10 Steps to Take When Your Marriage is Failing

Alisa Bowman is a writer who wrote about her marriage coming to the brink of divorce and how she and her husband turned things around. She says her Ah Ha! moment came after ranting to a friend about how bad her husband was. Alisa was looking for permission from her friend to leave him. Instead her friend replied, “What have you done to save your marriage?”

Alisa couldn’t answer because she had done nothing. That’s when she got busy.

In couples counseling one of the first things I do is set the couple straight about who is responsible for the state of their marraige. Guess what? It isn’t the other guy. It’s you!

As Alisa discovered, taking personal responsibility for her part in their marital disaster was both a revelation and empowering. After much trial and error, she and her husband began to find their way back to happy re-committment. They discovered that “a lot of little changes can add up to a big improvement.”

On the Today Show last week Ann Curry interviewed Alisa and Mark Bowman. Ann listed the ten things Alisa recommends couples do to save their marriage and find their own happily ever after:

  1. Find yourself.
  2. Define your problem.
  3. Get your spouse on board.
  4. Stop fighting about old stuff.
  5. Get busy.
  6. Learn how to romance each other.
  7. Learn how to talk out loud,
  8. Not too load.
  9. Feel understood.
  10. Write your spouse’s eulogy.

If you want to read more check out Alisa’s book Project: Happily Ever After, Saving your marriage when the fairy tale falters.


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  • Natalie

    I love that you’re blogging about PHEA! :) I bought the book as soon as I could and read through it. I love Alissa’s candidness (is that a word or did I just invent one?) and openness. I’m sure she’s thrilled that her book is getting so much positive feedback (if for nothing else but to counter some of the Negative Nellies out there).

    Go read it if you haven’t. Or at least check out Alissa’s blog. :)

    • Hi, Natalie, I think Alissa is totally delightful. She is frank and self-depricating in such a kind-hearted manner. I feel like we could be girl-friends. I haven’t read the entire book, just excerpts but I visit her blog often and her essays about writing and the weirdness of marketing yourself. I love her voice.

      And if candidness isn’t a word it should be!

  • Natalie

    And I just realized I spelled her name with 2 s’s (how DO you write the plural of s?) instead of one. Oh well. :)


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