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VINE VOICEon March 16, 2008
When I am giving premarital coaching to young couples, or marriage coaching to married couples, they often want to focus on their problems or potential problems. Of course these issues are of great concern to couples so its not always easy to direct their focus to the solutions, not the problems. Problems are unimportant. Solutions are what is important and with his book, MARRIAGE FITNESS, Mort Fertel has given a simple, yet effective four step plan to marital solutions.

I can't tell you how refreshing for me it has been to read a book by someone who understands and teaches what marriage is really all about. Love. I often use the analogy that love is like a fire. Even an out of control wildfire will eventually run out of fuel and burn itself out. To keep the fire of love alive, we must continually stoke the embers and feed it fuel. This book teaches it differently but essentially says the same thing, and shows couples how to provide the fuel their marriage must have to survive.

The book is very well written and contains some excellent projects for couples. Certainly intended for couples working together, there is also definite help here for one with an uncommitted spouse to help get things back on track.

Part 1, the first two chapters, give couples a deeper understanding of love. This may sound ridiculous, but most people confuse character traits with what I term "soul conscientiousness". Fertel deftly explains why character love makes you role mates, not soul mates. If you really want to take your marriage to a higher level, it is critical that you come to understand the differences between what I call outward love (loving the character traits of a person) and inward love (making the choice within your soul to love a person on the inside, regardless of their character traits). Once you fully understand this concept, your marriage (and innerhappiness) will be changed forever.

Part 2 is Fertel's 4 step program for building and maintaining love in your marriage, as well as his twenty exercises.

Mort Fertel has certainly given my some new ides on how couples can enrich their marriages and take them from ordinary to extraordinary. This is one of the best books you'll find on building a strong marriage. Highly recommended.

Pastor Monty Rainey
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on November 12, 2010
I bought this book around 4:00am unable to sleep after finding out about my wife's emotional infidelity. Our marriage had officially hit rock bottom. She wanted out. I wanted to fix it. We started seeing a Marriage Counselor but we weren't getting what we wanted out of it. $50/hr to bring up the same issues, talk about the hurt, and blame each other. It wasn't working. This book has some pretty unconventional advise. If your looking for communication techniques like parroting back what your partner just got finished saying you won't find it here. This book focuses on putting the love back into your marriage, because when your in love the problems are easier to deal with. I can say that our marriage has never been better. We've gone from the brink of divorce to a loving marriage once again and I feel that this book has been a big part of that success.
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on June 11, 2007
I would highly recommend reading the boook above listening to the cd's. Sometimes he repeats words over and over and it starts to feel like your being brainwashed. The information is overall pretty good I think. I've read quite a few books on divorce and marriage, and this rates near the top. It has some fresh new ideas. For people who have "normal" problems in marriage though. Does not deal with how to solve those problems. Only create love.
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on December 3, 2012
This approach is amazing. Instead of picking your marriage apart, this book shows you how to build it up. Already I can see a difference in how I relate to my husband and how that makes him feel better.
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on September 3, 2007
What can I say about this book...it saved my marriage! My wife was threatening divorce. I heard about this book on the radio and bought it, did what the author said, and it really works. My wife became interested in me and our marriage again and wanted to read the book too. She did, and now we're both doing what it says. The threat of divorce is gone...and more than that we're feeling close again. if you're marriage is in trouble, buy this book.
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on February 7, 2005
As someone who has read my fair share of self-help books, I will tell you that Mort Fertel has written an outstanding book-- one that offers readers clear, concise, and practical ideas to improve their marriage. This book should be in the hands of every married person, as I believe it can enhance every marriage when things are going great and even when they are a bit rocky. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
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on March 14, 2016
My marriage is having its fair share of trouble I bought marriage fitness in hopes it would help give me insight. I receive the daily emails from Mort Fertel already and figured right now I am willing to try anything. I got this book yesterday and literally read it in one day. It has so much to offer and it’s a very easy read. I know I will have to go back and review it, but it really pulled me in. It made me see where some of the problems lie and helped me to stop pointing fingers and really open my eyes. To look at the big picture. I have not implemented any of the processes yet as I just got the book yesterday but I think they are feasible and do able. Mort talks about how we need to have talk and touch charge. He talks about planning business meetings with your spouse. He opens your eyes up to how giving is better than receiving and how to know what to give. Love conquers all and Mort explains that in this book. It’s very easy to read and to understand. The words just flow, you are drawn in. He often references problems he had in his marriage so you can see the results.
I would recommend this book to any one that is either struggling in their marriage or looking to revive their marriage before it’s too late. This book is not directed to either spouse so it can be read by either or both parties.
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on May 18, 2010
My wife picked up this book and asked that I read it, which I did. I'm not going to mince words here: This book is terrible. It's like reading a late night infomercial, if you can imagine such a thing. An inordinate amount of the book's space is taken up by hard-sell advertisements for the author's other services (which direct you to his website), and he references his own "trademarked" services on almost every page of the book. He restates the same three or four concepts throughout the book, and the only imaginitive thing in the book is the different ways in which he repeats these cocepts for 180 some-odd pages. I guess nobody will buy a book that's only 8 pages, so he padded it to 180. Just a few of his nuggets of "wisdom:"

