the ways we connect. So, if communication is hampered by hurt and disconnection, then communication can seem like the issue. In this episode, I offer 3 rules for better communication -- communication that leads to connection! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Communication Mistakes What Your Therapist Won't Tell You Anger As An Issue Be Careful Of Blame Save The Marriage System
3/30/202218 minutes, 28 seconds
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How You Show Up

We all "show ourselves" in our interactions with others. Sometimes, we truly Show Up, bringing our best self to the relationship. Other times, we bring an angry/resentful presence to the table. Other times, it might be a cold/distant presence. And still other times, it might be a needy/desperate presence. As you may have guessed, an angry or distant or needy presence rarely serves the relationship or the improvement of a relationship. Maybe you think you are just responding to what is coming your way... that you are just following your spouse's lead... or the lead of the world around you. But we all get to choose how we will Show Up. We get to choose how we want to be, who we want to be, in all of our relationships. We don't have to leave it to reaction or fear, resentment or hurt. We can choose how and who we will be in life. How do YOU Show Up? Listen for how to Show Up the way you want to! RELATED RESOURCES 3 C's of Saving a Marriage Forgiveness and Marriage Apologies and Marriage How To Really Show Up Grab The Save The Marriage System
3/23/202221 minutes, 46 seconds
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5 Factors of Success

I wish I had a crystal ball that would let me successfully determine which marriages could be saved.  Yes, it is true.  Not every marriage WILL be saved.  I can't guarantee that. But I DO think there is a "reverse" guarantee.  If your marriage is in trouble and you do nothing, I can pretty much guarantee that your marriage will NOT survive.  But guarantee that it WILL survive?  I can't do that. What I try to do, instead, is "stack the deck" in your favor.  I try to provide tools and change that will INCREASE the chances of your saving your marriage.  And not just save.  Help it to thrive.  Help you to build a marriage that BOTH of you would treasure and protect. Some people act like it is just a game of chance.  A flip of the coin.  Heads up, you stay married; tails up, you divorce.  That is NOT the case.  You can improve your chances.  But not just by trying "a little of this, a little of that."  You need a coherent process and method, along with some tools and understandings. But what I have noticed is there are some factors that determine a higher likelihood of success.  And the more of these five factors that are moving your way, the better your "hand" you are playing. One of these factors is outside of your control.  But you have four others that you CAN control.  You want to save your marriage and you want to improve it.  Your spouse, though, can't see that right now.  So, you need to have your best hand to play as you work on the relationship. What are those 5 Factors?  I discuss each one in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast.  You can listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Why Your Spouse Can't See A Way Forward Why You Need to Change Why You Need a Plan Why the Roadblocks Why You Need a System
3/16/202218 minutes, 51 seconds
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Gut Punch Moments

I'll bet you know exactly what I mean by the Gut Punch Moment.  It is when your spouse says, "I don't love you" or that variation, "I love you, but I'm not IN love with you."  Or when you discover the affair or other marital infidelity (including financial).  Or when you discover some other hidden part of your spouse's life that makes you question everything.  Or when your spouse announces the need to separate.  Or the divorce papers arrive. Gut punch. You lose your breath. You feel like a rug has been ripped from underneath your feet. Gut punch. And it might not be the first!  It might be in the midst of efforts to save what you already know is a hurting marriage.  Then, you find out more.  Gut punch #2 (or 3, 4, 5....). It wouldn't be a surprise if you don't react the way you want to or wish you had.  That is often what happens.  And then, there is a spouse looking at you, surprised by your reaction (do remember that whatever that gut punch, they already knew it -- they had already prepared!). But what now? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, we cover that Gut Punch Moment, and what to do about it.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Calm in Chaos at Thriveology.com What About Anger? What Do You Want? Love But Not "In Love" Healing Disconnection Save The Marriage System
3/2/202218 minutes, 1 second
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Combatting Crisis Fatigue

You’ve been doing your best to work on your marriage… to resolve your marriage crisis.  Then, you find yourself exhausted.  You can’t find your focus.  You wonder if you even care.  The negativity creeps in, followed by hopelessness. Sound familiar? That would be Crisis Fatigue.  It is what happens when a crisis isn’t resolved quickly.  When the crisis covers days, weeks, even months (and maybe even years) it can wear on you.  And all that effort you were putting into resolution falls to the side.  You find yourself not following through on your plan. Your efforts fail as you fall into exhaustion. Crisis Fatigue. But don’t let the Crisis Fatigue keep you stuck!  You can deal with it, move beyond it, and continue your efforts.  You can do that when you learn how to combat Crisis Fatigue.  That is what we cover on this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. I discuss what Crisis Fatigue is, why it happens, what happens when it hits, and how to deal with it.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES What's Your Plan? Who’s Your Team? The Thriving Body Series The Save The Marriage System  
2/23/202225 minutes, 20 seconds
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Beyond Romance

For lots of people, this past Monday could not pass fast enough.  I heard from a number of people with struggling marriages that told me Valentine’s Day was just one more hurdle.  Not a celebration of love, but a moment of further resentment and pain. Does romance just die with “I do”?  Some people seem to think so.  For others, the waning romantic feelings are one more proof that the marriage is dead, that the love is gone. How did we go to using just the romantic feelings as the basis for love?  When did this become proof that something was wrong? And why do we seem to believe that the romantic feelings are either there… or they aren’t? Somehow, this has become twisted, that romantic feelings lead to love, rather than the romantic feelings flowing from connection AND action. When we disconnect, it shouldn’t be a surprise that those warm, romantic feelings also suffer.  And then, somehow, many people fail to see that the connection and love flows from loving action. So, can it be turned around? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I tell you the 3 barriers to those romantic feelings.  And I give 4 ways to start rebuilding back toward romance. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Importance of Connection Acting on Love Being on the Same Team Rebuilding the Connection Grab the Save The Marriage System Find the Husband Bootcamp Check out my Books
2/16/202224 minutes, 35 seconds
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It’s Not About Who Wins

I remember saying to a couple on my couch, both claiming they were doing more and working harder for their relationship, “It’s not a competition!" They didn’t much seem to believe me.  They were simultaneously trying to win while proving they were losing.  Yep, they were trying to win at a game of “who does more and gets less.”  I am not sure what the trophy would have been, but the “prize” appeared to be a battered and painful marriage. And they weren’t alone.  They AREN’T alone!  Lots of couples act like they are in a competition to win. And they think it is an individual sport, not a team sport! That’s where the damage happens.  Instead of playing to win at life, they are playing to win against a spouse. Against.  Anytime you find yourself against your spouse, you can guarantee the outcome is not a win for the team.  It is not a help for the marriage… for the relationship. With every win you get in an individual competition, there is a loser… in this case, your spouse.  And if your spouse wins, you lose. Learn why this is so dangerous and how to escape the one-on-one competition in this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Being on the Team Being a WE What about Conflict? Why Connection Matters Save The Marriage System  
2/9/202218 minutes, 54 seconds
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Dragging a Spouse to Therapy…

The email said, “I talked my spouse into going to therapy.” Another one asked, “How do I drag my spouse to therapy?” Oof. The first person was proud of the “convincing.” The second person got my response: You Don’t! (Unless, of course, you want to damn the process from the very beginning… and in that case, drag away!) Marriage therapy tends to be the default response to a marriage crisis (although the stats would not support this as the preferred action). If there is a problem, time to head to therapy! First task: get a spouse there. By pressure, if necessary. I think there is a (false) belief that if you can just get them there, the therapist will work some magic and convince the spouse to work on the marriage. The therapist won’t/can’t. And your spouse won’t. Fail/fail. But why? There are some Therapy Traps that you fall into when you try to drag a spouse into therapy (I cover the Traps in the podcast episode below). And in the process, you actually cause further entrenchment on the part of your spouse that things won’t work out. Yep, it makes things worse. I explain why in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Therapy Problems Can You Save It Alone? Can Your Marriage Even Be Saved? Book:  Beyond the 3 Barriers Program:  Save The Marriage System
1/31/202219 minutes, 46 seconds
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Quit Asking “Why is This Happening?”

At the beginning of a coaching session, I do a quick “check-in” to see what we need to accomplish in that session. Since coaching is all about moving forward and making progress, I want to make sure we are moving forward toward client success. But what I often hear instead is, “I want to know why this is happening (the marriage crisis).” I get it. There is something about knowing why that is somehow satisfying, if not particularly helpful. What is even more interesting, though, is how often the same client can return to this very question. If I hear the question one time, we can answer it and move forward. But if I hear the question on repeat, I know there is something else going on. And one thing I know for sure, time after time, is that this question does nothing to move your marriage or yourself forward. It is actually an anchor to the past. And it is hard to move forward when you are anchored backward. If you want to save your marriage, stop asking how you got here, and start asking how to get to where you want to go! (I cover it in-depth in the podcast episode.  Listen below.) RELATED RESOURCES: The Save The Marriage System The Husband Bootcamp Book:  How to Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps
1/25/202220 minutes, 49 seconds
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Discouraged? Here is what to do (5 things)…

Discouraged? You are trying to save your marriage and… you can’t get traction.  You move a little ahead, only to slide backward.  Steps forward and steps backward. And that is why you are discouraged. Am I right? What if I told you that was the nature of the process?  What if I told you that almost everyone has moments of frustration? Most people feel like giving up (and many do) at various points in their efforts.  This is not a process that follows a steady line of progress.  It is more a tangled line, running up and down. This is important work.  And that is what makes it so tough.  Important things often feel the most frustrating… especially when they are not going the way you want them to go.  But, and let me say this again, it is important work, saving your marriage. Let me tell you the 5 things to do when you are discouraged, to help you keep moving forward.  Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES: "Can I Save My Marriage?” You Need a Plan You Need a Team You Need a System:  Save The Marriage System
1/19/202221 minutes, 43 seconds
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2 Actions that Do More Harm than Good

You know that your marriage is in trouble. Your spouse said so. Maybe it was the “things have to change” speech. Or maybe it was the “I love you, but I’m not in love” speech. Or maybe it was a request to separate or even divorce. It comes into clear focus. Sure, you knew things weren’t great. But you thought they would improve, that you would find your way back together. Instead, the reality is crashing in. Your marriage is in trouble. What do you do? How do you respond? There are 2 actions that I see over and over again. Both of them, while well intentioned, actually make things worse. Instead of improvement, the crisis only deepens. The chance of recovery only plummets. And you only wanted to turn things around! Wrong actions, even with the best of intentions, can cause more damage than good. I cover the dangerous actions in this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: The No Contact Rule is CRAP The Importance of Connection Don’t Chase! There is no PAUSE BUTTON Healing Disconnection The Save The Marriage System My Books
1/12/202220 minutes, 44 seconds
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“You’ll Never Change!!”

Has your spouse said that to you?: “You’ll NEVER change!" Maybe it was at the end of yet another argument, another struggle, another disagreement. Perhaps it was at the end of another failed attempt to do things differently. If you have tried to change and have failed (meaning, every single human alive!), then maybe you wonder whether it is even possible to change. Is it just too hard, too deep, too “baked in”? Or can we actually change? Can we actually make some changes in our life to be better, do better, and love better? Since January tends to be a month were people make (and break) resolutions, I thought that maybe we should look at the potential for change. And especially in terms of making your marriage better, of being a better partner. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I let you in on whether change is possible (it is), why people fail at it, and how to actually make real changes.  Listen below.   RELATED RESOURCES: My Books My Save The Marriage System The Husband Bootcamp Why Your Spouse Doesn’t See A Change (free training) “I’ve Changed” and Other Things NOT to Say (free training)
1/5/202224 minutes, 5 seconds
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A Marriage Crisis and Holiday Season

When life is hard, Holidays can feel heavy.  When there is a marriage crisis, it can be tough to muster the energy to even move forward — especially when all the commercials and movies push the “merry and bright” of a mythic holiday. And here we are, on the cusp of the Holiday season!  It cuts across nations and beliefs.  The season is here. A client recently told me, “I just want to crawl into bed and get up on January 2nd." What a loss!  No chance to find the deeper meaning of the Holidays.  No chance at connection, re-connection, and healing. Her real desire was to avoid pain.  But her solution did more than avoiding pain.  It avoided life, and all it offered. My suggestion:  deal with the heavy Holidays in a way that brings depth, connection, and healing, by engaging in the holiday. I have 5 suggestions on dealing with Holidays in the midst of a marriage crisis.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Gratitude and Marriage How Gratitude Can Transform Your Marriage Ghosts of Marriage Past Holidays and Marriage Save The Marriage System
12/15/202116 minutes, 11 seconds
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Is Self-Growth a Threat to Marriage?

"I just outgrew you," he said to her in my office.  But as we talked, I was not convinced that he had actually "outgrown" her.  But it was clear that neither felt supported in their own personal growth.  He said, "You stifle me," and she answered, "You never care about my interests." And both were right. But both missed the opportunity -- self-expansion as a part of the relationship.  They could both grow, both explore, and still stay married. Recent research has shown that one of the leading contributors to unhappiness in marriage (and risk for infidelity) is a lack of opportunity for self-expansion in the relationship. Great term, "self-expansion."  In a world of "self-growth" and "self-development," the idea is a bit broader.  Self-growth/development focuses on psychological or spiritual change.  But what about just exploring the world and widening your horizons?  Well, self-expansion encompasses both self-development and trying new things out. Does your relationship support both of your opportunities for self-expansion (within the boundaries of the relationship)?  Is there room for growing?  Support for growing?  Sharing new experiences together?  Sharing your passions for individual interests?  Those are the elements of self-expansion within marriage. Learn more in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES What Happy Couples Do Differently Working On Yourself Showing Up Responsibility System to Save Your Marriage
12/8/202121 minutes, 37 seconds
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Are You Trying To Earn Love Back?

Sometimes, people tell me that as they are trying to save their marriage, they actually feel like they are trying to earn back the love of a spouse. They want to know if that is what it really is -- earning back the love (and even trust). The short answer is NO, that is not the goal. A slightly longer answer is that if you are working to earn back love, you are also working on building a unsustainable and not-very-healthy relationship. That is my topic for this week's Save The Marriage Podcast: why you are NOT trying to earn back your spouse's love, why that approach is problematic, AND what to do instead. Your marriage can be saved. But not by trying to earn back your spouse's love. Can the love return to your marriage? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean it is the goal of the process. (Love isn't earned. It is given.) Listen to the podcast episode below for more on this important topic ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Connection and Marriage Building A WE Forgiveness and Marriage Save The Marriage System
12/1/202120 minutes, 54 seconds
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Gratitude and a Marriage Crisis

Here we are, right at Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The day we are supposed to be filled with gratitude, feeling thankful for those around us. Which may feel like a tall order if your marriage is in the middle of a crisis (or if you are in any sort of crisis for that matter!). What, gratitude when life stinks? Yep. In fact, gratitude is even MORE important when we are in the midst of a crisis. Yes, it is important every day. But when your life is upside-down, gratitude can help you get it rightside-up. Is it easy? Nope. Is it important? Yep. So, let's talk about finding gratitude (not just having gratitude, but finding it) in the midst of a crisis. Need more on being thankful and feeling gratitude? Listen here and here. And you can find the Save The Marriage System RIGHT HERE.
11/24/202113 minutes, 50 seconds
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“Is This MY Fault??”

Maybe your spouse has been saying, "This is ALL YOUR FAULT!" Or maybe it is just you... wondering... torturing yourself... about whether this marriage crisis is your fault. Are you the problem? Let me reassure you that you are not the first person to wonder that. People search about that on my blog. People write me to ask that same question. Many people start our coaching sessions with the same question. So, what is the truth? Are you the problem? Did you cause the problem? Does that even help the problem? Many times, people like to look at one single point-in-time... frequently, a point that leaves them as NOT at fault. They look for a time when they can accuse someone else, blame someone else, for the situation. And rarely is that accurate, or even fair. Still, we all like to point the blame elsewhere. Let's talk about this from a couple of perspectives. One is kind of a higher level perspective, to question the concept of blame. The other is a much more practical "what do I do?" perspective. Both get us to a better place than simply asking, "Am I the problem? Am I to blame for our marriage crisis?" Listen below as I tackle the question: "Am I the Problem?" RELATED RESOURCES Showing Up Blame & Shame Ruining Today with Yesterday How To NOT Save Your Marriage How TO Save Your Marriage -- System
11/17/202121 minutes, 16 seconds
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Why Forgive?

People hear me talk about forgiving (I wrote a book on it).  Then they ask, "why should I have to forgive?" Ironically, my point was that forgiving frees the forgiver. I tackle forgiveness in-depth for this week's podcast. In fact, I give you a 6 step process of how to forgive. But of course, this is only helpful if you think you want to forgive. I start the podcast by clarifying what I mean by forgiveness, and why I think it is so important. (Hint: not forgiving is like having a systemic infection that will eat away at the rest of your life.) The catch is, as C.S. Lewis said, "Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive." When we have been injured, the idea of forgiving is not philosophical, and it can feel overwhelming. Join me as we explore why to forgive and ways to forgive. RELATED RESOURCES: Why Apologize How to Apologize Book:  The Forgive Process Program:  Save The Marriage
11/10/202133 minutes, 3 seconds
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Can Separation Save (or Cost You) a Marriage?

You want to save your marriage.  Your spouse seems to only want to destroy it.  That is a pretty common scenario for people who visit my website. And so, I often have the question asked, "Should we separate?  Will a separation save my marriage?" Can a separation save a marriage? Short answer:  yes, it can. Longer answer:  a separation can save a marriage, but it is statistically unlikely.  And in my experience, a separation is a step in the wrong direction. Some recent statistics show that around 79% of couples who separate end up divorced.  In other words, 8 out of every 10 couples who separate will divorce. I view separation as an absolute last resort to save a marriage.  It is, in my opinion, that unlikely to help. But here is the thing:  if you are stuck in a conflicted and hurting marriage, it can be a very appealing solution.  And yes, you can find "fans" of separation.  There are people who tell you it is an important step in restoring a marriage. Those people are ignoring the statistics. They are appealing to your sense of relief that can come from a break in the conflict. More often than not, a separation amounts to a “trial divorce." But are there better solutions?  Absolutely. Here is one. In this podcast training, I tell you why separation is problematic -- so that you understand that.  I also tell you how to structure a separation, if it is inevitable and a last resort.  Listen below for help with separation.   RESOURCES: Article on Separating Save The Marriage System Virtual Coaching Program (IF you have the System)  
11/3/202121 minutes, 46 seconds
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Zombie Marriage??

Is your marriage infected by the "zombie virus?"  Do you find your relationship to be the "walking dead?"  Are emotions lost and connections missing?  Do you and your spouse respond to each other with "zombie grunts?" The infection can be stopped.  You can fight the infection and heal the relationship. Don't allow the big 4 symptoms of a zombie infection to overtake your relationship's immune system.  Fight back and restore your relationship to the living and the healthy. Okay, to be fair, this is a “tip o’ the hat” to Halloween… but still an important subject! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Pause Button Marriages Dangers of Disconnection "Can This Marriage Be Saved?” The Save The Marriage System
10/27/202126 minutes, 22 seconds
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Your Stamp of Approval

People are quirky.  We all have strange and interesting habits and interests.  No two people are alike. In fact, most people want to claim their uniqueness, to be seen as unique, an individual — “being your own person." Yet all of us crave one thing:  validation and approval.  We did it in high school ("I am SO different, along with everyone else") and we do it through adulthood. In fact, one of the aphrodisiacs of a relationship is feeling validated, approved, and accepted by the other person.  It is what helps form the bonds early in relationship-building.  It fuels the attraction and connection… love. Does YOUR spouse feel validated and accepted? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, discover how this can make or break a relationship.  Hear the 6 traps that may keep your spouse from feeling validated -- and what to do about it! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: 2 Necessary Feelings The Importance of Connection Are You On The Same Team? Save The Marriage System
10/20/202129 minutes, 13 seconds
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Dealing with Negativity

It happens.  In the middle of a marriage crisis, you can find yourself surrounded by negativity.  A spouse negative about the marriage.  Friends and family negative about your efforts to save your marriage.  You negative, well, about everything you are doing (it is easy to slip into self-blame and self-doubt). Negativity comes from several sources:  fear, protectiveness, anger, resentment, lack of understanding, and lack of clarity. Regardless of the source, you may find yourself reacting poorly -- negatively impacting your capacity to save and improve your marriage. Is there another alternative? You bet there is! I would suggest four ways to respond that can change the outcome.  Listen to the podcast for the four ways you can respond differently to the negativity, making sure that you don't catch it yourself.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: You Need A Plan Dealing With Your Resentment Dealing With Your Spouse's Resentment Grab The Save The Marriage System
10/13/20210
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The Anger/Blame/Shame Dance

Do you ever feel like you are dancing with your spouse... and not a fun dance?? Most of the time, couples get into habits. They both know the steps, and they just keep going through them, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.... No, the dances aren't particularly helpful. And yes, we keep dancing them, anyway! One dance that many couples fall into is the Anger-Blame-Shame 3-step. And that particular dance? It keeps on repeating. Except that the anger grows. So does the blaming. And so does the feeling of shame! "Why can't I/we figure this out?", they wonder. And then, they dance it again. How can you stop the dance? How can you find better steps? Better ways of moving through life? That is the topic of this podcast episode (listen below). I tell you about those dance steps and why we do them... along with how to make a shift. RELATED RESOURCES Show Up Anger and Resentment (Yours) Anger and Resentment (Your Spouse's) Stepping Up The Save The Marriage System
10/6/20210
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Why Your Spouse Doesn’t See A Change

You've been working hard. You've been trying to make some personal changes, growing and expanding yourself. You've been trying to build a connection with your spouse, slowly and steadily. You feel good about what you are doing. You believe you are gaining grown. But then, your spouse doesn't notice any change at all! What happened? Why can't your spouse see the changes? It can be challenging, frustrating, hurtful, and downright defeating. But there is a reason your spouse isn't noticing (or admitting to noticing) the changes. In fact, there are 3 reasons why your spouse doesn't see the changes. Let's take a look at the 3 reasons, and start creating a strategy to make those changes visible. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: "Can Every Marriage Be Saved?" "Can MY Marriage Be Saved?" How One Person Did It! Save The Marriage System
9/29/20210
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Limiting Beliefs Limiting Your Marriage

It almost seems redundant, doesn't it? If you have limited beliefs, they could limit something -- say, for example, your marriage. I say IF you have limited beliefs. Full disclosure: We ALL have limited beliefs that are limiting us. We ALL have blind spots, assumptions, even untrue beliefs. We just don't notice them. And we pay a price for that. Especially since we usually fail to notice or address these limiting beliefs. Do you think your limiting beliefs MIGHT be limiting your life and your marriage? I'm betting that is the case, since it is true for all of us. Here's the good news: you can change your limiting beliefs. Once you know what they are. And decide to change them Listen below for this week's podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Myths About Marriage (And Saving It) Fears That Hold You Back Is Your Spouse Stuck? Grab The Save The Marriage System
9/22/20210
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Are You Dissing Your Marriage? 3 Ways….

