Recently a student named Sharon told me that she had no hope of having a happy marriage because her husband hated her.
When I asked how she knew that, she said that he was always scowling at her and that he took every opportunity to say mean things.
It sounded incredibly lonely and painful. I could see why she was feeling so hopeless.
She had plenty of evidence that her husband hated her, and that he hurt her intentionally.
But I had a hunch her husband’s hatred was more likely a symptom than the real problem.
If you’re feeling like your husband is hateful or hurting you intentionally, here’s what to do to heal your marriage:
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Laura Doyle: My guess Mari had given up everything to marry her husband, but soon after the wedding. She saw his true self emergence she knew that she had married the wrong man.
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Laura Doyle: She thought you’d be getting a life partner, but instead found herself saddled with a do nothing withdrawn stranger. He refused to talk about their expenses and she watched as her life savings drained away.
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Laura Doyle: And her home went into foreclosure. She thought she was headed for a third divorce, but instead she did a few things completely different than she had been doing them before. And today, she has a marriage that exceeds her wildest dreams. Welcome, Mark, thanks for coming on the show.
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Mari Jean: Well, thank you, thank you, Laura. Pleasure to be here.
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Laura Doyle: So tell us what were things like in the bad old days in your marriage.
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Mari Jean: It’s hard. It’s, it’s hard to remember how bad it was.
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Mari Jean: It was lonely. I was hopeless.
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Mari Jean: You know, I said I married the wrong guy. I was like old I was in my 50s. I was so ashamed. I was so ashamed of myself. I couldn’t tell my friends.
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Mari Jean: Because, you know, they look to me as this happy go lucky single person who finally found the man and and I didn’t. It was miserable. I was just isolated. I didn’t know. I didn’t know where to go, what to do. My husband wouldn’t talk to me and I was ashamed to talk to anybody else.
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Laura Doyle: See we’re completely alone. So was there a moment when you just thought I I can’t go on like this. I’m gonna. This is not sustainable.
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Mari Jean: There was
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Mari Jean: No dragged along on life, you know, support for a few years and then I just, I couldn’t bear it anymore. And I started, I started Googling divorce attorneys.
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Mari Jean: Little interview that you did with the Huffington Post came up and
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Mari Jean: It just, it sounded a little hopeful maybe possibly Laura. This was my third marriage. This is my third marriage and I was just
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Mari Jean: I didn’t think I could do it, but I, I figured I needed to give it a try needed to prove to myself that I at least had done everything that I could
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Mari Jean: So I got your book surrendered wife.
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Mari Jean: I read it and it started to make a little bit of a difference. Some of the things I changed.
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Mari Jean: The first thing that I did was I stopped him clothes and my husband.
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Mari Jean: He would just were like the same pair of pants and the same shirt for his entire life. If he could
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Mari Jean: But I knew this to be a successful person, you had to dress like you wanted to, you know, and so I would always buy him beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes and shirts and
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Mari Jean: Just, it was really important to me that he was well dressed, and he met his stuff was still in the bags and stuff was still in the wrappers. And it just used to make me so angry. And so I stopped buying many clothes.
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Laura Doyle: So he didn’t appreciate that at all that you
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Mari Jean: Know, he never appreciated all the work I put in
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Mari Jean: acting the way I thought it should act.
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Laura Doyle: Well, and so, and how was he responding to you at that time when you were
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Mari Jean: But he wasn’t he just say, Oh, thanks. I mean, put it in this closet. Okay. And that was it, and
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Mari Jean: I’d spend so long on each thing. And he just
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Mari Jean: He just didn’t care. He didn’t care what I thought he didn’t. It felt like he couldn’t he felt like my only job was to like be the made that was it. So the launcher was done. It just didn’t seem to matter what I did.
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Laura Doyle: And so he he didn’t think feel that he loved you know
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He definitely didn’t love you, you
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Mari Jean: Know, I felt that I was useful to him.
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Mari Jean: But that was it. That was all I got from him. He couldn’t even talk to me. He couldn’t even let me know when he was coming home. He couldn’t even call me to say he’d be home.
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Mari Jean: And then I know he was home because I, I’d see that his car in the driveway. So I’d have to go looking through the house to find him.
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Laura Doyle: So it was like having a roommate.
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Mari Jean: was worse than a roommate. I talked to my roommate.
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Laura Doyle: This there is no conversation at all. Okay, so you. So you started buying them close you stopped. That was one of the things I stopped.
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Mari Jean: And a funny thing happened. He didn’t notice.
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Mari Jean: But I stopped being so angry about it.
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Mari Jean: So it was an interesting to sort of get the idea that maybe
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Mari Jean: I might have some control over this anger thing.
