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DMK Hubby and Wifey University Quote: "By all means marry.  If you get a good wife you'll be happy.  If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." -Socrates

We went to counseling and the first counselor wasn't a good fit for either of us. After a couple more months where things didn't get better we decided to go to a marriage workshop at our church. We weren't sure what a marriage workshop would entail, but we knew it couldn't hurt.

We were right. The workshop worked. It was less specific to the situation that I thought was in our way and more about getting to know each other again. There were couples, like us, that shared their situations with the group that made it easier for both of us to talk and empathize with each other's viewpoint. We made new friends and participated in group events on the weekends like trips to a local winery and "team building-like" events.

The whole thing seemed less like a group therapy and more like ways to discover improved communication skills and ways to discuss our feelings. As our communication improved we resolved my work situation together.

We talked about why my husband felt the way he did and reasons for my feelings. I realized I was allowing my situation with work to interfere with my love for him which isn't what I wanted at all. He told me that he disliked thinking that I was being taken advantage of at work and would rather change things at home so that I could start my own business.

The idea had never crossed my mind. But, as we cleared all our frustrations away, we were really able to understand each other, think clearly together and begin to see the possibilities. We finally began working together instead of being each other's adversaries when common problems occurred that many couples face in a long marriage.

After a year of being in business I can safely say it has been challenging and hopeful. I make less money and work extra hours on the weekends. But, I am on track to make more money in the coming years. As a small firm, I didn't expect to turn a profit the first year, but I have already done so and expecting to make more than my other job by year three. But, that's not the main success of my story.

I never could have gotten through the struggles of my first year in business had I not had such support and love from my husband. He has been there every step of the way which only goes on to prove that he meant what he said about the reasons why he was so frustrated when I worked so much for the other company. He and I have less income and both have worked hard to get my new business off the ground while turning a profit so soon. However, we have never been closer or happier.

Focus on each other not your differences

My advice to anyone who feels like their spouse is totally missing the point of what he/she is going through is to stop focusing so much on your differences and focus more on your commonality. Your common interests may have changed over the years and it helps to spend quality time with structured activities like provided in marriage workshops, retreats or group therapies that encourage better communication. Really listen to your spouse and empathize with each other. Don't be afraid to have differences of opinions without letting those differences affect your love for one another. Instead appreciate the good stuff more than you depreciate your marriage over the bad stuff!