I am way too uncool to ever use "Diss" in a conversation. That said, I will drop it into a headline, because I see too many couples "dissing" their relationship, without even meaning to. Distraction, Disinterest, and Disconnection lead to Disrespect of your relationship. And it often becomes habit, usually without you meaning to. The bad news is, these 3 ways you "diss" a relationship eat away at the foundations. The good news is that once you know what you are doing, you can change it. Even turn it around. Learn how you are dissing your marriage, and how to stop in this week's podcast. Listen below. RESOURCES: Power of Connection Marriage Crisis Mistakes to Avoid Why Your Efforts May Be Failing Save The Marriage System
9/15/20210
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The Danger of a Shortcut

I admit it.  The phone call got under my skin.  We were traveling and I answered the call.  The person asked if I was the "save the marriage guy."  I told him I was.  He told me he didn't want my System.  Just the secret, the "short-cut." When I told him he needed the whole System, he said he didn't want to go through all of that.  He just needed the "trick," the short-cut. We went round and round for a couple more minutes. I realized I was not going to convince him, but all the "short-cuts" he had been trying is what got him to here. He hung up, likely still looking for the "short-cut." And I was left thinking.  Wondering.  Pondering. And realizing that there is a distinct difference between being efficient and trying to find the "trick."  Those "tricks" are all the things on the internet about "hypnosis," "reverse psychology," "spells," or any of those other manipulations. You can be efficient in your efforts.  You can be effective in your plan.  But not by taking the "short-cuts" that are really just tricks. Can I tell you more about this?  Listen to the podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES Reverse Psychology is Dangerous No-Contact is Crap Don’t Choose Manipulation Grab My Save The Marriage System
9/8/202116 minutes, 48 seconds
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Have You Been “Friend Zoned”?

I often get a message that goes something like this, “We have been making progress on our marriage.  I’ve been working hard to reconnect, and think I have done a good job.  But lately, we don’t seem to be making any more progress.  Did my spouse Friend Zone me??" Since I have heard this from coaching clients and total strangers, people in my program and listeners of my podcast, I thought I needed to address it. First, let me just say, there is a “Zone” of disconnection and recovery that can feel like a stagnant friend zone.  But is that really what it is? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss what people mean when they say “Friend Zoned” or “Roommates Only,” and why it happens.  I also discuss what a healthy marriage looks like.  We dive into the process of connection (along with disconnection and reconnection).  And I talk about why you always pass through this zone… in both directions. Then, we discuss why some people get stuck here.  And we look at how to make sure you don’t get stuck. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Book:  How to Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps Program:  Save The Marriage System Coaching:  VIP Program Training:  Why Connection is so Important Training:  How to Resolve the Disconnection
9/1/202123 minutes, 55 seconds
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Is It Time for a Bootcamp??

I have some friends who have been in different bootcamps this past year.  Most are fitness-oriented… getting back into shape, improving your running, improving your tennis, things like that. Bootcamps are great ways to get up-to-speed as quickly as possible, so you perform better. In the military, people go through bootcamp to get ready to be a soldier.  It is intense and challenging, but designed to get someone ready to face a challenge elsewhere. Bootcamps are a great way to get up-to-speed for what comes next. Which is why I created the Husband Bootcamp. I remember sitting in my office with a couple trying to get back on-track.  They were stumbling and struggling.  Then, she turned toward him and said, “You are a good man.  But you are a bad husband.” It was like a hammer at hit him in the face.  He was embarrassed and upset.  At first, he was angry.  But then, he caught himself, turned to me, and said, “I am doing the best I can… and I am failing.  What can I do?" That started an impromptu bootcamp.  We called it the Husband Bootcamp.  Along with a few others, this was transformational for their marriage. Recently, I decided it was time to bring that to a bigger audience.  We have been working hard to put the finishing touches on things.  But in the meantime, I wanted to give you a little insight on what it is about, who can benefit, and how to jump in (or gift it to your spouse). Listen below for info. RELATED RESOURCES: Get Updates and Info on the Husband Bootcamp HERE Grab the Save The Marriage System Here Learn More About One Person Helping A Marriage Here
8/4/202121 minutes, 39 seconds
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Is It Just Delaying The Inevitable?

I get this question often enough to know that you may be wondering, too. Is it really possible to save a marriage, or are you just delaying the inevitable? Many people want to know this before they even start the process. They want to make sure that the effort will be worth it. If not, why go through the struggle, right? Some people do make the effort to save their marriage... but they never quite get to the point of really changing anything. They might engage a bit, work on it a bit... and they gain some ground. But in reality, nothing changed. It’s more like cleaning a house that is in disrepair. It looks better, but nothing got fixed. Then, there are others. They decide that they can’t go back. They realize the relationship must change. And change it, they do! And save their marriage, they do! The question is really about whether the real change happened, or just a “spring cleaning.” The choice between the two? All yours. Listen to this episode of the podcast for more on making those real changes. RELATED RESOURCES The Goal of Marriage 3 Secrets To Saving The Importance of Connection Your Plan To Save Your Marriage
7/28/202118 minutes, 3 seconds
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4 Reasons Why You Aren’t Saving Your Marriage

First, let me be clear:  if you are actively saving your marriage, working toward a better relationship... stop reading and go do something else!  This won't apply to you! But if you want to save your marriage... but for some reason, you just can't get moving... hang with me!  YOU are the one that will benefit from this episode.  That "some reason" is what I want to take a look at. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss the 4 "F" words that are keeping you from taking action... keeping you from saving your marriage. I discuss 4 reasons why you are stuck and aren't saving your marriage.  Just to be clear, these are the reasons you are stuck... and has nothing to do with what your spouse is doing. Let's be clear about what typically holds people back.  And yes, there may be some other reasons. I want to cover the 4 reasons I see repeatedly. And yes, they can keep you from taking any action. Unless, of course, you find an alternative.  I'll give you that alternative, too. RELATED RESOURCES: Fear and Marriage Your Team for Support Why Does It Matter? Beware of Unhelpful Approaches Save The Marriage System
7/21/202119 minutes, 55 seconds
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Switches or Dials?

No, this isn't some electrical engineering idea. Instead, it has more to do with human nature. We often want to find the switch, the on/off switch for some situation. Turn off stress by doing this, turn on fitness by doing this. On or off. With a switch. This causes us to be looking for some super-easy, simple solution... often to complex issues. Particularly when it is a marriage crisis. A marriage -- much less a marriage crisis -- is not an on/off situation, and no simple switch will turn it around. Yet that is what many people want. The solution that is as easy as flipping a switch. Yes, your marriage can be saved and improved, but not with some simple switch.  Instead, think about it as dials. Instead of a master switch, there can be a number of dials. Dialing up connection. Dialing down conflict. Dialing up warmth. Dialing down resentment. We discuss this tendency to look for a switch -- and the need to focus on the dials --  in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Why Connection is so Important Dangerous Tricks The No-Contact Rule 3C Approach Save The Marriage System
7/14/202114 minutes, 5 seconds
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Too Self-Centered for Your Marriage?

"You are just too selfish and self-centered.  That is why we have marriage problems."  Have you heard that before? A listener is wondering if she is too self-centered for her marriage.  I am guessing that her spouse has told her just that.  Maybe even said she is selfish. It is always interesting when I hear this accusation in my office... from both people!  At the same time! Both accuse the other of causing the problems because they are too selfish and self-centered. To be clear, it is entirely possible to be self-centered and selfish... certainly completely out of balance with what is healthy.  And it is possible to be accused of that, but it is really something else. Let's talk about your perspective, what it might mean to be "selfish," and when it might be a problem (along with when it might actually be another problem). Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES WE is the Goal Working on WE, Working on ME Pause-Button Problems Healing Disconnection Save The Marriage System
6/30/202122 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Spouse Predicament

It's a predicament, isn't it?  It would be so much easier to save your marriage... if it weren't for that pesky spouse.  (I jest, but you might actually feel this way.) You make an effort, your spouse resists.  You take a step forward, your spouse takes a step backward... and tries to drag you back, too! What DO you do?  When your spouse is so convinced that nothing can change. Or maybe when your spouse starts to see some possibility... and you don't know what to do, what to share, how to help. Quite the predicament, isn't it? It certainly is for Lauren and Kristine.  They both emailed me questions for the podcast.  Seemingly from different places in the process.  But both were stuck on the Spouse Predicament. Lauren has a spouse who cannot see a way forward, and resists every effort.  Is he being selfish? Should Lauren feel shame that she keeps trying... in spite of his resistance? And Kristine is still stuck in the predicament.  But her spouse is seeing a possibility, a glimmer of hope.  How does Kristine avoid putting out the spark?  How much info to share? The Spouse Predicament.  More closely aligned than it might seem. We work to resolve the predicament on the podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: The Husband Bootcamp Beyond the 3 Barriers Book The Hope Formula Hope and Marriage The Save The Marriage System
6/23/202126 minutes, 24 seconds
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Slow Slide, Then All At Once

I've seen it so many times.  A marriage is slowly, slowly, slowly moving apart.  Then, suddenly, it is ending!  Slowly, then all at once. A recent survey from a divorce attorney group showed the central dynamic of marriages ending:  they slowly drifted apart. You may not need a survey to tell you about this threat.  I sure didn't.  I've seen it over and over.  Nothing drastic or sudden.  Just slowly disconnecting.  Slowly drifting apart.  And slowly failing. Maybe you hit the Pause Button... and didn't know how dangerous that can be! Maybe it was easier to just ignore the little issues... the ones that are much larger in the face of disconnection. But either way, the ending of a marriage just starts slowly, imperceptibly... until one person finally "can't do it anymore."  And then, the crisis is deep.  Deeper than you knew. How does it work?  I cover it in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES The Importance of Connection The Pause Button Marriage Healing Disconnection The Save The Marriage System
6/16/202121 minutes, 39 seconds
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How to NOT Save Your Marriage

Are there things that you do that might KEEP you from saving your marriage? Yes. These are pretty common actions people take, not knowing that they are doing MORE damage, and making it even MORE difficult to save their marriage. I wanted to cover these 10 ways you can mess up on saving your marriage, not to point out any mistakes,  but to help you avoid and prevent those mistakes. And if you have already made those mistakes, then start where you are.  Just be sure not to fall back into the same traps and mistakes that likely got you here. Take a listen below and let me know if you have something to add to the list! RELATED RESOURCES 3 C's to Save Your Marriage Why Connection is So Important How to Show Up to Your Marriage Grab the Save The Marriage System  
6/9/202122 minutes, 44 seconds
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Save The Marriage ARC

Since my book, Thrive Principles, came out, people have asked me why I shifted my focus from saving marriages to thriving. In reality, there is no shift. My System on saving a marriage is the same path to having a thriving marriage. In fact, my focus from the beginning was on how to have a thriving life in all areas of living -- including in marriage. Which means that there are many cross-over points between how we thrive and how we save a marriage. In this week's Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss three anchors of Thrive Principles that can help you address the issues in your marriage. These three principles can help you save your marriage. Just remember the acronym, ARC. Acceptance Responsibility Control Use these three principles as you work to save your marriage. RELATED RESOURCE: Control Responsibility Thrive Principles Save The Marriage System
6/2/202122 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Connection Principle

Connection is the lifeblood of any relationship… and especially a marriage.  When connection is cut off, the relationship falters.  When a marriage is disconnected, the marriage is at risk. This concept is the backbone of my approach.  It is the core of my System — restoring the connection. Which is the problem.  Many people push and push for connection, leading to — ironically — even less connection and more push-back. The concept of connection as the most important factor in saving a marriage suddenly hits a wall.  The techniques people use to restore connection lead to DIS-connection, rather than connection. Instead of helping, I notice many people are harming their attempts to save their marriage.  Not from ill-will but misunderstanding. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I explore the principle of Connect, Don’t Crowd.  This principle is the 1st of 10 I covered with my VIP Virtual Coaching members.  But it was so important, I wanted to make sure you understand it.  (The other 9 are still available to all VIP members.) Listen below to understand the importance of connection, how to do it, and how to avoid the crowding. RELATED RESOURCES: Connection is the Lifeblood Healing Disconnection Resources Connection on 3 Levels The Save The Marriage System
5/26/202149 minutes, 21 seconds
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How to Avoid a Blow-Up

Slowly, slowly... you are making progress!  You keep working on turning your marriage around... and it is working! Maybe you think it isn't moving fast enough.  Or maybe you have just been holding all of those emotions, fears, and hurts, in... and they start to grow.  You can feel it! But you try hard not to let it out.  To keep on moving forward.  To keep on making connections. Until... Maybe it was something small... Maybe it was yet one more little thing (or even a medium thing... maybe even a big thing!)... And BOOM!  You blow up! You use a tone you wish you hadn't.  You say things you wish you hadn't.  You do things you wish you hadn't. BLOW UP! ... and then it passes. But the damage is done. Your efforts can feel like they have been in vain. So, let's talk about what to do BEFORE the blow-up!  It is much easier to stay ahead of the problem than to catch up and rebuild after the problem. Listen to this week's podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Too Late? Making Up For Mistakes And Backslides Responsibility Showing Up Save The Marriage System
5/19/202119 minutes, 14 seconds
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Your Blame Addiction

Are you and your spouse addicted to blame?  Do you find yourself pointing your finger toward your spouse, sure that it is really your spouse's fault (and is your spouse doing the same thing?)? Or maybe you are just blaming yourself.  You see this whole mess as YOUR fault. Blame has one single outcome -- STUCK.  It robs you of power (and steals away responsibility). Blame is highly corrosive to connection.  And it freezes up the process of change.  It freezes out any chance for change. And it is unnecessary.  (Oh, and don't fall into the trap of just changing who gets the blame.  Blame your spouse or blame yourself.  Same outcome.) Let's break the addiction to blame. And if you are ready, you can grab my Save The Marriage System HERE. OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES Anger and Marriage Healing YOUR Resentment Helping YOUR SPOUSE Heal Resentment The Importance of Connection The Save The Marriage System
5/12/202117 minutes, 24 seconds
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If THEY Can’t, Who Can?

I was busy working on some projects when a news notification popped up on my tablet:  “Bill and Melinda Gates Announce They Are Divorcing.”  Wow, what a power couple!  And they were calling it quits. Whenever this happens, a powerful and successful couple decides to divorce, I hear from a few people.  They look at all of that _______ (you fill in the blank:  money, success, resources, connections, etc.) and wonder, “What chance do I have to save MY marriage, if THEY can’t stay together." I would presume that Bill and Melinda, along with Jeff and MacKenzie and many other mogul couples, could attend any couples retreat, meet with any therapist/coach, and invest in any intervention to save their marriage. But they don’t. Which raises the question for the rest of us… what chance do WE have in our own marriage?  Or more specifically, you can ask, what chance do YOU have in saving YOUR marriage? And what can we learn from the divorces of the rich, successful, and famous? That is what I cover in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast (and let me just be clear, I have not coached or interacted with anyone I mentioned above — although I have had many interactions with very successful people in very unhappy marriages… and the lessons are the same). Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES The Arc of Disconnection The Pause Button Marriage Why Connection Matters Self-Expansion and Marriage The System to Save Your Marriage
5/5/202116 minutes, 48 seconds
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“But What If I CAN’T Save It?”

Two phone calls the same day.  Both with the same question:  "What if I CAN'T save my marriage?"  One had been working at it for awhile.  The other hadn't started (and was trying to decide whether to even start). It's a common question that gets asked at 3 different times in the process.  Each has a different meaning.  All share a fear. That fear can keep you from taking action, talk you into giving up, or serve to inform you. This week, I want to take on the question, "What if I can't save it?", because not every marriage can be saved.  (But NONE are saved without action.) Don't let the question trip you up.  Understand what's behind it.  And listen to my answer to the question. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Can This Marriage Be Saved? My Approach and Why It Matters DYWAYADAGWYAG When Your Spouse is Stuck Grab the Save The Marriage System
4/28/202120 minutes, 32 seconds
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“Can You Fall In Love Again?” – Listener Question

As often as possible, I like to answer listener submitted questions (you can submit YOUR question by CLICKING HERE).  The reason is because if you have a question, it is very likely that someone else has the same (or very similar) question. In this episode, I answer Patrick.  His question is a concern that when a spouse says they fell out of love, and only feel “friends”-type care, that maybe nothing can be done.  Maybe, Patrick wonders, it isn’t possible to get back to love, to return to prior feelings. Can feelings change?  Of course.  They already did.  Which is why you are in a crisis.  At one time, you felt the love. That has shifted, and it can shift again.  Our feelings and levels of connection are always fluctuating and shifting. So, yes feelings of love CAN come back.  But why did they leave?  And what can you do to help them return? I cover those questions… homing in on Patrick’s enquiry for this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Connection Is Lifeblood Healing Disconnection Pause Button Marriage Save The Marriage System
4/21/202122 minutes, 1 second
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How Do You Argue?: 3 Modes That Fail

Do you find yourself stuck in arguments in your marriage that never get anywhere?  Or maybe it is just a matter of useless “discussions”? I was recently reading a book, and the author (Adam Grant) was noting 3 modes of communication that keep us stuck right where we are.  They were not just communication patterns, but thought patterns.  Grant noted there are 3 roles we easily fall into… and 1 mode that gets you out. Here is the problem… the 3 roles that don’t work?  They are so easy to fall into.  In fact, as soon as I read about them, I was quick to see them in people all around me.  I noticed how so many people were interacting with me from those 3 roles. And then, I took a big breath.  Because I needed to do a little self-check… a look in the mirror.  What role(s) do I fall into?  What was MY default? More importantly, how could I make a shift to a better mode? Here’s the thing:  we argue in the attempt to change the perspective or thoughts of another person… and they are doing the exact same thing.  No surprise that there is no change, right?  So we already know that the roles we play in arguing don’t work.  And yet (me looking in the mirror), it is easy to still slip right back into the same pattern.  We continue to do it again.  In hopes of a better outcome. RELATED RESOURCES Adam Grant’s Book, Think Again Connecting is Critical Understanding and Empathy The Dangers of Convincing Save The Marriage System
4/14/202121 minutes, 22 seconds
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NMF: “Not MY Fault!”

The email was pages long, all about the problems in her marriage.  Each line was about how her husband had ruined the marriage.  She pointed out actions of her husband, and he did make mistakes (no abuse, mind you). She wanted to know what to do -- how to save her marriage -- given the fact that it wasn't her fault.  She was clear that she wanted the marriage, but she just didn't know what to do, after all he had done to damage the relationship. NMF She was skidding down the fastest path to failing in her efforts.  And she didn't see how she had anything to do with it. NMF When we talked on the phone, I asked a little bit more about the dynamics of the relationship.  But I noticed she kept shifting back to "he did...," "he didn't...." She could point out his failures and shortcomings. And then she would return to her question:  Given his actions, how could she save her marriage? NMF I had no doubt that she really wanted to save her marriage.  And I had little doubt that she would be unsuccessful. Because she had fallen in the NMF trap.  Figured it out yet?  The NMF trap is "Not My Fault." Here is the problem with "Not My Fault":  It leaves you stuck.  It does relieve you of blame or fault.  But it also tends to rob people of responsibility (Response-Ability). Let's talk about why this trap happens and how to avoid it.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Show Up How You Hide Choosing To Work Connection Being A WE Save The Marriage System
4/7/202123 minutes, 50 seconds
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Is Your Crisis Hot or Cold?

