Fear and excitement are two terms we give to one very similar emotion. When we expect a negative outcome, we often call the emotion fear, and when we expect a positive outcome, we call it excitement.

Both are marked with an “electric” feeling, a sense of anticipation, and probably some stomach butterflies - but why do we embrace one and avoid the other at all costs?

Both are simply ways for us to deal with uncertainty, and with the right mindset, we can turn some of our fear-inducing experiences into blissful excitement. Of course, some truly dangerous situations are perfectly deserving of our fear, but most of the time, our fears are dominated by emotion, not logical thinking. There’s really no reason to be afraid of flying or riding rollercoasters – there is some danger involved, yes, but the statistics are certainly in your favor for getting through either experience unscathed.

Do something scary with your spouse this Halloween!

Do something scary with your spouse this Halloween!

Other common fears, like those associated with social situations, new experiences, certain animals, heights, etc., are all relatively easy to conquer with this rational approach (though it’s certainly easier to talk about than do). But the point here isn’t to talk about getting over your fears – it’s to help you understand how fear and excitement can improve your marriage.

Facing your fears is a huge accomplishment, and when you face them, your interpretation of the scenario changes to excitement! These feelings of excitement and accomplishment not only pump your brain full of happy chemicals, they also prime you for building a connection with people who are sharing in your experience, namely your spouse.

Making it through a harrowing adventure will bring you closer together. Making the choice to face something you’re afraid of (with your spouse close at hand for support) will make you feel invincible as a pair, able to face nearly any challenge as long as you’ve got each other for support.

Seeking excitement is also a great way to build your story together. In the wake of an exciting experience, you have a new memory to share with friends and family, and the improved strength of your connection to one another will remain long after the excitement has faded.

Sometimes the experiences we fear are opportunities for excitement in disguise, and perhaps understanding the value of sharing these experiences with our spouses will help motivate us to face theses uncertain situations with confidence.

In helping each other transform fear to excitement, couples show each other a deep level of support, and ultimately strengthen the relationship emotionally and psychologically.

Halloween offers some great opportunities for some “scares” as well! Even if it isn’t legitimately facing a fear that bothers you in an ongoing way, watching scary movies, visiting haunted houses, and other fright-themed holiday activities can give you that little jolt (somewhere between fear and excitement) that primes your mind and body for connection.

Whether it’s something Halloween themed, or facing a larger fear, doing it together will help to strengthen the bond you share. Try it out!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Perhaps you've heard before that January is “divorce month” - and it's true! Statistically speaking, the beginning of the year sees a huge spike in divorce filings, and many attorneys report the same experience.

Why January? Well, one of the largest possible reasons can be found in the stress of the holidays - and in the resulting New Year's resolutions. Think about it - from Halloween on, trough Thanksgiving and Christmas, families are spending money, spending time with in-laws, stressing about costumes or gifts for the kids, entertaining visitors, and so much more. All of this can stack up and cause stress in a marriage - and if things are already rocky, you may lash out at each other…

Don't be part of the divorce statistic!

Don't be part of the divorce statistic!

For couples already struggling, this time of year can really put the relationship to the test, and after the holiday fray is over, they may be ready to call it quits. Unfortunately, many of the couples that become part of this yearly statistic don't realize how the time of year may be affecting them. Add the fact that, for many people, this time of year also means less than pleasant weather, seasonal depression, and the like - and you can see how external factors can take a toll on an already troubled relationship.

So, what can be done?

First and foremost, make the time to work on your marriage. Even outside of this “troublesome” time of year, if you're feeling disconnected, arguing constantly, having trouble in the bedroom, and so on - you HAVE to address it! Even if the conversation is difficult to have, your marriage is doomed if you aren't willing to address the issues coming between you.

More specifically, you can both acknowledge that you're getting into a particularly stressful time of year, and commit to not taking out that stress on one another. Instead, you can become “partners” in dealing with all the headaches the holidays can bring. Make a point to spend some quality time alone together, even in the chaos of family gatherings and school parties. If you know in advance that it's going to be stressful, you and your spouse can laugh it off together.

