Three Ways to Keep Your Hobbies and Your Marriage

3 Ways to Keep Your Hobbies and Your Marriage - #staymarriedYou guys ask the best questions! There are things about our marriage that we think are humdrum… our pet names for each other (Goose and Chother), our go-to dinners (Spaghetti and Taco Bowls), where we keep the toaster (in the pantry like normal people). This is the stuff we both know and have taken for granted at this point in our ten (plus) years of marriage. These are things we don’t think would matter to anyone else’s marriage. But then, there you go, asking your questions and we realize that something that feels insignificant to us might be causing frustration or confusion for you.

I received an email recently from a husband who listened to The #staymarried Podcast and picked up on one of these seemingly insignificant details of our marriage and he wanted to know more about it. He asked…

“How do you manage playing computer games in your marriage, especially with kids?

My wife and I have been married for two years, with our first child due any day now. We all know that computer games can often be quite absorbing, if not downright addictive at times, so how do you balance family life with playing games?”

FINALLY! Something I can talk about! If you’ve been around #staymarried for a while, you know that Michelle does the bulk of the writing. She’s good at it. She reads a lot and thinks about these big marriage concepts like conflict and communication, blah blah blah. But, this guy asked about VIDEO GAMES. This one’s mine! Continue reading “Three Ways to Keep Your Hobbies and Your Marriage”

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Divorced

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Divorced - #staymarried guest post by Lindsay HellerWhen my husband and I were dating, we went to one of the most lavish weddings I can remember. It was before brides were pinning their dream days on Pinterest, and looking back, I’ll bet Pinterest probably sent a correspondent to this same wedding just to take a look at all of the details.

The bride, Lindsay, was perfectly polished in every way. Her groom was tall and handsome. They were both friends of mine, so I’d witnessed their rocky and passionate relationship from a distance, but none of us questioned that they would get married some day. And, on that day, everything seemed just as it should be… at least it did from the pew I sat in.

Sadly, their dream wedding did not result in a dream marriage and they divorced. I later learned that Lindsay, like 30% of other brides who end up divorcing, had serious doubts on the day of her wedding.

Henry Ford said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” I have watched and learned so much from Lindsay over the years. She is wise and resilient, creative and determined. She and I talk from time to time about what it looks like to move on and today we get to share her perspective with you. Wherever you are on your relationship journey, I hope you’ll take in her story and glean from her the way I’ve had the opportunity to…

Irrevocably Broken

by Lindsay Heller

There surely comes a time in every marriage when we question if the grass is greener on the other side. When marriage is not easy and doesn’t look or feel like we thought it would. When the voids within ourselves become so dark and heavy that we can’t help but blame our spouse for not filling them, not meeting our needs, not coming to our rescue and pulling us out of the slump. So we question the decision to have made those vows, wondering if we should throw in the towel or trust that a dire situation could ever be redeemed.

Divorce was never part of my plan, yet I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have doubts before walking down the aisle. In the back of my mind, Continue reading “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Divorced”

Ask #staymarried: He says I complain too much, and I think he’s rude. Please help!

Ask #staymarried - advice on marriage, love, and relationshipsGood Evening,

I am a newlywed, just over 7 months of marriage. I had always heard the first year of marriage was the hardest, but knowing the relationship my husband and I had, I didn’t think it would apply to us. We were friends for over a year before we started dating, and dated for 5 years before taking the plunge. I thought we knew each other pretty well, now I’m not so sure.

He is constantly picking at me, and makes me feel bad about myself. I don’t think he tries to do it on purpose, but it’s always something I’m doing wrong or something I said that’s wrong. Sometimes I’m not even sure what things I should say out loud. I always end up being the one to say sorry just because I don’t like the awkward feeling in the house. But a lot of times I’m not sorry because I don’t feel I did something wrong.

Most recently, I told my husband I was annoyed that UPS was taking so long to deliver packages I have been waiting for, that they keep on delaying. Just expressing my frustration and he basically responded with a get over it, that’s life type thing. It was in a very rude manner and it made me really upset. Now I can’t even vent to the only person I see every single day? He said that I’m always complaining about things. This type of thing happens more often in different ways, and I keep reminding myself that most days it probably just isn’t worth saying anything at all.

But can I really live the rest of my life not saying when something is bothering me? I don’t know what to do anymore, and I think because of it I don’t love my husband as much as I once did.

Please help me.

Tired Wife

Dear Tired,

Continue reading “Ask #staymarried: He says I complain too much, and I think he’s rude. Please help!”

Ask #staymarried: I cheated. Now what?

Ask #staymarried - advice on marriage, love, and relationshipsHi Tony and Michelle,

First I will say my story. I have been with my husband for seven years total (married for three years). We have two living kids, my oldest being three, almost four, and my youngest being seven weeks. My second child passed away to SIDS at six months old.

Many times I have cheated on my husband in our time being together and he always forgave me and stayed with me. He is away from home right now working since I found out I was pregnant. I live in my grandmother’s house, taking care of it, in a little village of less than 200 people. About two months ago, before I had my recent baby, my cousin asked me if her and her boyfriend can stay over while her boyfriend works. My cousin helps clean and babysit my kids while I work.

Well my husband requested that they should stay somewhere else because he doesn’t feel comfortable with another man being in the home with me. I am worried to talk to my cousin about it because it is also her grandmother’s house.

How can I kick them out without offending her? Continue reading “Ask #staymarried: I cheated. Now what?”

Ask #staymarried: My future mother-in-law hates me. What should I do?

Ask #staymarried - advice on marriage, love, and relationships

Hello Tony and Michelle, I hope you are both well.

In November 2013, my fiancee’s mother began a one woman campaign against me. She sent a nasty email and made phone calls trying to get my partner to leave me. For the last year, we have argued non-stop. When his mother made those calls, he let her carry on for hours at a time and did not once defend me or tell her to stop. I felt and still feel abandoned.