Is your marriage crisis marked by heated arguments or cold distance?  Hot or cold? Are they really that different?  Or is it all a part of the same process?  And how does it affect your attempts to save your marriage? During back-to-back coaching sessions with two couples, I had a case of each.  In the first, both were practically red-faced with anger, talking over each other and refusing to listen. In the second session, the couple were cold and distant, refusing to engage with each other, routing all discussions through me.  Both refused to listen to the other. The underlying issues were the same.  The emotional temperature was different.  Each couple had set their “emotional thermostat” to a different level.  And neither couple seemed interested in changing the setting. What is the difference between the heat and the cold?  How does it affect your efforts to save your marriage?  Is it possible that both the heat and the cold are actually pointing toward the same process?  The same path? We explore the difference between hot and cold crises and what to do to turn it around in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Why Connection Matters Changing Yourself Learning About Anger Grab the Save The Marriage System
3/31/202127 minutes, 46 seconds
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3 Barriers and Beyond

For some reason, your spouse just can’t see a way forward.  You want things to be better… you want to save your marriage.  But your spouse can’t (or won’t) see a possibility. Why? There are actually 3 real barriers your spouse might be experiencing.  They just can’t see a way around any or all of the barriers. Those 3 barriers are Hurting, Hopeless, and Helpless.  Emotional struggles are painful — for all involved!  And many times, it just doesn’t seem like there is a way to get help… and that can make you feel helpless.  Add those together, and it can seem pretty helpless. But is it? Not if you can find a way beyond the 3 barriers. In my VIP Program, I provide a weekly training, along with tools and coaching, to help people who are ready to make a real shift in their relationship.  My System is kind of like the white belt training — knowing what you need to know to deal with a basic situation.  VIP is the blue belt, designed for those wanting more effectiveness and efficiency in their efforts. During one of those trainings awhile back, I addressed those 3 barriers.  The training caused such a stir that I wrote a book about it.  But those 3 barriers are so important that you need to know about them, too.  So, I am doing something I don’t do:  I’m giving you access to this VIP training.  It IS a bit longer than my typical podcast, as we go deep (and the book goes deeper). Listen in to learn the 3 barriers, and how to begin to get beyond them. RELATED RESOURCES Beyond the 3 Barriers Book The Save The Marriage System Click to Contact me if you have the System and want to join VIP
3/24/202148 minutes, 41 seconds
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Stages of Crisis Awareness

In my Save The Marriage System Quick-Start Guide, I show the 8 distinct stages of a marriage crisis. But those are the stages of the crisis.  There are also stages to your awareness of the crisis. This is the point where you are aware of the crisis, the level of the crisis, and the potential threat of the crisis.  And just to let you know:  you are NOT at stage 1.  That would be Asleep.  This is the point when you are not even aware that things are in trouble.  You are blissfully unaware of — or choosing to not notice — the looming marriage crisis that is already underway. But then you wake up to find yourself in the midst of a troubled relationship, a hurting marriage! Your spouse may be further along the process, and your marriage may be further along the progression of the crisis.  That is independent of your own awareness of the crisis. In this episode of the marriage crisis, I discuss the 4 stages of crisis awareness, and the 1 thing you need to do — along with some thoughts on how to/how NOT to do that very thing. Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES FACT of the Crisis Can The Marriage Be Saved? Why It Matters Happy or Hurting? Save The Marriage System
3/17/202121 minutes, 7 seconds
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The 80/80 Marriage

“Marriage should be 50/50,” many a well-intentioned couple told me before they got married.  I knew they were in trouble.  And for all of the best of intentions!  They wanted to be equals.  Equal responsibility and equal coverage. Which is exactly what was heading them straight toward the trouble. Yes, they had the best of intentions.  And yes, it is a great ideal to want to equally contribute in the relationship. And yes, that headed them straight for trouble. Why? Because they had already signed on to judge each other on fairness.  If it was 50-50, both people would surely be watching to make sure their 50% was matched by their spouse’s 50%. And interestingly, the likelihood of both making the same estimate of 50% was 0%. This is exactly the situation that my guests, Kaley and Nate Klemp, found themselves in.  And it started early in their marriage… highlighted by an argument over shoes at the door!  But that same struggle threatened their marriage… highlighted by an argument over who should pick up their child from daycare!  (These are the same level of arguments that often show the fault lines for many other couples… not big ones, but tiny chips from their foundation that add up to an unstable base.) But Kaley and Nate decided to do something about it.  They decided to do some research. (While this is not a likely response for many couples, the good news is, Nate and Kaley not only interviewed lots of people, they wrote a book about it!)  What they discovered is there are three models of marital involvement.  One is fairly outdated, and the second is often infected by the first.  It is also the pattern that appears fair, 50/50.  That one fails for most couples. And that led to Nate and Kaley presenting a third model.  In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I sit down to discuss the models with both Nate and Kaley.  They tell me about their own struggles, the different models, and how to shift toward a better model. Their approach has many similarities to my own work, but brings some important facets out for listeners to consider.  Learn about the 3 models, and how to make a shift (even with a reluctant spouse) in this episode. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Nate and Kaley’s Website (for newsletter and book) Marriage is NOT 50/50 Episode Your Spouse is NOT Your Enemy Episode Save The Marriage System
3/10/202148 minutes, 10 seconds
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The 2 Necessary Feelings

Feelings.  We all have them. What we feel, and how we make others feel. Sometimes, we have the wrong feelings.  And we try to get away from those feelings. In a relationship in trouble, you can guarantee that someone is not feeling the way that he or she wants to feel.  So, that person tries to get away from what is making them feel that way. Unfortunately, that "something" is more a "someone," the spouse. Are YOU making your spouse feel something that is causing him or her to want to get away? There are 2 primary feelings that must be in a strong relationship.  The opposite of those feelings tend to push couples apart. Those 2 feelings? Feeling wanted. Feeling accepted. You may not feel wanted or accepted.  If you are working on saving and improving your relationship, let me suggest you set that aside for now.  Focus on how you can help your spouse feel wanted and accepted. In this podcast episode, I talk about these feelings (and their opposites) and 3 ways you may be hurting those feelings for your spouse. Join me as we explore these 2 necessary feelings and 3 ways we hurt those feelings. RELATED RESOURCES Connection is the Lifeblood Restoring Connection Where DID Those Feelings Go? Save The Marriage System
3/3/202120 minutes, 40 seconds
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Out of Nowhere?

Many times, people tell me that their marriage was doing just fine (well, at least OK), and then it was in trouble, “All at once,” that they “didn’t see it coming,” and that others thought they “were the ‘perfect couple’ — then this.”  In fact, many people tell me about love notes and loving cards last year, last month, even last week. What happened?  How could the marriage fall about, seemingly out of nowhere? The simple answer is, it didn’t. Marriage crises do not come out of nowhere, and are far less sudden than you might think. As one divorce attorney put it, marriages “fall apart little by little, then all at once.” The hurts, pains, disconnections, lost opportunities, and slights build up over time.  And suddenly, they hit a threshold.  I call it the Threshold Problem.  You didn’t see the threshold coming, until it hits.  Until the marriage runs out of gas.  Then, you have a hard time seeing how you got to the threshold.  So it looks like it was out of the blue, out of nowhere. But it wasn’t.  It didn’t happen overnight.  And saving it won’t happen overnight.  That is possible, slowly at first, as long as you move with intention in that direction. Learn more about why a marriage crisis is not “out of nowhere” in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES
2/24/202125 minutes, 25 seconds
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Why Your Spouse Doesn’t Believe You Can Change

You've been working hard to reconnect and change yourself.  You're proud of your efforts.  But your spouse just isn't buying. For whatever reason, your spouse just does not trust the changes -- or maybe doesn't even see the changes! Do you feel like you are hitting a brick wall?  Like nothing you are doing is making a difference?  Like your spouse has already judged you and won't allow themselves to see something different? In this episode, I will be discussing several reasons why your spouse isn't willing or able to see a change.  Included are the times your spouse might acknowledge that there has been a change, but doesn't trust that the change will last. Does that describe your situation?  If so, please listen.  I also discuss how to shift this dynamic in your favor. RELATED RESOURCES How to Stay in the Game Don’t Try to Make, Get, or Cause Healing A Spouse’s Resentments Why Connection Is So Important Save The Marriage System
2/17/202120 minutes, 41 seconds
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Therapy or Bust!

We had been talking for at least half an hour.  I was discussing some thoughts about her marriage problems as she was trying to figure out what to do.  I noted where the problems started and how she might start repairing. Fact is, that is why people are on my website, listen to my podcast, grab my System, or seek me out.  They want a loving, connected relationship and right now, it has problems they can’t quite solve.  But they know something has to change, or they are headed for deeper problems and even divorce.  So, I work hard to show a way forward. I was pretty open with my concerns about therapy with this caller.  She had heard my podcasts on the subject and knew I had major reservations.  (Statistics are pretty clear on this topic.) Which is why I was a bit surprised when she asked, “So, could you recommend a therapist?" Okay, admittedly, I was not overly surprised.  I get the same request on a regular basis.  That, in spite of my clear discussions about marriage therapy issues, problems, and limitations.  (And yes, I was trained as a marriage therapist.  Yes, I have lots of therapist friends.  Yes, I am even married to one.  And yes, I still have concerns.) I guess I was more surprised because we had, even just five minutes earlier, discussed my concerns.  Yet, here we were.  Looking for a therapist. “Therapist or Bust,” it would seem! Did I recommend a therapist?  Nope.  Because I don’t do that.  For several reasons.  I discuss my concerns and reasons on this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  I look at why we default to a method that has pretty poor outcome results.  I look at some basic problems with the therapy approach, and discuss when therapy does make sense.  Avoid the traps and you are well ahead of the game! Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES Why Therapy is Dangerous Myths of Marriage Therapy Other Myths About Saving Your Marriage Getting Help for Your Marriage Save The Marriage System
2/10/202122 minutes, 19 seconds
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Knocked Down, Back Up

You started working on saving your marriage.  Good for you! And then, you hit a bump.  You get knocked down.  Maybe you discovered an affair, physical or emotional.  Maybe your spouse is irritable and upset.  Maybe it is anger and resentment, yours or your spouse’s. And it knocks you down. Enough that you think it is over.  That you are at the end. But are you?  Or do you need to get back up? In most things in life, we think the process is (or should be) smooth.  I fall for that myth all the time.  I think a project is going to be easy and straightforward.  Only to find a complication and difficulty at every turn. And guess what?  The same is true in your efforts to save your marriage. We talk about how you might get knocked down… and how to get up again, in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.   RELATED RESOURCES Dealing with Discouragement You Need A Plan Not A Wish, A Plan Your Support Team Do You Need Coaching? Coaching Resource Page Save The Marriage System
2/3/202126 minutes, 43 seconds
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“No Closer!” — Stuck?

What do you do when your spouse has shifted back toward you… some… but is still distant?  More distant than you would like? Do you have to just accept it, accept the lack of intimacy and connection? Is that the relationship you are stuck with?  Some connection.  Still married.  But not the warmth, love, and connection you do want? That is the question posed to me.  Mary reports that her husband returned after a number of months of separation.  But now, some time later, after his return, the connection is not where it needs to be.  It isn’t where Mary wants it to be. What do you do, Mary wonders?  Accept it?  Make peace with the fact that her spouse does not want an intimate relationship with her? I delve into Mary’s question (which may also be your question) about what to do when the connection is still not there, even after some improvement.  I suggest 3 steps for Mary (and perhaps you) to take.  And yes, we start at acceptance.  But that is not about giving up! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Yet Connection and Disconnection 3 Levels of Connection Acceptance - What IS That? Save The Marriage System
1/27/202119 minutes, 4 seconds
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“I Want to Save My Marriage” Q & A

In previous podcast episodes, I have answered questions submitted by listeners.  In fact, I still do.  You can email your questions by clicking here.  But since this podcast goes to listeners around the world, submitted questions need to be a) applicable to others, and b) not so broad that it is impossible to answer in a simple episode. But then, there are the short questions.  Both in the question and the needed response. So, in this episode, I round up the short questions, so I can address them all. All of them, though, started with this: “I want to save my marriage!" Most of the questions demonstrated the beginning point of learning… not even knowing the question to ask, but knowing what you want.  The senders knew they wanted to save their marriage, but weren’t sure even where to start and what to ask. But here is the important thing:  the questions still apply to you, whether you are at the same point or further along.  Listen in to hear my response to questions like where to start, what about some tricks/hints, what to do if a spouse isn’t interested, what a plan might look like, how long this process might help, and what to do now. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Can A Marriage Be Saved? Why You Need a Plan Why Your Spouse is Resisting How Long Does a Crisis Last? Why Fear is a Problem Grab the Save The Marriage System HERE
1/20/202135 minutes, 59 seconds
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From Apology to Reconciling

You have already journeyed to here.  Maybe your relationship is hurting and in pain.  Maybe your connection has gone cold.  But however you got here, whatever the path, you want to get somewhere different. Somewhere better. It may seem cliche, but it is a journey.  And this last part of the journey, it has some stops along the way. Many times, people think (and want) it to be a linear path, stopping along the way, but arriving at the end, reconciled and in love. Those four big stops? Apology Forgiving Trusting Reconciling Many assume that one follows the other, just points along the road.  But it is more like a subway system that might arrive at one station, having never paused at another.  You may pass one or more, or even arrive at each one, seemingly out of order. In reality, each of those four stops are distinct and separate.  They can happen separate from, or even without, the other stops. Let’s talk about these four stops in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES What’s Your Apology? Ready to Forgive? What is Trust? Save The Marriage System (remember to grab your free week of VIP!)
1/13/202123 minutes, 27 seconds
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Staying in the Game

You might feel like "tapping out," or forfeiting, just giving up and walking away. It can be frustrating when you are trying to save a marriage, only to get pushback from a spouse.  You are working to build the connection, working to improve yourself, and working to make a different relationship.  But it feels like two steps forward, three steps back. How do you "stay in the game?" Partly, it is mental.  But there are also some things you can do to help you shift perspective, keep your patience, and keep on moving forward.  Let me share some strategies on how to "Stay in the Game" in this week's podcast. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES “This Will Never Work” - What To Do What’s Your Plan? DWYADAGWYAG There IS No “Try” Book - Marriage Failpoint:  Why Marriages Fail Save The Marriage System
1/6/202117 minutes, 34 seconds
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What’s Your Plan?

We are about to turn the page on the calendar.  For me, that means a look forward.  What will the new year hold?  What will I bring into the new year?  Either it happens to you or you make it happen. So what will we make happen? I just finished doing some research with people who have used my System, been clients, or in my programs. They divided into two groups:  those who succeeded in saving their marriage, and those who failed. My task was to determine what made the difference.  They all had the basic information from me on what went wrong and what needs to happen to make it right.  So, what made the difference above the basic information?  What, beyond my System, made a difference? As it turned out, there were 5 key factors.  I shared the full research with my VIP members last week.  But one piece reigned supreme.  In fact, it made the other 4 work. The key factor?? A plan. I discuss what that is all about in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  You can listen below to understand more about the plan, and how to have a SMART plan.   RELATED RESOURCES Why You Need A Plan DWYADGWYAG Habits Series on Thriveology One Word Resolution on Thriveology Grab The Save The Marriage System Here
12/30/202026 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ghosts of Relationship Past

Do you settle down with a good book you have read over and over this time of year?  I read my kids the exact same Christmas book every single year.  And many years, I re-read a classic for myself… like A Christmas Carol.  This year, I want to offer a redux of a prior podcast episode… about the Ghosts of Your Relationship Past.  Yep.  Christmas, with new opportunities.  Here it is: 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 below as Chris and Holly face the hauntings of their relationship.     NEED MORE HELP?  GRAB THE SAVE THE MARRIAGE SYSTEM RIGHT HERE
12/23/202014 minutes, 28 seconds
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Caught In A Triangle

Basic geometry, right?  The triangle?  Just three points and three lines connecting.  Simple.  A building block for geometric shapes of all kinds. And yet, in the context of relationships… it is detrimental.  Not a building block at all.  In fact, it undermines relationships. Yet, we find ourselves caught in triangles all the time.  Or more accurately, we are caught in triangles all the time.  We may not find ourselves, though, unless we know what to look for. During the last couple of weeks, I have been providing some deep training for my Virtual Intensive Program members about the Dysfunctional Triangle, the roles involved, how it works, why it is so destructive, and how to escape. That information is just too deep and in-depth to provide in a podcast.  But I did want to give you the basic concept of a triangle, so you can identify it. RELATED RESOURCES Communication Issues?  Nope The Importance of Showing Up Can Your Marriage Be Saved? Save The Marriage System (be sure and grab your free week of VIP)
12/16/202019 minutes, 47 seconds
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“I Saved My Marriage!”

Many times, in the midst of trying to save a marriage, the anxiety and fears can lock you up, overwhelmed with what to do next. When that happens, the outcome is often a lack of change, motivation, or action. And things continue in the downward spiral. So today, I want to invite you to use your imagination -- a little Jedi mind trick.  Imagine that you DID save your marriage.  You HAVE created a loving, supportive, respectful marriage.  You look forward to spending time together.  Your issues resolve themselves peacefully and effectively. Now, you are looking back to see what you did, in order to save your marriage.  You notice how you approached the situation, how you dealt with the issues, and how you moved forward -- even in the face of frustration and difficulties. In today's podcast, we reflect on "what you did" to save your marriage -- and by doing that, we create a path for you to do just that:  Save Your Marriage. Listen below. (and if you are ready to take action, CLICK HERE FOR MY SYSTEM)
12/9/202035 minutes, 21 seconds
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Rewriting the Past

Sounds so philosophical, doesn't it?  Your "created past."  What is that? We all do it.  We remember things based on our emotional state, not on what happened. When someone hurts us, we think back on the other times they hurt us.  When someone is kind and loving, we think back on the other loving times. When a couple is connected, they remember connection.  When they are disconnected, they remember disconnection. We rewrite the past, based on the present situation.  Usually, we just think about how the past led to the present. But where we are forms what we think about where we have been. If you are wondering why your spouse can't remember the happier times, can't remember the passion, can't remember the connection, this is it.  The memories are being selected and created based on the current pain and disconnection. Let's talk more about this in the podcast below: RELATED RESOURCES: Connection And Marriage Perceptions In Marriage Fears In Marriage Restoring Your Marriage
12/2/202017 minutes, 36 seconds
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Marriage Lie #5: Your Spouse Should Make You Happy

You were probably very happy when you got married.  You believed the happiness would always be there.  And now, your spouse is saying, “I’m not happy.”  Embedded in that seems to be some idea that you are the cause of it.  That you failed at keeping your spouse happy. No surprise.  Many people fall for this lie.  They don’t know it is a lie.  They believe it.  That a spouse should make you happy. Somehow, it is in the job description for a spouse.  They should make you happy. There is only one (little) problem with this… it is impossible! You can’t make your spouse happy.  And your spouse can’t make you happy. Sure, you can certainly make each other miserable.  But happy?  Nope.  Not possible. Even if you thought you made each other happy before.  Sure, you may have been happy.  And your relationship may have seemed to be a source of joy.  But your spouse couldn’t and didn’t make you happy (nor could/did you make your spouse happy). It is an impossibility.  But it is one of the major lies people believe about marriage. Which is why people are in trouble when they realize that a spouse is not making them happy.  Instead of seeing it for what it is… a lie… they think it is a failure of the spouse — even of the marriage!  Proof that the marriage is headed for failure. Except, it was all a lie.  Not the marriage!  The belief that a spouse would make you happy (and vice versa). Don’t believe the lie!  Learn the truth in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES: Lie #1: If It’s Work, It’s Wrong Lie #2:  Spouse Should Meet Your Needs Lie #3:  Disagreement Is A Sign Of Trouble Lie #4:  Marriage Is 50/50 Grab The Save The Marriage System
11/25/202019 minutes, 51 seconds
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Marriage Lie #4: Marriage is 50 / 50

Equal partnership.  That is what a marriage is about, when it is healthy.  Right? Right?? Nope.  Just another marriage lie. Oh, not on purpose!  Nope, these marriage lies are not intentional.  Just not true.  Unfortunately, as people repeat them, they believe them.  And those beliefs have consequence.  They can eat away at the foundations of a marriage, simply because the lie is believed.  So, actions are taken on a false belief. For example, with this lie… if you believe that marriage is 50/50, an equal partnership… and you decide your spouse is not putting in their 50, then you have reason for upset.  Reason for demands.  Reason for feeling taken advantage of. Here is the TL;DR:  marriage is NOT 50/50.  It is all in/all in. But to understand more about why marriage is not 50/50… and to discover what it really is… and how that changes things, listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES: Lie #1:  If you struggle, it’s wrong Lie #2:  Your spouse should meet all your needs Lie #3:  Conflict is a sign of trouble Immutable Laws of Marriage Series Grab the Save The Marriage System
11/18/202029 minutes, 7 seconds
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Marriage Lie #3: Conflict Means Its Wrong