"Love conquers all" - Really? All you need is love? There's nothing else to it? Then why do you charge money for this book? Why do you charge over $400 for the CDs that can accompany this book? Life, and love, is not that simple.

"People don't change" - Again, really? Everyone changes throughout their lifetimes. Has this guy ever even cracked open a psychology textbook? People are dynamic, they get new interests, drop old ones. People learn things, develop new beliefs. How can Mr. Fertel advise us on relationships if he doesn't even understand the basics of the human psyche?

"Relationships after a divorce don't work" - Seriously? I have a whole slew of friends and relatives who, along with their new spouses, will happily testify to the contrary.

"Don't find the right person to love...love the person you find" - Yeah, don't bother investing the time to find someone you connect with, or can be happy with. Just settle for what you have. Then have a miserable marriage. Then buy more of Mr. Fertel's books. While he and his wife laugh all the way to the bank.

Unlike Mr. Fertel, I actually have a degree in psychology. Please, don't buy into this shiny-happy pop psychology garbage. Life is not so black and white, and marital issues are not solved with 180 pages of trite, redundant psychobabble. Go find a therapist. Find a support group. Talk to your friends. Lean on your family. Invest your time and money into something that isn't built simply to syphon your time and money, like this book. If this book helped you, then great. There probably wasn't much that needed fixing. But for any couple with serious issues, don't waste your time on this or any other book. If your marriage can be saved by a book, it's not in as much trouble as you think it is.
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on February 1, 2005
I just read this book and I even though I'm not opposed to some of what Mort Fertel says, some of the things in his book disturb me. On page 139 he makes the statement "your life ended when your marriage began" this along with some other statments leads me to se this book as a guide book to becomoing co-dependent rather than relationship development. He implies that for couples to be happy they must call each other all the time, sacrfice their own jobs, ambitions, hobbies and all that is unique to them to have a successful marriage. I use to know people who sacrificed their whole life for the sake of their marriage and when it still ended they didn't know who they were anymore.

Having said all of this I do believe that couples who grow apart from to much desire of independence can be a cause of an unhappy marriage. I just think there needs to be more of a balance to this than Mr. Fertel shows in his book.
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on April 2, 2013
Having read other books on the topic I have to say none of the traditional marriage counseling techniques apealed to me at all. Most of them seemed to focus on discussing painful topics and issues as a way to "work things out". That approach has never worked for me. It actually amde things worse because we had to relive things that hurt us in the past. Mort's approach actually gives specific things you can do to bring your spouse closer in a positive way. The rest takes care of itself. I'll admit I've only been using this for a couple weeks, but I can already see some slight improvements. Highly recommend it.
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