The match has been won and lost and for many of the English fans it was a heart breaking moment but not for neutrals who felt this English team had not been truly tested and the two times they failed strong teams they lost.

Even though England lost the boys have covered themselves in glory because they have succeeded where others have failed and they can look at themselves with pride because there is a lot they are doing right as it concerns English because you could see how their players have become better thanks to Pep, Jose, Pochetinno and Klopp.

Croatia on the other hand have had to go through nail biting moments to get to the finals and I am not sure I have seen a more determined team in recent times. Physically you could see how exhausted they were but their mental strength and team work has taken them through once again.

For the purpose of our discussions on your marriage and the world cup I will pick 5 critical lessons that we can all pick from this semi finals and how it affects your marriage;

  1. The Spurs effect – If you are a follower of the EPL you would have been familiar with the Spurs effect which is the fact that they flatter to deceive. Every season they play some of the best football and even defeat some of the best teams but when it comes to the critical moment of picking the trophy they miss the mark by losing out. The English team at this world cup is led by a Spurs player and the entire spine has Spurs players all over the pitch. What that simply means is that England is led by a group of players who have never tasted success and don’t know what it means to go for the glory at critical moments. The big question we need to ask is who is leading your marriage and who have you recruited into your marital team? Many of us are surrounded by bitter friends whose marriages either failed or are yet to recover from their past relationship experience.

Somehow such people poison the purity of our expectation and in no time thoughts that was never there starts to cross your mind and many people have lost out of their marital bliss at critical moment by surrounding themselves with the Spurs effect. This spurs effect can be your favorite soaps or movies. It can even be your siblings or inlaws. The spurs effect represent any association you have allowed into your life that doesn’t have the required experience to help the cause of your marital success.

  1. The MARIO FACTOR – Sometimes you stick with a spouse not because things are looking up but because you trust them to eventually pick up. There are players in the marital team who sometimes play as if they are adding no value but are sure to deliver at the critical moment. Mario Mandzukic would fall into that category of players who you sometimes wonder the value they bring to the team but tonight he was the guy that popped up to score the vital goal. If you have seen the movie ACRIMONY you’d understand fully what this means.

Sometimes you stick with a spouse when it seems they are not adding any visible value simply because you trust their potentials and work rate and only you know that they will eventually deliver. How many have left a spouse who seemed incapable of producing anything only for the same guy/woman to become a successful business person few years later. What you believe about your spouse must be based on conviction alone and you must allow your conviction carry you through. I am not talking about blind conviction that is not based on any visible evidence. Sometimes you have a hard working spouse who has not encountered the right opportunity. Truth is as long as he/she keeps the preparation going the opportunity will eventually show up and performance would be inevitable. Mario Mandzukic showed up based on the trust reposed in him by the coach and he it was that scored the winning goal.

  1. The Power of Vision – Your marital vision determines the quality of your marriage and how far you go. During the first knockout stage the Croatian coach told his players ‘We have 3 crucial finals to play and we must win all’ They could have easily lost the last three matches but they managed to win all and that tells you about the uniformity of vision. Division happens when couples can’t write or tell you their marital vision word for word. The moment what I am saying is different from what my spouse is saying it means we are headed in different direction.

If you don’t know how to create a marital vision you can come to class with me so that i practically teach you how to create one.

  1. FITNESS is key – It has been said that professionals do daily what amateurs do occasionally and the fitness of your team will determine how far they go. We may need to check the physical and the mental preparation of this Croatian team because it is not ordinary. It was a day that the mental strength of both teams were tested and England fell short. What habits have you picked up that is affecting the fitness of your marriage? What are the words you use that should never be used that is draining your partner. The moment one of you becomes unfit it makes the marriage unfit because the fit person will soon be drained emotionally and physically and that can have a devastating effect on the team.

You must never forget to hit the marital gym daily which is simply the activities that promotes your marital fitness. Pick a pen and recall the times that you guys were truly happy and identify the activities you did together during that period. Those are the marital exercises required to keep your marriage fit.

  1. DARE THE ODDS & AVOID HYPE – The English fans could have intimidated Croatia with their ‘It’s coming home hype’ but they met a team that is focused on what they truly wanted and who knew clearly their strength. Even though the English team is called the 3 lions they met a team that has mastered how to sing for and tame the lion. Just like some Nigerians believed we were going to win the world cup even when our preparation and quality of players says otherwise English fans also believed it was their time to win the world cup even when everything said otherwise. They still chose to believe and over hype their players or how do you explain a team that had Sterling putting on the traditional number 1O jersey reserved for the most skillful players yet never attempted to play any set piece or do anything extra ordinary?

Hype is good when it can be matched with substance. How many couples have we seen their hype on social media only to disappear after two years? How many weddings of the year have stood the test of time? How often have we seen the drama of proposal that eventually ended with all forms of domestic violence. Let your hype be matched with substance. I consistently spend time preparing couples for marriage and with every passing day I keep learning in my work with them that marriage is more than HYPE. Please don’t allow what you see on social media intimidate you. Dare the odds like Croatia and slowly execute your plan with the substance you have. What you lack in HYPE you can make up with substance and when HYPE confronts substance you can be sure substance will win hands down.

In the words of Rancho in the movie 3 idiots I will paraphrase it by saying

‘Follow marital excellence and marital success will chase you pants down’

Congrats Croatia and England for treating us to a worthy Semi-Finals

Praise Fowowe


I honour you
Praise Fowowe
Premier Trainer- Family Systems Engineering Certification
Center For Sex Education and Family Life
Plot 14 Hilton Drive off Ogundana off Allen
Lagos Nigeria
The most important nation on earth is your family because it is the production factory of the society – Praise Fowowe
Our focus is to promote the dignity of humanity through a developed family system where the potential of everyone finds expression producing a culture that gives our world rest in service to God and Humanity. I am the one to call should you have any Family life issue you need to resolve
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