If you find yourself arguing and in conflict, that is an indication that something is wrong with your marriage, right? Right? No.  Not at all.  But it may be that your conflict resolution is a problem.  Just one that can be improved.  Unless, of course, you believe this lie and decide that nothing can be done because… you know… conflict. That is the danger of this particular lie.  It causes people to give up, since there is conflict, rather than working through. I don’t meet too many people that like conflict.  Most either avoid it or handle it poorly.  And many see conflict as a symptom that something is wrong with the relationship. Fact is, conflict is an inevitable part of even the healthiest relationship.  In fact, the total lack of conflict may indicate just as much of a problem as too much conflict.  Put two people together who join their futures and there are going to be differences of opinion.  Different perspectives and different priorities.  And those differences must be addressed. The question is really how you do conflict, not if you have conflict.  Does the conflict serve your relationship or sever your relationship? Learn more about this lie of marriage in the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Lie #1 Lie #2 Role of Conflict Myths of Marriage Save The Marriage System
11/11/202021 minutes, 48 seconds
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Marriage Lie #2: “Meet All of My Needs”

A spouse should complete you… right? Your emotional needs, companion needs, physical needs… if your spouse is meeting them, then that is the right spouse… right? And therefore, if your spouse isn’t meeting your needs… wrong person… right? Wrong. In the last episode of the podcast, I tackled the first lie of marriage, “If it’s work, it’s wrong.”  In this episode, we tackle another lie, the “Meet My Needs” lie that measures whether your marriage and your spouse are right, based on them meeting your needs (never mind meeting the needs of your spouse). First, please don’t go all “Then the opposite is true??” on me.  No, I am not saying your spouse should not mean ANY of your needs. I AM saying your spouse can’t meet ALL of your needs. Did you say, “Of course not”?  And yet, many marriages get into trouble over the needs one accuses the other of NOT meeting.  If THAT needs is not getting met, THEN there is a problem.  But if you extrapolate a bit, that ends up being an argument that a spouse should meet ALL the needs. Here is the other problem:  if you think they should meet all of your needs, you may also believe that those needs should just be know.  After all, if you have to ask, it doesn’t feel the same… right? Oops.  Another trap.  Assuming your spouse should meet all of your needs, and should know them—and how to meet them— is a recipe for misery on both parts. So, what is the answer?  Listen to this episode to find out the truth about needs and marriage.   RELATED RESOURCES Lie #1:  If It’s Work, It’s Wrong Why Connection Matters Levels of Connection Expectation Danger Save The Marriage System
11/4/202026 minutes, 18 seconds
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Marriage Lie #1: “If It’s Work, It’s Wrong”

“I give up,” he said, throwing up his arms.  He was ready to leave the session.  But before he walked out, I asked, “Can you tell me what just happened? Why are you giving up?" He told me, “Look, we have struggled during this marriage.  Not just now.  Other times.  I just believe that if you are struggling in a marriage… if things aren’t just moving forward… it isn’t meant to be.  It’s wrong.”  And he turned to leave. I responded, “Well, that’s a big fat lie you are believing!" He stopped, looked back at me, and said, “You have 10 minutes to prove me wrong." This wasn’t the only time I have encountered this lie.  And let me be fair:  he wasn’t meaning to lie to me.  But he was.  In reality, though, he was repeating a lie he believed.  There is nothing so dangerous as a lie that we believe, but is entirely false! My client was ready to leave his marriage because he believed the lie. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I start a series on the Lies of Marriage.  These lies are things people believe (and act on, because they believe them) that are false, untrue… a lie.  But when they take on a life of their own, they unnecessarily destroy marriages. In this first episode, I tackle the lie, “If you have to work on it, the marriage is wrong.” Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Who I am and Why I do What I do The Truth About Conflict Marriage Challenges Save The Marriage System
10/28/202020 minutes, 39 seconds
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When Your Plan Hits a Wall

Your plan to save your marriage has hit a wall. Maybe things were moving forward, or maybe they have been stalled from the beginning.  But your plan?  It hit the wall. First, let me assure you that this is not unusual.  In fact, it is typical.  Most plans hit a wall before success. Second, let me assure you that this does not mean you have failed, that your marriage has failed. But let me warn you, when people hit the wall, many give up and walk away.  Many throw away their plan, their hopes, and their dreams.  Unnecessarily. So let me say it again:  just because your plan has hit a wall does not mean your marriage can’t be saved.  It means your plan hit a wall.  Time to adjust and shift.  Time to process.  Time to find clarity. But it doesn’t have to be time to quit. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I cover what it means when you hit the wall, why it happens, and how to get restarted — and not giving up!  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Book:  Marriage Fail Point - Why Marriages Fail and What To Do You Need A Plan! “I’ll Try Anything” Is NOT A Plan! What “Space” Is About Save The Marriage System
10/21/202019 minutes, 11 seconds
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DWYADAYGWYAG

No, a toddler didn’t take to pounding on my keyboard.  And no, my new puppy didn’t paw my keyboard… well, at least on for the title. Yep, I meant it: DWYADAYGWYAG. But to back up, have you ever noticed how we get stuck in repeating patterns?  Many simply serve to keep us stuck in life.  Not moving ahead.  Stuck. But alive! And that is what the brain registers.  Sure, maybe what happened yesterday was not exciting.  Maybe what you and I did yesterday, to make it through the day, was not exciting.  But we survived. Lesson learned.  What we did yesterday kept us alive.  Plan for today:  do it some more. Same in relationships. Staying alive is not the same as thriving… and is actually not a guarantee of future success.  But it worked yesterday, so our brain assumes it will work for today. DWYADAYGWYAG I’ll tell you more about what that means, and how to get beyond it, in this week’s episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below.   RELATED RESOURCES What’s Responsibility Got To Do With It? Hope and Barriers My Books My System
10/14/202032 minutes, 55 seconds
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What About Love?

A podcast listener (accurately) noted that I don’t talk too much about love.  The listener wanted to just get back to the love they had shared at one time, and wanted to know how to fall back in love. I responded with, “What do you mean by ‘love’?”  The response started with “I don’t know,” and continued with “but how do we fall back in love?" And there is the root of the problem.  We have been struggling to define and describe what love even is for centuries, if not millennia.  And we are still trying. More than that, the loving feeling is not what you really are trying to return to.  It is certainly a side-effect, but not what you want to try for. And more than that, love is not even a clear indicator of marital success — maybe because it is so hard to define and describe. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I talk the question, “What About Love?”  Where does it fit into your efforts to save your marriage?  Where does it fit into any marriage? Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES Love as Action Self-Expansion and Marriage Success The Importance of Connection Changing Yourself 3 C Approach Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Book:  Recovering From The Affair Program:  Save The Marriage System
10/7/202028 minutes, 52 seconds
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There IS No Try

“I’ll try,” my client said in response to multiple suggestions about actions to take.  But each week, the “try” never happened.  Just a couple of days ago, I got the same response to another suggestion. Before that, I had a client who had been “trying” to write the Apology Letter… but not a single word had made it to the page. There is no such action as “try.”  You can do something or not do something.  But as Yoda reminds us, “there is no try." Each morning, I get up early and work on a book or writing project for an hour.  I am pretty clear that I am either writing or I am not.  If I am putting words on paper, regardless of whether they are good or not… I am writing.  If I distract myself with social media or some article… I am not writing. It is not a matter of trying.  I am doing or not. Many times, “trying” is a cop-out.  It is a lack of action, claimed to be “about to act.”  But we can do something… and if we aren’t, we are not doing it.  Doing it successfully is only determined by the outcome.  And the outcome only comes from the action.  Not acting pretty much guarantees not getting the desired outcome.  (It is true that acting does not guarantee the desired outcome… but it is far more likely than not acting.) I discuss this and how it can keep you stuck in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Responsibility and NMF Importance of an Apology Taking Action Myths of Saving Your Marriage Save The Marriage System
9/30/202021 minutes, 32 seconds
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Can You Force Connection?

Surely you can convince your spouse to work on your marriage… right?  Yes, your marriage is in crisis.  But if you say the right thing… or say it in the right way… or convince, beg, cajole, argue, and somehow shift their thinking, then you can save your marriage.  Right? Not so fast. Usually, all of the above leads to more resistance.  Not less.  It does not lead to connection and healing, but more stand-off.  More insistence that nothing can be done.  That the marriage is beyond repair.  And that the only solution is dissolution. So, if begging, arguing, convincing, and cajoling won’t work, what will? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, we explore the concept of force, and how to shift it toward your goal of saving your marriage. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Don’t Convince Working on Connection Book:  Beyond The 3 Barriers Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Save The Marriage System
9/23/202029 minutes, 3 seconds
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5 Myths of Saving Your Marriage

Do you ever start on some new habit you heard about, maybe about the best diet or exercise, only to find that it isn’t true later on?  And have you ever discovered it was actually even worse for you? (Just think about margarine or “low fat” diets, or even diet drinks!) You think you are doing the right thing, and it turns out the “right thing” is actually the wrong thing.  And you are even worse off than before! Your marriage is in trouble and you want to save it.  So, you start gathering your information.  That is the starting point, right?  And as they say, “Knowledge is power.”  Except, of course, when the “knowledge” is myth.  False information. Worse yet, that information can do harm to your relationship. I need to let you in on a little secret:  just because it says it can help you save your marriage, that does not mean it will fit together with other approaches… or that it will even fit for you!  We get into the habit of grouping things together when they seem to be in the same subject area. But think about it for a moment.  Look up some political topic.  People might approach it from a number of different directions… and those approaches are often mutually exclusive of each other, even opposing each other.  And some are just plain wrong. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I explode 5 myths of saving your marriage — of taking action to save your marriage.  Falling for any one of these myths can put your efforts and your relationship at risk. Listen in below, and learn what to avoid. RELATED RESOURCES Reverse Psychology Fails No Contact is Crap The Importance of Connection Growing and Stagnation Issues with Marriage Therapy Grab the Save The Marriage System
9/16/202025 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Choice…

“It’s your choice,” I reassured her.  It was a call I picked up between sessions.  The person told me she had been following my System, but wasn’t sure if she could keep it up.  She wasn’t sure if it mattered, so she was thinking about quitting.  She wanted to know what I thought…. I didn’t need to convince her either way.  It really was her choice.  Should she walk away or should she keep working on it?  Only she could answer. My concern was what seemed to be fueling her decision.  She was discouraged. (Which is an interesting word, denoting she had lost courage… and she was coming to me to be encouraged — to gain courage — to act one way or the other.) To be fair, the process of saving your marriage is emotional, heart-wrenching, painful, frustrating, and exhausting… before it turns the corner.  Is it worth it? That was her choice.  The Choice.  To work on it or to walk away. Maybe it is all just getting to people this week… summer is over, school is starting back (whether virtual or in-person), the pandemic is wearing on, politics is unavoidable… and then there is that marriage crisis! Navigating all of that, staying afloat, and continuing to push forward is just tough. Which leads to the choice.  Work on it or walk away? RELATED RESOURCES Resistant Spouse Can Every Marriage Be Saved? The 4th C “Give It To Me Straight” Save The Marriage System
9/8/202030 minutes, 3 seconds
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When You Can’t Make Your Spouse Happy

Many a marriage crisis emerges when a spouse declares, “I’m not happy.”  It is really a statement about discontent with the relationship. But many respond by assuming they now know what they need to do:  make their spouse happy. Which sets in motion an impossible task:  making another human happy. Why won’t it work?  Why can’t you make your spouse happy? Because a) it isn’t your responsibility, and b) it isn’t in your control. In this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast episode, I dive in on why your efforts to make your spouse happy will fail.  We discuss what you can control and what you can’t.  And I give you four places to shift your focus, so that you can make progress in your efforts. Listen below to learn why you can’t make your spouse happy… and what to do, instead. RELATED RESOURCES Why Marriages Get into Trouble 3 C’s of Saving Your Marriage What Happy Couples Know Series The Difference Between Happy and Hurting The Save The Marriage System
9/2/202020 minutes, 30 seconds
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FACT of Your Crisis: How to Face Your Crisis and Move Forward

Sometimes, just a hint or trick will do it.  Maybe you want a trick or hint for an online game.  Or even a trick for a better pancake.  A hint for a better pushup. But hints and tricks won’t work for saving a marriage. Which is what I try to explain when I get the daily emails and voicemails, just asking for a hint or trick.  Nothing wrong with asking.  But the answer is, “you need more than a hint or trick.  You need an approach.  You need a system.” But you also need a starting point, a way to get beyond the stuck point.  Most people just don’t know how to start, so they start with hints and tricks.  And then they realize there is more to this, more to the crisis. When people tell me that they had a great marriage “until a week/month/year/___ time period ago, when ___________ happened,” they are missing that the seeds of the crisis were planted long before. And that is why we need to fix the underlying issues, address the underlying problems, and rebuild in a sustainable way… for a long-term marriage. In this episode of the podcast, I use the acronym from Gay Hendricks of FACT.  We will FACT out your marriage crisis and get you moving forward. Pay attention to the choice of path (3 W’s), and your action plan (3 C’s) in order to make a real shift as you face the FACTs of your crisis. RELATED RESOURCES Connection is Vital You Need a Plan 3 C Approach 3 Levels of Connection Save The Marriage System  
8/26/202022 minutes, 48 seconds
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How Steep is the Climb?

“How hard is it to save my marriage?” the email started.  The writer wanted my opinion on whether my System would work. There was a problem, though.  The problem was… I had no details about her marital problems.  I didn’t know what she was facing. When I was a kid, the rubik’s cube came out.  There was this book that promised to solve the cube, no matter how bad the cube was arranged.  I just kept trying to turn and twist the cube to find a solution.  My neighbor friend got the book.  My neighbor followed the guide.  And that cube was, sure enough, solved.  Mixed up cube, follow the solution, solved cube.  Easy-peesy. Let’s just say that your marriage is NOT like that rubik’s cube.  There are some reasons why your efforts might be harder (or easier) than someone else’s.  In fact, there are 3 major complicators to saving your marriage. Before jumping in to save your marriage, you want to be clear about the complicators — the obstacles — on your path.  They make a difference in what you do, how you do it, and how much effort is required. Listen below to find out how steep your climb is, due to the 3 obstacles. RELATED RESOURCES How Bad is it? Should You Give Up? Can It Be Saved? Grab the Save The Marriage System
8/19/202027 minutes, 12 seconds
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Love and Respect: An Interview with Emerson Eggerichs

"What’s love got to do with it??" "R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what that means to me!”  Tina Turner calls for love, and Aretha Franklin calls out for respect.  But what is the connection between love and respect? Emerson Eggerichs is the author of the book, Love and Respect.  As you can tell from the title, Emerson is addressing just that issue. In his work with couples, Eggerichs kept noticing the cries for respect by men and the cries for love by women.  He realized that while we all need love and respect, men tend to need respect more than love, and women need love more than respect (generally speaking). Here is the problem:  men show respect, which can feel unloving; and women show love, which can feel disrespectful.  In the end, couples feel unloved and disrespected, creating what Emerson refers to as the Crazy Cycle.  And in the process, the marriage keeps spiraling. The good news is that the cycle can be changed.  Love and respect can be restored.  And intimacy can return.  But only when you understand the dynamics that are fueling the Crazy Cycle. A while back, I had the opportunity to sit down with Emerson Eggerichs and discuss his ideas about love and respect.  While originally, it was for another program, this is important for you to hear.  In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I let you in on this important interview. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Love and Respect Website Love and Respect Book Importance of Connection Communication and Marriage
8/12/202057 minutes, 16 seconds
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How Fear Hijacks Your Marriage: Poly Vagal Theory

Your ancestors, way, way back, survived because they were more fearful than their peers.  Because of their fear, they survived, while the less fearful fell to threats.  Over time, this means that we naturally inherited overly-developed fear responses. It doesn’t take much to trigger fear and anxiety. Your heart races, your breathing quickens, your voice tightens, and your muscles flex, waiting for the fight or the flight.  Waiting to take on the threat or get away from the threat. That’s an important skill on the savannah or in the jungle.  It even has some applicability for cities and in the woods.  But it is less helpful in your workplace.  And even less helpful in your love relationships. We can quickly go from zero to 100, even when there really is no threat… just a trigger to your threat response. How can you understand this?  How would a deeper understanding of this fight/flight response help? First, you can recognize when the threat response is triggered.  Second, there are ways to more quickly de-threat your body, when you recognize it is not a necessary response. In recent years, the Poly Vagal Theory has gained credibility and usefulness.  And that is the topic for this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  I had the good fortune of interviewing Deb Dana, an expert on the theory (and a skilled clinician in applying it in therapy) for another program I created, but wanted to share it with you. If you have experienced the fight/flight response with your spouse, finding yourself trapped in a quickly escalating and rapidly disintegrating communication pattern, pay attention. If you feel the threat feelings when you know it shouldn’t feel threatening, you need to pay attention. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Deb Dana’s Website Thriveology Freedom from Fear Series Fear in Marriage Stuck Communication
8/5/202053 minutes, 33 seconds
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How to Get the Love You Want

Why did you fall in love with your spouse?  Why do people fall in love with the person they fall in love? And perhaps even more importantly for our time together, why do those same relationships cause such pain? How can love turn painful and hurtful? Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt have been on the forefront of helping hurting marriages for decades.  In 1988, their seminal book, Getting The Love You Want, came out to great acclaim.  It was an international best-seller. In that book (now revised), Harville and Helen reveal their Imago Theory of why we fall in love, and why it can either be hurtful or healing.  They also provide exercises for couples to explore their own Imago relating, to help with healing and health. Some time ago, Harville and Helen gave me some of their time to share their thoughts and direction on how to create a loving relationship.  This interview was originally part of a special program.  But I decided to share it with you, because of the powerful information they shared. Listen below to discover how understanding your Imago and help heal your marriage. RELATED RESOURCES Book:  Getting The Love You Want Website for Harville and Helen What Happy Couples Know Series The Save The Marriage System
7/29/202057 minutes, 18 seconds
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Why These Approaches Are Dangerous (2 to avoid)

I just googled, “how to save your marriage.”  There were 607,000,000.  Over 1/2 a billion results! How do you sort through them?  How do you find a real approach, from someone who knows what they are doing? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. And the problem is, some approaches do more harm than good.  And many times, you don’t even know who it is that is giving you the information.  What are their qualifications?  How do they even approach it? I started my website in 1999 (THAT makes me feel old! — so last century!), before Google even existed.  And to be honest, there weren’t many places to look for stuff.  I remember when Google started.  That same search, “how to save your marriage,” might get a couple hundred results.  Still a lot. But far more manageable. With all that info, you are likely to feel overwhelm.  Which means that some people will do absolutely nothing, not sure where to start.  Others will try to do absolutely everything… also not sure where to start, but thinking everything is better than nothing.  And others will stumble upon approaches that do more harm than good.  There are two that are particularly prevalent.  And at best, not helpful. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I give you 3 criteria to use in judging any information, and I dismantle 2 common (and dangerous) approaches to “saving” your marriage. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Reverse Psychology as an Approach No Contact is Crap Why I STILL Believe in Marriage Why I do this Work Therapy Problems Save The Marriage System
7/22/202022 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to be the Bigger Victim

Most people don’t come right out and say it, but they have a sneaking suspicion that they are the victim in their marital situation.  They believe they have been done wrong… more wrong than they have done. Problem is, their spouse is believing the same thing. Over and over, I watched as people seemed to make a mad race to be the bigger victim, each on their side of my couch, trying desperately to prove they have done all they can.  But their spouse…. It is quite a game.  Not one that either person is enjoying.  Yet both are playing. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I tell you the rules of the game, why we play the game… and how to end the game… unless you really want to win it.  Then, you can use the information to do that… although I don’t know why you would really want to.  That game ends with 3 losers:  You, your spouse, and your marriage. RELATED RESOURCES NMF Syndrome How NOT to Save Your Marriage Being on the Same Team Save The Marriage System
7/15/202030 minutes, 13 seconds
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What CAN One Person Do?

Can one person save a marriage, even if your spouse doesn’t want it? I do say that my Save The Marriage System can save your marriage, even if only you want it. But what can you really do, if your spouse is checked out and not sure they want to stay married? I answer another listener question in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. Is it really possible to save a marriage working alone?  This is important because so many people don’t believe there is anything that can be done, once a spouse has checked out.  This is not accurate.  And it means that many people who could save their marriage and rebuild, don’t.  They walk away in defeat. So, what CAN you do?  First, I tackle what you CAN’T do.  Then, we turn our attention to what CAN be done, even if it is only you interested (right now). Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Read my Medium article on The Pause Button Marriage Find my book, How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Find my Save The Marriage System Learn more about Connection Learn more about Conflict
7/8/202024 minutes, 55 seconds
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Escaping the Attraction – breaking free from the affair partner

Another listener question is the topic of this week’s episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  The question focuses on an affair… and leaving it.  What do you do about the strong attraction that can develop with the affair partner? What if your brain is telling you the feelings are real… and if they are there, maybe it was meant to be?  What if you keep wondering if the affair partner is your “soulmate,” and you messed up with marrying your spouse? Or what if these are the questions of your spouse?  That your spouse is trying to break free, but keeps falling back into the thoughts (and arms) of the affair partner? How do you break free? Can you break free? You can.  And your marriage can be filled with the connection you were missing. How? Listen in to this week’s episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Recovering From The Affair Book Affair Recovery Resources The Importance of Connection Save The Marriage System
7/1/202024 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Differences Between Happy and Hurting Marriages

Marriages start at the same place:  two people in love, ready to face the world together.  And most believe they have already beaten the odds.  Their love is “the real thing,” enduring and lasting.  It won’t fall apart like those other marriages.  They have already won. Except they haven’t. Some marriages keep on moving forward, resolute and solid, loving and supportive.  But many hit an inflection point. They go from happy to hurting. And many times, they can’t find their way back… mostly because they don’t know what the difference was; what made the difference between happy and hurting. Interestingly, most people name differences that don’t make a difference between happy and hurting.  What they assume makes a difference, doesn’t. Instead, there are 4 differences that do matter.  And here is what is important:  they can be changed.  Once you understand the 4 differences between a hurting and happy marriage, you can shift toward happy.  They are learnable skills, once identified. Listen below for the 4 differences that don’t matter and the 4 differences that do.  They make the difference between happy and hurting. RELATED RESOURCES: The Power of Commitment The Importance of Connection What About Communication? The Save The Marriage System
6/24/202028 minutes, 55 seconds
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Service or Repair?

