According to a 16 year research study by the University of Michigan, the way a couple deals with conflict is a good indicator of whether or not that marriage will be successful. Couples that use more constructive behavior and strategies when they have disagreements are more likely to succeed in their marriage.

The study looked at a number of factors, including race, gender, individual behaviors, as well as behaviors between partners. And the researchers studied how these behaviors change over time.

Read the study by the University of Michigan here and remember that all couples argue; the key is to use constructive ways to resolve those conflicts.

Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Dr. Dana and Amy

Do you feel like you’ve tried and tried to improve your marriage but nothing seems to get better?  Do you feel frustrated and disappointed?  There is a better way.  In fact...

You Can Be Happy and Have a Happy Marriage!

When it comes right down to it, marriage is a choice.  It’s not magic.  It’s not a fairy tale.  It’s not simple and it’s certainly not always easy.  It’s simply two adults deciding to meet each other’s needs and make each other happy.  So, if you want to stay married, stay married.  If you want to be happily married, learn the skills you need and be happily married.  It’s your choice.

My research and experience over the years has shown me that there are seven major skill areas that couples need to learn in order to have a strong, healthy and happy marriage.  These are:

  •     Establishing Ground Rules
  •     Spending Quality Time Alone Together
  •     Communication and Understanding Each Other
  •     Resolving Conflict
  •     Agreeing on Money Issues
  •     Fairly Dividing Responsibilities
  •     and, Having a Satisfying and Healthy Sex Life

Couples that are strong in these areas have the best chance at having a long-term happy marriage.  One of the biggest mistakes people make, however, is that while they have good intentions to change, they don’t actually learn how to change or learn how to make those changes permanent.  For instance, they promise that they will try to meet their partner’s needs, but they have no idea how to figure out what those needs are, no idea how to go about changing their own behavior and even if they do figure it out, they rarely are able to make it last.

If you feel like this has happened in your relationship - in other words, if you think your marriage could use some work in one or more of these areas, there are a few places you can learn relationship skills.

One place to learn these skills is in Couples Therapy.  If you can find a qualified couples therapist with a great reputation, that you both feel a connection with, that fits into your schedule and that you can afford, they may be able to really help you.

Many people learn these skills working with their spiritual leader or participating in religion-based couples groups.  Again, make sure that these resources have a proven track record of, not just emphasizing the importance of staying married, but of actually helping couples learn the skills they need to be happily married.

Of course, there are many self-help books and products out there that cover some of the essential marriage skills I mentioned.  But this would be a good time for me to tell you that many of the topics I noted are inter-dependent, meaning that it rarely helps to fix just one aspect of your marriage.  Learning to be happily married is like tuning-up your car, you won’t fix it if you only change the spark plugs, there are a lot of other important parts that need attention.   That's why I recommend learning all of the skills to set your marriage up for success.

And, of course, there is the StrongMarriageNow System that can really help you.   We designed our System to help couples learn all of the essential Marriage Success Skills in just 15 minutes a day.

Whatever path you choose, understand that having an ideal of what you want your marriage to look like isn’t enough.  You have to take action to make it happen.  And remember, it takes time to grow and adapt to new skill-sets. Have patience with yourself and your partner during this process, but stick with it!  Your relationship is worth the effort!

To learn more about choosing to be happy in your marriage using our online videos and downloadable exercises, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.

Are you wondering "how can I save my marriage? Have you recognized any other issues holding you back?  How can we help?  Please comment below.

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

Get Needed Relationship Advice. Visit http://strongmarriagenow.com

According to an annual survey of 101 lawyers in the United Kingdom, the leading reason couples site for divorce is no longer an extramarital affair. This is a major shift as since the annual survey began in 2003, an affair has been consistently the most cited reason couples divorce. This year, according to those that took the survey, the majority 27% of couples now say that "growing apart" is their reason for ending their marriage.

Read this article from the Telegraph about this survey and remember that there are steps you can take to Affair Proof Your Marriage and get your partner Checked Back In.

Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Dr. Dana and Amy

Healing From Infidelity In Marriage? Visit http://strongmarriagenow.com

There’s a commonly believed relationship myth out there:  “Everyone in the family will be happier if we just get a divorce.”  Do you find yourself thinking the same thing?  Are you wondering if you’ll be better off apart?

Well the truth is, in most cases, this is far from the truth.  There are countless research studies that show that children of divorced parents often have lower self-esteem and many have significant difficulties later in their own relationships. Further, many kids whose family’s are going through divorce experience a drop in their grades, have an increase in behavior problems, and have a higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse.

So, the excuse that a couple is divorcing for the children is just that, an excuse, unless there is extreme long-term fighting in the home, and of course, if there’s violence; in which case the family needs counseling immediately and I would then say that the family may indeed be better off apart.  But in most cases, it’s better to work on the marriage, make it better and stay married.  And that’s not just for the kids!

I’m also often astonished by how many people think that their own lives will get miraculously better if they get divorced.  They fail to fully comprehend the impact of this kind of decision:  significantly decreased financial resources, giving up half the power and control over how their own kids are being raised not to mention giving up half of the time with them, potentially dealing with new spouses and maybe even step-children, and many people actually fail to appreciate the possibility that they could spend the rest of their lives alone.  Plus, whatever issues they brought to their first marriage, are just as likely to be brought to any subsequent relationships, so in the end what have they gained?

So the bottom line is, the research proves that couples and families are happier in the long-term by staying together and improving their relationship.  If you’d like to know the 5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage, Check out our FREE Webinar.

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"5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage?"

Feeling stuck? Want to save your marriage but aren't sure how? Register for our FREE "5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage" Webinar and you'll discover:

  • The answer to "Can my marriage be saved?" Dr. Dana Fillmore will tell you how almost any marriage can be saved even if you’re the only one working on it
  • 4 Relationship Myths that are probably getting in your way – Believing in these myths can actually prevent you from saving your marriage
  • How to avoid common mistakes you may be making in your marriage. Did you know that most people’s attempts to save their marriage fail?
  • The most important thing you need to do to save your marriage – And you’ll be surprised it’s practical and easy to apply for almost everyone
  • Clear, straightforward steps that you can take immediately to get your marriage on track
Register Now for 5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage

Have you recognized any other Relationship Myths holding you back?  How can we help?  Please comment below.

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

Find Out How You Can Stop Divorce. Visit http://strongmarriagenow.com

Henry Gornbein of Divorce Credit Help asks the question, "Can You Have a Good Divorce?" His article, by the same name, explores the answer to this question and many others, and provides tips on how to make the process as painless as possible despite the inherent challenges in separating from your partner forever.

Before you consider a divorce, read the article, and consider Henry Gornbein's ten points.

Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Dr. Dana and Amy

One of people's biggest fears when they divorce is the ability to survive financially. Nancy Alvarez of the Huffington Post shared this personal article about her experience getting a divorce 30 years ago. Despite being out of work for a period of time and raising daughters in the process, she survived and made it through.

Hopefully her story of survival and what she went through will inspire you to continue to work on your marriage.

Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Dr. Dana and Amy

I hear this all the time. I want to tell everybody right here, right now, that this is completely false!! In fact, the opposite is true. People change all the time. It’s actually the one thing we can count on in life. I mean really, most of you wouldn’t be reading this right now if one or both of you hadn’t changed - changed how you feel about each other, changed what you wanted out of life, changed how you treat each other. People change throughout their lives. The question is how motivated are you to change for the better? To change in a way that you grow together instead of apart? And do you know how?

The second part of this myth is that “people will always go back to old habits.” Now the tough part of this myth is that there is a small element of truth here. It is true that people will return to old habits - if they don’t learn a new way to do things and then put those new skills into action. But, the real question here is “Can people permanently change?” And the answer to that question is: Absolutely!

Yet one of the biggest mistakes people make is that while they may have good intentions to make positive change(s), they don’t actually follow through on learning how to change or learning how to make those changes permanent. This is why they fall back into old patterns of behavior.

Our StrongMarriageNow System is specifically designed with that in mind - to help people to learn how to change, and how to make those changes permanent. That’s why we created our System for people just like you!

