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#256960 - 09/17/12 12:55 PM Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program?
Telly
Member

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 1749
I found his website today, and he has a 14 week program... I think it looks amazing and have already implemented one of his suggestions that I read about on the website.

I'm curious if anyone has any experience with his program?

He's definitely a Christian, and has been through a lot which is what inspired all of his work (he and his wife lost 3 children, and had to figure out how to recreate their marriage).

I already told h I want it (not very expensive, really. 69.00 for the whole program, and all sorts of info out there for free, too!)

Just curious...


Edited by Telly (09/17/12 12:55 PM)
Edit Reason: Blasted I pad autocorrect
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#256970 - 09/17/12 02:00 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Telly]
soolee
Member

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 2082
I signed up for the free emails and have read several of them. You may want to go that route first to get a better feel for the program; however, I found nothing in the emails that I thought was intrusively religious (for those who don't like that sort of thing) or that would turn me away from buying, so far.

Good luck. Keep us updated.

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#256974 - 09/17/12 02:09 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: soolee]
Gladstone
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Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 2163
Loc: Virginia
I did a brief review of Mort's program - based only on the free emails I'd seen - back in 2010. Click the link to see.


Edited by Gladstone (09/17/12 02:10 PM)
_________________________
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#256982 - 09/17/12 03:08 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Gladstone]
Telly
Member

Registered: 09/08/10
Posts: 1749
Thanks, Gladstone!

I had thought I remembered seeing his name and program somewhere here, but I missed it when I came here today.

I read your review, and it was helpful.

I could see the program being something good for us to do... We've gotten other programs in the past, but H always had a problem with something, and I couldn't blame him.

For ex. The idea in MB that you should never sacrifice for your spouse was something my H could never get past. And when he asked Dr. Harley about it at a conference saying "if you never sacrifice for your spouse, what are you supposed to do if one of you gets sick?" Dr. H said that was teh "one exception". But we always felt that if you weren't of the habit of ever sacrificing, then how would you be prepared to make such a major one?

Then, there was another program that he actually wanted to do, but the couple kept referring to each other affectionately as "Lover" and we couldn't endure more than one CD of that! (I don't want to hear you call your spouse "Lover", thank you very much).

Anyway, I like that the actual "Marriage Fitness" program is specific, and I think there are things that will appeal to H (even more than me, which is fine). I already told him that I would like to take this week and not talk about our relationship at all. Just be happy together. (I know MB talks about doing that if you are in Plan A, but that's not what I'm talking about). H thought it was a fine idea.

So, thanks again Gladstone. If I do get the program, I'll post back.
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#256984 - 09/17/12 03:18 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Telly]
Gladstone
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Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 2163
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Telly
I had thought I remembered seeing his name and program somewhere here, but I missed it when I came here today.

I read your review, and it was helpful.


Glad it was helpful! I had actually forgotten about Mort Fertel's program until I saw your post today - not because it hadn't made an impression, but just because it was about two years ago that I looked at it!

Quote:
Then, there was another program that he actually wanted to do, but the couple kept referring to each other affectionately as "Lover" and we couldn't endure more than one CD of that! (I don't want to hear you call your spouse "Lover", thank you very much).


I remember that program - Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch, right? wink

_________________________
**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

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#257010 - 09/17/12 05:14 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Gladstone]
Squeaky Tree
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Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 5224
Loc: Not quite here
I read galdstone's review, way back then and signed up....the emails were great for a bit of focus but nothing really new and I detected no religion.
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#257028 - 09/17/12 07:34 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Squeaky Tree]
ISawTheLight
Member

Registered: 05/31/11
Posts: 271
I bought his book, back when I was alone in my wanting to fix anything. I'm going to have to pull it out. I had forgotten I had it. It's geared to both partners being on board, not a try to fix it by yourself book.

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#266013 - 11/27/12 07:37 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Telly]
rodion
Member

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 163
I just found this board yesterday, and found this thread today. I've been working Marriage Fitness for about a year now, and I can vouch for the program. I think it's the best one out there, from what I've seen. It's certainly not a quick-fix method, and for most people it takes time — many months, perhaps even more than a year. The entire program is based around behavioral changes, both for yourself (i.e. your "fixing") and toward your spouse, with the goal of improving the marital environment. He encourages only the highest of ethical/moral behavior.

I started the program as my wife launched a marital crisis, which I learned a few weeks later was due to an affair that she began — which is still ongoing, although it looks to be in its final throes. Mort strongly advises against the expose-the-affair approach, and I have to say that, while I understand why people would want to do this, I strongly agree with his approach. I did actually expose my wife's affair when I found out, but only to her, and then by extension (quite stupidly) to a few family members. This was a bad, bad, bad idea. It is very hard to build goodwill thereafter. His advice is to "get out of the way and let the affair run its course," BUT at the same time you will be working on your own fixing as well as building excellent relationship habits.

