The Hidden Cause Of Marriage Problems

Is Your Spouse “In Love” With Being In Love?

Are you familiar with a concept called “the Ignorance Ethic”? Most likely you’re not, but it’s an idea that is widely responsible for a wide variety of marriage problems these days.

Couple fightingThe “Ignorance Ethic” is a term I use to express how completely ignorant we are when it comes to marriage. You see, most people think it’s perfectly acceptable to remain ignorant about the subject of HOW to be happily married.

And it’s no wonder. Open any women’s magazine and you’ll see celebrity after celebrity divorce case. And for every divorce case, there’s another couple “hooking up”.

And if a relationship doesn’t work out, that particular celebrity is just “unlucky in love”.

But the truth is, it has NOTHING to do with luck.

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich and famous or struggling to maintain a modest lifestyle. Most people have absolutely NO CLUE what truly happy marriages are made of.

And why are we so clueless?

Simply because the “Ignorance Ethic” tells us there is no need to learn ANYTHING about marriage before we take the plunge and commit to a single individual…for the rest of our lives.

While some religious organizations have made the decision to require pre-marital couples counseling before marrying a couple, most churches in the United States still to this day do not require this preliminary marriage education.

But why should churches mandate pre-marriage education? After all, the only thing we need for a happy marriage is “love” right?

“Love conquers all”…as the saying goes…

Well…no. Not exactly.

Contrary to what most people think, it takes a lot more than just “love” to ensure a long lasting, and fulfilling marriage.

And it doesn’t have anything to do with finding your perfect “soul mate” either.

Look, we all know that men don’t understand women (in general). There have been countless books written on the subject to the point where…well..I don’t know about you, but I’m just sick of hearing about it.

But the fact is…most men believe they don’t need to understand the unique woman they married. They assume their relationship and “special spark” they have BEFORE marriage will continue to last AFTER they’re married…with little effort on their part.

And women are no different.

Women, in turn, don’t feel it’s necessary to enter a marriage knowing anything about men. In fact, some women believe they can actually “change” their husband into the man they really wanted to marry (whether they publicly admit it or not).

These “changes” could range from something small like messy eating habits to much larger issues raising or even having children.

But complicating the Ignorance Ethic even FURTHER is the idealistic “pipe dream” of finding “your perfect soul mate”, being “compatible” and how “love is something you just fall into”.

Now I don’t mean to sound harsh here, but it is these misleading beliefs that cause us to put forth little effort towards our marriage whatsoever…

…so much to the point where some people (particularly women) are “in love” with being in love.

Now I do not mean to offend women by any means here, but women are more susceptible to this idea because it is “bred” into them at a young age through story books and fairy tales.

Little girls want to grow up, meet prince charming and live happily ever after.

As an adult, these women are on a constant “quest” for this feeling called “love”. (Which is really just a chemical released in the brain called oxytocin – but we’ll save that idea for another time.)

Now fast forward to marriage…

In a committed relationship like marriage, when times get tough and their husband stops meeting their needs (as the husband unknowingly did when they first met) this feeling of love “magically” disappears. As a result, the woman begins to question whether or not she married the right man.

And in the event of an affair, another man can come along, start meeting her needs and suddenly…she feels that euphoric feeling of “love” again.

…and you can guess what happens next.

(Now I have to point out, this situation is NOT unique to women. The exact SAME situation happens with men, but it is a different set of needs men are seeking when they have an affair.)

While most people anticipate hitting a few bumps along the way, NOBODY expects minor marriage problems to escalate into a divorce…as QUICKLY as they very often do.

Sadly, most people view divorce as one of those things where, “oh, that will never happen to me.” And as a result, they live their marriage assuming that the tough issues will simply work themselves out.

It’s one thing to go into a marriage with a positive outlook, but it’s a whole different story when you enter a marriage with little knowledge of your spouse’s values, beliefs and even childhood history…yet somehow you expect things to be okay.

In fact, here’s a common statement I hear time and time again from individual spouses who come to me when their marriage is on the verge of divorce…

“I thought we’d get married and things would just work themselves out.”

Work themselves out?

When does ANYTHING in your life just “work itself out”? Don’t YOU have to do something?

Don’t YOU have to take responsibility for the direction your marriage is headed?

Heck! Your wedding didn’t “work itself out”. The bride most likely lost sleep and strained the relationship while working hard to make everything perfect for her special day.

That big event was not even CLOSE to “working itself out”.

So after a couple MAKES their wedding exactly the way they want it, they start living their lives together with the belief that their marriage, their union, their life – will all just “work itself out”.

Now doesn’t that sound CRAZY when you really think about it?

Can you imagine how great your marriage could be if you (collectively as a couple) spent as much time and effort on your relationship…as you did on your wedding?

Take kids for example. You put great effort and responsibility into raising your kids.

You don’t have kids and then casually go through life assuming they will take care of themselves, do you?

Then why would you assume your marriage will “always be there” no matter how little effort you put forth?

I hope by now, you’re starting to comprehend why millions of couples who promise to love, honor and cherish each other for the rest of their lives – often end up in divorce court fighting over 401K’s, children’s’ loyalties and home equity.

If right now, you’re faced with a spouse who is involved in an affair or if the two of you have simply “lost that spark” you once had, take a look at what brought your marriage to the point you’re at right now.

