Purpose in Marriage is the Niagara Falls to Never Ending Love

We were so grateful when you allowed us to come through the program a second time to find the purpose of our marriage!”

Someday I do plan to do a workshop very specific to helping couples find their purpose in their relationship/marriage. I believe that not only do we have a purpose individually, but when we have a purpose-filled marriage … amazing things happen! 

Drs. John and Julie Gottman, the most renown and longest term researchers in marriage and family therapy created what they call a “Sound Relationship House” graphic, illustrating sound relationships.

The graphic starts with two load bearing walls: commitment and trust. Then they build the house up to a high ceiling (with a warm chimney stack). The top floors where the view is splendid are called “making dreams come true” and “creating shared meaning” (purpose).

“The more shared meaning (and purpose) you can find, the deeper, richer, and more rewarding your relationship will be. Along the way, you’ll also be strengthening your marital friendship. This in turn will make it even easier to cope with any conflicts that crop up.” Dr. John Gottman

Research reveals that couples who create and share a purpose:

  • Have significantly higher levels of unity
  • Navigate life’s challenges much more successfully
  • Report higher levels of trust and respect
  • Experience healthier communication
  • Enjoy more fun and enjoyable activities
  • Have healthier family relationships
  • Share compassion and empathy with one another more regularly
  • Laugh together more often
  • Report higher qualities of sleep
  • Divorce 72% less often than those without purpose

I believe that finding purpose to enjoy all those benefits in your marriage makes it something we would all do well to pursue!

“Love may lay the foundation of a lasting marriage, but purpose provides the scaffolding upon which it’s built.” Gabe and Anna Deku

Remember when you were getting to know each other … and if your tastes differed … it was no big deal? Time to start asking questions again!

(Download, from your app store, the Gottman’s Card Decks app … it’s loaded with great questions you can ask each other. It’s a great way to revive your shared interests and purposes again … it’s soooo great!)

1. What was your trauma?

“I think you could say that our trauma was ‘life’. We had both been married previously as ‘kids’ and thought we had learned all of life’s lessons. How terribly naïve we were!”

“We were chasing the American dream. We both had jobs and careers, and just four years into our marriage, we already had two children.”

“We were trying to be great parents, provide a nice home, keep the kids in soccer, piano lessons, debate club, church youth group, etc.”

“We were also volunteering in our church and in our community.”

“People may even have thought that we were the perfect little family. But of course, any family can look ideal when you are on the outside looking in.”

“But if you could have taken a peek inside our lives, you would have seen that we were both exhausted, struggling financially, and our relationship was falling apart at the seams.”

“Although we never fought in front of the kids, I’m sure they sensed the tension. Our son’s grades were plummeting, and our daughter was struggling emotionally.”

“We were both at our wits end. There was continuous sniping toward one another, and before we knew it, the contempt had grown to full-blown animosity.”

“We never doubted that we loved one another, but after several years of this, even the love that was once so strong appeared to be fading.”

“Maybe it was because we were about to lose our home to foreclosure. Maybe it was because our daughter was struggling with anorexia. Maybe it was because of the DUI. Maybe it was because we had begun using divorce threats almost weekly.”

“But clearly, something had to give.”

“We were no longer keeping up with the Joneses. We were no longer having good moments in our marriage. We were no longer the people we had once been.”

“Out of desperation, we started a side hustle. We had some friends who shared an opportunity about a nutritional company, something we had once both been passionate about.”

“The company sponsored the Power of Purpose in our area, and we were so desperate for something to be different … that we came to the program.”

“It was a game changer for us, as individuals. It gave us ‘individually’ a boost. But our marriage continued to struggle.”

“Finally, for the sake of sanity, we sat down to have the separation/divorce talk again. My husband remembered that you had said that someday you wanted to revise the Power of Purpose program for couples … after they had been through the original.”

“That inspired us to reach out to your office to see if it was available. Your assistant told us it was not, so we asked her to inquire if we could come through Power of Purpose again for the sake of our marriage.”

“She was so sweet and kind. She said, ‘Oh I don’t need to ask her that! She’s a big believer in marriage and would welcome you with open arms’!”

“That’s the story we would like to share with your audience. We hope it will be helpful to someone! Anyone! But hopefully to someone in a struggling marriage!”

2. What is your purpose?

“Since we had been through the program individually, we knew what to expect. But even knowing what was coming next, it was totally different doing it for the sake of our marriage.”

“The very first exercise on writing about purpose hit us both between our eyes. We both realized at that moment, that our marriage really did have a purpose. And that if we could lay down our weapons long enough, we could find it!”

“Not only that, but we had a strong knowing that separation/divorce could and should never be entered into our conversations again!”