He does boast a 90% success rate, and while this might seem like an outrageous claim, the turnarounds I've heard of via his user forum truly are inspiring, and they pretty much unfold as he says the will. Basically, when you shower your spouse with unconditional love, it's hard to go wrong.

There is a user forum at http://www.marriagemax.com/marriagemaxforum/ that you can visit — you don't need to be working his program, and in fact people do drop in from time to time to ask questions about it. It is actually a very positive place, and unlike most other boards that deal with marital problems (and especially infidelity), you don't find people talking about how much they want to get divorced. Pretty much everyone working that program is, or ends up, committed to his or her marriage.

You can also check out my blog if you'd like, as I've got many months worth of musing about working Mort's program, how the process of being a so-called "lone ranger" works, and so on.

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#266016 - 11/27/12 07:52 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: rodion]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19076
Welcome, rodion. Thanks for the review on Mort Fertel's program. It is quite a bit different than most.

Also I checked out your blog, and it is excellent. Hope you will stick around and pitch in with some of your ideas.
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#266027 - 11/27/12 09:27 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: rodion]
Jayne241
Member

Registered: 08/08/10
Posts: 8850
Loc: The Farm
Originally Posted By: rodion
Mort strongly advises against the expose-the-affair approach, and I have to say that, while I understand why people would want to do this, I strongly agree with his approach. I did actually expose my wife's affair when I found out, but only to her, and then by extension (quite stupidly) to a few family members. This was a bad, bad, bad idea. It is very hard to build goodwill thereafter. His advice is to "get out of the way and let the affair run its course," BUT at the same time you will be working on your own fixing as well as building excellent relationship habits.

He does boast a 90% success rate, and while this might seem like an outrageous claim, the turnarounds I've heard of via his user forum truly are inspiring, and they pretty much unfold as he says the will. Basically, when you shower your spouse with unconditional love, it's hard to go wrong.



This is interesting. Willard Harley also claims to have the best success rate around (I forget... is it 90% as well?) and he *strongly* advises exposure. Actually, he himself is more flexible, but the Marriage Builders forum *strongly* advises what they call "nuclear exposure": family members, friends, coworkers, bosses, everyone, and timed to be as unilateral as possible in order to decrease the chances of your WS putting a spin on the news.

Harley advises *against* unconditional love.

Odd how both forums claim such high success rates, and the stories on the forums seem to uphold each of the claims. I'd sure like to see someone present a peer-reviewed paper documenting their claims.

I don't recommend the MB forum but I do agree with a lot of the MB concepts. I remember coming across Fertel's program when I was searching online for help with my marriage. I think the reason I didn't try it was that both partners needed to be on board. If you were doing it while your wife was (is?) having an affair, do you find that it takes both partners to do it? Is your wife following the program as well?
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#266030 - 11/27/12 09:57 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Jayne241]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19076
According to his blog, he is standing for his marriage, Jayne.

Mort Fertel's program reminds me of Frank Pittman's advice that when your spouse is having an affair, go do something else for a year or two, until the affair ends.
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#266035 - 11/27/12 11:26 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: believer]
rodion
Member

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 163
There are plenty of claims of success rates out there, but the only site I remember that offered statistics (at one point, at least) was Marriage Sherpa. The claim there was 91% success, and there were figures to back it up. I don't know where those figures have gone, but I do remember seeing them a year of so ago. Lee Baucom also claims about 85% success.

Don't know if believer's comment was referencing me, but for the record I am standing for my marriage. Pretty much everyone working Marriage Fitness is doing likewise; the program is geared toward that, and that's what attracts those kinds of people to that program. It's hard to do — very, very hard.

Mort's advice isn't exactly that pithy; it's to wait out the affair while simultaneously cultivating excellent relationship skills and becoming a better person, i.e. fixing the things about oneself that led to the marital crisis. You can't fix your spouse's failings, of course, but your example can inspire them to get there in due course. Or, put in a different way, your objective is not to end the affair, but to reconcile your marriage. His position is that "the affair always dies" so you don't have to make it end.

I do recall finding parts of the MB program quite sensible and useful, but felt very uncomfortable with the idea of outing the affair, and also some of the complete and total transparency ideas. These might give you information, but access to information does not build trust.

