Steve, a hard-working construction site manager, and Karen, a proud and dedicated stay-at-home mother who is raising two young children, were married three years ago in the Midwest.
They seemed like a good match when they were first married, but they soon started running into problems in their relationship … problems that they just couldn’t seem to overcome.
Like any couple, Karen and Steve have arguments about small things … and those arguments frequently explode into knock-down, drag-out fights that leave their heads throbbing with anger without either of them knowing how (or why) it happened.
Each of them keeps pushing each other emotionally, stubbornly insisting that the other is wrong and that they need to wake up and smell the coffee and make some changes.
What’s worse is that not only do they fight about what happened that day, but both Karen and Steve dig up old issues from the past just to try to make the other person feel bad (whether they realized it or not).
Karen is constantly upset and feels isolated and alone because Steve works long hours and won’t spend enough time with her. He just doesn’t seem to pay attention to her needs.
Steve is starting to push Karen away because it seems like she nags him every day about this and that as soon as he gets home from a long day of work. So, he has decided he would just be better if he was alone…
…obviously, for Karen and Steve, communication and understanding each other’s needs are huge issues.
These problems get so bad that both Steve and Karen quietly think to themselves that the marriage is a train wreck ready to happen … that divorce is more likely every single day … that all these years they’ve been together have been a waste…
…but they both ALSO quietly hope that the problems will eventually go away because they still love each other and want to save their marriage … but they just don’t know how…
They both long for the day when each of them feels loved, appreciated, needed and understood by the other.
…the successful couple…
John, a successful real estate agent, and Mary, a dedicated elementary school teacher, got married 5 years ago and are from the Southeast.
They also get into arguments from time to time … Mary also wishes John would spend more time with her to give her the attention she deserves … and John sometimes looks forward to his alone time away from Mary so he can tend to his own needs…
Despite facing the same issues that Steve and Karen face, John and Mary always just seem to make things work (or so everyone thinks; more on that in just a second)…
…they always seem to be able to resolve their disagreements fairly.
Even though John has a hectic schedule, running from one appointment to another, he always seems to find some quality time to spend alone with Mary and he actually listens to her and is considerate of her needs and makes her feel loved, wanted AND appreciated.
And although Mary sometimes wonders why the heck John wants some alone time, she never bugs him about it and has accepted that it is something that he needs to do to wind down in today’s crazy, demanding world.
John is realizes that Mary appreciates the hard work he does and understands that he needs some time to unwind … and his love for her has grown stronger because of it.
In fact, most of John and Mary’s friends wonder how they stay together:
John and Mary have the same problems that their friends have, but, surprisingly, they just seem to have a connection that helps them through their tough times … almost as though they’ve found the key to unlocking the secrets that create a successful marriage … they key that so many couples are looking for, but so few have found.
…And so their friends just keep wondering…