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Laura Doyle: Percent. Yes. Okay. And so, so you got you got to hold the skills and you were, you know, this was one of the first things you did it sounds like it’s just not buying and closing
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Laura Doyle: And that gave you a little more hope that there was that you had some power to at least have a different experience on your end of the marriage, but was there a moment where you thought, well, this is working in the way that he’s responding to me too.
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Mari Jean: Yes, there was a very specific night, Laura. It was the evening of one of my classes with you.
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Mari Jean: And that day we were supposed to be grateful. You said write down in your in your book three things that you’re grateful for is like, I’m not grateful for anything. My life is disgusting.
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Mari Jean: Everything’s horrible. There’s nothing to be grateful for. And you said Mari goes to work every day. Right. So he goes to work every day, but he’s always going to work every day. There’s nothing to do with me. He said, Mari, just do it.
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Laura Doyle: A good coach. Okay.
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Mari Jean: Going I got well you know
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Mari Jean: I paid her I should listen to her. I’m going to do it because I know she’s wrong and that night I
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Mari Jean: Came home and and went over to him and I remember it was
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Mari Jean: I knew he was gonna make fun of me. I knew it was going to be awful but
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Laura Doyle: So this was risky.
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Mari Jean: Be replaced so risky. The only thing that kept me going was looking forward to saying to see Laura, you’re wrong.
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Mari Jean: And so I said to him,
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Mari Jean: Is it Clark.
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Mari Jean: I just want to let you know, just want to tell you that I’m really grateful that you go to work every day and then you come home every night.
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Mari Jean: Oh my God, I just cry, thinking about it because then he looked at me with this look. And he said, Well, of course I do.
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Mari Jean: I want to take care of you.
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Mari Jean: It just everything changed.
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Mari Jean: Changed it, I never said anything like that. I’d never heard him say anything like that before.
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Mari Jean: Once I learned the skills I started to realize all the ways that he was always telling me he loved me wanted to take care of me, but they were in husband speak and I didn’t know that.
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Laura Doyle: She got like a new hearing aid.
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Mari Jean: I hear a translation. Yes.
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Laura Doyle: Like this dog collars.
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Laura Doyle: I love you, from earlier. Okay. You could finally hear these beautiful sentiment, actually, that he is going to work thing was part of him expressing love for Mari we’re taking care of me.
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Mari Jean: No one ever took care of me like that. No one ever took care of me before.
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Laura Doyle: And there was. I mean, earlier on you were having your having this financial distress that you were talking about with your house going into foreclosure your savings being diminished, and he didn’t want to talk about that.
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Mari Jean: Not at all, he would make the crazy hands.
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Laura Doyle: Right, so
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Mari Jean: This is the crazy hands ready when I would start talking and make the crazy hands, and we believe the room.
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Laura Doyle: I guess.
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Mari Jean: Stop the sample coming in. I don’t know.
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Laura Doyle: So you were just alone with
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Mari Jean: With low
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Laura Doyle: There was our yeah and financial chaos, really. Yes. And then, and he had no solution for this.
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Mari Jean: He was not discussing anything there was nothing to discuss. I, I just thought he didn’t care. I it was just another piece of proof that he really didn’t care at all about me.
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Laura Doyle: And money is one of the biggest things that people fight about and that was certainly going on for you at your house. It sounds
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Mari Jean: There wasn’t even fighting there was no discussion I had several I’ve been a realtor it several pieces of property as well as my own home, and it was 2005 2006 the market crashed and all of my real estate was worth like $1 99
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Mari Jean: We had just gone through two major hurricanes and Florida. I had tenants that we’re now unemployed and couldn’t pay the rent and Clark was like the crazy hands and walking out of the room. It was like, just what am I supposed to do.
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Laura Doyle: Yeah.
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Laura Doyle: Right. It is hard to go. It’s hard to go back and so and the marriage was so bad at this point anyway because he did later take a job.
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Mari Jean: To Hell. It’s an interesting thing. His solution that he had been planning unknown to me was to take a job in Afghanistan, where he would get
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Mari Jean: Combat pay and risk, high risk pay and so his salary was like triple what he had been making in the States which, in fact, took care of all the debts and but I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that was on his mind. I didn’t know he was even considering it.
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Mari Jean: I only found out way afterwards that that was the plan. I thought he was going to go to Afghanistan to get away from me.
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Laura Doyle: And what was your reaction when he said he was going to Afghanistan.
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Mari Jean: Oh, such a good idea. I really wanted him to go. I wanted him out of my life. And since I couldn’t personally murder him. I thought maybe he would go away and my problems would be done.
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Mari Jean: So,
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Laura Doyle: Yeah yeah everyone how to get a divorce because he’d be dead already.
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Mari Jean: And then I’d be a widow and everyone feel sorry for insurance.
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Laura Doyle: Life insurance. Okay. Who hasn’t thought that has a distressed marriage. I know I did. So I just, yeah, I love that.
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Mari Jean: God, I know all my problems would be solved.