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#266037 - 11/27/12 11:45 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: rodion]
believer
Member

Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 19076
Well, I don't agree with everything in the Mort Fertel program, but I'm glad that you came here and explained it. We have had several people here that were standing for their marriages, and they could have used that site.

I do agree with working on yourself and fixing things that led to the marital crisis. I think that is important even if a person ends up divorced.
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"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."

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#266039 - 11/28/12 12:57 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: believer]
Rich57
Advocate
Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 1020
Originally Posted By: believer
I'm glad that you came here and explained it. We have had several people here that were standing for their marriages, and they could have used that site.

I do agree with working on yourself and fixing things that led to the marital crisis. I think that is important even if a person ends up divorced.

I agree
Welcome to MA
I am not familiar with Fertel but I have heard of it before.
Sounds pretty sensible to me.

I am not sure their is a much of a difference between all these programs as sometimes is shouted about.

I quickly read your first few blog posts and you have been at this a little over a year.
I agree that standing is the hardest thing that you may ever do in your whole life.

I am curious how they come up with the 90% success rate.
Is that of people that continue to stand?

I would think that a much higher percentage give up, and that would be no matter what program you are using.

Anyone care to comment.

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#266042 - 11/28/12 01:30 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Rich57]
Lil
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 7312
Loc: Ness
I used MB and have a recovered marriage so I'm biased wink

However I do think that there is truth in many programmes and what works for one may not work for another. I dont really understand this 'standing for your marriage'. Is that like where Dr Harley recommended the BS wait 2 years after going into plan B before dating again? Sort of waiting and seeing if the affair fizzles out?

I think it could suit many BS's, and for others it would be too much like limbo. I'm not sure what I would have done, prolly given up after a while.
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#266044 - 11/28/12 01:41 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Jayne241]
Lil
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 7312
Loc: Ness
Quote:
Odd how both forums claim such high success rates, and the stories on the forums seem to uphold each of the claims. I'd sure like to see someone present a peer-reviewed paper documenting their claims.


If all these programmes have such a high success rate, why is the divorce rate so high?
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#266045 - 11/28/12 01:41 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Lil]
rodion
Member

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 163
I think the idea of "standing for your marriage" is probably similar to what you've described. Mort also recommends a more-or-less 2-year timeline. You need to give it at least a year of "Herculean effort," as he calls it, before deciding to call it quits. If you have a distressed marriage, it could take at least that long for things to turn around. The same is true for affairs. After at least a year has passed, and you are certain that you have left no stones unturned, he then suggests you can consider reevaluating and, if you decide to throw in the towel, he recommends staying off the dating scene for at least a year. Some of this isn't "boot camp" or book material, it comes up in the Q&As that he does.

I really don't know where he gets the 90% statistic from; ostensibly I think this would be from his own clients he's coached. (There are 3 other coaches who work with him, but I don't know if they keep those kinds of records.) I would think it's hard to know outside of a fully documented, clinical environment, because a lot of people likely do fall off the map somewhere along the line.

It's definitely not for everyone, that's for sure. There are a number of good programs out there that can work for different types of people in different situations. I think the thing that clinched it for me with MF is his assertion that "you cannot talk your way out of a situation you have behaved your way into." That sure as heck seems to be true. When you change your behaviors and actions, though, that sends a whole different message, and a much more powerful one at that.

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#266046 - 11/28/12 01:48 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: rodion]
Lil
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 7312
Loc: Ness
I get that. The thing that attracted me to MB initially was that little ad that said 'one spouse can save a marriage'.

From what you've described, I'm going with rich - not sure their is a much of a difference between all these programs as sometimes is shouted about.

I primarily used MB, as I said - mixed with stuff from the tough love forum, ask men forum, and gleanings from SI, DB, even the OW forum. Whatever works and gets results, right?
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#266047 - 11/28/12 01:50 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Lil]
Lil
Member

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 7312
Loc: Ness
BTW, I left you our standard new member greeting here.

it contains useful information and links about who we are and how to get the best from the forum grin
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#266053 - 11/28/12 06:44 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Lil]
Rich57
Advocate
Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 1020
Originally Posted By: Lil
If all these programmes have such a high success rate, why is the divorce rate so high?

One of two things, a lot of people give up or the measure of success is defined in a different way.

Divorce lawyers here in the US define success as getting you divorced. At least that is my opinion.
Their job, the job of the system and laws is to successfully terminate your marriage.
Many people I know, consider themselves a success because they are divorced and in a happy new relationship.
So if that is your definition then you can claim whatever you want.
Another words you have navigated the 5 stages of grief and are looking forward to the future.

So LIL in your experience on the MB board was their a 90% rate?

