The Seven Year Itch VD Edition: How to save your marriage in five easy-peasy steps!

//The Seven Year Itch VD Edition: How to save your marriage in five easy-peasy steps!

The Seven Year Itch VD Edition: How to save your marriage in five easy-peasy steps!

See what I just did there in the title? With the whole “VD” and “Itch” thing?The Seven Year Itch - A Real Life Marriage Series

You don’t know this, but about five months ago, Shaun and I were holed up in a Chicago hotel, trying to decide if we wanted to stay married.

I’ll give you a minute to pick yourself up off the floor.







We both played starring roles in the drama, HOW TO BREAK YOUR MARRIAGE.

At the time, he wanted to be around his friends more than me. And I wanted to throw myself into my work instead of him… It was a recipe for disaster. So while I was busy working my ass off and speaking all over the country, he was busy joining golf leagues and bowling leagues.

We didn’t even care (or have the energy) to fight anymore. We essentially became roommates. Roommates with three children, with whom we alternated duties. We weren’t even hanging out as family all at once.

One day I looked at Shaun, after I realized what we had been doing, and I confessed, “I have been looking for four bedroom houses to rent.”

He didn’t look stunned or sad. He just said, “You can have this one.”

I expected him to say that. But it hurt me so fucking bad. I didn’t expect to feel so broken by his words, and he didn’t expect to feel so broken over mine.

We went right to Hell and back. And I am happy to say, five months later, burning it down to nothing helped us rise like a phoenix from those ashes.

I want to share with you how we did it.


The house and the kids are stressful. I was constantly bitching at him that he needed to help me more. He felt like he was helping more.

We took ourselves out of that situation and away from all of those distractions.

We holed ourselves up in a Chicago hotel for the weekend. There was nothing sexy or romantic about this. I think I cried for two days straight, asking him over and over how we got to this point. But deep conversations came from this. Things were said by both of us that needed to be said.

But the main thing that was said was… WE WILL FIGHT FOR THIS MARRIAGE!


It was a very quiet ride to Chicago. When we finally began talking, we both started hurling insults and blaming the other person for not being there.

We realized the insults had to stop. We never say mean things to each other anymore, for the simple sake of not hurting the other person. I tend to cut like a knife with my tongue. It’s my worst character flaw.

We’ve both decided our pride can go by the wayside for the other person’s happiness.

Everyone fucks up. No one is perfect. Not even me (as much as I hate admitting this).


This sounds like an easy concept, but it’s really not.

Shaun and I put each other before even our kids now. Before, I was putting the kids and my job before him. Not anymore. Shaun’s first. When we are happy, the children are happy. When our whole family is happy – that’s all that matters in the world.



That’s it. He’s my number one priority. Glad I got that straightened out.


Two days after we came back from Chicago… I quit my job.

I walked out, giving no notice. Everyone was shocked, even me.

I didn’t have another job, and I quit my job. WHO DOES THIS? That’s not sane.

I called my husband that morning, sobbing.

ME: I want to quit my job. Like, now. I have no other job. But I want to leave this instant. I just realized it’s this place. It’s this place that’s destroying us. 

SHAUN: About time. Leave now. Don’t look back. 

But that place was killing me. In Chicago, while I was trying to fix my marriage, I was fielding calls from employees. It never stopped for me. So I quit. I just walked the fuck off the job. My family meant too much to me to stay there for one more second.

I also ditched a lot of bad influence friends in my life. I just got rid of them. No more. They didn’t seem to sync with my priority. We need positive people around us. People who aren’t morally bankrupt.

Going through the burn-it-all-down process made me look like a crazy person. I am sure of it. But when you’re burning things, you’re rebuilding yourself.

I had to mentally get stronger to be better for him. I don’t care what other people think about how I got to this point. I am happy now, and he is happy now. It had to be like this.

Shaun isn’t participating in the golf and bowling leagues anymore. He hasn’t even asked to be in one. He just quit. He doesn’t even want to anymore. He burned some things down because they didn’t sync with his priority.

Do we still see our friends? Absolutely. But we tend to just hang out with each other now, at home, in sweat pants, being best friends and laughing a lot.