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Laura Doyle: I got, I get it, I get it. So, all right. So you stopped buying his clothes you started expressing some gratitude. I mean, what, what’s your relationship like now. Oh.
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Mari Jean: I’m gonna leave him with a man of my dreams. It’s the same guy. It’s the same guy, he just, he just needed to be respected. He just needed to be allowed to say things the way he wanted to save them in his own words without me helping him. I was very helpful.
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Mari Jean: And he needed to. You know what I needed to believe in him. I needed to believe that he was very, very capable and competent and and let him.
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Mari Jean: And let him do that capable, competent stuff and he did, and he’s um his career is just taken off like crazy, he’s you know he’s 68 years old and he’s in more demand than he ever was in his entire life. He can pick and choose wherever he wants to work and
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Laura Doyle: He’s worked back, he’s back in the states now.
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Mari Jean: Yes, he was away, for it was away for two and a half years.
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Mari Jean: He’s really smart. He’s really good at what he does and he’s in an industry that is just growing like crazy. And he’s like, at the head of the path.
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Mari Jean: I remember back in those bad old days, I used to think, how is he raking his boss to think he knows what he’s doing it works. This is a man who can take out the garbage.
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Mari Jean: They put him in charge of a department.
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Yeah, I guess.
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Mari Jean: You can basically write his own ticket now.
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Laura Doyle: And what about when he comes home. Is there still this wall of silence.
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Mari Jean: That’s oh my god it’s first of all, he calls me on his way home. He calls me and when he comes home.
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Mari Jean: All right, I’m going to tell a terrible disgusting story he came home from work the other day and I was in the bathroom and he came into the bathroom to kiss me. Hello. I said,
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Laura Doyle: I love. That’s right. I mean, you see, you feel loved. He could not stand to be away from you. Once I get
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Mari Jean: Bored. I feel adored and cherished and I feel
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Mari Jean: I feel like I am, the number one priority in his life.
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Mari Jean: And you know on those days when things are like crappy because, you know, I still get its life is messy and sometimes I just get carried away with myself.
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Mari Jean: And I have the skills to stop in and remember all of the things that are brilliant and beautiful about my husband and and it’s all good again.
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Laura Doyle: So if you could go back in time and talk to yourself from before you knew what you know now what would you say
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Mari Jean: I’d say, I’d say, just trust him trust him to be to be your husband and throw away the white man you throw it away. That stuff’s fake
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Mari Jean: That stuff we see on TV, it’s fake. You know, I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do the thing that I would that I learned. That’s the most important thing of all, or is that what my husband wants the most is for me to be happy.
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Laura Doyle: You didn’t. You didn’t think that was the case. No.
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Mari Jean: Idea. No, I never thought that for a moment.
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Laura Doyle: You are sure he didn’t care about that.
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Mari Jean: I was positive.
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Laura Doyle: So, so what’s a tip. So for a woman whose situation is, is it where she’s feeling like like not even as good as roommates, because he doesn’t talk to me.
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Laura Doyle: And she wants to get to the part where he cannot wait for her to come out in the bathroom. He has to run in there and kisser because he is so adoring what, how did she get to where you are, what should she do
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Mari Jean: I would say just take a chance
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Trust in the skills.
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Mari Jean: Read the stories of the women that have come before you, and just leap in with both feet.
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Laura Doyle: That’s what I would say. I love that. All right. We talked about some hard things today. You know, for closures and trying to collect the life insurance so you don’t
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Laura Doyle: Say don’t have to stop Googling the divorce attorneys.
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Laura Doyle: Would you be willing to share such vulnerable personal information so publicly
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Mari Jean: It is really hard because it’s shameful it’s shameful to admit all of those things.
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Mari Jean: But I know that if you hadn’t shared your shameful stories.
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Mari Jean: I wouldn’t have had the courage to take a chance and so you know it’s the play it forward. Pay It Forward, whatever it is you shared and because of that I was able to
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Mari Jean: Take a chance and move forward and I would hope that my story could encourage those women who are feeling so utterly hopeless to just
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Mari Jean: This is there.
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Laura Doyle: I love that. And then and now you are a coach you are gifted powerful relationship coach who helps other women with their relationships, what, how has that affected your relationship.
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Mari Jean: First of all, it’s the best job I’ve ever had in my life and I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life.
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Mari Jean: It affects my relationship because it keeps me honest. It keeps me accountable and
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Mari Jean: It just really makes me appreciate my husband, more and more and more. I think he’s such a great guy.
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Laura Doyle: This has been wonderful to hear your story of how it seemed hopeless and you were looking for a divorce to now feeling so taken care of. That’s I think the main headline that loved adored and taken care of. And thank you so much for sharing it with this Marie.
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Mari Jean: My absolute pleasure, Laura. Thank you. Thank you for all that you do for us.
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Laura Doyle: You bet.