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#266055 - 11/28/12 08:32 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Rich57]
Mark1952
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Registered: 08/29/10
Posts: 4349
Loc: SW Chicago 'burbs
Originally Posted By: Rich
I agree that standing is the hardest thing that you may ever do in your whole life.

Until you actually try recovery/reconciliation.

I think that most claims for success begin with something like this-

When a husband and wife follow my advice...

Success at fixing a marriage when both of you are working a program that improves intimacy and passion and the commitment is there to make things work works almost all the time...Like in the 90% realm.

The program doesn't matter nearly as much as the effort.

Never found anyone who claims that a marriage can be saved a high percentage of the time when one is actively trying to tear it apart and the other is reacting from fear of loss and detachment.

Pittman says that he was able to help just about every marriage if there was no affair at the time. In the thousands of couples he worked with, according to him, only a handful of marriages could not be fixed/reconciled/repaired when there was no affair. He even found a couple in follow up that ended and then an affair came to light. When there is no affair, success is pretty high. When there is an affair going on, programs meant to fix a marriage are not much use.

For a marriage to work out, both husband and wife have to be investing in it at about the same rate. It's like a submarine, only any good when you're all the way in it.

Even I have a pretty good success rate when a husband AND wife follow my advice... Never had a couple I worked with end up divorced when both of them wanted to fix the marriage.

About 65% of couples end up divorced as the result of an affair. Half of all marriages in this country end in divorce. Affairs don't cause trouble in marriage. Affairs blow marriages into tiny bits. Recovery only even happens for couples who work together to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together again. Even then you only get a great marriage if you find a new and better way to put the parts together.

Marriage requires two people.

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The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman

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#266058 - 11/28/12 08:54 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Mark1952]
Rich57
Advocate
Member

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 1020
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Originally Posted By: Rich
I agree that standing is the hardest thing that you may ever do in your whole life.

Until you actually try recovery/reconciliation.

I think that most claims for success begin with something like this-

When a husband and wife follow my advice...

Success at fixing a marriage when both of you are working a program that improves intimacy and passion and the commitment is there to make things work works almost all the time...Like in the 90% realm.

The program doesn't matter nearly as much as the effort.

Never found anyone who claims that a marriage can be saved a high percentage of the time when one is actively trying to tear it apart and the other is reacting from fear of loss and detachment.

Pittman says that he was able to help just about every marriage if there was no affair at the time. In the thousands of couples he worked with, according to him, only a handful of marriages could not be fixed/reconciled/repaired when there was no affair. He even found a couple in follow up that ended and then an affair came to light. When there is no affair, success is pretty high. When there is an affair going on, programs meant to fix a marriage are not much use.

For a marriage to work out, both husband and wife have to be investing in it at about the same rate. It's like a submarine, only any good when you're all the way in it.

Even I have a pretty good success rate when a husband AND wife follow my advice... Never had a couple I worked with end up divorced when both of them wanted to fix the marriage.

About 65% of couples end up divorced as the result of an affair. Half of all marriages in this country end in divorce. Affairs don't cause trouble in marriage. Affairs blow marriages into tiny bits. Recovery only even happens for couples who work together to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together again. Even then you only get a great marriage if you find a new and better way to put the parts together.

Marriage requires two people.

I totally agree, thanks Mark! smile

Of course you could just say that standing is practice for recovery.


Edited by Rich57 (11/28/12 08:55 AM)
Edit Reason: add a sentence

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#266062 - 11/28/12 09:14 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: rodion]
Ace
Advocate
Member

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 3040
Originally Posted By: rodion
I just found this board yesterday, and found this thread today. I've been working Marriage Fitness for about a year now, and I can vouch for the program.


This thread warms my heart and your presence on MA is a breath of fresh air. No offense to other MA newbies but it's great to see a visitor/registerer/poster progress so quickly.

I am curious how you found MA, rodion (is it pronounced ROE dee un?) and would love to have you post it on the How did you find MA? thread linked to the welcome Lil posted.

As one of many involved with MA from the beginning, I can say that this thread represents one of the main reasons MA exists:
To provide a place that all resources for marital enhancement (reviving, surviving, thriving, arriving at a stage of marital peace and passion) can be discussed.

