Frequently Asked Questions From Women
If you have questions not covered here, ask our counselors about your specific situation.
Is My Marriage Over?
Marriage should be the happiest part of your life. So, when things are not going well, it’s no wonder you long to have that feeling back. Very often people don’t know where or how to start to put things right again.
Many people start to blame themselves, thinking they or their spouse are bad people, or just not compatible with each other. Never do that! If there are problems then nearly 100% of the time, it's only because you are not following the underlying "rules" for marital happiness. These can be learned, so don't despair. Once you shift your perspective and learn the right skills, you will see how quickly your marriage gets back on track.
There are some key points to keep in mind:
- Don't be afraid of what you are facing at the moment. It will pass.
- Marriage, like life, is constantly changing. Just start creating positive change every day.
- Very few marital problems end marriages, no matter how big they may seem at the moment.
- Make today the starting place for your future. Your positive effort will pay off in ways you cannot imagine right now.
Don't worry, but don't stay stuck either. Start taking positive steps. Get our TMF Marriage System video course or one of our books and start learning the rights steps you need to take to fix your marriage.
What Should I Do If I Caught My Husband Cheating?
While all forms of unfaithfulness are immoral, porn should not affect you the same way an affair would. So, let's make a distinction between porn use and other forms of unfaithfulness. This answer is only about the latter.
We treat infidelity very seriously. What brought your marriage to this point are underlying issues that have built up over time. Mistakes continually made have become habitual and are now more difficult to fix, but they need to be addressed. Your marriage, as a whole, needs to be revitalized.
Treat your discovery as an emergency. If you sweep it under the rug, or try to fix it completely on your own, you're taking a big chance. But be smart about where you get help. If you ask a friend or a traditional marriage counselor for advice, the risk is statistically higher that your marriage won't heal.
Now is the time to be smart and deliberate; your marriage has a potentially terminal illness and unfaithfulness is the "symptom", not the cause.
It is possible to fix this, and to have a full and happy marriage again.
Ending a marriage because of infidelity, even serial cheating, is a big mistake if you have children or have been married a while. You're not likely to be happy afterwards, and your children will suffer tremendously by seeing mom and dad become enemies through divorce.
Before you get started on healing your marriage there are some things you must avoid.
Avoid These Worst Mistakes
- Don't confront your husband. Nobody responds well to confrontation, and in marriage, it turns you into a police interrogator instead of his wife. Even though it feels justified to call him out on his behaviors, it won't help you fix your marriage. Confronting him will keep pushing your marriage in the wrong direction.
- Don't punish him. Punishment will not heal your relationship, restore trust, or inspire the kind of changes you want in your marriage. It will have the opposite effect.
- Don't take his actions personally. A man's cheating is dumb and destructive. It isn't your fault he cheated on you. But you can still heal your marriage. You can change the current dynamic. You didn't cause the problem, but you can certainly heal it.
- Never confide in a friend, or anyone else. Your marriage is private. You will get past this. Telling people will open a Pandora's box of other problems. No matter how strongly you want to tell someone, don't do it.
- Never include your children in this. Never include your children in any part of your marriage. It is wrong for so many reasons, and will only hurt them if they are aware of any discord between you and their father. Don't worry about "what if we get a divorce?" You are not here for a divorce. You are here to get your marriage back on track.
- Don't use your imagination the wrong way. Do your best to avoid negative thinking, which will just make you feel worse and make the situation worse. Instead, recognize your marriage is not doing well. Much of the problem is that our minds tend to exaggerate problems. So, try to keep it in check. Don’t entertain the negative thoughts, or let your imagination run away with them. Use your mind to imagine positive things about him instead.
What To Do Right Now
Start rebuilding your marriage by avoiding things that tear it down, including all of the points above, plus eliminating all arguments, fighting, giving him the cold shoulder, yelling, nagging, complaining, criticizing, and passing judgement.
Do your best to base your speech and actions in love and forgiveness. We know it is difficult; but saving your marriage and making it whole, should be your only concern, not the insult.
Manifesting more love (not to be confused with sex) will attract him back to you, the one woman he chose to marry. Are you the same loving bride? Probably not, right?
It's time to get serious about your marriage. It will not heal itself, and any promises he makes will not stand up to the challenges in a poorly run marriage.
Get our online marriage course, or at least one of our books, so you will understand how your marriage got to this point, and how to get it back on track.
