Love takes work. And couples could always use a little more help when it comes to navigating the marriage obstacle course. Take it from Drexel Hill’s Willie Owens. A former All-American hurdler and pro football linebacker, Owens is a personal trainer at Ellis Athletic Center in Newtown Square. He’s also a devoted husband of 13 years and author of the new book, How to Not Get a Divorce. He’s not an expert in the conventional sense, but he’s convinced that anyone can keep romance alive while maintaining a cool head amid the ups and downs of any relationship.
MLT: Why did you decide to write this book?
WO: I’m married, and my parents were married for 45 years before my dad died, and the whole family unit and marriage means a whole lot to me. In this day and age, with reality TV and the way things go politically and socially, a lot of people jump into a marriage and they don’t even take into account what the purpose of a marriage is or what it means. I wrote the book out of my own personal experience with how I feel about marriage.
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MLT: What do you think accounts for the high divorce rate?
WO: People get married for the wrong reasons. They look around, and they’re knee-deep in kids, a mortgage and a separation, all because you didn’t do the things you were supposed to do in the beginning. When you think about it, if a child watches The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, they might think, “This is cool; I can go out with a bunch of people, and if I like them, we can get married right away.” In these shows, no one wants to be held accountable.
MLT: What’s the biggest issue couples face in a marriage?
WO: Expectations. You have to know the roles in your relationship.
MLT: What are some warning signs that a marriage needs help?
WO: When you don’t talk to each other; when you’re coming home and only seeing each other at night or on the weekends. In this economy, people are working all the time and you have kids in the picture, too. But you can’t have a relationship without communication. It’s the biggest issue in a marriage, and it encompasses everything.
To purchase How to Not Get a Divorce, click here.