You can take this a step further. Instead of seeing all the obligations the holidays may bring, and letting your responsibilities pull you away from one another, look at this time of year as one for love and family. Let these family moments pull you closer together. Instead of focusing on the money you spent on costumes, embrace the fun your children are having and be proud of them together. Instead of getting upset about the preparations needed for Thanksgiving dinner, focus on the opportunity to spend time together. To go even further (if it isn't too much on your plate), incorporate “couple's” plans into your holiday. Have your own holiday dinner, have your own gift exchange, dress up for each other… Whatever sounds enjoyable to you!

Regardless of the time of year, it's critical that you and your spouse acknowledge the trouble in the relationship, and take steps toward fixing the problems. Whether it's seeing a counselor, using the StrongMarriageNow system, or simply committing to better communication and time spent together, you can make significant improvements and avoid becoming another divorce statistic.

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, but it can also take a heavy toll on couples. The January statistics are very real, but you don't have to fall victim to the trends - or the temptations - of giving up around the beginning of the year.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

In our last post, we dug into three things couples fight about that can highlight much deeper problems in your marriage. These argument topics should serve as warning signs that larger issues are at play – and that your relationship could be in serious trouble if you don’t do something about it.

Today, we’ll cover three more.

Remember that as long as you and your spouse are willing to rebuild, to face your issues head on, and be honest about how you each might be hurting the marriage, it isn’t too late the save the relationship and create a happy, healthy marriage!

Be on the lookout for these kinds of fights.

Watch out for these marriage ending fights.

Watch out for these marriage ending fights.

1. The Division of Labor Fight

While this one is relatively common, it still illustrates some deeper issues. If you find yourselves arguing because one person feels like they do all the chores, it could be an indication that you don’t have the most egalitarian relationship.

In fact, disagreements about household responsibilities can be a sign that there’s a “power imbalance” in the marriage – that one person is overlooking (or misunderstanding) how their partner feels. Generally speaking, we all want to feel respected and appreciated, and a “fair division of labor” shows that you notice how much work your spouse is doing, and put forth the effort take some of the burden on yourself.

The argument is less about “who does what” and more about NOT trying to help, or not seeing it as a problem. First, make sure you’re both doing your fair share around the house – but more importantly, pay attention to your spouse, and if they are struggling, help them!

2. Regretting Getting Together

In the midst of a big argument, if one of you makes a comment about wishing you never got together in the first place… This spells impending disaster. Even if it’s in the heat of the moment, this is still a dangerous idea to express.

If you’re suddenly doubting the whole marriage – not just its current state, but the whole history – you’re denying that there have been good times, that you are (or were) in love, that there’s anything worth fighting for. You’re also, in effect, rewriting history, and convincing yourself that those good times never even existed. If you do this enough, you’ll succeed (consciously or not) in painting an entirely negative picture of your relationship.

Fight back with optimism. When you feel like you’re at your wit’s end, think about happy memories, and remind yourself that there are positive qualities about the marriage, that the relationship is worth saving, and that with the right changes, you can get back to that place of happiness and love.

3. The Stonewall Maneuver

If one of you just walks away from fights, leaves the house, or simply refuses to participate when things get heated, this is a major red flag. Shutting down doesn’t do anything to solve the problem, and in fact, usually makes the argument worse because it shows your spouse that you don’t care what they have to say.

Now, if you have to pause to calm down or ask your spouse to stop shouting at you, that’s one thing – it’s another thing entirely to just give up and walk away without reason or explanation. If this is happening frequently, it shows that one of you is likely already checked out, and might not be willing to resolve the issues that caused the argument in the first place.

In short, you have to talk about your problems, no matter how tough it might be. If you don’t, your marriage is destined for failure.

Hopefully you can use these warning signs to address the deeper issues in your marriage. It can be a tough road, but once you identify the problems and commit to working on them, you can create a marriage better than it has ever been.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Fall Back In Love, Watch This Entire Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Pretty much all couples fight from time to time. Having disagreements or arguments doesn’t mean the relationship is falling apart or that you aren’t a good couple… But not all “fights” are created equal. Some arguments can indicate much larger, much deeper problems that need to be addressed if your marriage is going to survive.