Infidelity is too serious a stage of marital deterioration to risk creating your own plan. Our TMF Marriage System will walk you step-by-step through a process that works for even the worst situations.
Even if your marriage had been 'good' (not even great; but just 'good') your husband would never have wanted to look at another woman. So, unfaithfulness is not about unfaithfulness. It is about the quality of your marriage not being close to what it should be.
Finally, you can our article, What To Do If You Find Your Husband On Dating Sites?
How Do I Get My Husband To Work On Our Marriage?
There are two common variations of this question.
The first is when a wife wants her husband to be 'fixed' by a 3rd party. This approach will never create happiness or harmony in your marriage. It just leads to more resentment on both sides. Essentially you are saying to your husband that he is not 'good enough.' Blaming your husband for the problems in your marriage is counter-productive. Your marriage can be healed; but not through blaming or 'fixing' him.
The other variation we get is when a wife believes that in order to improve the marriage, both of them need to participate in working on this process or need to see a counselor together. However the husband is not interested, or perhaps not emotionally ready to do that yet.
If you try to push a string it will bunch up without going anywhere. But if you pull it, the string will follow wherever you lead.
In this case you need to lead by example. We don't mean that you go to counseling by yourself and hope he follows. What we mean is that you start improving the marriage by making positive changes, and most husbands will follow your lead. This approach works. You just need to know how to take the right steps so you are leading him instead of pushing him.
You can influence your husband and improve your marriage with loving actions. But you cannot get anyone to change his or her mind through coercion.
If you can get your husband to take our men's course by lovingly asking him, that's ok. But don't twist his arm to do so. It isn't as critical as you might think.
If you start on the women's course, and learn how to improve the marriage from your side, then you will nearly always see how your husband starts to reciprocate. It might take a while, but don't keep focusing on it. Your marriage will start improving just from the changes you will learn to make.
We have seen some real miracles happen where terrible situations such as infidelity, months (and years) of separation or worse were turned around, just by a wife's efforts alone. They didn't focus on blame, but were focused on a happy marriage... and they succeeded. As the wives changed, their marriages transformed, and their husbands automatically reformed their own behavior.
If he's interested, great. Then he can sign up as well. We've never had a couple fail when both are sincere.
But if he's not interested yet, don't worry about it. Many of our clients take an individual program and are successful. We recommend you start on your own. You can always add him on later for a 50% discount.
Can I Heal My Marriage By Myself?
Yes, you can. Since you are motivated, you should run with it. Our success rate for wives who do so is above 95%, and would be even better if we excluded the most extreme situations. But we think everyone should try. Our program is guaranteed, so there is nothing to lose.
Marriage is a bridge connecting your two souls. If you were on opposite shores of a river building a bridge, and only one of you does most of the building, the bridge still gets built. That is the way it is with marriage. It is always an unequal effort, but it doesn't matter. Do your part, and grow your connection. That is what is important.
One of our clients came to us when her husband had already left the home months before, and currently had a girlfriend. He was already dividing their assets and setting up visitation with the kids. But she was determined, and she won him back completely! She has since passed from cancer. He was at her side when she passed, more in love with her than he had ever been. Her willingness to forgive him did not come easy. But our course showed her "how", not just "what", to do.
Should We See A Marriage Counselor?
Even though many counselors across the globe recommend our books and courses to their clients Paul adamantly insists they do much more harm than good.
Marriage counseling (psychotherapy) focuses on the problems in your marriage. First they often spend several weeks asking about your childhood and "getting to know you" before getting down to business. Then they try to work backwards, tracing the problems (symptoms) back to what they think might be the underlying issue(s).
This model relies extensively on subjective guesswork. At best, it might fix one issue at a time, but there is always another because the couple's underlying attitudes and behaviors remain the same.
In fact, what usually happens in sessions is bickering, choosing sides, and one-upmanship as the couple competes for who is the most aggrieved, or most "right". None of this improves a marriage one iota.
Then there is the cost of couples counseling. The average recommended process is about 12 weeks, and costs anywhere from $75 to $150 a session, or more. Most couples visit a therapist for 6-12 months! The services are never guaranteed, and rarely provide useful results.
Please do some research into how many marriages eventually split after having seen a traditional marriage counselor. We'll give you a hint. Most people see a marriage counselor before getting a divorce, and 50% of marriages end in divorce. Those numbers speak for themselves. In fact, marriage counseling as a therapeutic practice has been around for nearly 100 years, and in that time, divorce rates have increased 300%!
