Divorce has become a societal phenomenon almost as prevalent as marriage. While some speculate on the reasons why, Mort Fertel, creator of the Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp and author of “Marriage Fitness,” says he knows.
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“What do people do when they finally open up and admit there’s a problem in their marriage? They start talking to their friends and family and basically get a lot of bad, conflicting advice, or they go to a marriage counselor, which is often where it gets really messy,” says Fertel, a global marriage expert.
“Too much marriage counseling consists primarily of couples beating up on each other; the wife gets her turn and the husband gets his turn. This adds stress to an already strained marriage and it’s often the final straw in a relationship.”
One piece of advice Fertel offers: Don’t be afraid to start repairing your marriage on your own. One spouse’s effort can change the momentum and very often, it’s that effort that motivates the other spouse to join in the process of saving the relationship, he says.
Patty, one of Fertel’s past success stories, was the spouse acting alone when she initially entered his program. In a letter featured on Fertel’s website, she writes the following: “…I was in your October program as a lone ranger. Thanks to following your advice, my husband moved back home mid-December. We are now doing the program again but this time TOGETHER. He says he is totally committed to our marriage and making it work.”
Fertel says wanting to make it work is half the battle.
“Many people seem to go into marriage counseling not even sure if they want their relationship to work out – but that is unacceptable,” he says. “In my program, the first step is simply knowing you want your marriage to succeed.”