Not because we have to…

It’s because we want to.


I understand that there is a time and place for divorce, but maybe some of us give up too easily.

On this day of love… if you are staring down the barrel of a divorce… ask yourself if maybe, just maybe, there is just one last ditch effort in both of you.

If there is the slightest chance, I promise you, you will come out on the other end stronger than ever… but first you have to burn that old house to the ground… and rebuild it.



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By | 2014-02-14T12:02:52+00:00 February 14th, 2014|Marriage|44 Comments

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  1. Dawana February 14, 2014 at 10:29 am - Reply

    And the people said?

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply


  2. cas February 14, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

    We had what I call our Armageddon about 3 years ago. It’s been better than ever and what it should have been all along. He has asked me to marry him everyday since then…not that we aren’t already married…but he says that I deserve to marry the man he is now…. Who knows one day I might say yes and this time he might get me in a real wedding gown.

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      This makes me smile. So three years later, you’re better than ever. Good. I want to be, too.

  3. Nancy February 14, 2014 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Then there were tears. All the best to you and Shaun on your reborn marriage.

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you!

  4. Farrar February 14, 2014 at 11:15 am - Reply

    That was so raw and honest and beautiful! Thank you!

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Like ripping off a band-aid. It was oddly therapeutic.

  5. Amanda February 14, 2014 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Meredith, I love you so hard for this post. I am so glad that Shaun and you were able to totally rekindle your marriage and I think it’s amazing that you would share this. It’s brave and will help others. Good work.

    (and also, that partner before kids thing? we do it too, and we get judgment, but you know what. fuck ’em)

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Who can judge you for saying my partner comes first so our home is a happy home?

      I’ll tell you who – people who will soon be walking this same path. They just don’t know it yet.

      • Joy February 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm - Reply

        I read an article a hundred million years ago that said you have to put each other first. Kids grow up leave home start their own lives. Then it’s just the two of you. Partners forever!

        I’m glad you didn’t give up 🙂

  6. stephanie February 14, 2014 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I burned it all down seven months ago, quit my job, dropped some friends, and set my house on fire. Do we still struggle? Yep, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t. But I love him and he loves me. Every day is a day you wake up and decide that your marriage is worth it in the end.

    I love that you wrote this and I love that I am not alone. BURN THAT SHIT TO THE GROUND!!!
    Thank you!

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Waking up happy is priceless.

      Burn. That. Shit. Down.

  7. Rae Ann Bell February 14, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Immensely powerful.

  8. Nuala Reilly February 14, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    I love this.

  9. Larissa February 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    thank you so much for sharing. Went through our own armegeddon about 11 years ago. We’ve been married 17 1/1 now. It sucks, but it’s totally worth it when you figure out how to save your marriage.
    This is a good reminder for me, though. It is easy to slip back toward the bad stuff. Reminders help to stop the slide backward. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Shaun, Meredith. Muah!

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      I love hearing this. I love hearing that people who have been married a long time went through this once, too.

  10. erica February 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Amazing words and sentiment. Your children are lucky to have you both as parents, and you are obviously blessed to have each other. To MANY happy years together Meredith and Shaun.

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm - Reply


  11. Shanna February 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Wow, this is awesome… 19 years into this and I need to burn this house down.

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      Don’t be rational. Be emotional and passionate. Burn it all down. Whatever it takes to get there, you do it!

  12. steph gas February 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    what an amazing and inspirational post. i think too many people think ‘we can just walk away’ from a marriage. marriage is not all happy endings and shiny appliances. it is hard fucking work. every day you’re married is a day you should be working at it. if you’re not willing to work at it, you’re married to the wrong person. i’m thrilled you and shaun realized that and SERIOUSLY WORKED at it.

    • Meredith February 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      I never thought it would be this much work, but hard work reaps great rewards. And he’s worth it.

