Unlocking the Secrets: How We Thrived in Marriage for 24 Years | EU 1928 min read

October 23, 2023

What does it take to prioritize a marriage when you and your partner both have jobs and manage the kids?

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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What does it take to prioritize a marriage when you and your partner both have jobs and manage the kids? How can you keep the spark alive throughout decades of marriage? Do you and your partner want to lift one another up to progress and become more well-rounded people?

In this podcast episode, I am so excited to have Willie on the podcast again. Join us in the podcast as we discuss unlocking the secrets of marriage and how we thrived in marriage for 24 years.


  • Tips to overcome and resolve conflict
  • How to prioritize a marriage between two jobs and kids
  • Memorable milestones in marriage
  • How to keep the spark alive
  • Honest communication for the longevity of the marriage

Tips to overcome and resolve conflict

I’d say early on in our marriage, that’s when we made the most mistakes actually. We fought over the most trivial things, we made mountains out of molehills, we tried to see who was going to be the last one talking, and we wanted the last word. It was about always trying to outdo one another. (Willie Cisneros)

Veronica and Willie had some of their most difficult years when they started their marriage, and even though they still have their moments of conflict nowadays, their marriage has slowly but surely improved, strengthened, and become more intimate.

The early days are sometimes seen to be the easiest, however, it can be some of the toughest, since you and your partner are getting used to still living and working together as a team.

  • One of Willie’s main tips is for you both to listen to understand instead of just listening to respond. Aim to get to the root cause of your partner’s feelings instead of trying to get the first word in.

If we could’ve turned back time, I would’ve learned to listen more and be more attentive to what she’s actually say and come across because usually what’s said isn’t actually what she’s looking for overall, so listening to understand versus listening to respond, I think that would’ve been more productive in the early parts of our marriage. (Willie Cisneros)

  • Veronica’s tip is for you and your partner to stop personalizing everything.

You need to learn how to identify your insecurities so you can separate your partner’s words from who you know to be yourself.

  • Who do you know your partner to be at their core? Before judging them entirely for their mistakes, remember their intentions, and remember who you know them to be.

Before you go crazy, psycho killer on him, what are his real intentions? That strategy right there has really helped me fall in love with you again it helped me put my guard down, and that would be the key strategy for me. (Veronica Cisneros)

How to prioritize a marriage between two jobs and kids

Of course, it can be easy for the marriage to slip between the cracks of a busy schedule when both partners are busy with work, running a household, and family admin with children.

However, because it is easy for it to happen, you need to take steps to ensure that it doesn’t, or to bring the marriage back to the forefront once you notice that it has happened.

  • Willie recommends that both partners stick to firm, hard “nos” when the marriage needs attention.

If you notice that you and your partner are drifting, politely but firmly say no to other friends, family, or commitments so that you and your partner can focus on rebuilding and strengthening your connection together.

  • Veronica prioritizes the relationship by finding loopholes and opportunities where she and Willie can take advantage of the day to work together and spend time as a team.

Memorable milestones in marriage

For Willie, seeing Veronica open her private practice was a milestone for him in their marriage that has been meaningful for him.

It symbolized her dedication to the family, and then her chance to shine to do what she wanted for so long, and that he was proud of her for pursuing it.

I appreciated the fact that you showed all that patience for all those years, you didn’t complain, and you supported our family despite not having the ability to be able to do your thing and wanting to, and then finally when you did you were just, God, you skyrocketed. (Willie Cisneros)

For Veronica, her memorable milestones have been to spend proper, quality time with Willie and their family, and really get to enjoy the life that they have built.

All of those moments where you and I could just be best friends. (Veronica Cisneros)

How to keep the spark alive

Encourage both emotional affection and physical affection. You and your partner will both be more open and willing to give and receive love when you both feel seen and respected by one another.

Willie’s advice is to keep the spark alive by creating small moments of intimacy throughout the day, with little pinches, kisses, and embraces.

For Veronica, both as a therapist and a wife, she recommends couples therapy.

Even if there are little to no challenges or you feel like your relationship is on the rocks, marriage therapy can help you to heal, strengthen, and raise your marriage and connection with your partner.

Honest communication for the longevity of the marriage

True communication is possible when both people are willing to be vulnerable and actually listen to understand and to know one another better.

I’m able to receive that information from you and that constructive feedback because instead of me personalizing it, I ask myself, “What do I know about Willie to be 100% true?” and I know that you would do anything for me, for the girls, and you’d be honest with me not to be a jackass or to be condescending, [but] so that I’m aware of it and you’ll either support me in trying to build that muscle or skill up or you’ll tell me so that I can be that better version of myself. (Veronica Cisneros)

When both partners are willing to give one another truth, honesty, and accountability, then you can both help one another to become the better versions of yourselves, and not only for each other, but also for who you each are as individuals.

You are building one another up to become better, wiser, stronger, and more loving people because you care about the progress of each other’s lives, as well as your lives together.

It is a shared union and promise to support for the sake of each of you as individuals and for the strength of the marriage and family together.

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, married for 23 years, host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast, and owner of a group private practice called Outside The Norm Counseling.

A lot of couples struggle with setting aside intentional time to connect and communicate. They yearn for meaningful conversations that don’t lead to arguments.

1 month away from divorce, I realized I had to do something different. For years I had compromised myself to meet the needs of my husband and my child, I lost myself and was about to lose my marriage. After years of personal growth and self-reflection, I not only reclaimed my identity, and celebrated 23 years of marriage but also helped hundreds of couples transform their marriage from feeling like roommates to experiencing a deeper love.

I am on a mission to help couples reignite the fire by providing them with the skills to have the relationship they deserve.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or do the Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, Married for over 20 years.

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