My car is in for service.  Usually, that means I am in their lounge, trying my best to work with daytime TV blaring in the background.  But due to COVID, I decided to leave it there and head for home.  Now, I am just waiting for the call to pick it up. It’s just regular maintenance today (fingers crossed).  But there were other cars there for repairs. Which had me thinking…. What does service mean for a relationship?  How about repair for a marriage? The more I thought about it, the more the metaphor fit.  If I do regular maintenance on my car, it by no means guarantees that it won’t break down.  But it does increase the chances of avoiding a roadside breakdown. Let’s be fair:  even the best-maintained vehicles can still break down, still need a repair.  But let’s also be clear that if you have maintained your relationship, it is far less likely to need a repair, and far less likely that it will be costly (I can attest to this after the demise of my first car). Well-maintained marriages are far less likely to hit a crisis — a breakdown.  And if they do hit a crisis, they are better equipped to deal with the crisis and the outcome. In this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast, I cover the process of marriage maintenance (5 steps) and what to do when it is repair time.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Importance of Connection 3 Steps to Saving Your Marriage Dangers of Therapy Grab the Save The Marriage System
6/17/202028 minutes, 39 seconds
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How to Deepen Your Connection

The #1 reason people sought me out for couples counseling:  “We are just not connected.”  The #1 reason why marriages end up failing:  “We are just too disconnected." What happened?  That connection you had at the beginning of your marriage… where did it go? I can tell you the biggest reason why couples become disconnected:  life gets in the way.  Or more correctly, couples let life get in the way.  They hit the “pause button” on the relationship.  Because of kids, the career, schooling, hobbies, friends… lots of reasons. They just didn’t know there is no such thing as a pause button.  Either your relationship is growing or receding.  There is no pause. Still, they hit pause… and their marriage begins to disconnect.  Then, reconnecting seems so hard.  It is pushing against the inertia created.  It starts feeling like one more “have to” that is shuffled off to the back, last in line.  The marriage stays “paused,” and the relationship continues to decline. How DO you deepen your connection? That is the topic on this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast. I discuss the 3 levels of connection, and why it is so easy at the beginning… and then gets hard.  I also note the 2 characteristics you need in order to build the connection between you and your spouse. And then, I introduce you to a couple who have created a fun way to build connection with your spouse.  Don’t miss that discussion!   RELATED RESOURCES BetterTopics.com Kickstarter Project Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps (I cover the 3 levels of connection) The Importance of Connection Pause Button Marriage Why Pause is So Bad
6/10/202042 minutes, 43 seconds
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Survival Rules for Your Marriage

Your marriage is in trouble.  You know you want to save your relationship, but you aren’t sure how. Step #1 is surviving. Confession:  I have an abiding interest in survival.  I’m the guy who reads all the scuba accident reports, the shark attack reports, and the mountaineering accident reports. Why do those who survive make it through?  What makes a difference for them? They followed, on purpose or by accident, “rules” of surviving.  Those rules can help you, too. Your first task is to survive.  That gives you time to take more action.  Those actions are designed to rescue your relationship.  In fact, that is one rule I cover… being the rescuer.  Check it out in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Simplify It (series) Anti-Fragile Marriage Surviving Specific Situations (series) Save The Marriage System  
6/3/202021 minutes, 13 seconds
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Focused On The Wrong Things?

At the beginning of a coaching session, my clients often tell me what they have been focused on in their marriage crisis.  Almost always, they are focusing on the wrong things. And in the process, they are not focusing on the right things. Where we focus is what gets our attention.  Focus on the wrong things, and the wrong things get our attention… our energy… and our investment. That can head you right toward disaster and further discord.  And when you focus on the wrong things, trying harder does even more damage. "Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction." Kenichi Ohmae There are three places people often focus their attention that are not helpful, at best, and can be harmful at worst.  And there are three areas that need your focus, that need your attention. Focus on the right areas to make progress in your marriage crisis. RELATED RESOURCES Why Connection Matters 3 Levels of Connection Dealing with Infidelity Save The Marriage System
5/27/202020 minutes, 15 seconds
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When Marriage is Hard

“Why is marriage so hard?” That is a question I often hear from struggling couples. What happened?  All of that love, all the connection, seems to disappear, to be replaced with struggle and strife. At the start, it seemed so easy.  You wanted to be together, to spend your life together.  Then… something shifted.  Things got tough. Does that mean that the marriage was wrong, that you married the wrong person? Or is there something else going on? There are several challenges that arise in any marriage.  They are challenges, not insurmountable obstacles.  They prove that “being in love” is not enough to get you through life. You CAN make it through the struggle.  And no, the struggle does NOT mean the marriage is headed for failure or broken.  There IS a place for renewal and connection. Listen below for more on how to get past the struggle. RELATED RESOURCES Connection is the Lifeblood Conflict in Marriage Can You Save Your Marriage? Save The Marriage System
5/20/202026 minutes, 32 seconds
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Hanging On To Hope

Your spouse thinks it’s hopeless.  You may even be wondering that, too.  But is it?  Is it hopeless? Or is the problem that your spouse is hopeless — not the situation? Let’s be honest:  if you give up hope, it may become a hopeless situation. Sometimes, having hope is not based on seeing the way.  We find the way because we hold onto hope. In my latest book, Beyond the 3 Barriers, I note that one barrier for your spouse is hopelessness.  I also note that one way to move beyond your spouse’s barriers is by having hope.  Holding onto hope.  Maintaining hope while waiting for space to make a shift. Hope has 3 core components… all within your control and choice.  But you do need to know the components in order to choose.  When you do, you choose hope. Remember that hope is not about waiting for a spouse to hope… or even to shift.  It comes from within you, a choice you make.  Hang on to hope! Listen to the podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Beyond The 3 Barriers Book Hope vs. Hopelessness Episode Staying Stuck in the Negative Episode 3rd Biggest Mistake People Make Episode Save The Marriage System
5/13/202017 minutes, 26 seconds
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Love Isn’t (Only) Romantic

“Our marriage is broken,” she told me.  “We don’t have the passion anymore, so I don’t think we should stay married.” Missing passion… is it the end of marriage, or something else? Most relationships are sparked by infatuation.  Call it passion or romance, but the desire to be with that person, that overwhelming attraction, is a building-block for a long-term relationship — including marriage.  It is, though, not the goal. For most, that part of a relationship is a stage.  It naturally cools over time.  This is just the nature of an attraction.  It tempers over time.  Which means that we can get back to the rest of life — the parts of life that get disregarded in the heat of passion. Does that mean you must just let romance and passion fall by the wayside?  Not at all.  You just can’t count on it as the focus. Unfortunately, people often judge a marriage dead because the passion is missing. Also unfortunately, they haven’t nurtured the passion and romance.  The fact that it disappeared is more a reflection of the damaged connection than a sign the marriage was not meant to be, or has irretrievably failed. I discuss the Passion Paradox in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Love Is Not Effortless Does Romance Kill A Relationship? Where DID Those Feelings Go? Save The Marriage System
5/6/202025 minutes, 1 second
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Quarantined Together or Apart

If a marriage crisis was not enough to deal with… now we have a pandemic.  And if that was not enough, we are self-isolating.  The pandemic isn’t anything we can control.  Self-isolating is best for ourselves and others. What, though, does that mean about your marriage crisis?  How do you deal with that?  In the midst of the pandemic?  And while self-isolating. That breaks down into 4 different groups:  Isolating together but working alone, isolating together and working together, isolating apart and working alone, and isolating apart but working together.  Each has some nuances that need your attention. I cover some recommendations for each group, and explain why it makes a difference. Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES: Coping with COVID series Understanding Space Levels of Intimacy Save The Marriage System
4/29/202023 minutes, 10 seconds
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Finding the Energy – Continuing your Efforts

“I’m just out of energy,” she told me, “I don’t think I can even try to save my marriage.  Besides, what is the point?" Let’s face it:  right now, many people are feeling exhausted and drained.  And working to save a marriage can be tiring when the world is rightside-up.  Much less when everything feels upside down! Many people feel pulled in so many questions… but when something is important… as important as marriage… why does it get shifted down?  Relegated to the “left over energy,” if there is any? There are some underlying reasons why it may feel like there is no more energy… and it isn’t really about not having energy. More importantly, there are some things you can do to do an “energy reset.”  Make a shift… then save your marriage. I cover the underlying issues and the way to solve them in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Self-Care Series Dealing with Fear Having a Plan Simplify your Efforts Save The Marriage System
4/22/202026 minutes, 41 seconds
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Proving Your Perception (is dangerous)

I can’t count how many times a couple has come to me for “help with our communication skills.”  Funny thing is, they communicate just fine. Then why are they stuck in conflict?  Why are they disconnected?  Why does it seem like they aren’t on the same team? Perceptions.  About each other and about the situation that caused the conflict. And because they have decided to prove their perception to their spouse.  That is very dangerous.  Rarely is it successful, but always is it damaging. There are 2 underlying issues that affect this:  being a WE and being connected.  How strong is your sense of WE, and how connected are you?  When you don’t feel like you are on the same team and/or are feeling disconnected, it is far harder to communicate about the differences in perception.  More than that, you are unlikely to prove your connection to your spouse… especially when disconnected, but almost always. How do you solve it? We discuss what to do in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES 3 Dimensions of Connection All About Being A WE Role of Conflict Healing Disconnection Save The Marriage System
4/16/202021 minutes, 47 seconds
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Time for a Relationship Reset?

Unless you are hiding out in a cave somewhere (I read about a person who had been on a silent retreat — went in with everything normal and came out to the pandemic), your world has been topsy-turvy. We will get through this.  The pandemic will pass.  But this isn’t about, “and then, we will get back to life.”  Life is happening right now.  And we won’t be going “back to normal,” either.  There are some fundamental changes happening in culture.  We didn’t just hit “pause” when people went into isolation.  And we won’t simply “un-pause” when it is safe to un-isolate. Society is in for a shift.  How it shifts, that depends upon us, the members of society.  There is, I believe, great potential for a shift to what really matters.  Not what we have been believing matters.  It won’t be about money, power, or prestige.  It will be about meaning, purpose, connection, and character.  (At least, that is my hope.) Why does that matter?  How does that affect your marriage?  I believe there is an opportunity, in the midst of the chaos, for a “Relationship Reset.”  It is an opportunity to reconsider the crisis and find a way to resolve it by staying married, not by leaving. Discover the 3 reasons why this might be the time for a Reset, and 3 things to do to facilitate it in this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES What Now? Saving a Marriage in the Pandemic Staying the Course in a Crisis (or 2) Coping as a Couple in Quarantine Being a Team Save The Marriage System
4/9/202021 minutes, 49 seconds
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Coping as a Couple Caught in COVID Quarantine

Are you suddenly finding yourself and your spouse stuck together, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic?  Is it suddenly very close quarters? If your marriage wasn’t struggling before, this may be the stressor that pushes your relationship into crisis. Or it might just be the turning point to a thriving marriage. What can you do during this time, for yourself and your marriage?  On this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I explore 3 areas on which you can focus.  And in each area, I give 2 suggestions for what you can do to survive the crisis, weather the storm, and help both your marriage and yourself. Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Conflict in Marriage Space in Marriage 3 Layers to Connection Save The Marriage System  
4/2/202022 minutes, 52 seconds
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Staying the Course in a Crisis (or 2)

The phrase, “Stay the Course,” comes from the commitment in battle to continue moving toward your goal, regardless of obstacles or difficulties.  So first, let’s let go of the battle analogy.  You aren’t in battle.  But you are fighting for your marriage. And in this moment, you are fighting to keep yourself and your family safe. Those are the goals.  And that is the problem.  A single crisis is tough enough.  But a crisis, squared.  It isn’t just double.  The struggle is exponential.  That’s because a crisis on top of a crisis is not cumulative.  It can feel like it multiplies the struggle. So, then, how do you stay the course? I cover these 4 ways in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast: Have a plan. Practice extra patience and grace. Refuse to absorb anxiety. Do the Next Right Thing. Listen below for the details on each. RELATED RESOURCES Why You Need A Plan Emotions and Your Marriage Dealing with Fear Save The Marriage System
3/26/202023 minutes, 5 seconds
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What Now? – Saving your marriage in the midst of a pandemic

First, you were caught in the swirling whirlwind of a marriage crisis.  Now, to add to that, a pandemic is taking over.  Whatever fears you had about your marriage are now layered with your concerns about your health (and the health of loved ones). It is amazing how quickly things are moving.  This crisis has been on the radar since the first of the year.  But as with many things (including a marriage struggle), most people don’t pay much attention until it is cascading into a crisis.  Then, we are playing “catch up.” Trying desperately to get ahead of the situation.  But generally finding ourselves falling further and further behind. A crisis tests us. Both a marriage crisis and a world crisis.  They test us.  To see whether we rise up or give up.  Whether we go with what matters or what is easy.  Do we act in fear or lead with courage? We talk about this in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Being a WE Importance of Connection Dealing with Fear in Marriage Dealing with Fear in Life Save The Marriage System
3/19/202015 minutes, 54 seconds
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Where Did The Love Go?

I get that question very frequently:  “What happened?  Where did the love go?" Maybe you feel it, maybe you hear it.  The end result is the same:  one or both people  just not feeling it… not feeling love.  Maybe “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you.” Or maybe, “I care about you, but I don’t love you.”  Or maybe more simply, “I don’t love you.” Then what? And where did the love go?  It was there before.  Did it really go away? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss the causes of love gone missing.  We look at where the love went, and talk about how to bring it back. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Connection and Marriage Conflict and Marriage Pause Button Marriage Interview with Gary Chapman Self-Expansion and Marriage Save The Marriage System
3/12/202020 minutes, 46 seconds
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Marriage Wrecker: Conflict

Over the last couple of episodes, I have been looking at what wrecks marriage.  First, I discussed Expectations.  Then, I discussed Disconnection. In this episode, we look at another “Marriage Wrecker”:  Conflict. Yes, I know, plenty of people will tell you that conflict is inevitable in marriage.  And it is certainly true that every marriage… any relationship that is as intimate as marriage… is going to include disagreements and differences-of-opinions. That is not the question.  The question is, how do you deal with the disagreements?  How do you do conflict?  If you aren’t careful, conflict can wreck your marriage. Why?  Because it often becomes adversarial — going for the win, not for the relationship. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, we look at how conflict can wreck your marriage… or how you can keep it from happening. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Marriage Wrecker:  Expectations Marriage Wrecker:  Disconnection The Role of Conflict Fighting FOR Your Marriage Conflict To Intimacy Save The Marriage System
3/5/202027 minutes, 34 seconds
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Marriage Wrecker: Disconnection

Your marriage is hurting.  Why?  What happened?  What wrecked your marriage? In the last podcast episode, I discussed how expectations can wreck a marriage. But unfortunately, there are some other issues and concerns that can wreck your marriage.  This week’s Marriage Wrecker is right at the top of the list. In fact, it is a recurring theme in my work with couples.  After discussing it in several coaching sessions in the last few days, I thought it was a good topic for an episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. What is connection?  What is DISconnection… and why does it happen?  We start there.  We discuss how connection is the life-blood of your relationship… and what happens when it gets squeezed off… often for what seem like good reasons! The result, though, is the same, even when disconnection is unintentional. (And it almost always is.) I also cover what to do when you realize the cycle and are ready to break it (what to know and how to approach it, so you don’t get thrown off). Listen to this important episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Danger of Expectations Connection and Disconnection Resources Pause Button Marriage Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps System:  Save The Marriage
2/27/202026 minutes, 42 seconds
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Marriage Wrecker: Expectations

“What can I expect from my spouse?”  That was the lead question.  Because over and over, her expectations had not been met. “Expectations,” I told her, “can wreck your marriage." “Which expectations?”, she asked. I noted, “Any." But shouldn’t you have expectations?  Shouldn’t you be able to expect things from your spouse? Let me ask you question:  How’s that going so far? Some expectations are explicit.  Others are implicit.  Some are internal.  Others are external. And generally, expectations fail. That same person said, “So I should just expect my spouse to do nothing, is that right?”  I noted that she just changed to another expectation.  But still, it was an expectation.  And expectations cause problems.  Negative or positive.  They still cause problems. The solution?  Actually, there are two parts.  Listen in as we take apart your expectations… and shift to something more helpful. RELATED RESOURCES Perception’s The Problem Ways Your Marriage is Slipping Away Importance of Connection Back to Basics The Save The Marriage System
2/20/202028 minutes, 44 seconds
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Is Your Marriage in the Safe Zone?

She started the conversation by telling how she was confused… her spouse had confused her.  He said he didn’t feel safe enough to share his emotions, didn’t feel safe enough to move back into their bedroom, didn’t feel safe enough to talk through their issues.  She told me, “I have never hurt him or threatened to hurt him.  How can he feel unsafe?" Safety (and feeling safe) is an interesting thing.  There doesn’t actually have to be a real threat in order to feel unsafe.  Our brains are always looking for a sense of threat — and it takes very little to trigger the feeling of threat.  A look, a tone… a small hint can be perceived as a real threat. We don’t risk connecting when we feel threatened.  Connecting requires vulnerability.  And vulnerability requires a sense of safety. Again, that is not necessarily tied to reality of threat.  So, do you (and your spouse) create spaces of safety?  Do you internally communicate safety in your relationship? Learn why this is so important and how to do it in the Save The Marriage Podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES Connection in Marriage Connection and Disconnection Resources Connection or Protection Save The Marriage System
2/13/202025 minutes, 17 seconds
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Hope vs. Hopelessness

Miranda asked me, “What do I do?  My spouse is hopeless that we can save our marriage. I’m losing hope, too." A couple of weeks ago, I did a training for members of my VIP Program, noting three barriers in the way of a spouse working on the marriage… along with how to respond.  One of those barriers is hopelessness. But if a spouse is hopeless… how can you hold onto hope? There is an equation of hope:  hope = goal + pathways to goal + action to get there. If you noticed from the equation, a spouse (you) can choose hope, even when a spouse is hopeless.  Especially if you recognize that the hopeless spouse cannot see that goal… cannot see a way forward (a path)… and therefore, can’t see a way to take action. There are traps at each of those three elements of hope… and if one is not present, it isn’t really hope.  So, let’s talk about how to grab each element, keep it in place, and keep moving forward. Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES NEW— Book, Beyond the 3 Barriers — Covers hopelessness! Save The Marriage System VIP Virtual Coaching Coaching Services Moving Forward… One Way or the Other Stuck in the Negative The Fatal Triangle
2/6/202031 minutes, 40 seconds
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“I’m Just Not Happy”… The Excuse to Leave?

What do you do when a spouse declares, “I’m not happy,” as the reason the marriage has to end?  Or how about, “You’re not happy,” or “I can’t make you happy”? I have heard this reason given over and over.  It is a common (but false) belief that a marriage needs to end because spouses can’t make each other happy. The fact is, you cannot make your spouse happy.  And your spouse can’t make you happy.  But that isn’t even the goal! (Just to be fair, it is possible to make someone miserable!  But make them happy?  Nope.  Not possible.  Ever.) What does it mean when a spouse wants to end a marriage due to “not being happy”?  And what do you do?  How do you respond? That is the topic of our conversation on this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  You can listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing With YOUR Resentment Dealing With YOUR SPOUSE’S Resentment Showing Up Courageous Compassion 3 C’s of Saving Your Marriage System To Save Your Marriage
1/30/202020 minutes, 16 seconds
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“Are We Too Opposite?”

