You’ve no doubt read or heard that “Marriages take work. A wedding does not make a marriage!” This sometimes confuses people because we are raised on the romantic notion that if you love each other enough, if you were meant to be, then it should just fall into place. Wrong. Unfortunately, that is not how it works.

So, what’s the real deal? What I’ve learned from decades in my own marriage, as well as in my training and experience as a marriage counselor, is that like so many other things in life, you get out of your marriage what you put into it. What does this mean? First of all, not everyone has what I call "relationship aptitude."

Relationship aptitude is an innate ability to navigate well in a relationship, especially when it involves living with another person. At times in couples counseling, that is the place to begin. How do each of you measure up in the relationship aptitude department? Do you need to work on increasing your skills as a life partner, such as being considerate and thoughtful and/or being a good friend?

Speaking of friendship, John Gottman in his decades of research at the University of Washington in Seattle learned that the presence of a strong marital friendship increases the probability of a happy marriage and decreases the probability of divorce. He discovered that the three aspects of marital friendship are:

1. Enhancing love maps.
2. Turning toward each other instead of turning away.
3. Nurturing your fondness and admiration.

In my training with Gottman I have learned how to dramatically improve your marital friendship, and therefore help you feel more connected to your spouse. For couples who are looking to improve and breathe new life into their sexual relationship, Gottman again points to the marital friendship. Not surprisingly, research shows that the more connected a couple feels, the greater satisfaction they have in the sexual component of their marriage.

If you think that your marriage is in need of a tune up, call Roseanna Zoubek at 973 731-1551 to discuss the appropriateness of working on your marriage at this time. You will be given useful feedback so that you can make a timely and informed decision.


New love is the brightest, and long love is the greatest, but revived love is the tenderest thing known on earth.

Thomas Hardy


Our love was "on the rocks."  We were desperate and we thought getting out was our only option. We went to lawyers and then sat down and said that we should try one more time. "Yesterday's gone and all I want is a smile."

We're smiling now.  Don't know how she did it, but here we are-----talking and loving.  Fighting, somehow, isn't killing us.....Roseanna has "taken us home."

Neil Diamond fans,
Livingston,  NJ


I encourage you to read THIS ARTICLE. The author highlights a common misconception that poor communication is responsible for marital unhappiness. Nine other factors are highlighted and I totally agree. I see it in my office every day.