Today's Christian Marriage
2/16/10 at 10:38 AM 0 Comments

How to change your marital situation

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It's well known that 50% of FIRST marriages end in

Do you know what percent of SECOND marriages end
in divorce?

It should be LESS than 50%, right? After all, who
would make those same painful mistakes again?
People marrying a second time have the "benefit"
of knowing what kind of person to pick this time,

The divorce rate for SECOND marriages
 is 70%! And THIRD marriages; closer to

"Mort, you mean my chances get worse not better?"

That's right. Because the key to succeeding in
marriage is NOT finding the right person; it's
YOU becoming the right person. We'll get back to
that point in a moment.

Did you know that women who
finally get out of abusive relationships usually
fall in love with another abusive man? What bad
luck, right?

It's not luck.

Did you know that men whose first wives cheated
on them usually get cheated on by their second
wife too?

How could that be? You'd think that after
suffering the torment of infidelity a man would
only marry a woman with impeccable morals and
unwavering commitment.

You'd think...but it doesn't work that way.

Listen to this story. It'll pull
all the pieces together for you.

A man once came to a town and asked the local
sage, "I'm thinking about moving here. What kinds
of people live here?"

The sage asked the man, "What kinds of people
live in the town you came from?"

"Where I'm from the people are liars, cheaters,
and mean spirited," the man responded.

"The people are the same here," said the sage.

Then another man came to town and asked the sage
the same question, "I'm thinking about moving
here. What kinds of people live here?"

The sage asked the man, "What kinds of people
live in the town you came from?"

"Where I'm from the people are wonderful, kind,
and courteous," the man responded.

"The people are the same here," said the sage.

You see, people are not as you see
them; people are as YOU are.

What do you get when you smile at someone? You
get a smile back. And if you stare at someone?
You get a stare back. What you get is what you

We're NOT an objective observer of
the people in our life; we're a subjective
influence. In other words, our presence changes
what we observe.

Let me give you a simple example. Let's say you
wanted to measure the temperature in a small
room. So you bring a thermometer into the room
and wait for a reading. But since your body
temperature is 98.6 degrees, the fact that you're
in the room changes the reading you get. As long
as you're there, things are different.

It works the same in your marriage. Your
relationship is not simply a function of who you
pick; it's also a function of who you are.

Who you are and who your spouse is mixes to form
the dynamics of your relationship. I know you
want your spouse to change. And YES your marriage
would be better if they did. But YOU changing can
change things just as well.

Now, please listen carefully and
please don't misunderstand my point. I'm NOT
saying that everything is your fault. If your
spouse receives my emails, then they're reading
the same message directed to THEM. It's no ones
fault; but it's everyone's RESPONSIBILITY. In
other words, BOTH you and your spouse contribute
to the dynamics in your relationship, whatever
they are, and BOTH you and your spouse can
single-handedly change them.

No matter what your spouse did to cause your
marriage to deteriorate, they're responsible. And
they should change. But you played a role too. I
know that's hard to hear. It's a bitter pill to
swallow. But once you swallow it, you're no
longer a helpless victim; you become empowered to
change circumstances that seemed out of your

It's easy to confess your spouse's sins. And
you're probably correct about what your spouse
needs to change. But it does no good to be right.
And it's a complete waste of time and energy to
focus on your spouse's problems. There's nothing
you can do about it. Your spouse will change only
when they're ready to change. The only relevant
question for you is: What's YOUR fixing?

You had a role in the deterioration of your
marriage. I've never seen a marital situation
caused by one spouse. There's always dual
responsibility. What can YOU do to improve the

Reflect on your past relationships. Do you see a
pattern? Look at your parent's marriage. Are you
recreating the model you saw when you were a
child? Have you explored with a professional the
childhood roots of your relationship habits and
how they contributed to your marital

Even if your spouse had an affair, you're partly
responsible. That doesn't mean that it's your
fault and it doesn't excuse your spouse's
inappropriate behavior, but the question still
remains: What was your spouse seeking outside
your marriage that was not available within it?

Don't just sit there sulking in the misery of
of your situation while you wait for your spouse
to change or for God to perform a miracle.If  
you want your situation to change, then change it!
Do YOUR part. Because if YOU change, then
everything around you changes too.

Now there is one more important point. You might
be thinking, "Mort, I want to Save my marriage,But my
situation has not changed." Change itself is not good
enough. You've got to make the right changes.
Like a scientist, you have to know EXACTLY
what changes to make to get the outcome
you're looking for.

If you want to learn how to stop divorce and be
the kind of person that your spouse would be nuts
to walk away from, If you want to learn
EXACTLY what changes to make to get the
result you're looking for, then join the Marriage
Fitness Tele-Boot Camp.

Be well,

Mort Fertel
Author & Founder of Marriage Fitness

Get FREE marriage help from marital counselors: Mort Fertel's '7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage' available at

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