Too many times — in my office, by email, on phone calls — I hear a spouse rationalizing their decision that the marriage cannot possibly succeed because, “We’re just opposites, too different to make it.” But is it true?  Are you “opposites”?  (How are humans ever actually “opposite”?)  And for the sake of argument, does that doom your relationship? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I answer a listener question that you may have, too.  This listener’s spouse has declared, “We are opposites,” and has given up on even trying to save their marriage.  This listener is wondering, “Is that true?  Are we opposites? Does that doom our marriage?" Since this question comes up so often, I wanted to discuss the reality of this.  I cover my issues with “opposites,” discuss my theory of “Complimentarity,” and trample all over the belief in “compatibility,” an idea that has been espoused by dating sites and apps — and yet has failed in creating strong relationships. Listen below for my response to “We’re Just Opposites." RELATED RESOURCES What Happy Couples Know Ways We Connect Love Languages System To Save Your Marriage
1/23/202024 minutes, 11 seconds
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Why It All Came Tumbling Down

“It suddenly fell apart,” Jenny told me.  As far as she could tell, everything had been great until… one day… her husband said, “our marriage is over.”  Before that, Jenny said, there had been no trouble. Why did it all come tumbling down? Rob told me that, sure, there had been some issues along the way.  But he didn’t know his wife was ready to leave… until “out of the blue, she moved out and said we were done!" Why did it all come tumbling down? George told me, “I just want us to get back to where we were… before the crisis." My response to George was, “Where you were got you to where you are.  You can’t just go back to there.  You need to build a new relationship!" I told both Jenny and Rob that I very seriously doubted that the crisis was quite so “out of the blue.”  They just didn’t see it coming. But brick by brick, piece by piece, their relationship was being pulled apart long before it all came tumbling down.  And it is very likely that both they and their spouses bore responsibility. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, we explore the roots of trouble, so you can begin to consider why your marriage didn’t just start to crumble. RELATED RESOURCES Book:  Marriage Failpoint Save The Marriage System Connection and Marriage Healing Disconnection Change Yourself
1/16/202019 minutes, 33 seconds
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Did Your Apology Fail?

You apologized to your spouse… maybe on your own, or maybe because I suggested it. And... ... Nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch. No change, no difference. Does that mean that your efforts are over?  That your attempts to save your marriage are a failure? Just to reassure you, an apology letter with no response does not necessarily mean it was a failure.  And it sure doesn’t mean that your efforts are over. This week, I am answering Chris’s questions about an apology letter “fail.”  If you have a question, you can submit it at [email protected] for consideration. RELATED RESOURCES: Anatomy Of An Apology Of Apologies and Forgiving Forgiveness Is NOT A Blank Check 5 Rules for Apologizing Save The Marriage System VIP (If you have the System)
1/9/202022 minutes, 25 seconds
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“Why Can’t I Get Started?”

Audrey wrote me to ask, “I just can’t get started on my marriage.  What’s wrong with me?" She wrote in as a listener of my podcast.  (And if you have a question for the podcast, send it to me here:  [email protected]) IF she WANTS to save her marriage, then WHY CAN’T SHE GET STARTED? There are some reasons why people get stuck and can’t get started.  And there are some issues beneath these reasons that must be addressed, one way or the other. I cover the problems and issues in this week’s Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES "Can I Even Save My Marriage?” “What If I Can’t Save It?" Why Does It Matter? Working on It Alone Healing Your Anger Save The Marriage System
1/2/202020 minutes, 32 seconds
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Special Holiday Edition: Ghosts of Relationship Past

Do you settle down with a good book you have read over and over this time of year?  I read my kids the exact same Christmas book every single year.  And many years, I re-read a classic for myself… like A Christmas Carol.  This year, I want to offer a redux of a prior podcast episode… about the Ghosts of Your Relationship Past.  Yep.  Christmas, with new opportunities.  Here it is: 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.
12/24/201914 minutes, 28 seconds
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All The Wrong Reasons: Should You Stay Together?

We continue with listeners’ questions on the Save The Marriage Podcast.  And in this episode, I pull together a central question about “Should we stay together because of this Insert Bad Reason Here?" Several people told me they were still married, just for the sake of the kids.  Several told me that their spouse was still there because they could not afford to separate, much less to divorce.  And some told me they stayed married just to avoid having to hit the dating scene.  And then, there is that anxiety of “what will people think?”  So, they stay together. But is that enough, they ask?  Should they only stay together for these “wrong reasons?" You can make a perspective shift and use those “wrong reasons” to get you to the right place in your relationship. I cover 4 ways to get there in this episode of the podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Connecting Changing Conflict Convincing - don’t! Save The Marriage System  
12/19/201920 minutes, 24 seconds
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Fighting for… Connection

“Should I even keep fighting for my marriage?”, asks “G.” Oof, that word… “fighting.”  I hear it often.  But so many times, when someone says they are “fighting for” their marriage, they end up “fighting against” their spouse.  The spouse who doesn’t see how to move forward. Which is rarely helpful for the process.  But I watch person after person “suit up” to do battle, not even sure on what they are fighting. So, let me clarify that with the question from “E.”  She asked why I always talk about connection… not romance, playing “hard to get,” doing “No Contact,” or reverse psychology. Those two fit together… the “fighting” part and the “connecting” part.  You are fighting for connection!  For some very specific (and deeply rooted) reasons. I discuss both in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES: Connection and Marriage Why are We Fighting No Contact is Crap No Manipulation Save The Marriage System
12/12/201925 minutes, 50 seconds
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How To Guarantee No Divorce

Over the last episodes, I have been answering listener questions (you can submit your question by email - CLICK HERE).  In this episode, I respond to Susan.  She wants to guarantee that she does not get divorced. So, I reveal how you can guarantee that you won’t get divorced (you may not like my answer, but it is important). And then, I discuss what to do if it is too late to get that guarantee. More importantly, I discuss why people want that guarantee, and what to do about that. Oh, and I even tell you the exact ingredients in your process to save your marriage. Simple.  Not easy.  But powerful when understood and applied. Looking for a guarantee?  Tune in to learn more. RELATED RESOURCES Why Try Continuing When You are Frustrated When You Want to Quit You Need a Plan 3 Simple Steps Save The Marriage System
12/5/201923 minutes, 39 seconds
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Heavy Holiday? Marriage Crisis and the Season

When life is hard, Holidays can feel heavy.  When there is a marriage crisis, it can be tough to muster the energy to even move forward — especially when all the commercials and movies push the “merry and bright” of a mythic holiday. And here we are, on the cusp of the Holiday season!  It cuts across nations and beliefs.  The season is here. A client recently told me, “I just want to crawl into bed and get up on January 2nd." What a loss!  No chance to find the deeper meaning of the Holidays.  No chance at connection, re-connection, and healing. Her real desire was to avoid pain.  But her solution did more than avoiding pain.  It avoided life, and all it offered. My suggestion:  deal with the heavy Holidays in a way that brings depth, connection, and healing, by engaging in the holiday. I have 5 suggestions on dealing with Holidays in the midst of a marriage crisis.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Gratitude and Marriage How Gratitude Can Transform Your Marriage Ghosts of Marriage Past Holidays and Marriage Save The Marriage System
11/28/201916 minutes, 11 seconds
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Is “Space” the Opposite of Connection?

It is such a common demand from a spouse during a marital crisis:  “I need space!  You just need to give me space!” Yet here I am, telling you to connect with your spouse, to rebuild the broken connection that led to the crisis. Are they opposites? One listener to the Save The Marriage Podcast was wondering.  Which means that others might be wondering the same thing. Here is the problem:  When your marriage is in crisis and a spouse asks for space, if you can’t give it, your spouse will demand MORE space.  And if that is not given, your spouse will force even MORE space.  Each step causes deeper disconnection and a deeper crisis. And yet, you know you need to fix the disconnection in order to heal the crisis.  It just seems that connecting and giving space are opposite ends.  But that is mainly because of the way you are trying to connect.  You can accidentally be crowding, not connecting. Listen in to discover the truth about “space” and how to connect without crowding. (And if you have questions you want answered on the podcast, CLICK HERE TO SEND THEM.) RELATED RESOURCES What is Space? Why is Connection Important? How To Stop Chasing Taking Responsibility Save The Marriage System VIP Program
11/21/201917 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Problem with Changing… and Proving It!

Things hit a bad spot in your marriage… and your spouse isn’t sure about staying or leaving the marriage.  Sure, it may have been a relationship issue, but you may be feeling blamed. It’s pretty common to go looking for the “bad guy” in any situation.  And even if both of you are in pain and frustrated, you may be wanting to stay.  While you may be able to point to things your spouse needs to change, you can probably see that approach is unlikely to get you very far. And noting the relationship problems?  That might “fall on deaf ears,” too. Which means you may just be catching the blame. And maybe you even agree with the critiques aimed your way.  Maybe you even agree that there are some changes you need to make. Now what? Yes, you absolutely want to make the changes. Maybe to prove you can.  Maybe because you know you would be a better person for having changed. Here is the problem:  Change is hard, and rarely straightforward.  When we make any significant changes in life, we are highly unlikely to hit 100% success.  Every now and then, you are likely to fall short.  You are likely to drift back into old habits, old actions, old responses. That doesn’t mean you have failed.  Only that change is often a journey. But those slips?  They will absolutely be seen as failures by a suspicious spouse who is not trusting the changes (or even your capacity to change). And that is the problem with change. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I cover some questions about this that were submitted by listeners.  Take a listen below! RELATED RESOURCES: We Change When We Change When Your Spouse Doesn’t Believe “I’ve Changed” and Other Things Not To Say Why Your Spouse Doesn’t See The Change Responsibility Formula Save The Marriage System  
11/14/201927 minutes, 44 seconds
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Pushing Through…

What do you do when you feel like giving up, like nothing you do is making a difference?  Or when your spouse says you are trying to hard, or acting strange?  Or when you have dragged your spouse to retreats, therapy, workshops… and at every turn, your spouse throws up a wall? What do you do to push through? That assumes that, for right now, giving up is not what you want to do. You could do that. You could walk away. That is an option at any time. But what if you don’t want to do that? In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I answer listener questions about how to continue in the face of failed efforts and resistant spouses. We also look at the effects of depression on the process. And I give you three pointers to keep moving forward… including why that “love language” may be failing in translation. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: If You Need A System To Save Your Marriage, Click Here If You Have The System, But Want More Help, Click Here Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Love Languages Podcast You Need A Plan YOU Are The Best Tool You Have How To Stay In The Game
11/7/201931 minutes, 23 seconds
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Turning Conflict Into Intimacy

Relationships of any depth and any magnitude are going to hit up against conflict.  It is just the nature of being close to someone.  You are going to have differences that emerge.  It is not a  question of if, but when those differences appear.  And then there is another question:  how do you deal with the conflict?  Does it serve to push you apart or does it pull you together? In marriage, you are tying your life to the life of a spouse.  That intensifies the potential for conflict, and the importance of that conflict.  If someone else’s life has no real bearing on mine, I can disregard and ignore our differences… and we can even go our separate ways. But in marriage, you pledge to move through those tough times, to find a way that works for both of you.  And that raises the potential for the conflict. For many couples, conflict only serves to divide and separate, not strengthen and pull together.  Which means that an opportunity has been missed.  A bridge has been lost. On this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, my guest is Mari Frank.  What makes Mari’s outlook interesting is that she is an attorney.  A divorce attorney.  Not one who likes to take relationships apart, but an attorney who sees the sadness of relationships that could survive, that still have potential… where the spouses can’t see a way through their conflict. After Mari watched marriages ending unnecessarily, she decided to do something.  She used the skills developed over the years of navigating negotiation and mediation to help couples get below their surface issues and resolve their deeper conflicts. And she realized that couples could do this before they landed in her office!  Before their marriage was in jeopardy!  Not only that, the conflict actually created a path to intimacy, if the couple followed it. This led to her book, Fighting for Love. And in this episode of the podcast, it leads to our discussion of how conflict can be turned into intimacy Listen in as Mari and I discuss the 6 A’s To A Long Relationship, and how to use HARD LOVE to get out of conflict. RELATED RESOURCES Mari’s Website for Extra Resources The Role of Conflict Fighting Versus Solving Surviving Conflict  Fragile Marriage? Save The Marriage System
10/31/201942 minutes, 40 seconds
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Your Questions About Infidelity, part 2

In the last episode, I answered questions about infidelity and marriage.  Well, I started answering questions.  Since I started asking for your questions, I have received quite a few about affairs and infidelity.  So, I continue answering questions in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast. Last episode, we focused more on what to do while there is an affair, emotional or physical. This episode focuses a bit more on the aftermath.  What do you do when the affair is ending/has ended?  Especially if there is still contact! What do you do with those thoughts and fears?  What do you do about trust?  How do you rebuild the relationship in the shadow of cheating?  Especially if the cheating spouse is not doing what you want them to do in the recovery process? And by the way, what’s “normal” in an upside-down reality? We cover that and more! Listen below for my answers to listener questions on infidelity (part 2) RELATED RESOURCES: Book:  Recovering From The Affair Infidelity Questions, Part 1 Other Infidelity Podcast Episodes Truth About Trust Aftermath of An Affair Apologizing and Forgiving Importance of Connection
10/24/201936 minutes, 36 seconds
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Your Questions About Infidelity, Part 1

Someone cheated.  What now?  Can a marriage survive infidelity, either physical or emotional?  Can a relationship recover after an affair? Over the past while, I have been answering listener questions (you can submit by emailing here). And this week, we turn our attention to the subject of infidelity and affairs (both physical and emotional). To be honest, I receive more questions on this topic than any other (which is the reason I wrote the book on recovering from an affair). So, this is only part 1 of my answers. Affairs and infidelity affect many marriages.  They are a risk during a marriage crisis, and they deepen a  crisis already happening. Infidelity is less a cause of the actual crisis, and more a symptom.  But a discovered affair is often the first clear sign of the depths of crisis. How do you deal with your emotions?  How do you deal with your spouse?  And how about that other person? We touch on this and many other issues in the episode below.  Listen in. RELATED RESOURCES Book:  Recovering From The Affair Prior Affair Resources Aftermath Of An Affair Importance of Forgiveness Importance of Apology System To Save Your Marriage (including Audio on Dealing With Affair)  
10/17/201927 minutes, 26 seconds
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Struggling with Separation

Is separation the best scenario for saving a marriage? No.  Many times, a separation ends up being a "dress rehearsal for divorce."  Living separately creates patterns of separation.  Connection becomes more difficult. But is it all for naught? Not necessarily. For a number of episodes now, I have been answering questions from listeners (you can email your questions to [email protected]). In this episode, I answer questions from 3 listeners about their separation concerns:  building connection during a separation, dealing with relationships that develop during a separation, and how to rebuild trust after a separation. If you are struggling with a separation, whether before, during, or after, you need to listen in to this episode as I address the struggles with separation. RELATED RESOURCES Importance of Connection Surviving Separation Can Separation Save a Marriage Why "Space" is Hard The Anxiety-Anger Anchor Save The Marriage System
10/10/201927 minutes, 36 seconds
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Dealing with Indifference…

For awhile, I have been answering listener-submitted questions, and continue to do so in this episode (if YOU want to ask a question, send it to [email protected]). This week, I respond to a couple of questions about a spouse's indifference and/or resistance to attempts at connection. It can be frustrating when you so desperately want to rebuild a marriage.  Maybe your spouse claims to want the same.  Maybe your spouse just doesn't respond much at all.  A little conversation... that goes nowhere.  Or attempts at conversation... that go nowhere.  It can feel frustrating and defeating. How should you understand the situation? What can you do about it? Can you make progress? We discuss these questions (and more) in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES 3 Step Process 3 C's of Doing It Importance of Connection When Spouse Can't See A Way Resentment and Anger Save The Marriage System
10/3/201927 minutes, 7 seconds
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“Why Should I Try? Don’t Tell Me What To Do!”

Jared was a bit more pointed in his question.  But to be fair, I HAVE been asking for people to submit questions.  And he did. He told me straight up, "You tell me to connect with my spouse.  Well, I've been trying to do that.  If I've been trying and it isn't working, what are you gonna teach me that will make a difference?" Fair question. So I responded to it in this episode of the podcast. Jared continues on about my "Easy" approach to saving a marriage.  So, just to clarify here and in my podcast, I never said "Easy."  I did say "Simple."  Many things are simple, but not easy.  Never confuse the two.  My attempt is to simplify the process, so that you do not get overwhelmed.  This is not some "self-working, no effort necessary" approach.  Anyone who claims to have that is simply lying. On the other hand, I think I can clarify and simplify the process, so that you know exactly what to do. But I tell you why in the podcast. And no, Jared, you don not "have" to do anything.  But if you want to do something to work on your marriage, I am here to help.  So, let's talk.  First, listen to the episode below for my response to your question. RELATED RESOURCES What Swiss Cheese Has To Do With Your Marriage Your Efforts Matter Your WHY of Saving Your Marriage When To Throw In The Towel Simple, not Easy The Save The Marriage System
9/26/201925 minutes, 1 second
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Moving Forward… One Way or The Other…

"I need some encouragement," the note ended.  The writer is a listener of my podcast and admitted the hard work that has gone into trying to save his marriage. At the same time, another listener asked about whether this effort -- the work to save her marriage -- was just a "waste of time."  Could I, the writer wanted to know, point to some hope?  Some reason to continue the efforts. If you haven't felt like these two writers, I'd be surprised.  And would be super-surprised if it did not emerge at some point in the process. Working on a marriage crisis can feel like a slow slog through a deep bog, hip-high in quicksand and sludge.  It can feel like it threatens to pull you under. Those are the times we need some encouragement and direction.  Some... as one asked... hope, and as the other asked... encouragement. I don't believe in false hope.  I tell it like it is... and encourage you to take the steps you need to take.  I shoot straight and tell the truth.  So, first, let me say that I do not (and have never) claim that every marriage can be saved.  Even if you do everything right, your spouse may still refuse to move toward the relationship. I also know that there are two good outcomes.  First is to save your marriage.  Second is to rest assured that you did everything you could do to save your marriage. My encouragement:  There is one way through this.  And that is THROUGH this.  Regardless of outcome, YOU WILL BE OK.  And YOU get to choose how you respond to this and every other challenge in life.  So respond the best you can.  Do your best.  Rest in that knowledge. Oh, and make sure you prepare yourself to do your best.  Equip and execute.  You've GOT this! RELATED RESOURCES Connection Versus Confusion Can Every Marriage Be Saved? Can This Marriage Be Saved? "How I Saved My Marriage" Control What You Can You Need A Plan The Save The Marriage System
9/19/201923 minutes, 22 seconds
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Depression And Your Marriage Crisis

Lately on the podcast, I have been answering listener questions.  And quite a few have come in about how depression affects a marriage.  Does depression cause a crisis? Or do people get depressed because of the crisis?  Or... and this is more central to the question... how do you deal with depression and a marriage crisis? Depression is a reality for many people.  And depression is a part of a marriage crisis many times. The question is how you move through both crises:  depression and a marriage crisis. In this podcast, I discuss the effects of depression, some thoughts about causation, and how to deal with the depression while addressing the relationship crisis. RELATED RESOURCES Beat Depression Series Showing Up In Marriage Connection in Marriage Save The Marriage System
9/12/201927 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Affair… and The Aftermath

Question:  does an affair cause marital problems or do marital problems cause affairs? Answer:  YES. Longer answer:  for the majority of affairs, weak points in the marriage create a vulnerability to infidelity.  There is another necessary element... but problems do cause vulnerability.  But when infidelity is committed, the problem deepens.  Affairs end up creating both a personal and a marital crisis... often for both spouses. And then, there is the aftermath... what comes AFTER the affair is ended. In this episode of the podcast, I tackle two submitted questions: "What causes an affair?  Why did it happen in OUR marriage?" and "What is the typical aftermath in an affair for the spouse who broke it off?" In these two cases, the questions are not academic.  They are wound up in the marital crisis that is unwinding... or stuck... and infidelity is a major issue. If you are in the midst of a marital crisis, your relationship could be vulnerable... and if your spouse (or you) has committed infidelity, this can help you understand what might happen when the affair is ended. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Other Affair Episodes Connection and Marriage Book:  Recovering From Infidelity Program:  Save The Marriage System
9/5/201926 minutes, 47 seconds
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“How Long?” Trust, Trauma, and Towels

I'm still answering your questions!  If you have a question you want me to cover on the podcast, just SEND ME AN EMAIL HERE. Today, we cover "time."  Or more specifically, "How Long?"  The questions come from 2 listeners, "B" and "J." B asked about how long it takes to recover from broken trust.  He follows up with wondering about PTSD symptoms and breaking trust.  If your relationship suffers from broken trust, I cover the issue of healing time... and what you can do about that time. I also go into some discussion about trust and trauma, to make sure you understand how that might affect your relationship. And J is interested in how long to keep up the efforts before you "throw in the towel."  J says that they are in a "lock."  I disagree, and I cover how to think through the stuck spot... what it means, why you might be wrong, and how to keep on moving forward. Trauma, Time, and Towels.  I cover them in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Don't miss it!  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES What You CAN Control Trust and Marriage Importance of Apology Showing Up Save The Marriage System Books by Lee
8/29/201927 minutes, 16 seconds
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Disrespect and Boundaries

"A" has been trying to set boundaries with her husband.  Trying to get the treatment she deserves.  Trying to get the relationship to a healthy spot. But then, her spouse throws a little shade her way... rolling eyes, using a demeaning tone.  What should she do to set a boundary on that?, she asks. During the last few episodes of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I've been tackling your questions -- questions submitted by listeners.  (If you have a question for consideration, email it to me HERE.) In this case, A has a good hold on what to do when, say, her spouse raises his voice or calls her names.  But what about those less-clear actions -- using a "you're so stupid" tone (note that this requires you to read a tone... not always a good thing to try). Sometimes, boundaries are clear.  You know how to set them.  I even have a whole chapter on it in the primary module of Save The Marriage System. But when it is more subtle... a little harder to pin down.  And a little harder to call someone on.  What about that? I cover it in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Setting Boundaries Boundaries and Control Healing Hurt Expectations and Agreements Conflict Save The Marriage System  
8/22/201921 minutes, 46 seconds
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Work on Me, Work on WE?

