Relationship Tips

Not In Love With You

July 19th, 2007

Did your spouse tell you, ‘I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you?’

What does that statement mean?

Hi. Im Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness.

A person who says, ‘I love you, but Im not IN LOVE with you,’ is making a distinction between 2 different feelings. But NEITHER of those feelings are love!

When a person says, ‘I love you, but Im not IN LOVE with you,’ theyre saying that I CARE about you but Im not EXCITED about you.

CARING about someone is a good thing. Its reflective of CONCERN. But its different than love. I care about the starving children in Africa, but I dont love them.

Being EXCITED about someone is also a good thing. But its different than love. I might be excited to have a relationship with the President of the United States or a Hollywood star, but that doesnt mean I love them.

Read: I Love You But Im Not ‘In Love’ With You

Tending To Your Marriage

July 17th, 2007

Do you know Aesop’s fable about the goose and the golden eggs?

Let me share it with you and explain how it relates to your marriage.

Hi. This is Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness.

The fable is about a poor farmer who discovers that his goose is laying golden eggs.

At first the farmer thinks it must be a trick. But when he gets the eggs appraised, he learns that theyre pure gold!

The farmer cant believe it. And he gets even more excited when he realizes that the goose is laying golden eggs EVERYDAY. Eventually, the farmer becomes fabulously wealthy.

But the farmer tires of caring for the goose and waiting day after day for the golden eggs. So he decides to kill the goose and get all the golden eggs at once. But when he opens the goose, there are no golden eggs. And now the goose is gone too.

How does this relate to your marriage?

Read: Your Marriage And The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs

A Solution To Your Marital Problems

July 16th, 2007

If you’re reading an article about how to improve your marriage, you’re probably expecting to learn problem-solving strategies, communication techniques, and insights about gender differences. Do I have a SURPRISE for you!

The key to renewing your marriage is none of those things.

How do I know this? Because I experienced it!

Hi, my name is Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness, and unlike other relationship experts who approach the topic from a clinical perspective, for me marriage renewal is very personal. I’d like to share with you my story.

My wife and I started out deeply in love. I remember staying up all night talking, surprising each other with thoughtful gifts, and speaking to each other in code words. You know the feeling of really being connected? That was us.

But then something happened that destroys most marriages. We had a son who died when he was just one week old. And then we had twin daughters, who also died as newborns.

Understandably, my wife became depressed. I coped by immersing myself in work. We ran from each other emotionally.

Your situation probably was not so tragic, but something happened. What was it? How did you lose each other? Maybe you can’t put your finger on it, but things just arent the same, right?

For us, after losing 3 children, everything felt different. Instead of talking all night, it was a chore to talk for a few minutes. Instead of using our code words, we used curse words. Our relationship consisted of screaming matches and silent treatments.

Somewhere deep in our heart though, like you, we knew we didn’t want to lose each other. So we made a commitment to work on our marriage. Sometimes I tried and my wife didnt. Sometimes my wife tried and I didnt. We went through different stages of “trying.’

What did we try?

We tried the obligatory, “Honey, let me repeat what you said to make sure I understood you correctly.” We applied conflict resolution strategies. My wife learned about Mars and I learned about Venus. We even went to therapy to wrestle with our problems. But guess what. Nothing changed. Nothing worked.

All the advice we got (books, counselors, CD’s, whatever) asked us to face our problems. But that just made us feel worse. And fight more.

Then we had a breakthrough.

Read: A Surprising Solution To Your Marital Problems

How To Get Your Spouse To Change

July 14th, 2007

In your quest to fix your marriage, you may encounter resistance–from your spouse!

Your spouse may dwell on the 101 reasons why “this just won’t work for us” and blame you for every one.

Or, your spouse may be emotionally “checked-out” of the marriage and not care about your efforts to improve the situation or be willing to extend any effort of their own.

This is, by far, the most common question people ask me: “How do I get my spouse to change?”

Why would your spouse resist POSITIVE change in your marriage and what should you do about it?

Read: How To Get Your Spouse To Change

Deciding To Renew Your Marriage

July 11th, 2007

Freud documented well the impact that heredity and upbringing has on a persons fate. We learn ‘tapes’ early-on that we play again and again oblivious to how they control (and destroy) our lives.

