The Five Year Marriage…

I’m  happy to introduce you to one of my favorite people, the mother of modern marriage Annmarie Kelly. Her latest book The Five Year Marriage is a game changer!

*Be sure to leave  a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Author:

As the founder of The Victorious Woman Project and author of Victorious Woman and Victory by Design, she excels at shaping life’s challenges into victories. Annmarie built a successful business, Skillbuilder Systems, is the host of the popular radio show, The Friday Happy Hour, is an empowerment speaker, hosts the annual Girlfriend Gala and she has been married six times, each time for just five-years and each time to the same man.

The Book:

The Five Year Marriage empowers couples to live their best life using a method that enables them to recognize and respond to change-in their life, their relationship, and their marriage. The Five Year Marriage is for couples who are ready to commit- or recommit- in a whole new way.

The Interview:

Is there a typical concept of what a great marriage looks like?

Good question – and I think what a “great marriage” looks like depends on a person’s age and experience.

Younger or never married people – and nearly every woman’s magazine – seem to think passion and sex are top priorities for the basis of a marriage that lasts forever. And, when getting married, many couples seem to believe that the person they are marrying is “the one” and their “soulmate.” So, if there are some problems, they believe that their love will conquer all of them. Those couples are looking for the “happily ever after” that traditional marriage supposedly offers. They don’t usually realize what hard work marriage is.

Also, it seems that – for many people – marriage is a bucket list item. OK, I’m married. Check. Or it’s about a biological clock: I want children and want to raise them in a two-parent household.

Older people and those who are, or who have been married, are more realistic. They are hesitant to say their marriage is “great.” They are more likely to say something like “it’s been a great life and I’m glad s/he was my partner in it.” Or, “I wouldn’t have wanted to go through life with anyone else.” That’s because they know that marriage is a part of life, and just like life, it has ups and downs that create awesome peaks and very deep valleys. So, while you may always love that person, but sometimes you like each other and sometimes you don’t.

More than once I’ve heard people brag that they have a “great marriage” only to find out a year or so later that they are splitting up.

That’s why the Five-Year Marriage is so important to a couple. It recognizes that “getting married” is different from “being” married and “happily ever after” happens in fairy tales, not real life. The Five-Year Marriage changes as the people in it change.

What is a Five Year Marriage?

A Five-Year Marriage is one that lasts for just five years. It allows a couple to put a pin in the timeline of their marriage, to stop and say, “how’s it going?” and “what’s working and what’s not?” And, with that acknowledgment, a couple can consciously make changes – and do it while they still like each other!

Think about it: in any five-year period, you can change jobs or careers, have a child, go back to school, move to a new house or a new city…and those are just scratching the surface of change. Each one of those changes requires a couple to shift their thinking and adjust. It happens with every couple, but most couples don’t stop to discuss those changes and that adjustment. Instead, thinking they are still on the same page, they plow through and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, because the couple didn’t stop when they needed to, they rethink and adjust separately. When that happens, they stop reading off the same page. In fact, sometimes they aren’t even reading from the same book.

When they talk to each other, “she doesn’t understand me anymore,” and “he doesn’t care about what I’m doing” become the new filters in the couple’s communication. Then one or both of them become angry, disillusioned or resentful – until one or both of them say, “this isn’t working and I want a divorce.”

Who did you write this book for? Who needs to read it?

The singles and couples who need to read The Five-Year Marriage are the ones who are looking for something more and better than they’ve seen in other marriages. I wrote The Five-Year Marriage for the man or woman who sees that traditional marriage is outdated, but at the same time, s/he is still looking for the intimacy that marriage promises.

That woman/man/couple who will love The Five-Year Marriage are one who are more focused on the partnership that marriage offers (vs. focusing on the color of napkins at the reception).
That could be the single professional who is ready for a relationship that isn’t a dead end.  Or the engaged couple who is ready for marriage but nervous. And it’s definitely for the man or woman who is the child of divorce.

Here’s who I wasn’t thinking about when I wrote it, but who is giving me a lot of feedback: the traditionally-married couple who, after ten or twelve years is finding the old agreements of their marriage getting in the way and making their relationship a little stale. They are ready to take their marriage to the next level – and maybe shaking things up to bring back the old passion they once had.

Instead of letting that happen, a Five-Year Marriage couple recognizes the impact of even small changes. They give themselves the time and space to look at and discuss them. And then they create new goals and new criteria for themselves. It’s a new relationship created by change and honoring the people they have become as a result of life’s changes.

Every five-year marriage is different because the couple in the marriage is different.

The Review:

I was definitely intrigued by the concept of The Five Year Marriage. Being happily married for more than ten-years I doubted there was anything in this book I didn’t know. Not only was I wrong I was inspired to start numerous conversations with my husband about where we’ve been and where we want to go.

Packed with thoughtful yet expert advice Annmarie has definitely earned her nickname The Mother of Modern Marriage.

I especially enjoyed Joseph’s Take, where Annmarie’s six-time husband shares his insight and personal stories throughout the book.

The Five-Year-Marriage is not a guide to getting out of marriage. It’s a guide to building a solid foundation, resolving conflicts and learning to fight fairly. We all change, some of us for the better and some for worse. Renegotiating your wants, needs and desires with your spouse every five-years is a brilliant way to steer your marriage solidly into the future five-years at a time.

This book should be mandatory reading for every engaged couple, and will inspire you to reconnect on a more intimate level with your partner if you are married.



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