What do you do if your spouse decides they need to work on themselves... and then they may (or may not) be willing to work on the marriage?  What do you do if your spouse just refuses to work on your marriage? That is the question of the week, asked by Sam.  He said his wife wants to better herself.  Then, maybe she would address the marriage. As part of my series, answering your questions, I want to address this one.  Because it might just be YOUR question, too!  (If not, you can SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION HERE.) Many times, when a marriage is in trouble, a spouse (or maybe you) just won't address the relationship issues, insisting they (or you) need to work on themselves (or yourself) before looking at the marriage. The binary question:  "work on me or work on WE?" stands out.  But does it have to be so binary.  Is it really one or the other?  Or is there another way to approach this? If you try to force a spouse to work on the relationship, that won't work... and might make things better.  So, what CAN you do? Listen to this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast for my response. RELATED RESOURCES Don't Try to Convince Showing UP in Marriage Dealing with Conflict The Importance of Self-Expansion The Save The Marriage System HERE
8/15/201917 minutes, 10 seconds
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How Do You Know If Things Are Improving?

Phil asked, "How do you know you are making progress?"  And perhaps fearing that the signs point the other way, he also asked, "how long is long enough to be trying before it is unhealthy for me." Those are two great, if somewhat polarized, questions.  They point to fears of not being able to save a relationship.  What to look for?  And what to do if those signs are not there? This can be a bit like staring into the crystal ball... or asking the magic mirror.  But these are such important questions that I wanted to answer Phil's questions... at least as much as I can.  There are lots of dynamics and subtleties to a marriage and a spouse, it can be hard to be precise. But I want to discuss some signs to look for, both in when there is progress and when it is becoming unhealthy. Listen in for details in this episode of the podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Confusion or Connection Showing Up Having a Plan Spouse Is NOT The Enemy Save The Marriage System to Guide You
8/8/201922 minutes, 42 seconds
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“Is ‘Trying’ Disrespectful?” – When A Spouse Wants Out

"Gem" wrote me after a recent episode of my podcast.  In that episode, a therapist said, after one single session (where divorce had not been mentioned) that the client needed to prepare for divorce. In Gem's case, her husband used therapy as the excuse that they "had tried therapy but it didn't work."  But he went further, saying that if Gem did not go along with his desire to divorce, it amounted to her disregarding (and disrespecting) his emotions. I would have said, "WHAT??", except I have heard the same thing over and over. Often enough that I have even wondered if some Pro-Divorce "expert" had given that as the secret recipe to shift a spouse out of "save the marriage mode." (Yes, those folks do exist... and yes, spouses do find them... and use them to arm against staying married -- as if you need to arm against that!!) What does it mean when a spouse says, "You are disrespecting my feelings by trying to save our marriage"?  And what do you do?  IS it disrespectful?  SHOULD you just go along and give up? I cover it in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Can Your Marriage Be Saved? Why Isn't Your Marriage Turning Around? Am I Against Therapy? Can You Convince A Spouse? Here's How To Save Your Marriage... Even Working Alone
8/1/201924 minutes, 13 seconds
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“Why Should I Even Try?” – When Discouragement Hits… Hard

Several people have asked me the same thing:  "What if I am not even sure I want to save my marriage?  I am so frustrated and discouraged, I feel like quitting... not even trying." It is a great question! (By the way, if you want to submit a question for me to consider answering on a future podcast, email to [email protected]) Let's be honest:  it can be a frustrating and discouraging process.  Sometimes, people think I say the process is easy.  But in my book, How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps, I use the word, "Simple."  That is not the same as easy.  Just direct.  Simple.  (Only 3 steps.) Many people, in a fit of frustration, a moment of anger, give up and walk away... only to regret it just a little further down the road. Which is why I suggest you think about your decision a bit differently.  I suggest you assess your reasons as part of your plan, and as a touch-point when things are difficult (and they will be).  Because many times, the difficulty comes when people are close to success... they just didn't know it. If you are discouraged (or want to avoid being discouraged), listen in on this episode of the podcast, as I explore "Why Even Try???" RELATED RESOURCES You Need A Plan Emotions and Choices Getting Perspective Self-Care Build Your Team Grab The Save The Marriage System
7/25/201927 minutes, 58 seconds
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When Your Spouse Can’t See A Way Forward – Limiting Beliefs

We all have limiting beliefs.  You... me... and your spouse!  I always work to change my limiting beliefs.  You are probably doing the same.  But you can't just change your spouse's limiting beliefs! What is a limiting belief?  It is a mostly-FALSE belief.  But more than that, it is one that keeps you stuck... unable to see bigger possibilities.  Potentials for change. Mostly, limiting beliefs are about what CAN'T happen, what is NOT possible. Even when there are possibilities. Even when things CAN change. If someone can't see a way to move forward, they are unlikely to be willing to try to move forward.  So, they stay stuck.  And if it is a spouse who can't see forward on saving your marriage, it can keep YOU stuck, too! In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I respond to JJ's question about how to deal with her spouse's belief that "if a marriage was meant to be, it would be easy."  I also address several other false/limiting beliefs... and what to do about them. Listen in below. RELATED RESOURCES Survival Series What Happy Couples Know Showing Up Save The Marriage System (Have a question you want answered on a future podcast?  EMAIL ME HERE -- let me know if you want me to use a pseudonym!  Make sure the question is one that can help others.  I'll try to answer!)
7/18/201922 minutes, 37 seconds
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Staying Stuck in the Negative – What DO you DO?

[Have a question about saving your marriage?  Ask it by emailing me HERE.] Several listeners asked why a spouse only remembers the negative, or only dwells on the negative.  Why don't they remember the good times or see the good things? Over the years, I have noticed this as a recurring and common issue in your efforts to save your marriage.  A spouse's thoughts just stay on the negative.  Maybe thinking about what is going on now or remembering what happened then.  (Memories are just current thoughts about past events -- not accurate representations of the past.) Since this is such a common phenomenon, I thought it might be good to cover it in a podcast episode. If your spouse is stuck in the negative (or you find yourself stuck in the negative), let's look at the reasons it happens... and what you can do about it! RELATED RESOURCES Book:  How To Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps (I have a chapter on changing limiting beliefs) How's Your Attitude? Hope and Stockdale Paradox Where To Focus "The Last Straw" Going Pro Program: Save The Marriage
7/11/201923 minutes, 6 seconds
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Co-Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence – Listener’s Question

Here we are, Independence Day in the United States, marking the moment when the young colonies rejected ties to the British Crown. So many times, I have people "declare their independence" from their marriage... somehow seeing marriage as about dependence.  In our culture, any connection and reliance on someone else is often labeled as "dependence" or "codependence."  In reaction, people want to shift to "independence." In the healthiest of marriages, there is "interdependence."  You can have your own identity AND rely upon another person.  You can have separate roles and responsibilities, but ones that support each other, AND not be codependent.  But interdependent. Where does dependence, though, cross over to codependence?  That word... that label... is so overused that we rarely remember what it originally meant (I explain it in this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast below). It is true, some couples and individuals ARE overly reliant on a spouse for emotional support and help.  It is also true that every couple should be able to rely on the relationship for emotional support.  But what is healthy?  When does it become UN-healthy? Colleen wrote in and asked (and YOU can submit a question, too, by CLICKING HERE and emailing it), and it is an important question -- is this codependence, and how can you deal with it? Listen below to learn about dependence, independence, codependence, and interdependence, in your own marriage. RELATED RESOURCES Needs in Marriage Emotional Connection Managing Your Emotions Your Support Team Self-Expansion Save The Marriage System
7/4/201918 minutes, 17 seconds
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“How Do You Deal With Bitterness And Resentment?” – Listener Question

.Resentment eats away at any relationship.  It can destroy a marriage.  Bitterness takes over and every good memory or thought is re-remembered and "bitter-ized"  The foundational connection in the relationship is sapped of energy.  Love and connection is slowly replaced with hate and disgust. Can it be healed?  Can you heal the resentment? "Jared" wrote to me about his situation.  It seems that his spouse has felt unappreciated for years.  And even when Jared tried to change, to do better, that only threw fuel on the fire. Instead of healing, the resentment seemed to grow. So, Jared asked me, "How do you deal with long term bitterness and resentment?" Maybe your particular situation and details are different.  But anger and resentment (and the ensuing bitterness) affects many marriages.  Troubled marriages are always hurting marriages, which comes out in anger and bitterness. Can anything be done?  Is there a path toward healing? I cover the situation and the hope in the podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Conflict In Marriage Communication Mistakes Dealing With Anger Showing Up In Marriage Save The Marriage System  
6/27/201921 minutes, 28 seconds
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“My Therapist Says Divorce!” – Listener Question

"In our very first session, our therapist told me that we were divorcing and I need to accept it," Claire wrote. I invited people to submit questions. And Claire did. (You can, too, by EMAILING HERE.) Here is what happened:  Claire wanted to save her marriage.  Her husband thought it was over.  Claire convinced him to go to therapy.  But then, near the end of the first session (and as it turns out, the only session), the therapist turned to Claire and announced that the marriage was over and she needed to accept it. Claire was shocked.  No efforts to work on the relationship. No discussion on what might be possible.  Just a declaration that the marriage was over... not from her husband, but from the therapist! I only wish this was the first time to have heard pretty much the same story... but I have heard it over and over.  Does a therapist have a right to announce that divorce is inevitable? Should a therapist work on the relationship first? Let's talk about 3 dangers that come up for therapy... and what to do about them. RELATED RESOURCES Can Therapy Help? The Dangers of Marital Therapy Myths of Marital Therapy What Your Therapist Won't Tell You Am I Against Therapy? How To Start System To Save Your Marriage CLICK TO EMAIL A QUESTION  
6/20/201924 minutes, 21 seconds
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“What IS Connection??” – Listener Question

Do you have a question you want answered about marriage, marital problems, relationship issues, and how to save your marriage?  Send an email and ask your question.  If it is something that would benefit others, I will answer it in a future podcast episode! If you are a regular listener of the Save The Marriage Podcast, you know how often I discuss "connection," the importance of it and the dangers of disconnection. But do you know what I mean when I say, "connection"? Chad didn't.  So, he asked. Sometimes, we can get pretty far down the path on a plan, but forget the basics, the fundamentals. And connection is an absolutely crucial fundamental.  Broken marriages are disconnected marriages.  Healthy marriages are connected.  The disconnection is the path to failure.  And... no surprise... connection is the path to health and healing. In our disconnected world, in our busy world, connection is often lost.  Not on purpose, but lost nonetheless.  And while it may have seemed effortless in the beginning, if you don't understand what you are trying to do, you can get lost and confused. In this episode of the podcast, I answer Chad's question:  "What IS connection??"  (It just might answer your question, too.) RELATED RESOURCES: Click Here To Email YOUR Question Healthy Connection Better Communication Less Conflict Book:  How To Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps System:  Save The Marriage System
6/13/201921 minutes, 10 seconds
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Why Pause Is A Problem

The Pause Button.  You didn't know you hit it.  But you probably did. "We'll get back to each other after the kids/ promotion/ travels/ hobbies/ events/ friends... (well, you get the idea)." AFTER life, we will get back to love. There is only one problem.  Relationships are either growing or receding, strengthening or weakening. There IS no pause. When you hit the Pause-Button, you are... even without realizing it... choosing the path of disconnection. Then, when you go to UN-pause, you look at each other, strangers.  Disconnected. In this episode of the podcast, I tell you why pause is such a problem, and point you to a path back. RELATED RESOURCES The Pause Button Marriage Connection in Marriage Surviving Disconnection Communication in Marriage Save The Marriage System
6/6/201920 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Path To Peaceful Conversation

How do you make a shift, from painful communication to peaceful conversation? What if you have something difficult to discuss with your partner?  How do you start?  What do you do?  What path do you follow? My guest on the Save The Marriage Podcast, is Susan Allan.  After talking her way out of a very dangerous situation with her ex-spouse, Susan set out to discover better ways of communication in difficult relationships. Susan created the 6 Part Conversation Process in her attempt to help others communicate better. Over the years, Susan has used this process (and taught this process) to thousands of individuals and couples. In my interview, we cover the first 2 parts of the process (for the full process, find the entire interview at Relationship Rewrite). The first 2 foundational parts set the scene for a conversation that can be had and heard... that may just get you to a different place in your relationship. Listen to the podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES It Isn't Just Communication But There ARE Communication Issues Susan Allan's Website Relationship Rewrite Save The Marriage System  
5/30/201932 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why I STILL Believe In Marriage

I suppose I have seen marriages in pretty tough spots.  Destructive and hurting, I've watched relationships both heal and end.  I've also had the privilege of seeing some pretty amazing marriages. So, when I was asked by a client a few days ago, "After all this time, do you really still believe in marriage?", I paused.  Not because I wasn't sure about my answer.  I just wanted to be clear about my answer. Somewhat flippantly, I replied, "Believe in it? I've seen it!  I'm even in one!" But more deeply, that question triggered me.  Yes, of course I still believe in marriage.  I work with hurting marriages every day.  I coach, teach, and even push people toward better relationships, healthier marriages. Still, that question.... WHY do I believe in marriage? Because the problem is not with marriage.  It's with how we do it. Culture certainly needs to act to help with people who are getting married... so that people are better prepared. But guess what?  YOU can act to improve your marriage....  That makes all the difference, as we work to save and improve marriages one relationship at a time. Listen to the podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Nature of Marriage Thriving Marriage Series My Mission My Save The Marriage System  
5/23/201924 minutes, 48 seconds
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Is Your Marriage Fragile or Anti-Fragile?

Some marriages seem so fragile, ready to break at any time.  Many times, people work hard to protect that type of marriage.  It seems that anything can be the end of it! That fragility is not baked into the marriage.  It comes from a mindset, a misunderstanding.  It comes from thinking that a successful marriage simply has no struggles, no difficulties. Not true. In fact, successful marriages take on the challenges as an opportunity for growth.  That is one of the hallmarks of thriving marriages.  Not just marriages that are surviving.  But ones that are thriving. Over the years, I noticed that the thriving marriages had often been through their share of bumps and bruises, struggles and strife.  But they had learned from the struggles.  They had found ways to come together, to stand together, in the face of the difficult times. Those marriages that struggled?  They moved from the team-approach to the me-approach:  "what am I getting?," "why should I take this?," "I want my fair share."  And in the process, the relationship (the "team") got pushed aside.  It was all "me, me, me, you, you, you."  Not "WE." In today's Save The Marriage Podcast, I use the term from business, Anti-Fragile, to describe what you are moving toward... and how to begin that shift. Listen in to discover how you can shift from Fragile to Anti-Fragile. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing With Difficult Times Being A WE Being A Team Using Conflict To Grow Save The Marriage System Relationship Rewrite
5/16/201924 minutes, 24 seconds
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Secrets To A Conscious Partnership

When a marriage is struggle, stuck, and painful, you are likely stuck in an unconscious relationship.  Unconscious dynamics continue to push and pull at both of you, leading to disagreement, dissent, and disdain. But it does not have to get stuck there.  It is possible to make a powerful shift from an unconscious relationship to a conscious partnership. There has to be a starting point, right? Guess what? Just knowing that you are stuck in unconscious relating IS the first step.  Really, step zero.  Because until you are there, you can't take any further steps.  As with most things, once we recognize that something is the problem, we have taken a huge step in getting ready to take a step to resolve. Strange, right?  Nothing has changed.  But everything has changed.  It is a paradigm shift.  And until you make that shift, you can't build into the new paradigm. A full conscious partnership is your goal, whether you knew it or not.  You want to be powerfully shifting into a new level of partnership where the unconscious crap does not continue to sabotage your relating.  You want, instead, to be relating from a point of connection and consciousness. Most people, at this point, tell me the "just don't have time or energy to devote to that."  Until I point out how much time and energy they are already devoting to the hurt, pain, and discomfort of where things are.  Might as well make sure the time and energy are more constructive than destructive. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I interview Alexandra Stockwell about how you can begin to build a conscious partnership.  We discuss steps you can take to make a shift from the unconscious to the conscious.  (For the full interview, join Relationship Rewrite for access.) RELATED RESOURCES Alexandra Stockwell's Website Choosing Responsible Relationship Rewrite
5/9/201929 minutes, 3 seconds
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Don’t Get Pulled Under

Every marriage crisis starts as a crisis of an individual.  As it expands into the marriage, the question is whether you, the spouse, will get pulled under by the crisis. Have you ever tried to save a drowning person? This can be kind of like that.  Get too close, and they will drag you under with them.  Their desperation will overcome any sensible decision.  Running purely on terror, they will flail, grab, and pull at anything that is nearby... and anyone. And when someone is in crisis, it can certainly feel like drowning... even with no water (other than tears).  The desperation is there.  The flailing is there.  And if you aren't careful, you can get pulled under. One person in crisis is enough.  Two people multiples the complications and difficulties in recovering the relationship. Don't allow yourself to get pulled under. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss 4 rules to keep from getting pulled under. RELATED RESOURCES Your Spouse Is Not The Enemy Conflict In Marriage Control What You Can Save The Marriage System
5/2/201926 minutes, 21 seconds
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How Are You Showing Up?

We all "show ourselves" in our interactions with others.  Sometimes, we truly Show Up, bringing our best self to the relationship. Other times, we bring an angry/resentful presence to the table.  Other times, it might be a cold/distant presence.  And still other times, it might be a needy/desperate presence. As you may have guessed, an angry or distant or needy presence rarely serves the relationship or the improvement of a relationship. Maybe you think you are just responding to what is coming your way... that you are just following your spouse's lead... or the lead of the world around you. But we all get to choose how we will Show Up. We get to choose how we want to be, who we want to be, in all of our relationships.  We don't have to leave it to reaction or fear, resentment or hurt.  We can choose how and who we will be in life. How do YOU Show Up? Listen for how to Show Up the way you want to! RELATED RESOURCES 3 C's of Saving a Marriage Forgiveness and Marriage Apologies and Marriage How To Really Show Up Grab The Save The Marriage System
4/25/201921 minutes, 46 seconds
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“Am I The Problem?”