“I’m not sure if I was relieved or if I felt trapped … I just knew I had to dig in and believe that something good would come from this!”

“When we did the symbolic gold medal exercise … what we should earn a gold medal for … we both shared that we should win a gold medal for hanging in there for our marriage, and not giving up. And for coming to the right place to hopefully save our marriage. To transform it to something purposeful and rewrite our future.” 

“Our little group cheered us on … and honestly, they were so clearly devoted to the future of our marriage, that it made me believe again!”

“Several years earlier, my husband had found his purpose to be: ‘Encouraging young entrepreneurs to gain the confidence and skills to launch.’ I had found mine to be: ‘Helping people prioritize their health and increasing their energy levels to show up in life at their best’.”

“I had no idea how those two things might come together or what we might find as purpose for our marriage.”

“My breakthrough came when I jumped off the emotional train of worthlessness. Little did I know that my husband, jumping beside me, was jumping off the emotional train of cynicism and doubt.”

“Little did we know that we both boarded the emotional train of HOPE, and we were ready!”

“Shortly after the emotional train exercise, you were transitioning us to the last exercise writing about purpose.”

“I don’t recall exactly what you said, but it was something like this:

‘I don’t know why you are here. (Speaking to the whole group, supposedly), but some of you are at the end of your rope in your marriage, in your family, in your job, and/or in your finances. And you may think that you were just here to do a little program because this great company provided you with the opportunity.’

‘But for all I know, maybe this workshop will save your marriage. Maybe the nutritional supplements that this company offers will transform your health or restore your energy. Maybe the financial opportunity will be the answer to your financial concerns.’

‘But I know you are all here for a reason, and that reason is to find your purpose. And if that’s all we accomplish here, it will be a great win for your life, your marriage, your family, and your future’!”

“We both immediately looked at one another and wondered if you had said our names out loud. Because it sure felt as if you were speaking to us.”

“As we neared the end of the last writing exercise on purpose, my ‘doubting Thomas’ husband looked at me and said, ‘I think we both know. But let’s each write it down, and I believe we will write the same thing’!” 

“Although our wording was different, the mission and purpose that flowed out of both of us was virtually the same:”

“To coach and guide couples whose marriages may be in trouble to create an entrepreneurial venture that will save both their finances and their marriage.”

There’s a portion of one of David’s Psalms that says, “One can put a thousand to flight (in battle) but two can put ten thousand to flight.”

Finding marital purpose, together, will 10x your life!

3. What difference has it made in your life?

“First of all … it figuratively and literally saved our marriage! We came together with a common goal, and a new passion! Within six months, we had grown our income in this little side hustle to replace both of our incomes. Then we were able to turn our full-time attention to it.”

“We fell in love again. Literally!”

“Our family looked and felt totally different. We were all sitting at the dinner table again … talking, laughing, sharing about our days.”

“Our son (who had been struggling with his grades) is about to graduate with honors from a PhD program.”

“Our daughter caught the vision of health and wellness. She not only overcame her anorexia but leads groups for young girls at the high school, at the church, and at the community center, for girls struggling with eating disorders.”

“Our income has flourished to the place that we could both retire. But our ongoing mentoring and coaching work with young entrepreneurial couples keeps us going strong.”

“What difference has it made? It literally transformed our lives, our marriage, and we are certain it has transformed the futures of our children.”

“What would we say to your audience?”

“Find your purpose! Then find the purpose of your marriage. It is the super glue gel that will keep you together. But more importantly, it’s the Niagara Falls to love that will never run dry!”



We all need a purpose.

Our marriages all need a purpose.

A few years ago, I was working with an older couple. They were in their late 80s, and I helped them grieve the death of their son.

I knew that finding purpose would make all the difference in the grief process.

They’d started walking around the neighborhood, and for the first time were meeting neighbors.

After doing the purpose exercises, they chose the purpose of: “Encouraging these ‘kids’ as they retired to keep on living.”

I laughed as they made their vow to “kids” who were retiring.

We are never too young or too old to find our purpose. But our marriage is also not too new or too old to find a purpose together. For it’s together that you discover the value (as King David wrote) of what two can put to flight!

I love what Rick Warren says:

“Until you realize you were placed here for God’s purposes, then your life—and your marriage—will be difficult, complicated, and exhausting. But once you understand God’s plan, your life—and your marriage—take on new meaning. When both of you are living purpose-driven lives—then guess what happens?

Your marriage becomes a purpose-driven marriage! God’s plan for you and your spouse—for your marriage—is wider and deeper than anything in your wildest, craziest dreams. May our heavenly Father help you to catch this vision as you chase it into the future.”

For more information about the Power of Purpose, click here: https://bit.ly/PowerOfMyPurpose