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Conventional Relationship Wisdom That Could Be Killing Your Marriage

Marriage Counseling does not workAs a do it yourself divorce service that works with a lot of people experiencing marital difficulties, we’ve heard all the conventional wisdom regarding how to build a healthy relationship.




  • Get counseling for any problems you may have.
  • Find a trusted friend or family member who will allow you to vent.
  • Talk about issues you are experiencing with your partner.
  • Work on marital troubles together.
  • Spend some time apart because “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

As you can see, these bits of expert advice can be confusing and contradictory. After all, how are you supposed to work on your marital problems together if you’re busy making the heart grow fonder?

Well, one expert has taken issue with this conventional wisdom, believing that these snippets of advice often lead more people to file for divorce.

Mort Fertel, author of the Marriage Fitness System, suggests you take all the above advice and forget about it.

Marriage Counselors, Friends, And Family? Out! 

According to a recent blog post that Fertel did for, counselors, friends, and family members are the last people who can help you solve your relationship problems. Fertel points out that marriage counseling “does not work in most situations.”

“The success rate is dismal. Most couples report being worse off after marriage counseling,” Fertel said, adding that “it’s a mistake to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends.”

Fertel called doing so “a violation of your spouse’s privacy.”

Forget About ‘Talking It Out’

According to Fertel, discussing problems never actually solves them. It only makes matters worse, adding that “you’ll never talk yourself out of a problem that you behaved yourself into.”

“Marriages change because people change,” he added. “Say little; do much. Speak in the vocabulary of your actions. New choices resolve marital problems; discussion don’t.”

Be The Example

Fertel also reconciled the idea of being a lone wolf in your marriage with overcoming the desire to separate. Instead of a separation, he suggests that you work to fix what you can fix on your own.

“One person’s effort can change the momentum of a marriage, and very often, it’s that effort that motivates the obstinate spouse to join in the process of saving the relationship,” Fertel said.

But despite telling you to “go it alone,” Fertel emphasizes the importance of staying together and not taking marital difficulties as a cue to “make the heart grow fonder.”

In fact, he believes “in marriage, particularly in a broken marriage, absence separates people. It creates distance, and that’s the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve, which is closeness.”

Fertel’s thoughts — whether you agree or not — are definitely worth a read, and they could just save you from a combative or DIY divorce. Do you think he has a point?

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