In these two-part series, we’re looking at six fights couples get into when the relationship is truly on the ropes. Hopefully, you can recognize these topics as warning signs. If you’re having similar arguments with your spouse, you could be nearing the brink of disaster – and now’s the time to do something about it!

Be on the lookout for these marriage ending fights in your relationship.

Be on the lookout for these marriage ending fights in your relationship.

1. Hyperbolic Accusations

If your fights are descending into accusations of “you always do X” or “you never do Y,” it’s warning sign that you have some seriously unresolved issues. These kinds of blanket statements don’t get at the root of the issue, and mean that you’ve been building up frustration for some time.

If you find yourself doing this, stop! Slow down and focus on what’s bothering you in that moment. If the problem is ongoing, you can treat is such, but be mindful to avoid the “always” and “never” statements. Such accusations don’t allow for discussion or resolution, because you’ve already made up your mind that it’s an unchangeable behavior.

2. Fighting About Not Fighting

If you’re having a conflict, and one of you throws up your arms in despair with statement like, “I don’t want to fight about this anymore,” it’s a big problem. By shutting down, you’re refusing to address the issue and stopping any forward progress.

It’s ok to walk away to calm down for a moment, but if you just give up, the problem will never be solved! It’s important to be respectful and calm, and you can certainly ask your spouse to try to control their temper (as long as you do too), but don’t just stop an argument short because you’re tired of talking about it.

3. “I Feel Like We’re Roommates”

When sex and intimacy fall by the wayside, couples can begin to feel like little more than roommates – and that spells big trouble for the future of the marriage. Fortunately, getting the spark back is something that can be done with time and effort… But if it’s gotten to this point, you and your spouse need to sit down and evaluate the behaviors (and other factors) that are getting in the way of intimacy.

Be honest with one another and deal with one issue at a time. Make a point to remain open to new things, try to be flirtatious and engage in physical touch (even just a hug goodbye in the morning), and be patient.

If either of you brings up the “roommates” problem, it’s time to take action right away.

Next time, we’ll cover three more “fight topics” that indicate dire circumstances in your marriage. Be on the lookout for these warnings, and don’t shy away from solving the problems.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

As fall approaches, you have a whole new set of opportunities for season-specific dates with your spouse! It’s essential to spend quality time connecting as husband and wife, and carving out time for dates can help keep your marriage strong!

Over this month, try out some of these date ideas perfect for September:

1. Horseback Riding

A great way to enjoy the slightly cooler weather, riding horses together is a little bit adventurous, a lot of fun, and gets you outside enjoying nature together. If you can, find a place that offers horseback riding in an area you’ve never really explored. You can soak up the sites, learn a new skill, and get some fresh air together.

There are a bunch of great date ideas for the month of September.

There are a bunch of great date ideas for the month of September.

2. Go Camping

Even if it’s just for a night or two, early fall is one of the best times of year for a camping trip. You can bundle up in sleeping bags, cook over an open fire, gaze at the stars… And enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the bustle of daily life. If it’s just the two of you, you’ll have plenty of time to talk, to sip some wine, and to romp around in the tent - with no one around to interrupt!

3. Shoot Pool

Head to your local bowling alley or pool hall for an evening of billiards. You can play 8-ball, 9-ball, any of a host of other popular games, or if you’re feeling creative, make up your own rules. You can even make little wagers with each other to spice things up. It doesn’t matter if neither of you are any good – just make sure you have fun!

4. Themed Movie Marathon

If the weather has you stuck indoors, have a theme-specific movie marathon! It could be action movies, classics, musicals… whatever you choose! It might require a trip to the local rental place, or, if you’ve got Netflix or something similar, the categories are practically set up for you! Snuggle up on the couch and take in some quality cinema with your spouse.

5. Enjoy the Harvest

The last days of summer also mark harvest season for many, many crops. Depending on your area, this might be a perfect opportunity to eat some fresh picked apples, enjoy a wine tasting that coincides with the grape harvest, or get your hands on some squash right from the ground! Many towns have festivals and community celebrations in conjunction with the harvest season, so make the most of it!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Labor Day is coming soon, a holiday dedicated to the hard work done day after day, celebrated by taking the day off!