According to MB "historians" (sounds better than "old timers,") their web site once allowed such discussions. In fact, there was a forum entitled Other Programs when I first registered in Jan. 2007. Unfortunately, the "one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter approach does not work for everyone. Much of the MB program worked for us after 32 years of a highly dysfunctional relationship (and my H's E/PA in 2006). I give MB credit for getting us started, first with the book "Surviving an Affair" and then the web site and then the discussion forum from Jan. 2007 to Jan. 2008 when I posted over 3600 times without one edit. When we attended the MB Weekend ($2,000.00 PLUS trans. & hotel extra night for about 12 hours of personal lectures - one of the last ever offered in 2008) I posted about how positive it was for our marriage but my post was poofed along with the entire help thread that a newbie asked me to start. (I have the entire thread on a word doc if anyone wants to see it...well my posts as least, it was a short thread.) I decided to focus my efforts on MA. No idea if I've been banned....can't remember my MB login or password now so it doesn't matter.

We have peace and passion in our marriage now that I'd like to help others attain one way or the other. That's where MA comes in. We still need MA 6 years post-A and 5 years into recovery (not yet recovered but on our way). Hearing about programs like Mort Fertel's Marriage Fitness is definitely something I'll look into.

Thanks to Telly for starting this thread and to Gladstone, Sools, ST and ISTL for originally posting to it back in Sept. Special thanks to rodion who seems to have registered and posted all with one fell swoop. Again, welcome, rodion. Looking forward to hearing more about your marital journey and how this fine program is helping you.

Best wishes,
Ace
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#266066 - 11/28/12 09:26 AM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Rich57]
Ace
Advocate
Member

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 3040
Originally Posted By: Rich57

I agree that standing is the hardest thing that you may ever do in your whole life.



I dunno, Mark....I may agree with Rich but I guess we'll never know in my/our case.

I "stood" for 32 years but the problem was that neither of us knew what for. blush

After WH cheated, I could stand no longer; I issued a 10-day ultimatum and now I'm starting to realize why/how it worked. In fact, I'm working on a thread idea related to such a concept. All thoughts welcome. Look for it in the Construction Zone soon. (If anyone else has ideas and starts it before I do, have at it!)

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#266097 - 11/28/12 12:18 PM Re: Mort Fertel's marriage fitness program? [Re: Ace]
rodion
Member

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 163
Mark, you're exactly right: for a marriage to reconcile, you have to have both partners on board. What to Mort's program was that he not only recognizes this fact, but also the fact that many marital crises (especially infidelity) involve one partner wanting to check out, giving the other no option. But, he also acknowledges that there is always dual causation in any marital crisis — I think the best programs do this — and makes critical self-reflection and active self-improvement integral parts of the program. I actually found his book Marriage Fitness first, read through it, and it all made perfectly good sense. I introduced my wife to it, and she had no interest whatsoever. I then checked out the boot camp and signed up for the "lone ranger" track. (FYI, there is difference between the materials you receive for the "lone ranger" or the "duo" track; there may have been at one time, but it all comes in the same binder.)

The whole point of the "lone ranger" track is to repair your side of the marital equation. He compares marriage to a system, and that system requires active participation of both partners. When one partner checks out — and this could just be disengaging emotionally; it doesn't need to be threats of separation, divorce, or an active affair — the system begins to break down. If both have checked out, then it breaks down to an even greater extent. The opposite is also true: when one partner checks back in, the system starts to repair itself. This then begins to create the conditions for the other partner to check back in. That other partner does need to check back in for reconciliation to take place. He sometimes uses the analogy of a rocket ship entering orbit: it burns 95% of its fuel getting into orbit, but uses only 5% to establish and stay in orbit once it's there. From the reconciliations I've seen, once it starts to happen, it progresses very quickly.

Among the other things that attracted me to MF were the practicality and organization of the program: you're given weekly "homework" of things to accomplish and implement. For example, there is the so-called "giving presence"; a lot of people mistake this with giving gifts, which it sometimes can entail, but it is giving to your spouse in a way that shows that you know him or her. For example, I might make my wife coffee exactly how she likes it, or I might draw her a bath in the evening and put essential oils into it. Or, I might give her a card that is exactly her taste. There are endless possibilities. Leaving aside the issue of pushback (that's a topic in and of itself!), one of the things his program really does is to change your feelings about your spouse. As you can imagine, I was extremely wounded by my wife's infidelity, but after implementing the program, and especially after starting the giving, my feelings really began to change, and my love for her really deepened.

So, I guess that's the bottom line, and what I like so much about MF: it's about unconditional love, and that's what you need for a marriage to work. People confuse unconditional love with "being a doormat" at times, e.g. "why should I be nice to my spouse if he/she treats me like dirt?" There are protocols and necessities for establishing boundaries. But, for spouses who are out to punish their partners — and there are many — one of the best antidotes is the "kill-'em-with-kindness" approach. I've seen this work first hand. It's hard to do, and it really does require a true measure of selflessness.

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