We are getting married in 2015 and told our friends and family in August the date. His parents waited until his birthday in November to let him know that they were not coming. Our fights have become vicious and we do not know what to do. He cannot see how much he let me down and I feel attacked from all sides. 

Can you give me any advice?



Dear Olivia,

In the wise words of the philosopher Liz Lemon, “That’s a dealbreaker, Ladies.”

I am devastated to hear that any mother would so vehemently come between her son and his intended. While, on the one hand, it does make me wonder what her issue is with you, I can see that it really doesn’t matter. The real problem is the way your fiancee has handled this situation. Let me tell you a little story…

In the early days of this blog, my own mother-in-law came across a post that was written a bit tongue-in-cheek. She misunderstood and thought I was truly speaking negatively about her son, my husband. She responded with a comment not only defending him to me (which was clearly unnecessary given the massive crush I have on him) but making horrible statements and accusations about me and the family I grew up in. I read her words and through sobbing tears could not bring myself to tell Tony what was wrong or why I was crying. All of my hunches about my mother-in-law not liking me were proving valid and I was heartbroken.

I let Tony read the blog comment for himself and before I could even talk it through with him, he excused himself to the other room, and called his mother on the phone. I stood on the other side of the bedroom door listening the entire time as he… well… “passionately” told her he would not stand for his wife being so insulted or mistreated. She attempted to explain herself, and though he listened, he ultimately told his mother that he would not speak to her again until she apologized to me directly.

There is nothing more admirable... #staymarriedIn that moment, I felt more loved than I could ever have imagined. I would never have asked my husband to defend me to his mother, I know how close they are, but it turns out I really needed it. We all do.

When a couple gets married, there is a natural breaking away from their family of origin. While we may love our own parents, it is natural and even necessary for us to bond more tightly with our spouse than we ever were with our own mother and father. Our marriage depends on it. If there is not complete loyalty, if there is ever a question that one partner or another is more attached to their parent than they are to their spouse, the marriage is already in trouble.

In your case, you aren’t even married yet. So, I say, cut your losses. It may be embarrassing to tell your friends and family that the wedding is off, but the embarrassment you feel will pale in comparison to the devastation of living in a marriage where you always question your worth to your husband and someday file for divorce. If your fiancee has no reason to defend you now, if he doesn’t feel compelled to come to your aid, and if he is more inclined to fight with you over these things, it’s not likely to change just because you have a big ceremony. Once they become your in-laws, your problems with them will only get bigger.

Count yourself lucky that he has shown you this side of himself before you committed your lives to one another. Do the hard work of breaking it off now so that you don’t have to pick up the pieces of your life later.

With so much love,


Have a question you think we could help with? We would love to hear from you! Chances are, if something is on your mind or bothering you, it’s probably bothering hundreds of other people, too. Head over to Ask #staymarried and use the form there so we can connect.

The #staymarried blog was created to offer hope, stories, and resources for couples who want to stay married.

::Fine print disclaimer stuff::
We are not therapists, doctors, lawyers, or any other type of trained experts so what we write is not to be taken as fact or prescription. We always recommend you seek professional help when it is needed. The opinions shared here are our own and do not reflect any business or organization unless explicitly stated. We will not be held liable for any negative outcomes that arise from taking our advice since we are, well, just a blog. Use your own wisdom and discretion and feel free to completely disagree with us. We won’t be offended.

Tony and Michelle Peterson #staymarried

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like some of these from our archives:
How to Find Your Soulmate in 5 Easy Steps
25 Things To Do Before the Wedding
♥ 2 Steps to a Better Fight

If you’re NEW HERE, check out our About Page and read a little more about my own story on our first post. You can also find us on the socials: PinterestTwitterFacebook. We would love to connect on any of your favorite platforms

Thanks for reading, sharing, and being a part of this #staymarried community!

~ Michelle


Ask #staymarried: How do I help my husband now that he’s out of work and depressed?

Ask #staymarried - advice on marriage, love, and relationshipsDear Tony and Michelle,

My husband was let go from his job through no fault of his own last winter (a few months after we were married) and we ended up moving out of state shortly afterwards. Settling into our new home was hard, and neither of us could find good work at first. I got a good job in a city a few hours away, so we moved again, and he still can’t find work. Work in his field (film/photography) is pretty much non-existent, so not only does he feel bad about not being able to find work, he’s depressed that when he does, it probably won’t be in his field.

His depression is hurting our day-to-day life, and I admit to feeling very frustrated sometimes that he hasn’t found work yet. I know he’s trying, but it’s just been so long, and it’s getting really difficult, especially since my feeling is that he’s being a little picky about what jobs he’s willing to take. Of course I don’t want him to settle for some soul-sucking job, but if he got ANYTHING even temporarily while he looked for something better it would help us so much.

I guess I’m just looking for advice on how to be more supportive and stay positive about our future. We want to start a family, but it’s just not financially possible right now. But I’m already 27 and worried about timing, so that factors into my fears as well. Your recent post about not always respecting Tony for his money choices really rang true for me. I love my husband dearly, but I’m having a really hard time feeling 100% respectful of him right now, and I hate that feeling.

How can I help him and support him when I’m feeling so scared and frustrated myself? Thank you… I love your blog, it’s really helped during this first year of marriage!



Dear Meredith,

This is a tough one. Most of the time we want to shrug off standard gender roles, but in this instance, the age-old fears of both sexes seem to apply: most men long to be providers and most women long to feel secure.

Since you’re really asking such a good question – How can I be supportive? – I’ll speak to how I’ve felt when I’ve been out of work. Continue reading “Ask #staymarried: How do I help my husband now that he’s out of work and depressed?”