Do you feel like you’ve tried and tried to improve your marriage but nothing seems to get better?  Do you feel frustrated and disappointed?  There is a better way.  In fact...

You Can Be Happy and Have a Happy Marriage!

When it comes right down to it, marriage is a choice.  It’s not magic.  It’s not a fairy tale.  It’s not simple and it’s certainly not always easy.  It’s simply two adults deciding to meet each other’s needs and make each other happy.  So, if you want to stay married, stay married.  If you want to be happily married, learn the skills you need and be happily married.  It’s your choice.

My research and experience over the years has shown me that there are seven major skill areas that couples need to learn in order to have a strong, healthy and happy marriage.  These are:

  •     Establishing Ground Rules
  •     Spending Quality Time Alone Together
  •     Communication and Understanding Each Other
  •     Resolving Conflict
  •     Agreeing on Money Issues
  •     Fairly Dividing Responsibilities
  •     and, Having a Satisfying and Healthy Sex Life

Couples that are strong in these areas have the best chance at having a long-term happy marriage.  One of the biggest mistakes people make, however, is that while they have good intentions to change, they don’t actually learn how to change or learn how to make those changes permanent.  For instance, they promise that they will try to meet their partner’s needs, but they have no idea how to figure out what those needs are, no idea how to go about changing their own behavior and even if they do figure it out, they rarely are able to make it last.

If you feel like this has happened in your relationship - in other words, if you think your marriage could use some work in one or more of these areas, there are a few places you can learn relationship skills.

One place to learn these skills is in Couples Therapy.  If you can find a qualified couples therapist with a great reputation, that you both feel a connection with, that fits into your schedule and that you can afford, they may be able to really help you.

Many people learn these skills working with their spiritual leader or participating in religion-based couples groups.  Again, make sure that these resources have a proven track record of, not just emphasizing the importance of staying married, but of actually helping couples learn the skills they need to be happily married.

Of course, there are many self-help books and products out there that cover some of the essential marriage skills I mentioned.  But this would be a good time for me to tell you that many of the topics I noted are inter-dependent, meaning that it rarely helps to fix just one aspect of your marriage.  Learning to be happily married is like tuning-up your car, you won’t fix it if you only change the spark plugs, there are a lot of other important parts that need attention.   That's why I recommend learning all of the skills to set your marriage up for success.

And, of course, there is the StrongMarriageNow System that can really help you.   We designed our System to help couples learn all of the essential Marriage Success Skills in just 15 minutes a day.

Whatever path you choose, understand that having an ideal of what you want your marriage to look like isn’t enough.  You have to take action to make it happen.  And remember, it takes time to grow and adapt to new skill-sets. Have patience with yourself and your partner during this process, but stick with it!  Your relationship is worth the effort!

To learn more about choosing to be happy in your marriage using our online videos and downloadable exercises, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.

Are you wondering "how can I save my marriage? Have you recognized any other issues holding you back?  How can we help?  Please comment below.

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

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