And while it’s a chance to take a much-needed break from your actual day job, it’s also a perfect opportunity to reevaluate how the division of labor works in your marriage. Is the workload shared evenly between the two of you? Is one person feeling unduly overburdened? If you don’t talk about it, you might not know where your spouse stands (or have a chance to tell them how you feel about the household responsibilities you share).

Determining how to adequately divide labor is going to be a little different for every couple. There are some tasks that one of you may just hate, but the other doesn’t mind so much. There may be other tasks that one of you is particularly skillful at, while the other has no experience or ability. These are the easy things to divide, but what about everything else?

Is there a fair division of labor in your marriage?

Is there a fair division of labor in your marriage?

Well, you can always divvy things up right down the middle, where you each take responsibility for every instance of a chore – i.e. one of you mows the lawn, the other does the laundry; one of you cooks, the other does the dishes; one of you gets the kids to school, the other gets them to after school activities, and so on…

This approach, however, isn’t very realistic. It might work for a while, but eventually, something will come up that throws a wrench into the system. Someone will have to work late, schedules will change, and those responsibilities you’ve carefully divided will still have to be taken care of, even if the “designated person” is unavailable.

With that in mind, you can still divide things up, but a healthy approach involves seeing your marriage as a team – where you’re both willing to take care of household odds and ends whenever you have the chance, whether or not it’s your “turn” or your “responsibility.” Instead of seeing something that needs to be taken care of, but leaving it alone because it isn’t your “job,” take care of it so your spouse doesn’t have to!

If you’re both making a point to do this, it will feel much more like a combined effort instead of a division of labor.

This Labor Day, seize the chance to sit down with your spouse and talk this stuff over. The daily grind of keeping up with chores is something that annoys most people – it’s stuff that no one really likes to do – but when you’re both willing to take things on of your own volition (and without complaint), it ultimately makes things easier for everyone.

The real goal should be balance, where neither of you feels like you’re taking on an unfair share. To achieve such a balance, you have to talk about expectations and make sure you contribute to the cause!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Infidelity does serious harm to a marriage – that’s something we can all agree on. Feelings of betrayal, guilt, anger, and a sense of total disruption are to be expected, but even when everything feels like it has fallen apart – you CAN rebuild trust, overcome the hurt, and get your marriage back on track.

Where can you possibly begin though?

First, it’s important to understand that rebuilding trust in a marriage takes time. The person who cheated has a long road ahead of them, showing their partner that they understand the damage they’ve caused, proving that they can be trusted, and showing their partner that they are willing to accept responsibility for their actions.

This won’t happen over night, of course, and the wronged member of the relationship must navigate many difficult emotions and decisions in the aftermath of an affair, particularly the decision to forgive their partner and begin working toward the future.

Rebuilding trust after an affair can be difficult.

Rebuilding trust after an affair can be difficult.

Now, this process of forgiveness and rebuilding trust will be a little different for every couple, but there are a few important components that are necessary to move beyond the pain and get your marriage back on track.

First: honesty. The hurt person needs to be able to talk openly about their feelings without the other party becoming defensive. This isn’t a blaming session, or a chance to use the offending partner as a verbal punching bag, though. Instead, this raw and painful conversation is important to make sure the person who had the affair truly realizes the impact of their actions.

It is essential to share this pain together, to face the reality of the affair head on. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get to a place of rebuilding. The barriers of unspoken pain will not go away until a couple can talk about them openly.

After an honest, heartfelt apology and an open discussion about the pain that has been caused, the next part is one of the most difficult for people who have been cheated on: admitting a certain amount of mutual responsibility.

When affairs happen, it’s usually because of the climate of the relationship. While the person who committed the adultery certainly made a damaging choice, it’s important for both members of the marriage to look realistically at the state of their relationship before the affair, and assess what they were both doing to create the situations that led to infidelity.

