This article is all about getting both of you checked back in to your marriage and checked in to each other such that you are both willing to work on the relationship. But it is only the first step. A common mistake that people make is stopping at this first step. Maybe one person says, “OK, I agree to give it another try,” or even, “I’ve realized I still love you and our family and I want this to work.” But that’s not enough. Just “wanting to” and agreeing to work on your marriage is not enough. You have to learn and then practice the skills it takes to have a long-term happy marriage, otherwise you’ll just end up right back at this same place again. “Wanting to change” and actually changing are two very different things. But don’t worry, it’s not that hard and I would love to teach you how you can do it.
So let’s get started. First and foremost, I need you to understand this. Being happily married has more to do with knowing how to be married than with who you are married to. In other words, most people whose marriages end up in trouble believed in the fairy tale that once you married the “Right Person,” everything would be easy from then on out and they’d live Happily Ever After. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. Marriage takes work; not just “trying really hard,” but knowing some real practical skills that most of us were never taught. The good news is that it doesn’t take very long to learn and apply these skills. And honestly, most of these skills aren’t hard to put into action. Then, when you do them right, the reward is so much greater than the effort invested!
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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com