And please, before you even CONSIDER marriage counseling, or any other kind of marriage help, answer the following 5 questions first…and see where you could improve.

1) Have you been neglecting your marriage by “keeping busy” with all the other so called, priorities in everyday life?

2) Do you find yourself stuck in a sexless marriage? Has your relationship lost the spark it once had? If this is true, you need to start meeting each other’s needs in different ways so you can re-establish the close connection you once had.

(You can learn how to start meeting your spouse’s needs through my FREE report, “How Men and Women Can Find and Fulfill Each Other’s Needs…Before It’s Too Late.”)

3) How often do you spend time with your spouse? How many hours, realistically, do you have to be ALONE with your spouse? (I’m talking QUALITY time, not time watching TV together on the couch.)

4) If your relationship is at a point where your marriage problems are SO bad that a divorce is very near on the horizon, think back to a time BEFORE things really took a turn for the worst. Were you there for your husband or wife when s/he needed you? If not, it may be time to change your lifestyle. And chances are, it’s not too late if you do something now.

But overall, the first step in ANY learning process is identifying what went wrong in the first place. And hopefully you’ve learned by now that marriage is no different.

Marriage requires education…just like everything else you learn in life.

So my marriage advice to you is this…

While your marriage problems may not be your fault (you and your spouse simply didn’t know any better), it IS your responsibility to find a way to EDUCATE yourself so you can rebuild, repair and restore your marriage and save your family from the devastating effects of divorce.

And by the way…marriage therapy and couples counseling are not your only options.

There are other marriage counseling alternatives that focus on finding a solution instead of “dwelling” on the issues.

Take the first step towards a better marriage today before you give up hope.

If you’re “at a loss” of what to do RIGHT NOW to change the course of your marriage, you might want to consider submitting your story through my “Give Your Marriage a Second Chance” Give-Away where you can win a 100% complementary, 60 minute consultation with me personally.

No strings attached, nothing to pay.

The call is completely confidential and you can participate with your spouse or on your own.

Here are some of the comments I have recently received from several individuals through my Second Chance program…


Dear Larry,

I know that I’m over-due in sending you this thank you. From the start, I was very interested, and fascinated, with your unique information and approach in counseling. I’ve learned many wonderful things from you.

Between the great information you shared with me, and the loving caring gentleness that was felt as you counseled me as well, I came to appreciate you very much. Thank you, Larry!

I appreciate you helping me see more clearly who I was, and who I was married too. You amazed me with your accuracy in confirming who my wife is and how different she is than me in viewing life and handling situations. You certainly are experienced and skillful at what you do, and I appreciate you for all of that, Larry.

I hope you will continue to be blessed in all that you do, and I’m sure that many more people (individuals as well as couples) will be greatly helped by you.

God bless you, Larry.

David A.


Hi Larry,

My relationship with my husband has turned so well the last month with the lessons and information I got from you that we don’t need any help anymore.

We are completely on the right track now.

All we needed apparently was some understanding from each other. We were having one misunderstanding after another.

But thanks to your lessons and your advice we were able to work things out. We apparently just needed some guidelines to get to know each other.

So now, when we have a disagreement (and we still have sometimes but that is normal) we are able to talk about it, to tell why we think and do the way we do without fighting and to find a way we both feel happy about.

Our relationship is now better than ever before and we are more in love than ever before, every aspect of our marriage has changed and only for the best.

I can now truly say we are off the path of divorce. But if we, at some point in our lives, need help again because we can’t work it out ourselves, you can be sure we will come back to you for advice. You really saved us and because of you we both can see a happy future together, hand in hand.

Thank you very much for the both of us.

Katleen and Fethi


I would just like to send a quick note to Larry for our call yesterday night. I now see the problem and I hope that my wife will come into the conversation very soon. I feel that now that I know what is wrong it should be a lot easier to fix. I can’t wait till my next call with Larry and my wife.


Kevin D.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!

To a less stressful and more fulfilling marriage,

Larry Bilotta


  • Will TenBroek

    Reply Reply July 24, 2008

    Hi Larry,

    Yes, so true! Thanks for the continuing insights! I wanted to share that I saw a note written on a piece of paper (written in apparent anger) stating “I just made a mistake!” “I just want a fresh start!” I couldn’t help think of this when I read your entry! A fresh start to what??? Life….? Do we ever get a fresh start. Do we just say to our kids when things are tough, “You will have to go live elsewhere, we just need new kids and a fresh start???” It is slightly unbelievable how quick some want to throw in the towel. I am just glad I have become a (PRACTICING) environment changer!

    Will T.

  • Larry Bilotta

    Reply Reply July 25, 2008

    I’m extremely proud of you Will. As one of my best Environment Changer students, you’ve proven that you can do what most never will. Getting a fresh start is rarely true as you pointed out so well.

    If that “fresh start” idea was true, why do second marriages have a higher divorce rate that first marriages? Virtually everyone knows someone who is going through a divorce and those leaving spouses are all screaming the same lines…”The kids will be ok, they are resilient.” and “I just need to be my own person.” and so on.

    Children have no interest in their parents personal happiness. Al they care about is a mom and dad who love each other. Will, you’ve done a great job of learning how to be happy unhappy circumstances and your children will be grateful to you long after their childhood years. After all, you know your kids need a dad, not a “boyfriend” for their mother!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field