To learn more about Relationship Myths using our online videos and downloadable exercises, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.

Have you recognized any other Relationship Myths holding you back? How can we help save your marriage? Please comment below.

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

Why do so many people’s attempt to save their marriages fail? What are they doing? or not doing? Why do so many who go to counseling still separate? Here’s what you need to know to save your marriage and succeed where others fail.

  1. Not all therapists are created equal – Now, I recognize that might sound strange coming from me, but let me explain what I mean: Couples should not go to a therapist who isn’t qualified to do couples therapy. Many people, (and therapists for that matter), don't realize that couples counseling is very different than individual counseling. So much of it is teaching - teaching couples how to truly communicate, how to resolve conflict, how to learn and understand their partner's point of view, etc. In fact, it's when couples’ therapists attempt to be mediators in the room - attempt to judge who is right and who is wrong - that they get into trouble and can actually damage the relationship, (I mean, 3 out of 4 couples who go to couples counseling actually end up breaking up!) Additionally, you don't want the couple to become dependent on the therapist. A good therapist doesn't want their clients to be in therapy forever! And after they’ve stopped coming to see the therapist, the therapist is not going to be standing in the kitchen mediating their fight over who should be responsible for feeding the dog! They have to learn to do it themselves and honestly, in my opinion, the StrongMarriageNow System is the perfect medium to teach them.
  2. Don’t rely on friends and family for completely subjective advice that more times than not actually damages the relationship more than helps it. Recognizing that these are the people that love you, they are not necessarily qualified to teach you how to be married, (particularly if they are taking sides!)
  3. Don’t put your heads in the sand and tell yourselves, “as soon as she gets that new job, it’ll be better” or “as soon as the kids go to kindergarten, it’ll be better” as the marriage just gets worse and worse. Don’t wait for the other person to change – Instead, take a good hard look at yourself and do what you can to make the marriage better.
  4. And finally, (this is my personal favorite really), DON’T simply fight about it day-in and day-out for years and years and years without learning how to change anything.

What all of these issues have in common is that they focus solely on the problems in the marriage rather than on actively looking for any kind of solutions.

So, to reiterate, how can you succeed where others have failed to save their marriages?

  1. Seek information from a qualified therapist – it may or may not be face-to-face therapy - but look for information as soon as significant problems appear
  2. Take responsibility for your part in making the marriage successful and
  3. Check out the StrongMarriageNow System we created for people just like you.
  4. For Pete’s sake, stop fighting about it!

To learn more about saving your marriage using our online videos and downloadable exercises, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.

Have you recognized any other issues holding you back? Need help saving a marriage? Please comment below.

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

Get The Best Couples Therapy From A Professional. Visit http://strongmarriagenow.com

Do you want to save your marriage but aren't sure how? Have you heard the words "no longer in love" and are wondering if it's possible to feel the love again? Do you want to know clear steps you can take today to get your marriage back on track? You're not alone.

We conducted an online survey and the #1 question, we received from our members was this: "What can I do to save my marriage?" We at StrongMarriageNow are dedicated to helping members like you have fulfilling, loving, thriving marriages and families.

Because this topic is so important to our members, we offered a teleseminar in January on how to save your marriage. Were you able to make that call? If not, you're in luck.

The teleseminar was so popular, we're offering it again on Tuesday, February 22nd at 6:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Eastern and we'll have live Q&A!
To register for this FREE call, please visit:
5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage

Do you want to save your marriage but aren't sure how? Have you heard the words "no longer in love" and are wondering if it's possible to feel the
love again? Do you want to know clear steps you can take today to get your marriage back on track? You're not alone.

We just conducted a survey and the #1 question, we received from our members was this: "What can I do to save my marriage?" We at StrongMarriageNow are
dedicated to helping members like you have fulfilling, loving, thriving marriages and families.

That's why we held a free training call with Dr. Dana Fillmore on Tuesday, January 25th at 6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern.

To listen to the replay, please visit:
5 Secrets to Save Your Marriage

It’s Time To Learn How To Get Past Infidelity In Marriage. Visit http://strongmarriagenow.com