Mort Fertel: Unexpected Help

Posted: May 16, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , ,

Shortly after the restoration vision, while I was trying to process my recent change of heart and mind, I received an email late one evening.  I found it curious that it said something about help for your marriage in the subject line, but I assumed that it was spam and ignored it.

By morning, my curiosity got the best of me and I opened and read it.  It addressed me by name and said that I had visited the web site and requested information.  It was from someone named Mort Fertel, whom I had never heard of, and whose website I had definitely never visited.

Nevertheless, it said I had signed up for the free help and that I would begin receiving a series of emails called, “7 secrets to fixing your marriage.”  Even though I couldn’t imagine how it was that this had come to me, I was all for any help I could get, so I read the information.

He has a program called “Marriage fitness” where he uses principles of physical fitness and training to help people whose marriages are in trouble.  It’s a completely different approach from traditional marriage counseling and it really caught my attention. 

Over the next few days and weeks, it was absolutely uncanny how much the emails spoke directly to our situation.  I began to conclude that they must really be coming from God, because this guy couldn’t possibly be that much in tune with exactly what we were going through.  (Much later, I would find out that our oldest daughter had gone through Mort Fertel’s pre-marital counseling and she had visited the website and signed me up without telling me.  As they say, God works in mysterious ways)

Mort Fertel’s approach works because it is practical and doable.  Much like Dave Ramsey helps people with their finances by walking them step-by-step through exactly what to DO, so Mort Fertel’s message is not a bunch of theoretical what-if’s, but rather very specific things to begin doing immediately.  He even tells you that when you first begin doing these things, your spouse probably won’t respond, but do them anyway because they need to be done.  They will take effect over time, but they need to be started if things are going to change. 

In a restoration project, a great deal of work goes on before it really looks like anything good is happening.  There’s a lot of tearing out and removing of damaged, worn out, and useless material.  Then there’s all the work on the infrastructure: putting in wires, pipes, replacement beams, insulation, etc.  None of that is seen from the outside, and none is attractive to the eye while it’s taking place.  In reality, the house is going to have to look a lot worse before it starts looking better.

So it can be with a marriage that is severely neglected and damaged.  There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, starting right now, but it may very well not seem like it’s getting any better for quite some time.  More likely, exposing all that damage will exacerbate the pain in the beginning.

There comes a point, though, with a house, where it seems like all of a sudden, it all comes together.  It’s almost like you drive by one day and it looks like a shambles, and you drive by the next day and you can see a beautiful house appearing right before your eyes.  The work you do at the end is the part everybody sees.  The painting, landscaping, and putting on the finishing touches is where the oohs and ahs come in, but the dirty work that went on without any recognition is what made the transformation possible.

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