Most often, infidelity occurs because the emotional and physical needs of one party are not being met. While the “blame” can still lie on the person who committed the adultery, it’s unrealistic (and unhealthy) to think the situation is entirely one-sided. Evaluate the way you were communicating, the amount of time you were spending together, and the attentiveness to each other’s emotional and physical needs.

By examining the issues in the relationship that lead one person to cheat, couples can see things they need to improve as they move forward, both to rebuild the marriage stronger than it was before, and to avoid the issues that could lead to another affair in the future. Again, this takes both members of a couple.

You may have to lay some ground rules in the aftermath - like a policy about internet use or cell phone contact – to help reestablish trust, based on tangible proof that the offending spouse has stopped the affair.

It will also be difficult to rebuild sexual intimacy, but it’s not impossible! Like the rest of this process, it will take time, patience, and honesty with one another.

Because affairs can lead to feelings of insecurity for the wronged, and feelings of guilt and pressure to perform for the wrongdoer, rekindling sexual intimacy can be a challenge. Just like the other steps of the process, it’s best to take things slow, and always with openness and honesty.

As couples traverse this difficult time, eventually the pain will start to fade and trust will begin to return. It’s important to remember that you aren’t alone, that many, many couples have been through similar situations, and come out the other side with a stronger, more stable marriage than before.

It will not be an easy process, but eventually people can find forgiveness and trust, so long as they are willing to work for it. As trust rebuilds and the pain begins to fade, couples can recognize that the past is the past, and cannot be changed. If they truly want to make the marriage work, they can accept this painful part of their lives, put it behind them, and focus their efforts on creating a happy, healthy future!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Fall Back In Love, Watch This Entire Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Is the dissolution of a romantic relationship harder on men or women?

It’s hard to say exactly who has it “worse,” but there’s evidence to suggest that men take divorce especially hard.

A recent study published by the Journal of Men’s Health showed that recently divorced men were much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol abuse, and showed a drastically increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Engaging in risky behavior is definitely a determining factor in the health risks faced by recently divorced men, but what about the mental and emotional pain that leads to this kind of risk-taking?

Who has the harder time in a divorce?

Who has the harder time in a divorce?

There are a few key ways that divorce can impact a man, challenging his self-esteem and leading to depression. In turn, this can lead to risky behavior and problems with physical health.

Now, this may not apply to all men (everyone is a little different, after all), but there are a few common male traits that are challenged (and sometimes dismantled) after a divorce. Here are just a few reasons divorce can be so hard on men:

Paternal Disruption

Much like the “maternal instinct,” many men have a deep urge to be a protector and provider for the family. After a divorce, though, the family dynamic may be upset, and the man may begin to feel that his family does not need him. Even the fact that a divorce disrupts family stability can be a trigger for men to feel as though they’ve failed at their duty to protect the family.

Even if it isn’t really the case (in the rest of the family’s opinion), men may feel like they’ve let their family down – which can certainly make them feel less masculine, less in control, and may lead to some destructive behavior.

Because of this, it’s extremely important that men make every effort to retain a close connection with their children in the event of a divorce. Staying a part of their lives will help reinforce his own sense of self-worth.

Loss of Identity

We use many different aspects of our lives to help form our individual identities, and while we may assume that most men identify the closest with their hobbies and careers, relationships are just as important.

After a divorce, a man may find that his identity as a married man was much more important to him than he thought, and the loss of this connection (and the self image in association with his wife) may leave him feeling very lost.

We may not even realize how closely our personal identities are tied to our spouses until it’s too late!

Tough Guy

As we all know, men (generally speaking) are notorious for not opening up, not being honest about feelings, and not seeking help when they are in emotional distress.

This can create all kinds of problems in the event of a divorce, or even when conflict arises in a marriage. Men who tend to internalize their problems - instead of talking about them or seeking comfort from friends, family, or professionals – can eventually buckle from the pressure they’ve created for themselves. When they are overwhelmed with their own internal struggles, this is when destructive and risky behavior starts to become more and more severe.

Now that we’ve talked a little about the mental and physical health problems that can affect men in the even of a divorce, the best solution is to avoid getting to this point in the first place!

