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Two Amazingly Simple Steps to a Better, Happier, More Successful Marriage

Updated on November 20, 2018
Melissa Garibay profile image

Melissa and her husband are Marriage coaches and have been married for 29 years. They've been through it all and lived to tell the tale!

How Did I Get Here?

You wake up one day and realize you are just not happy anymore. You're miserable in your marriage, you don't feel understood or even listened to. You don't want to have sex, let alone be in the same room together. You don't talk about your day. Real adult conversations are pretty much non-existent. You ask yourself, "How did I get here?". You imagine a life without loneliness, hurt, and anger. You imagine just walking away. Sound familiar? Just know, you are not alone.

We were there, too. We had four kids. We had the house and the bills. Our kids were involved in every sport available. We were overwhelmed by it all. My husband worked out of town a lot, 7 months out of the year, only coming home every other weekend. And those weekends were not the 'embracing, reconnecting, reenergizing, intimate' weekends they should have been. They were filled with selfishness, fighting, a lot of drinking, more fighting, and distance. Now how do you have a happy marriage with that? Unless you're intentional about making quality time for your spouse after being away from each other for that length of time (which we obviously did not), you don't. I'll be mentioning that word quite a bit in these articles. Intentional. It is absolutely key.

That, my friends, is the truth! It's NEVER too late!

We lived a 17 year war in our home. We should have been divorced. We each had our own reasons why we weren't: he didn't want to see another man with his kids. I was a stay at home mom and knew there was no way I could support myself and the kids. So his were for selfish reasons, mine were for financial reasons. What a marriage.

So, how did we get from there to here? Here being happier than we've ever been. Happy that we didn't give up on us or our family. Happy that we didn't go our separate ways (cue Journey song). Happy that we didn't start over, and over, and over with someone else. That's what we see in society these days isn't it? If you're not happy, then leave and start over with someone else. The problem with that is YOU bring YOU into that new relationship.

"Who, me?", you say. "I'm not the problem, tho." Really? I'm going let you in on a little secret. It IS you. It was me. If there's a problem and you think it's not you, that in itself is a problem. And when I got real with myself, that's when real change came. If what you've been doing isn't working, it's time to change it up. You do have that power. The power to make a change. In yourself.

Because you can't change or control your spouse, no matter how much you try. What is your definition of 'try' and how is that working for you, by the way? The nagging, the fits, the tantrums? Getting anywhere with all that? Of course not. It's absolutely exhausting, isn't it? For both of you, actually. Aren't you tired of being tired? Just completely over it all? I know we sure were! We were done!

How do I do that? And where do I start?

Let's start with this. Communication and attention. Believe it or not, it doesn't take grand gestures to make a big impact. Change requires small steps. It's redirecting your 'arrow' just a tad to hit the bullseye. And when you do, the effects are astounding! So, let's get started and get excited about what's to come!

  • When your spouse talks to you, do you listen just long enough to interrupt with your answer or response? Let's try something different. The next time your spouse approaches you about anything, don't interrupt. Just listen. Listen to understand. Listen to hear their heart. Look them in the eye, and really listen. That is huge, people!
  • When your spouse comes in the front door, do you greet them? Stopping what you're doing and greeting them with a quick kiss and maybe even a hug does more for them, and you, than you can imagine.

There you have it, two things you can do today, right now, that will greatly impact your marriage. If our marriage can be saved, so can yours!

Small hinges move big doors.

If We Had Given Up, This Photo Would Never Have Happened.

This is our beautiful, sometimes (well, a lot of times) crazy, growing exponentially (as in three pregnancies in one year!), four kids and their families! We look at them and KNOW what we could have lost if we had given up. Is it hard? Heck yeah! Is marriage a lot of work? Absolutely! Every. Single. Day. But, is it worth it all? Oh, so worth it! Worth far more than that single life you're contemplating. Take it from me.


There is always hope for your marriage!

We're Here For You!

Your marriage is our purpose and passion. We know what you're going through and we can help you through it.


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