But does that mean the destiny of your marriage was determined years ago? Does that mean your fate was sealed by your genes and your childhood?

There is no doubt that you have deeply rooted relationship instincts. But those instincts do NOT have you.

Your past constantly vies for control of your future, but at the end of the day YOU have a CHOICE.

Your domain is this moment, and every moment, when you can DECIDE to write a new script. At any time, in every time, you can decide to be the master of your destiny; rather than a victim to your past.

Read: How To Renew Your Marriage With 1 Decision

Is Your Marriage Painful?

July 9th, 2007

Can you imagine what it would be like to be plucked, pushed, crushed, pressed, skinned, and fermented? OUCH! The pain! Whats the point of it all?

A lot of people feel that way about the pain they experience in their marriage. ‘Why am I doing this? Where is this relationship going?’

But just as a grape goes through a difficult process before it becomes a fine wine, sometimes our marriage has to go through a painful process before it matures.

The people who have the best marriages are NOT people who grew up well-adjusted, have healthy adult lives, and normal parents. People like that usually have OKAY marriages.

The BEST marriages are with couples who were crushed, who went through a painful process, and who built their relationship from the ruins of broken hearts.

Read: Is Your Marriage Crushing You Like A Grape?

How To Forgive And Be Forgiven

July 7th, 2007

The closer you are to someone, the more likely you are to step on their toes. And being married to someone certainly puts you in close quarters. So the chances are good that you and your spouse have sore feet.

Okay, enough of the smelly metaphor. The point is that it’s NORMAL for you and your spouse to err and for those “misses” to cause hurt-¦sometimes serious hurt.

Did your spouse hurt you? Have you made mistakes that hurt your spouse?

Hi. Im Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness.

Except in the case of physical abuse, you can “move on” from anything. In fact, your marriage can end up even BETTER!

I know-¦you’re probably thinking, ‘Better? How could it be better than before we screwed up?’

It CAN be better, but you have to do one thing first. You have to forgive.

What does it REALLY mean to forgive?

Read: How To Forgive And Be Forgiven

Marriage Renewal And Individual Character

July 5th, 2007

I came across this quote today and wanted to share it with you. You may find that it relates to your marital situation.

‘The difficultly with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but we must live with a character.’ - Peter Devries

Hi. My name is Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness.

We can only appreciate the profundity of this statement if we understand what is meant by CHARACTER.

‘Personality’ is easy to understand. Your ‘personality’ is how people experience you. Its your public persona.

But what is ‘character?’ And why is ‘character’ so crucial in your marriage?

Character is who you are when no one is watching.

Read: How Could Everything Change So Dramatically

How Do You Get Over Your Past Marriage?

July 2nd, 2007

Are you hurting? Has your spouse neglected you? Rejected you? Emotionally abused you?

Are you struggling to get over the pain of an affair?

Hi. Im Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness. If youre having marital trouble, the chances are good that you need to put some hurt behind you.

Its one of the most common questions I get. ‘Mort, I want to make my marriage work. But how do I get over the past?’

Heres the key.

The first step is to realize what youre REALLY trying to accomplish. What does it REALLY mean to get over the past?

Read: How Do You Get Over Your Past (And Past Your Marriage Problems)?

How Do You Know When To Call It Quits?

June 30th, 2007

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is, ‘How do you know when it’s time to quit?’

Hi. Im Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness, and in terms of when to give up on your marriage, here’s what I recommend.

If divorcing is a consideration for you from a moral perspective, then before you go that route, try first for at least one year.

Did you hear that?

Try for at least one year!

And I mean REALLY try. You can always call it quits. You always have that option. But once you pull that trigger, it’s over. No more chances. Your life will never be the same. Do you have kids? If you do, their life will never be the same.

If you end your marriage, you don’t want there to be a shred of doubt in your mind. You don’t ever want to look back and wonder if things could have been different. You don’t want to ask yourself, ‘What if this-¦and what if that-¦what if I tried this-¦what if I did that?’

If you have to end your marriage, you want to know DEEP IN YOUR HEART that you did everything you could to make it work.

Read: How Do You Know When To Call It Quits?

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