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Save your marriage Save your Marriage  –  We did & You Can too! 

Our Story began as a wonderful romance. We didn't always have marriage issues. Paul and I met in 1989 at a little Blues Bar called Char's in Phoenix Arizona. Yes…we met in a bar! Paul asked me to go to breakfast when the bar closed and we did, not as a couple, with several of our friends.

Paul was so quiet that I really didn't realize he was attracted to me. Of course I was out there and anything but quiet! I was talking to everyone in the restaurant and bantering with the waiter. Paul asked for my phone number and I gave him my business card and wrote it on the back. At that time I wasn't in a solid relationship but I had several men courting me. I wasn't crazy about any of them. They were all nice enough, I just hadn't found that one that I could relate to and be a couple

Paul was persistent. So much so that he called and called and called. I was shocked by his tenacity, especailly since I didn't call him back! Our first date was memorable because he asked me to dinner and I said yes. Then he said he would be over at 8:30.

"8:30? That is late!" I said.

He calmly told me it was the best he could do. I found out later that Paul had a three year old daughter named Marie. He couldn't do earlier because he spent time with her and bathed her and tucked her in and read her a story each night. This quickly gave me insight into the kind of man he was. 

We Became a Married Couple

The night we met was July the 3rd and really it was July the 4th because it was after Midnight before we spoke and went to breakfast. July 4, 1989 to be exact and by November of the same year, much to the dismay of my family, we were expecting a baby and got married. It was official, we were a married couple. From my dad's perspective, we barely knew each other and then there was the taboo of being pregnant. Oh my!  

July 4 of the next year, our son, Phillip was born. Exactly one year after our breakfast!  Life was ahead of us and there was so much adventure and happiness as a couple. Neither of us ever considered we would have marriage issues. Everything would be perfect as long as we were together. Ever feel that way?

 

Save your Marriage – The Breakdown of Our Marriage

Skip ahead to 2006. After 17 years of marriage, multiple moves, job changes, three more babies and custody of Paul's three year old daughter, Marie…we now found ourselves in a place of defeat. We got through Paul going to Nursing school and working the night shift on very little sleep.  We had been through so much together. We loved each other yet we were lashing out at each other.  The "D" word was starting to be thrown out quite often. There was fighting and cold shoulders. We had decided to call it quits and then we would make up and struggle to keep things together. We were really hanging on by a thread. …yet, there was still that thread. Neither of us wanted to throw away our marriage. We just couldn't seem to talk without fighting. We fought about everything. We disagreed about everything. The hurt and resentment was difficult to overcome. We played the blame game. Every sentence started with "YOU… You could record our fight and they would nearly sound the same everytime. The same stores would come out. Over and over.

Save your marriageSave your Marriage – It Wasn't Always Like this!

There had certainly been a lot of joy and passion over the years as a couple. We enjoyed each others company and we were always best friends. We talked and we shared ideas and dreams with each other.  We had seen each other through thick and thin, there had been death of parents, the murder of a close friend, failed businesses, financial strains, unplanned pregnancies, in-law struggles and much more. There had also been wonderful friendships, new jobs, successful businesses, birth of beautiful babies and happiness. The typical cycles of married life.

Financial Pressure & Other Marriage Issues

We had five children. The financial stress and management of a large family was taking it's toll. We jumped in and worked together many times over the years and we kept their family together.  We often fought about money or lack of money.  Paul and I both became very frugal, resourceful and worked together to save money and conserve resources. We  joined a Christian Church and enjoyed a sense of community for many years. In the real estate bust, we lost our first investment property. We had made a poor financial decision. Instead of reforming and regrouping and moving forward again, we started to blame each other.

Couple Retreats and Working on our Marriage
By 2006, we  had grown apart one conversation or lack of conversation at a time. The fighting had become extreme when we were together. We had stopped working on our marriage. The happiness we felt over the years had turned into resentment and blame. Since the beginning Paul and I had worked very hard on our marriage and always made it a priority. We had attended couple workshops, Dr. Gary Smalley's workshop,  The Five Love Languages, with Dr. Gary Chapman and also Marriage Encounter. Paul and I had attended marriage and parenting classes through various churches. Not because we had marriage issues, because we recognize that decay happens over a slow period of time as does growth. We also recognized if you are not in a state of growth, you are in a state of decay.
We also had gone to all men's retreats and all women's retreats in addition to couples retreats. When we moved to Arizona, everything changed. I went back to work after 14 years and did very well financially. Paul was working in a job he disliked. The kids were home alone more and more. The kids were now getting older and were in school (I home schooled them for nearly seven years). We had left our community of support and I felt like we had no direction in life. We left the church and it seemed we were on our own with our marriage. Shelton Family As a matter of fact, it seemed the world supported divorce much more than it supported marriage. For the first time in our marriage we would throw the divorce word around. Our fighting became extremely toxic. This toxic relationship affected our children. I am not proud of it and when I look back I know it was less than ideal. We were a victim to each other. We were a victim to everything. We were not owning our results. One of our son's started to take drugs and steal. This was heart breaking. Our perfect life seemed to be unraveling.  The addictions started to come into play in all of our lives. I was medicating myself with food and gained an additional 20#. Paul was drinking heavily each day. I began smoking again after quiting when I was pregnant the first time. It had been 14 years since I smoked. The self-destruct mode was turned on by both of us. Holding things together just didn't seem that important any more. We started to give up. In 2007, my father died. I was able to experience his death alongside my mother and it was truly a beautiful experience. Read my article, How does the Death of a Loved One Effect you?

