Recently, I polled 83 women about their marriages and although I know the statistics on divorce, I was astonished at results of my poll. A whopping 76 of the 83 women polled indicated that they are unhappy with their marriages. Approximately half would consider divorce if they could work out the finances and not hurt the kids and another 30 of the respondents said they will “stick out the marriage” because there is no guarantee their life will be better if they divorced. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. I believe we can all enjoy thriving, passionate, fulfilling and joyful marriages.
Over a decade ago, I attended a few of Anthony Robbins’ events including Life Mastery and Date with Destiny. I had witnessed lots of failed marriages and seen many unhappy marriages and at that time I was concerned about the trajectory of my marriage. We had just suffered our fourth miscarriage in a row and in my journal, I described my marriage this way: “Married, but disconnected. No connection, appreciation. No passion, love. No spontaneity.” I felt unworthy and had actually convinced myself that maybe this was as good as it gets. We don’t fight and he isn’t cheating. Many would gladly switch places with me.
But, I knew I wanted more and at Mr. Robbins’ event I was not only convinced that I wasn’t crazy to desire more, I was taught some basic tools to make my marriage what I want it to be. Today, I enjoy a passionate, supportive, loving marriage. We work hard and enjoy each other immensely. If you are in a marriage that is less than what you dreamed of, here are the steps I and my husband implemented in our marriage to turn it around.
Step 1: Get clarity. Determine where you are now right now. Don’t sugarcoat and don’t minimize your current issues. Be honest with yourself. You have to be very clear on what is and what isn’t working if you will make progress.
Step 2: Capture. Decide exactly what you really want from your marriage. What is your ultimate vision? The Bible says, “My people perish for lack of vision.” What is your vision for your marriage? You can’t attain what you haven’t identified. Write out your ideas, wants and needs. What will you give? What do you hope to receive?
Step 3: Create your massive action plan (MAP). What is your specific plan to transform your marriage? What will you do? What do you have to change? Your plan may include sending your spouse notes of encouragement multiple times a week. You may decide to take the TV out of your bedroom so you can talk to one another and enjoy more intimacy. You may plan on regular dates or quarterly getaways. Create a plan and write it down.
Step 4: Recommit to a vibrant marriage. Decide that your marriage is a priority and determine that the items outlined in Step 3 are musts for you are not optional. This may mean that you cut back on your commitments outside of your home so you have more time for your spouse. Don’t waver in your commitment.
Step 5: Schedule. Nothing gets done unless it is scheduled. Hoping that things will just fall in place is what got you into this mess in the first place. Pull out your calendar and daily planner and start to schedule everything you’ve committed to doing.
Step 6: Complete, measure and celebrate. Take immediate action on your plan. Pay attention to the results you are getting and make adjustments as necessary. Solicit the help of a trusted friend or a coach to keep you accountable. Take time to celebrate even the smallest progress. Each success will serve as a building block for the next. Commit to celebrating your spouse daily.
Step 7: Invite God into your marriage and let him be your guide. Ask him for the power to let go of the bad habits and influences that harm your marriage. God is love himself and I believe that to truly love and sustain that love through all the trials of life, one must first have a personal and loving relationship with God.
Seek out counseling, coaching, marriage conferences and other tools to help you re-build and strengthen your marriage. Believe that things can and will improve and they will. I am rooting for you. I wish you your abundant life.