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An Answer to Marriage Counseling - How you can save your marriage.

Updated on April 26, 2017

Some honest and transparent questions

Is there hope for my marriage? What about marriage counseling? What's an answer to marriage counseling? Is there an alternative to going to a marriage counselor? How do I save my marriage? How do I have a happy marriage?

Through the years I've been asked these questions. They are real, sometimes desperate and always lead to long conversations often times ending with resolution.

Let me attempt to answer these questions in a different way here. These are the results from my own successful marriage. My wife and I have used the following ideas and we live out a successful, happy and healthy marriage. This is our story - read on.

How do I stay happily married?

Start with understanding how important it is to spend time together
Start with understanding how important it is to spend time together


Lifetime Marriage

I woke today, not very rested, after being lovingly kicked all night by my youngest daughter as well as sharing the bed with Lizzy our aging 12 year old family dog. They slept in the middle of Angela and me all night, that’s the norm in our house.

Angela sent me an “I LOVE YOU!” text and let me know there was a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me downstairs. We said good morning, hugged and kissed each other gently like we normally do. From an external view the morning looked typical and what you would probably see every morning in our house.

What made today special? Well today marked 15 years, 4 months, 25 days since we said our vows, exchanged rings and walked out of the church as husband and wife. It’s been a tremendously adventurous life together so far. Ups, downs and several other directions we’ve traversed together through the years. It’s rarely been easy, but has never been too hard together. It’s been a life of passion, laughter, tears, joy, heartache and the full range of human emotions. Our life is not boring - we are very alive and active together, and most people see that when they are around us. We are incredibly in love and it shows in our daily lives.

Grover discusses Marriage

It's a life time daily commitment!

Hand in hand is a commitment - not an option
Hand in hand is a commitment - not an option

Our Secret?

So what’s our secret? I’ve been asked that many times. Young couples and couples going through hard times. By friends, family and those who would just like a little tip to help get them through. There are so many things we’ve learned. So many wonderful words of advice we’ve received from others that we’ve taken into our lives and try to live them. I thought about writing them all down in a list, or better yet maybe I'll do a series of Hubs on the subject, but I wanted to give you something a little different today.

So this is the bottom line – if you asked me to boil it down here it is: neither of us finds our essence in the other. Our union has always been greater than each other; we’ve never looked at each other for “the” source of our happiness. Angela doesn’t look to me for completion and I don’t find my completion in Angela. This might seem a little hard to understand but this idea lives at the core level of our value system in our marriage. So how do we make it work?

Staying in love?

Romantic moments are important, but are not the only element to a healthy marriage.
Romantic moments are important, but are not the only element to a healthy marriage.

Some practical advice

Let’s be real – I regularly blow it, and sometimes she does too.So what do we do to minimize these mess ups? Here are some practical steps we have incorporated into our relationships:

  1. We are quick to forgive and continue to love each other but life happens. So we live a life of intentionally forgiving each other. We make a habit of giving each other grace.
  2. We breath life into each other. We use our words and actions to build each other up. She often times says what I need to hear, and sometimes what I want to hear. I occasionally bring her flowers and I try to consistently encourage her but those traits, although wonderful and needed, are not enough in themselves.
  3. We also have a priority to grow individually as well as together; we make time for each other and try not to focus on what we don’t have instead we focus on what we do have. Our family is a priority and our children are very important to us. But these priceless attributes to our relationship in themselves would be short-lived.
  4. We don’t let the sun go down on our anger, and put the other first as often as we can.
  5. We give each other space and honor the other in our hearts as well as in front of our children.
  6. We both take responsibility for the household and in raising our children. It's not a one sided raising. Bringing home the bacon, cleaning, feeding, diaper changing, discipline etc. It takes both people, consistently working at it.
  7. We are unified in and outside our house. Our children see it, our friends see it and all those who come in contact with us for more than a moment see it. We support, love, and encourage each other in private and in public.

All these amazing learned behaviors, in themselves, all these principles for a healthy marriage will not last and will crumble eventually if there isn’t something to really hold it all together. Something beyond the individual or person.