After months and thousands of dollars, your marriage will likely be in a worse state than when you started the counseling since your marriage has been degrading the whole time. So many of our clients come to us after having seen multiple counselors. We've even been able to save marriages that traditional counselors refused to see. Marriage counselors aren't bad people. It's just that the approach of applying psychotherapy to marriage is out-dated and ineffective.
How Does Divorce Affect Children?
Imagine going to a hostile planet with two bodyguards. But then your bodyguards start viciously fighting each other. How secure would that make you feel? You and your husband are your children's bodyguards. So how do you think your kids will feel once they get caught up in all the divorce battles? Safe and protected?
Many marriage professionals dismiss any concerns about children, saying they will be OK. But this is simply not true. Kids are traumatized when mom and dad, who represent their entire life become enemies, fight, and split up.
Our article, The Effects of Divorce on Children demonstrate how your kids will be in much more trouble than you and your husband can ever imagine. If you read through it, you may literally cry. The numbers for incidences of drug use, earlier sexual experimenting, generations of divorce, and suicide are all higher than you would think. It's devastating!
Perhaps you feel it would be better to live a tortured existence in a terrible marriage until your kids are grown, and that is noble, we respect that. But we don't want you to suffer either, especially when there is an alternative. Your marriage can and should be joyous.
There's no need to roll the dice with your children's lives. Learning how to be happily married through using our books or marriage system is far easier, cheaper, and faster than getting divorced. Don't give up! If saving your marriage for your kids' sake is what got you here, then that's a good thing.
How Can The Marriage Foundation Help Us?
We view creating a happy marriage as the most extraordinary thing one can do in life. The rewards that stem from a well-run marriage are too numerous to list, and your happiness will be unbelievable. But, like anything else, knowing 'how' to be happily married makes all the difference.
If anyone can help you, there is no question that our marriage system can. Unlike most solutions, ours is unconditionally guaranteed. So even if your marriage seems to be too far gone to be saved, you can still safely give it a shot.
Your marriage will never change until your perspectives, attitudes, behaviors, and habits change. And those won't change until you understand why you should change, how to change, and what to change.
Our simple approach is to arm and empower you with practical knowledge. Once you start to recognize a destructive habit, and the negative impact it has on your spouse and marriage, then it will become much easier to change it (with specific techniques we provide). When you know what your spouse needs, and you start taking positive action, it will become much easier to enrich your marriage.
In 2003, our founder, Paul Friedman, started to develop his marriage system by personally working with hundreds of clients; now there are thousands. He has been refining the system ever since. Paul's system has three phases:
- We help you get your mind under control. This has to be done! You cannot succeed if you cannot control your mind. Anger, emotions, habits, reactive words and behavior, everything must be brought under control otherwise you'll never find peace and harmony in your marriage. What should be little occurrences, like when your partner leaves the cap off of the toothpaste, or is unintentionally rude, will continue to eat at your peace and will build up into resentment. Mental skills are essential and life changing. Once you start to learn this skill, your marriage (and whole life) will start improving almost immediately.
- We identify what destroys marriage and what builds it up again. Obviously subjects like being rude or being loving are on these lists. However, there are many commonly accepted behaviors that need to be identified and understood. For instance venting and criticizing are commonly accepted (as they're demonstrated on all family TV sitcoms), but they are very destructive. By the end of the section, you will understand why certain behaviors are destructive or beneficial, so you will always be on the right path.
- We show you how to take your marriage to the stars! We do not believe in settling for a mundane marriage. You can, and should, have the best marriage ever. You will learn about increasing intimacy, the unique natures of you and your spouse, and where and how your children fit into your new marriage. We will show you how to make your marriage get better every day, even if you've already been married for years.
The marriage system Paul taught to his personal clients has been recorded so that now you can also learn one-on-one from him through these online videos. To support your learning, the marriage system also comes with email access to our TMF certified counselors who can answer any questions you have.
If you'd like to get your feet wet with our principles, check out one of Paul's books in the menu above. However, the fastest way to start improving your marriage is to sign up for our Complete Marriage System today.
If you're not sure where your situation is at, or would like more reassurance, feel free to discuss this with our counselors. They'll help you see things from a new perspective and give you guidance based on the positive principles we teach.
Real marriage success comes from knowledge about yourself, your spouse, and the marriage you have together. We see it happen over and over with our clients, who come from all walks of life. Your marriage can and should be amazing.