I called my wife at exactly 11:19 a.m. (our anniversary is November 19) and said, ‘Happy anniversary Honey.’

She said, ‘What are you talking about?’

I said, ‘It’s 11:19 in the morning and that’s our anniversary.’

A silly conversation ensued and 30 seconds later we got off the phone with smiles in our heart.

Now it’s time for your marriage again. Are you ready?

Here’s an outline of what you’ll find below:

1. A POWERFUL story that could change your life.

2. An email exchange I had that shows how INCREDIBLY REAL the story is.

3. An assignment which will translate both the story and the email exchange into a practical exercise to improve your marriage.

Here’s the story.

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 are.

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.

I offer a free report called ‘7 Secrets for a Stronger Marriage’ to anyone who signs up on my web site. There’s no catch. It’s totally free and there’s some very useful marriage advice for anyone who subscribes. (One subscriber even said, ‘I have learned more about my marriage from your free info than I have from the therapist we’ve been seeing.) Here’s an email exchange I had with a NEW subscriber. I think it proves my point.

The first email I received from her was entitled ‘Free my rear end,’ and she wrote as follows:

‘You put on your website free counseling and then you try to sell me your book. Even if your book was the end all be all I wouldn’t buy it because you already lied. There’s nothing free; just ‘buy my book. That’s hardly the way to build trust in your potential customers. I’m glad your wife likes you. I don’t.’ Laurie

Like any normal human being, my first impulse was to write this woman back and give her a piece of my mind. How dare she call me a liar!

How dare she question my professional ethics! But, as you know, I don’t think we should allow others to control our behavior. I don’t want this woman to control who I am, how I behave, or the person I become. Thank you very much but I’ll decide all that for myself. And no matter how she treats me, I’m going to be proactive based on my VALUES; not reactive based on her weaknesses. So I wrote her back as follows:

‘Dear Laurie, my apologies for the misunderstanding. In fact, I offer lots of free advice just like I say I do. You can sign up to receive my free report ‘7 Secrets for a Stronger Marriage’ at http://www.YourMarriageFitness.com And Laurie, not only do I do what I say, but as you’ll see if you sign up, I deliver to you (for free) much more than I promised. Warm regards to you,                                                             Mort Fertel

Nothing fancy; just pleasant, professional, and to the point. And here’s the email I got back from her:

‘Thanks Mort, I apologize for barking at you. Misdirected anger. It’s my husband of 11 years I would like to drop-kick into next week. Anyway, I will look at your stuff and see if any of it applies.

Slightly hopeful,
Laurie

Isn’t it amazing how she turned around? I was nice so she was nice back. How do you think she would have reacted if I responded with a nasty email?

You see, I got back just what I put out. And that’s what happening to her with her husband too. She’s angry at her husband, but it’s her anger that’s partly to blame for her husband being the way he is.

When your spouse barks, yells, screams, or complains to you, don’t REACT! Instead, gather your strength, and respond with love.

I know it’s hard. But you can do it. Don’t let your spouse determine what kind of person you will be. You decide that. Decide now that you’re going to be a good, loving, nice, gentle, compassionate person REGARDLESS of how your spouse treats you. That’s power. That’s freedom. That’s who you want to be.




Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships and has an  international reputation for saving marriages. In addition to working with couples, he teaches individuals how to single-handedly transform their marital situation.

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About the Author

Mort Fertel

Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships and has an international reputation for saving marriages. In addition to working with couples, he teaches individuals how to single-handedly transform their marital situation.


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