William “Bill” Zajac has a passion for strengthening marriages. He is an author, speaker, marriage coach, and business consultant. He has developed the program “Unbeatable Marriage.” His job is to deal with problem solving in marriage.
Failure lies in one degree of separation. You have to continue to work on your marriage to make it work. One, you can go after the root cause of your problem or you can learn the best practices in marriage and apply those to your marriage.
Bill created a random survey and learned about what makes strong couples. There are five pillars that are foundational to maintaining a strong marriage. The couple’s faith was a strong indicator of the couple’s relationship. God is at the center of their marriage and their lives and are focused on service.
Through the surveys Bill learned that the number one indicator of the strength of a marriage was the friendship and compatibility of the couple. It appeared in over half of thriving marriages.
“Romance and excitement is very important. It is the number one desire of couples who have been married a while.”
Bill expected communication to be a primary reason why couples last, but only 15% indicated this in his surveys. He believes that if you’re good friends, that communication flows more easily from them.
We cannot change anyone but ourselves. It’s important to treat issues in a marriage not as the other person’s problem, but a problem with the relationship.
Signs that a couple needs to seek help:
Bill uses the analogy of the “boiled frog” to describe how marriage get in trouble. You do not throw a frog in a pot of hot water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly adjust the heat, the frog will not know he’s cooked until its too late. Careers gets in the way, kids activities, etc get in the way of the daily connection time, date nights etc. that help to maintain marriages.
Couples need to pray together. Many couples go to church and pray for their food, but do not pray together. Not praying together leads to a lack of spiritual connection with the couple.
Praying together is a very intimate act and centers the couple’s focus. Bill advises taking baby steps in praying together, if it is not something that a couple normally practices. Start with asking “What can I pray for you today?” It’s difficult to have a poor attitude towards your spouse when you are praying for them.
After Bill finished writing the book, Bill learned that many people are in an “imaginary state of neutral” but that truthfully they are not in a good place. Couples are growing apart. They are letting the important every day practices slide.
Many times couples let their marriages be less of a priority. God should be first, then spouse, then children. It’s important to model to your children what a good marriage looks like, or your children will learn to leave their spouses in last place.
The “Unbeatable Marriage” program is challenging. The elements that make a good marriage are foreign to many.
What is your most effective relationship skill? Listening. Trying to understand where your spouse is at, how is life going for them. Listening with full intention. Seek first to understand then to be understood.
What is your current passion?
How to generate change in these two areas: How do we get couples who think their marriages are okay to understand that they are not? How do we create a burning desire in people to change?
Divorce has become minimized. People think their lives will get better, and yet they have bought into a lie. They will have the problems that brought them into divorce and more.
What has been your biggest stumbling block with God? 100% trusting in God. My own ideas get in my way of trusting God.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Are you playing the game of chess or are you playing the game of checkers? Do you have the end game in mind or are you just making decisions at random (going through the motions every day).
Who do you admire the most, other than a biblical figure? Pastor Farrell at Grace Covenant Church. A great servant of God, always asking what he can do for you.
What is your favorite book besides the bible? The Butterfly Effect. A simple book about how everything we do in life can have an impact on other things later. Helps the reader have a long term perspective.
What is your most effective relationship habit? Start each day with connection time, pray together, then go about our day. Also a weekly date night.
Couples need to pray together daily, going out on weekly date nights, couples need to get away together outside of normal routine, they need to work and plan.