  13. Kelly February 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Great advice for all relationships!

  14. GypsyRose February 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    I love the saying “May the bridges I burn light my way.” There are times when it is very much needed and could apply here. Whether it is a job, time-suck friends or activities that pull you apart. My problem has always been that I have never learned that it is okay to take care of myself first and then everyone else and I never ask for help. It’s like the announcement on the plane where you are supposed to put your oxygen mask on first before you help someone else. I’d make sure everyone in my family had theirs’ on and I’d pass out. I am still working on it and my husband is my biggest fan, even when he has to remind me. He and I always come before our kids and our children understand that. They know they are loved (hugely) and that we do our very best for them. Thank you, Meredith for sharing your story. You are loved not only by your family and friends, but by your readers.

  15. Shanna February 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply


    I can not stop thinking about this post. Thank you for being so raw. I have already started some of these things but I need to put it all out there. The other day at lunch we just sat there nothing to say. I have always put the kids and sometimes friends first. He has his own things he does.. He is the one I want wiping my ass one day when I can’t do it myself or the one I want to share my darkest secrets to. I do not want to lose this. Thank you again!

  16. Anonymous February 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Damn. Talk about hitting home. Thank you for being so honest, and even though our relationships are similar and yet so different in their problems it still reminds me that it’s worth fighting for.

  17. Kristin P February 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    I absolutely LOVE this. We aren’t even at the seven year itch. We’re at a five year itch. :-/ it’s tough.

    • Patience April 27, 2016 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Son of a gun, this is so hefulpl!

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  18. Amanda February 14, 2014 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful. Just a sopping mess over here. I’m not married, and have never been married, but I’ve seen so many couples that I care about get to this point, and just walk away. This is such a beautiful testimonial to the fact that sometimes you need to dig deep and go into battle one last time before you say you’ve lost the war.

  19. Sarah February 16, 2014 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    This is so great!! I am so excited to hear that you guys didn’t give up… divorce is more and more common these days and yes, sometimes it’s best… but hell yeah to putting up a good fight. Your marriage, your kids and your family are so worth it. (plus you guys look really good together) 🙂

  20. Dale February 19, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Thank you. I needed to hear that.

  21. Jessica February 19, 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I like that you’re honest and don’t make relationships and marriage seem like a fairytale. I’m not married but it gives me insight. So what happened at work? I follow your blog and you always mentioned you liked the company you worked for. Did your boss freak when you just quit?

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  24. […] to keep afloat, and I got calls from employees who had this complaint or that around the clock. My marriage was in shambles. I was staring at divorce because I had become a work-a-holic, a people pleaser, and someone who […]

  25. Kathleen May 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    “The barn has burned down. Now I can see the moon.” –Basho

  26. […] argue less. Listen, we don’t have major arguments often. And when we did argue all the time (click here to read about that time we almost got a divorce), it’s because we had other things we needed to get figured out in our […]

  27. […] guys know I am a HUGE fan of working it out and staying married, but if you both aren’t willing to work at it, LEAVE. RUN. […]

  28. Jillian September 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! From the bottom of my heart I needed to read this. My husband and I recently had the divorce talk.. Like 2 weeks ago recently.. I was a blubbering idiot even though divorce is what “seemed” right.. We talked (and it took us about 2 days also) and now we are steadily doing better and better. I’m going to take your advice about burning down the house though, because new rules do need to be set by both of us.. How did I not think of this before?!?!
    And I love your blog post about your renewed vows as well, I actually shared that with my husband. So sweet and so true! My husband and I have been married for 9 years and together for 12. Its not easy but when you’ve found your soulmate, you’ve gotta fight sometimes to keep the love alive. And I 100% agree with you that if mom and dad are happy, everyone’s happy! Ugghh!!! This was just perfect timing for me. So glad I came to your blog today to snoop around. 😋

  29. Liz Romero-Kibiloski February 12, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    31 years married and a few Armageddons under our belts…marriage is not for the faint-hearted. Kudos to you both!

  30. Tania October 18, 2016 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    My aunt told me that a marriage has to come first even beforehand children. At the time I thought this was the worst advice I’d ever heard. When I was a kid, my parents put everything before me so I said my kids would come first. Then I had kids. I realized the marriage is the foundation for the family. It’s hard work, but worth the time and energy. Thanks for sharing!

  31. […] Four and half years ago my husband, Shaun, had moved out. We had decided to get a divorce. We both wanted the divorce. We were both done with this marriage. I wrote about it here. […]

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