Marriage Poll

What area do you find in your relationship that needs the most work?

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Stay in love regardless the age!

 It takes daily, intentional effort from both people.
It takes daily, intentional effort from both people.

So - what is it?

So you might be asking; “What is it? What is this that you put all your hope and faith in? What is this that you find your completion in? The bedrock of who you are and the reason why you have any success in your marriage, family and life at all? “

I can say, and I can confidently speak for Angela too, it’s our own individual relationship with Jesus Christ. The power of God has enabled us to walk through these 15+ years together. This individual relationship will give us the ability to walk out many more.

Bottom line – I love Jesus more than I love Angela. She shares the same view; she loves Jesus more than she loves me.

This may seem simple or unbelievable to you. But it’s what Angela and I base our whole lives on together. It’s this faith that motivates any relationship we choose to get involved in. And personally - without this value I would not be much of a husband, father, or friend.

So to Angela I say:

I would do it all again Angela, to be by your side today. I would do it all again to have this faith level in my life. I love you dearly – and I always will.

- Todd


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    • crosszone profile image

      crosszone 5 years ago

      Fantastic Hub, I agree wholeheartedly. Jesus must be first or the relationship will sour and see decay. Love your Hubs man!

    • saintodd profile image
      Author

      saintodd 6 years ago from Suffolk, VA

      @ThunderKeys - Sure, I'd be happy to. You may also want to check out this Hub I wrote - https://hubpages.com/community/Hub-beginnings

      I think it would really help you. I'll leave you a comment about your Hub. Thanks for posting and reading.

    • ThunderKeys profile image

      ThunderKeys 6 years ago

      This is an amazing article and layout. I'm just starting to write Hubs on Marriage. Any chance you can check mine out and give me some corrective feedback.

      Thank you.

    • saintodd profile image
      Author

      saintodd 6 years ago from Suffolk, VA

      @OpeningDoors2U - thanks for the post and encouragement. I firmly believe that. For me it's been the key to my wife and my success. Glad to connect with you.

    • OpeningDoors2U profile image

      OpeningDoors2U 6 years ago from saratoga springs, new york

      Great article, Todd. The key is as you said, having a commitment to something or Someone bigger than yourself and the marital relationship. Your practical advice was right on. Good stuff, and well written.

    • saintodd profile image
      Author

      saintodd 6 years ago from Suffolk, VA

      Arb - I really enjoyed your hub the letter. Thanks for your post

    • arb profile image

      arb 6 years ago from oregon

      Well done! After 43 years of marriage I agree with your assesment. Wrote a hub called "the letter". About love and marriage to my daughter on her wedding day. I think you would enjoy it.

    • saintodd profile image
      Author

      saintodd 6 years ago from Suffolk, VA

      Thanks for reading and posting. It's been a great journey so far with my family. We've figured some things out but like everyone have things we're working on. It's those honest transparent moments of growth that really fuel me. Good to connect with you.

    • Monisajda profile image

      Monisajda 6 years ago from my heart

      I agree that we shouldn't depend on our spouse as a source of happiness. Happiness is within me or not and it shouldn't depend on another person's approval or love. My self worth lies within me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, looks like your family has it all figured out!

    • saintodd profile image
      Author

      saintodd 6 years ago from Suffolk, VA

      Thank you MN! It's wonderful to hear that our lives, Angela and mine, can make a difference in how we live. Be blessed.

    • profile image

      MayreJayne 6 years ago

      Wonderful article Todd. I have not had the opportunity to know you like I know Angela but I do love her and am blessed to hear the committment you have for each other. MNevel

    • saintodd profile image
      Author

      saintodd 6 years ago from Suffolk, VA

      D Funk & Nashman - thanks for the posts. I'm happy you stopped by. Glad you enjoyed the read.

    • profile image

      Nashman 6 years ago

      Great stuff Todd! Thank you for sharing the experiences and tools.

    • profile image

      D Funk 6 years ago

      Well written Todd! There are some amazing nuggets in here!