This isn’t to say that women aren’t also affected by divorce, but the data shows just how destructive it can be for men.

With regular time spent together, open and loving communication, and genuine concern for your partner’s happiness, most marital problems can be addressed constructively – well before a divorce (and the associated potential for health problems) happens.

These issues are just all the more reason to keep your marriage strong and healthy!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

With summer in full swing, it’s one of the best times of the year to spend quality time with your spouse. The nice weather gives you all kinds of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, try new things, and strengthen your relationship.

Here are five ideas to get you started!

1. Go Yard Saling

Sunny days and nice weather mean that many people jump at the opportunity to have yard sales. Set aside a weekend afternoon, check listings for you area, and go browsing for treasures with your spouse! Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s an interesting way to spend time together, and you just might find that rare item you didn’t even know you wanted (probably at a low price too!).

Basketball is a great July date idea!

Basketball is a great July date idea!

2. Shoot Some Hoops

If you don’t have your own backyard or garage basketball hoop, finding one is usually as easy as going to the nearest public park. You and your spouse can shoot around, play one-on-one or “horse,” or join some others for a larger pickup game. However you choose to play, some gentle basketball is good exercise, a little friendly competition, and a way to spend quality time together in the fresh air!

3. Watch The Sunset

July happens to be National Share a Sunset With The One You Love month! On a clear day, head to open country (or a body of water if you live near one), pack a light picnic, and soak up the beautiful sunset with your spouse. It’s a good chance to talk, or just admire the natural color display snuggled up with your other half.

4. Water Fight

Break out the squirt guns, the hose, water balloons, and anything else you have at your disposal, and prepare yourself for a good old-fashioned water fight! This is something you can do as a couple, or even get the kids (and their friends) involved! You could even start under the pretense of washing the car – just exaggerate your bad aim with the hose!

5. Play Paintball

This one might be a little adventurous for some, and just the right amount of intensity for others! Find a paintball field in your area and go for it! They’ll have all the gear you need available for rent. You can play on the same team for some action packed collaboration, or if you’re feeling up to it, compete against each other! Just don’t hold a grudge if your spouse shoots you...

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

Every year, the 4th of July is a time for cookouts, fireworks, and fun with friends and family. In celebrating our country’s independence, we may gather around the barbecue or the pool, sharing quality time with our loved ones - but how often do we stop reflect on the larger ideas of independence and freedom?

Beyond just reflecting on our history and what the claim of independence meant to the earliest Americans… What about independence and freedom in your own life and marriage?

Cause fireworks with your spouse this 4th of July!

Cause fireworks with your spouse this 4th of July!

A major part of our country’s founding values is the freedom to pursue personal happiness – but many of us have obstacles in our own lives that prevent us from realizing this freedom. In most cases, these obstacles are bad habits or unaddressed issues that get in the way of your ability to find day-to-day happiness.

In terms of marriage, your “freedom” is restricted by anything that’s keeping you from a strong, happy relationship - whether that’s communication problems, trust issues, trouble with finances, household responsibilities… Anything that “oppresses” your happiness.

In a similar vein, you can think of problems in your marriage as being restrictive to your independence as well. When you and your spouse are enjoying a happy and healthy relationship, that happiness comes from within – independent from the ups downs you may experience and unaffected by the little hiccups you may encounter over the course of the marriage. If every little problem or disagreement causes a crisis, your happiness is NOT independent.

So, with 4th of July and freedom from oppression in mind, this holiday is a wonderful opportunity to find the inspiration to tackle the tough issues that are keeping your marriage from being the best it can be.

Just like the men and women who sought independence more than 200 years ago, it will take some bravery and a good deal of hard work, but you can overcome the obstacles that stand in your way to create a marriage free from bad attitudes, miscommunication, and unnecessary fights.

Just remember that Independence Day is the remembrance of a first step toward a new life and a new country. Let this rich piece of history inspire you to find freedom from arguments and the “old” way of doing things – and transform your marriage into one of happiness, independence, and lasting strength.

Happy 4th of July!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com