I began to look around and envision my life without Paul. I started to conjure up the perfect mate. What would that look like? Someone who treated me good? Someone nice? I began thinking there must be more…you know, out there. I was feeling like there was nothing left and it was time to do something different. I was not happy in my marriage and I was working 12 to 16 hour days. This left Paul to not only work his full time job but to care for the children too.   Another thing for them to fight about. A co-worker of Michelle's invited them both to attend a seminar by PSI Seminars that made claims of improving both professional and personal success. Amazingly, we attended this presentation together. We had no idea how this one decision would change the course of our life.  In October 2007, we both attended PSI Seminars' Basic Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona. It was not new information. It was the method of application of the information that was new to them both. It was called experiential learning. Although I had been involved in and taught personal growth for years, this type of education was exciting. It was a way to teach the concepts where the attendees had ownership of their results. They had to take a look at the results they created. It was more than sitting in a room listening to a speaker and taking notes. It was truly interactive for four days. The Basic Seminar was more about self-discovery and awareness and it gave me an opportunity to apply the knowledge I had in my head. Paul had attended my trainings and he had been to classes before about personal growth. We had been through Jeffery Gittomer's class and Zig Zigler's and even the late Jim Rohn. I had never seen Paul light up the way he did in this class.  He had never experienced anything like this and continued to talk about having more in his life. I had never heard him talk about personal growth this way. We both enrolled in an advanced seminar from PSI Seminars called PSI Seven or PSI VII (Personal Success Institute, Seven Day Advanced Seminar).marriage issues We attended the seminar together and learned many tools to support us in our relationship. Paul immediately saw how he was medicating his raw emotions and he chose to quit drinking for a week. A week turned into a month and a month turned into a year. It has been three years since he has drank alcohol. We have also attended advanced courses on leadership through PSI Seminars. We both have attended many experiential workshops and seminars from various companies since that day and we are both truly grateful for these experiences. Today our marriage is stronger than it has ever been. We are best friends. We have turned our relationship into a dream relationship. Many couples started to come to us and ask us questions. In 2011, we celebrated 22 years of marriage and we can see the need for couples, young and old, married, dating, engaged and same sex couples to create the relationship they desire. We put together a completely unique workshop to support you in doing the same thing…to create your dream relationship with that special person. Your relationship doesn't have to be in crisis like ours was. Perhaps you simply want the tools to take you to the next #10 in your relationship.  What would it feel like to have that one person you can always count on? That one person when the rest of the world seems to be falling apart, you know you can count on them?

CoupleWhat is Paul and Michelle's Philosophy?
Paul and Michelle have gone through Debbie Ford's shadow work, they are fans of Wayne Dyer and although they lean more toward the New Age Movement, they respect all religions and faiths. They have a special love for Christian and Catholic couples because of their background and they do not teach religion in their courses. They embrace a concept of love and respect, forgiveness and non-judgment. They both think this is the basic of all spiritual teachings. The Philosophy is to bring happiness  TO the relationship and not look to GET happiness FROM the relationship. Co-dependent relationships are common and many people do not know anything different because they are looking to find love and be loved. This is called attachment, not love. Many couples mistakenly look to another human being to fill that emptiness for them. Paul and Michelle continue to do the work of experiential teachings themselves. They feel they must continually be growing in order to be the example.  Marriage and relationships are work. They are like anything worth having, they require work and a change of mind-set in order to achieve a high level of success. No matter why type of relationship you are in, marriage, engaged couples, homosexual couples and dating couples. If the relationship is intimate and sexual in nature, you will benefit from this course. We ask that you attend with an open spirit toward learning and trust that you will get what you need from the course. ❤

"This work has changed my life. Sharing it with other couples is so rewarding! Seeing them walk in on the verge of a split and then experiencing real love from on Sunday is truly magical. If you haven't attended our workshop, do what you have to do to make it happen for yourself…you will be so glad you did!" – Michelle Shelton

Paul and Michelle were married in 1989 and their journey together began. They have five children and live in Gilbert, Arizona. They are available to coach couples and also speak to groups regarding marriage, parenting, and how to have loving relationships.

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