Maybe your spouse has been saying, "This is ALL YOUR FAULT!"  Or maybe it is just you... wondering... torturing yourself... about whether this marriage crisis is your fault.  Are you the problem? Let me reassure you that you are not the first person to wonder that.  People search about that on my blog.  People write me to ask that same question.  Many people start our coaching sessions with the same question. So, what is the truth? Are you the problem?  Did you cause the problem?  Does that even help the problem? Many times, people like to look at one single point-in-time... frequently, a point that leaves them as NOT at fault.  They look for a time when they can accuse someone else, blame someone else, for the situation. And rarely is that accurate, or even fair. Still, we all like to point the blame elsewhere. Let's talk about this from a couple of perspectives.  One is kind of a higher level perspective, to question the concept of blame.  The other is a much more practical "what do I do?" perspective.  Both get us to a better place than simply asking, "Am I the problem? Am I to blame for our marriage crisis?" Listen below as I tackle the question:  "Am I the Problem?" RELATED RESOURCES Showing Up Blame & Shame Ruining Today with Yesterday How To NOT Save Your Marriage How TO Save Your Marriage -- System
4/18/201921 minutes, 16 seconds
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WHY Even Try? (Back2Basics)

You may be wondering, "Does it even matter?  Should I just let this marriage go?  WHY does it matter?" Let's start with this:  It matters!  A lot! Why does it matter? Well, the real reason why can vary from person-to-person.  It is all about finding YOUR "why", your big reason for working on it. Here is an important hint:  the BIG Why is not about fear.  It is not about fearing the loss of something.  It is about what saving a marriage means to you. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss 5 reasons why saving a marriage matters.  Then, I walk you through a process to discover your Big WHY's, and how to use your Why's to keep you on track, as you work to save your marriage. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: B2B - Why Marriages Get Into Trouble B2B - What To Do B2B - How To Do It System - Save The Marriage How NOT To Save Your Marriage - Mistakes
4/11/201925 minutes, 47 seconds
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What To Do To Save Your Marriage? (Part 2)

We are taking Back 2 Basics!  Boiling the whole marriage crisis -- and turning it around -- right down to the very basics.  Last week, I started a 2-part session with the 3 C's you need to do to turn things around.  (FIND THE EPISODE RIGHT HERE) This week, I discuss HOW you carry out those 3 C's... using the 4 C's.  Think of the last episode of giving you the targets you need to address.  This is HOW you address your efforts. Many people want to save their marriage... and they even have an idea of the areas they need to address (last episode).  They may be very clear about what went wrong (the first episode of this series). But then, panic sets in.  And their efforts backfire.  They can't get traction.  Their spouse pushes back. It doesn't have to be that way!  There is a simple formula for you to follow (back to basics) on how you implement your plan... the plan to address those 3 targets.  4 simple guidelines... those 4 C's, will guide you and keep you out of trouble. After the last episode came out, a listener/reader contacted me and said, "There is no way it is that easy."  I agreed.  The process is not easy.  It is, however, pretty simple and straightforward... unless you complicate it unnecessarily.  Sure, it seems overwhelming.  But that is the reason for this series. To break it down into the basic pieces.  To give you a simple roadmap to follow.  To remind you of what is most important.  Those targets?  The 3 C's?  Incredibly important.  Those guidelines?  The 4 C's?  Incredibly important. Let's get this process going. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCE: B2B:  What Went Wrong? B2B:  What To Do? BOOK:  Marriage Fail Point BOOK:  How To Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps PROGRAM:  Save The Marriage System
4/4/201930 minutes, 56 seconds
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What Do You Do To Save A Marriage? (Part 1)

In this second episode of the Back2Basics series, we shift away from "what happened" (see the last episode) to "what now?"  Sure, you want to start by understanding why marriages (including YOUR marriage) can get into trouble.  But that only gets you to the start of your efforts.  (I also cover this in my book, Marriage Fail Point.) In this episode, we shift to what now?  You know your marriage is in crisis.  Now, you know how it got there.  Let's talk about an overall approach to saving your marriage... my 3C Approach. When I wrote my book, How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps, I outlined these three steps.  But more importantly, I noted that the approach to saving a marriage is much more simple than most people believe. We tend to complicate things, when we really need to be simplifying, boiling things down to their essentials. Understand:  "simple" is very different than "easy."  You may find that your efforts to save your marriage are hard.  Scary.  Exhausting. But don't complicate them.  Go back to the basics. Listen below for the 3 Steps To Save Your Marriage. RELATED RESOURCES: B2B- What Happened? Book:  Marriage Fail Points Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Grab The System:  Save The Marriage System
3/28/201923 minutes, 52 seconds
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What Went Wrong?? – Back2Basics Series

It can get so overwhelming, all the information coming at you!  What you want is to save your marriage.  But you are probably already overwhelmed with the situation... much less, getting help for your situation! Sometimes, it is just time to "get back to basics."  This B2B series is my attempt to take it down to simplicity... what happened, why did it happen, and what do you do? In this episode of the podcast (listen below), we take a look at what happened:  how your marriage got into trouble, how your relationship got disconnected, and how your marriage slid into crisis. Since we don't get much help in understanding what marriage is about (much less, how to be married), it shouldn't be a surprise that marriages DO get into trouble.  The question is, when you find you are in a crisis, what do you do to get yourself and your marriage to a better place? And so, we start with what went wrong.  Discover how a marriage stalls, why it starts falling, and how it ends up in a nosedive. Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES: Book:  Marriage Fail Point Step-by-Step System:  Save The Marriage System Connection and Disconnection Being a WE
3/21/201926 minutes, 39 seconds
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3 Turning Points of Saving Your Marriage

Many times, people contact me to tell me that their marriage is... well... continuing to spiral down, in spite of their efforts. Over the years, I have noted some "turning points," when things often start turning around.  And I want to share 3 of these turning points with you. Here is the good news:  all 3 turning points I note are 100% within your control.  Yes, there are other events and actions that can also turn things (or at least, start turning things).  It is not JUST these 3 turning points.  There are others. But these turning points I chose to highlight are ones you can choose at any time and at any point. To be clear, just because you make a change, that does not guarantee that things WILL turn around.  (I would be able to retire, if that were the case.)  It's just that these actions often are the turning points in the effort to save your marriage. Will making the 3 turns guarantee a saved marriage?  No.  But they may just make a shift.  Playing the odds, doesn't it make sense to give the 3 turning points a chance for change? Listen to the podcast episode below for the 3 Turning Points. RELATED RESOURCES Chasing Won't Work Response-Able Show Up Will YOUR Marriage Be Saved? Your Fail Point Marriage Fail Points Book Save The Marriage System
3/14/201927 minutes, 2 seconds
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Why People Get Derailed

When a marriage crisis hits, people kick into gear!  They dig in and work on their relationship. Many times, they start to see results.  Things are turning for the better.  The relationship is warming.  Things aren't quite so hostile. But then.... They get derailed.  Thrown off-course.  Lost in the crisis. Not surprisingly, any gains made are quickly lost.  Things become even more tense and fractured. Why did they get derailed?  Four reasons:  Distracted, Distanced, Doubtful, and Discouraged. I go into each of these... as well as how to avoid falling into the trap and getting derailed... in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast.  You can listen below. RELATED RESOURCES You Need A Plan Can Your Marriage Be Saved? When Is It Too Late? Your Fail Points Book:  The Marriage Fail Point Save The Marriage System
3/7/201922 minutes, 8 seconds
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Why “Space” Is Hard

So many marital crises start with this phrase, "I'm not happy."  In panic mode, a spouse reacts and things get worse. The next step is often, "I need space."  But that is even scarier!  And in panic mode, a spouse reacts and things get worse. Maybe an in-house separation.  Maybe a full separation.  Emotional separation becomes physical separation. All from a spouse stating an emotional state of concern:  "I'm not happy." One part of dealing with a marital crisis is dealing with "emotional space."  It is crucial to understand emotional space. Today, I want to discuss why that emotional space is so difficult to manage.  Why do people get sucked into taking actions that cause more issues?  Why do people find it so hard to give a spouse that requested "space"? We discuss why "space" is so hard on this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Where is the Gap? Fears and Marriage Boundaries in Marriage How To Show Up Save The Marriage System
2/28/201918 minutes, 7 seconds
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Before You Separate

You don't want it.  But your spouse insists.  A separation has to happen. Or maybe you thought you wanted a separation... hoping it would help.  But after reading my stuff or listening to my podcasts, you might realize that this is NOT the best idea. In fact, you realize that you have now escalated the crisis by not a little, but a lot!  This is not an incrimental shift.  It is much bigger. So, now what? What do you do to try and minimize the damage... even setting up the separation so that there is a way back? Most people think separation might just be a way of getting things back "on track."  But not if you don't set it up that way.  Not if you don't plan for resolution. Separation does not have to be a disaster.  But without planning, it often is. In this week's Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss what you need to do BEFORE you separate... so that it leads back to marriage. Listen to the episode below. RELATED RESOURCES When Is It Time To Separate? Arc of Disconnection Angry and Hurt Dealing with Conflict Save The Marriage System  
2/21/201919 minutes, 15 seconds
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When Is It Time To Separate?

I think I have made it clear that I am not a fan of separation.  Generally, it is a trial run at divorce, a "dress rehearsal." But is there a time when it is necessary to separate?  When it is actually a good idea to separate? Many couples face this question every year.  They ponder the question, mulling it over.  Should they separate?  What does a separation do for the prospects of saving a marriage? Having had this conversation with couples and individuals many times over my career, I can tell you that the conversation, itself, is painful and tough.  Much less, actually separating. Sometimes, there has to be a separation.  In fact, in one instance, I think it is absolutely necessary. Then, there are times when you may want to resist, but realize that there is more damage done by NOT separating than by separating. In this episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I answer the question, "When is it time to separate?"  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Separation Resources "How I Saved My Marriage" Can You Save Your Marriage? Anger and Marriage Save The Marriage System
2/14/201916 minutes, 11 seconds
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Are You Hurting Or Helping?

You've been working on saving your marriage... and you aren't seeing the traction you want.  Or maybe is just isn't moving as fast as you would like. Sometimes, it can take more time than you think or want. But are there times that your efforts are doing more harm than good? Are there times you are hurting, not helping, your relationship and your chances at saving it? Yes. There are common situations I see in my coaching, where someone's efforts to save a marriage are actually doing more harm than good.  Interestingly, people make the same mistakes others have made. More interestingly, they are easy to see when they are pointed out.  And more importantly, they can be corrected, once you can see them. So, let's talk about the times when people do more harm than good in their efforts to save a marriage. RELATED RESOURCES Importance of Connection Stop Chasing Apologies and Forgiving You Need A Plan Show Up Save The Marriage System
2/7/201921 minutes, 35 seconds
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Of Enemies and Victims

Roles.  We all have them.  We all play them. Some are "identity roles."  They identify us in the role.  For example, I am "son," "father," "brother," "husband." Some are "function roles."  They identify what we do.  For example, I am "coach," "therapist," "author," "speaker,"  and "podcaster" (among others).  They tell you what I do, what role I play in life. Then there are "attribution roles."  They try to describe why we do something. And it is in the arena of attribution roles that I want to focus some attention.  Because those attributions, both on ourselves and others, can serve to keep us stuck.  And keep others stuck in the roles we attribute to them. Two very toxic roles are the roles of Enemy and Victim. To be clear, there is a difference between being a victim of some circumstance and playing the role of Victim. And to be crystal clear, no matter what has happened in your marriage to this point, you are NOT Enemies.  That is a role that you may assign.  But it will keep you stuck. Listen in to this podcast episode for more on avoiding these roles... and what to do, instead. RELATED RESOURCES: Being On The Same Team How To Be A WE Dealing With Anger Showing Up Save The Marriage System
1/31/201925 minutes, 10 seconds
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Am I Against Therapy?

I spent way more time in school than I would like.  To be honest, I never enjoyed school.  Not when I was a kid.  Not in high school.  Not in college.  And not in 3 rounds of grad school (2 Master's and 1 Ph.D.). But I spent that time in school because I had a goal.  To be a therapist.  So, I did extensive training, focusing on marriage and family therapy. So why am I critical of therapy? Partly because I have seen it from the inside.  Partly because I have seen the outcome studies of therapy -- particularly marital therapy. Which raises the question:  am I opposed to therapy? The answer:  not in theory.  And not even in some specifics. When couples are ready to make changes, and when they work with a therapist who is specifically trained in marriage and family therapy theory, and who is skilled... the outcome can be excellent. I know many couples who have benefitted.  And I know some pretty amazing therapists. But overall, the stats are not good.  At least, in terms of saving marriages.  1/2 of all marriages that get therapy end up divorced -- the same stat that applies to the general population. There are some specific reasons why therapy often falls short.  Some have to do with therapy/therapist.  Some have to do with clients/couples. I discuss why there are issues in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES: How To NOT Save Your Marriage Problems with Therapy What Your Therapist WON'T Tell You How to Guarantee Therapy FAILS If you have tried therapy and it didn't work, or if you don't want to do therapy, please grab my Save The Marriage System
1/24/201922 minutes, 25 seconds
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Why NOT To Tell…

I know.  It's tempting.  Your marriage is having troubles and you want to talk about it.  Maybe your friends would be good to tell.  Or maybe your family can listen.  Or perhaps you should contact your in-laws to "talk some sense" into your spouse. Don't.  Stop.  Think again before you share. Those words that feel so good right now may come back to haunt you can cause other problems when things turn around. You may be thinking that you will only be telling to get support and love.  And you might get support.  But that support likely includes siding with you.  And if someone sides with you, they will likely side against your spouse. When you talk to someone about a problem with someone else, you create a "triangle," to use a term from communication experts.  And that triangle may feel good and feel more stable.  But it complicates the original conflict and issues. And that often serves to further undermine the relationship... along with the chances for recovery. Does that mean that you can't get help and support? Nope.  You just want to go about getting support the right way. I discuss the reasons why NOT to tell others about your marriage problems in this week's podcast episode... along with who TO tell.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Conflict and Marriage Communication Is Not The Issue Anxiety and Anger in a Crisis Chronic To Crisis Save The Marriage System
1/17/201915 minutes, 58 seconds
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It’s a NO… (unless you ask/try)

It is probably the most frequent question I get... "Should I try to save my marriage?"  I get it in conversations, voicemails, emails, even by Messenger the other day.  People often give me a few (sometimes, very few) details about their relationship and want my professional opinion on whether they should try to save their marriage (or keep trying). Truth is, that is a decision I cannot and will not make.  Each person has to decide whether they want to try and save the marriage.  I can't make that choice for them. But I do think there are some pretty important things to consider, as you try to answer that question. One thing, after nearly 3 decades of helping people with their marriages, I know is the outcome of NOT working on their relationship.  NOT trying is almost certainly NOT saving the relationship.  There is a high probability that not taking action will lead to the marriage ending. The real choice is NOT saving the marriage or PERHAPS saving the marriage. Is it possible that you put forth effort... really dig in... really give it your best effort... and your marriage still fails.  But it is nearly guaranteed that if you don't take action, your marriage will end.  And it is highly possible that you put in the effort... and your marriage is saved. The choice is your choice.  But it is a NO... unless you try. Let's talk about that choice in this week's Save The Marriage Podcast RELATED RESOURCES Save The Marriage System Deciding versus Feeling "Do Anything" is Not a Plan Show Up Why It Matters
1/10/201924 minutes, 34 seconds
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Better or Bitter?

I often watch people move toward one of two possibilities when a marriage is in trouble:  Better or Bitter.  One letter difference, but what a difference in destination. One leads a couple to a rewarding and loving relationship, improving and stabilizing:  Better. The other leads to more anger, more resentment, more distance, and further deterioration:  Bitter. Here is the irony:  many times, the person proclaiming a desire to work on the marriage, to get it turned around, is the one holding onto bitterness.  And bitterness has a tendency to grow, unless the person chooses to make a shift. A shift to Better. Over the years, I have watched people who proclaim a desire to save their marriage.  They start taking steps, start connecting, start the healing... and when a spouse begins to turn, the one putting in the work suddenly turns... away.  The bitterness gains ground.  It eats away at all progress. And in the process, the couple proves the marriage was "too far gone," "too hurt," or "too damaged."  In reality, bitterness set in and disrupted any possibility of healing. So, there is a choice:  Bitter or Better? Let's talk about the roots of bitterness and how to let it go.  Listen to the podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES: Don't Let Emotions Choose Forgiving in Marriage Showing Up Empathy and Connection Save The Marriage System
1/3/201917 minutes, 28 seconds
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Your New Year Renewal Plan

It's just around the corner... just days away.  The end of this year and the beginning of a New Year. A new beginning.  A fresh start. A renewal of your efforts to save your marriage. Many times, as time wears on, when an effort wears on... we tend to drift.  Sometimes, we know it.  Other times, it just creeps up on us.  We think we are following a plan... but we aren't. This is a great time to take a quick step back, then take a strong step forward.  It is a time to renew your approach, your clarity, and your determination. On this week's podcast episode, I cover 4 areas of renewal.  When put together, you will be off to a great start into the New Year, renewed and recommitted to your efforts to save and improve your marriage. Listen below for more on these 4 key areas of renewal. RELATED RESOURCES: Show Up You Need A Plan Expectations and Marriage What You CAN Control Save The Marriage  System Book:  How To Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps
12/27/201819 minutes, 51 seconds
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Holiday Hurt and Healing

How are you doing with the Holidays upon us?  Did you know that between the end of November and the end of December, there are over 14 holidays (Holy Days) across the spectrum of beliefs and religions?  In the US, the dominant holiday season is around Christmas. If you are in the midst of a marriage crisis, the holidays can be especially painful, full of hurt and grief. And opportunity.  Healing.  Help for your relationship. Unfortunately, the hurt often keeps people from moving to the healing.  Pain keeps them from connecting. But it doesn't have to be this way.  It can be a time of healing and connection. In this week's podcast episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast, I discuss the hurt and pain, but also the possibility and potential for healing.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Ghosts of Relationship Past Mastering The Holidays When A Relationship Is Hurting End of Holidays, End of Marriage? Book:  How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps Book:  Marriage Fail Point The Save The Marriage System
12/20/201820 minutes, 7 seconds
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blah, Blah, BLAH… BANG

And suddenly... crisis! (or not) RARELY does a crisis come "out of the blue." Many times, people will tell me that they "had no idea," or "never saw it coming."  But then, we start talking.  And they tell me about those little warning signs along the way.  The ones they ignored.  Or that they didn't fully respond to. Those signs?  That's the "blah, blah, blah's" that come before the crisis.  The "I'm not happy."  The "something's not quite right."  The "I need something to change."  Those are the "blah's" that are either missed or ignored. Or half-heartedly heard. No real changes.  Just attempts to duck the conflict, to change the conversation. Here's the thing:  if you are already at BANG!, you can't go back and address the "blah's".  You do have to deal with the crisis.  But you also want to be clear on how you got here.  How the "blah's" got missed.  And why you are at BANG! Let's talk about it on this week's episode of the Save The Marriage Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Fighting For Your Marriage Conflict and Marriage Showing Up Communication Problems Book - Marriage Fail Points Save The Marriage System
12/13/201820 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Fatal Triangle (Don’t Be Sabotaged)

You want to save your marriage.  Maybe you even have a plan put together, ready to go.  Or maybe you have even started the process. This episode of the podcast is cautionary.  A warning.  But the warning is not about NOT saving your marriage, but the possibility of your efforts falling apart. It may have nothing to do with your plan. Nothing to do with your understanding. Worse yet, nothing to do with your spouse. It is possible that a trio of dynamics can torpedo and destroy your plans and your efforts.  Those dynamics can be fatal to your hopes and dreams.  To your possibility of saving your marriage. And this trio, this "fatal triangle"?  They have nothing to do with your spouse or your plans. They emerge from within you.  Tripping you up. Unless you understand them and know how to defeat them. Don't let this trio, the Fatal Triangle, defeat you and your efforts! Listen to the episode for full details RELATED RESOURCES: Failpoints 4 C's Fear and Your Efforts 3-Step Dance Anxiety Help Marriage Fail Points Book Save The Marriage System
12/6/201823 minutes, 26 seconds
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Anger, Blame, Shame & Responsibility

Do you ever feel like you are dancing with your spouse... and not a fun dance?? Most of the time, couples get into habits.  They both know the steps, and they just keep going through them, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.... No, the dances aren't particularly helpful.  And yes, we keep dancing them, anyway! One dance that many couples fall into is the Anger-Blame-Shame 3-step.  And that particular dance?  It keeps on repeating.  Except that the anger grows.  So does the blaming. And so does the feeling of shame!  "Why can't I/we figure this out?", they wonder. And then, they dance it again. How can you stop the dance?  How can you find better steps?  Better ways of moving through life? That is the topic of this podcast episode (listen below).  I tell you about those dance steps and why we do them... along with how to make a shift. RELATED RESOURCES Show Up Anger and Resentment (Yours) Anger and Resentment (Your Spouse's) Stepping Up The Save The Marriage System
11/29/201826 minutes, 52 seconds
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Avoiding The Blow-Up

Slowly, slowly... you are making progress!  You keep working on turning your marriage around... and it is working! Maybe you think it isn't moving fast enough.  Or maybe you have just been holding all of those emotions, fears, and hurts, in... and they start to grow.  You can feel it! But you try hard not to let it out.  To keep on moving forward.  To keep on making connections. Until... Maybe it was something small... Maybe it was yet one more little thing (or even a medium thing... maybe even a big thing!)... And BOOM!  You blow up! You use a tone you wish you hadn't.  You say things you wish you hadn't.  You do things you wish you hadn't. BLOW UP! ... and then it passes. But the damage is done. Your efforts can feel like they have been in vain. So, let's talk about what to do BEFORE the blow-up!  It is much easier to stay ahead of the problem than to catch up and rebuild after the problem. Listen to this week's podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Too Late? Making Up For Mistakes And Backslides Responsibility Showing Up Save The Marriage System
11/15/201819 minutes, 14 seconds
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When Is It Too Toxic?

You probably know that I'm on the side of your marriage.  I'm all about saving a marriage. But does that mean that EVERY marriage will be saved, or even should be saved? No. First, there are times when BOTH people want to leave the marriage.  At that point, there is nothing that WILL save the marriage.  There has to be energy from AT LEAST one person, in order for anything to change. Second, there are times when the toxicity level is high, creating a toxic situation for the spouses.  In fact, there are 3 times when it MAY be too toxic.  And there is 1 time when it absolutely too toxic to work on the marriage. Let me tell you 5 symptoms of elevated toxicity, 3 times you may need to step back, and 1 time you definitely need to step back from the marriage. RELATED RESOURCES: Domestic Violence Help Anger & Resentment Coping Issues And Marriages Save The Marriage System
11/8/201822 minutes, 19 seconds
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The 4th C

Over the years, I developed some direct and simple ways to save your marriage (simple is not the same as easy -- it still takes effort!).  One piece of my approach was what I called "The 3  C's" -- being Calm, Constant, and Consistent. These "3 C's" aren't really about what you do, but how you do it... how you carry out your plan (something I discuss in my System and share with my VIP members in a "fill-in-the-blank plan"). Over the years, those 3 C's have been a mantra for my clients... the reminder that keeps them moving in helpful ways when panic is pulling at them.  This mantra keeps the process moving in productive ways, creating profound changes in the relationship. Many times, those 3 C's are the difference between a plan working and failing, between successfully saving a marriage and failure. Last week, one of the members of my VIP group noted that she needed to add a 4th C.  And then, she pointed out what should have been obvious... there IS a 4th C!  And it is something I have discussed before... but failed to include as an important (and daily) C in the process. That 4th C?  Courage. In this week's podcast episode, I cover the first 3 C's, then tell you how that 4th C fits into your efforts.  Here's how you work your plan... be sure and listen in! RELATED RESOURCES: 3 C's 3 Steps Your Plan Marriage Fail Point book Save The Marriage System
11/1/201818 minutes, 8 seconds