3 Words That Will Change Your Marriage Forever

Over 500 years ago, Hernan Cortes took 600 Spaniard warriors on boats to the Yucatan Peninsula on a quest to conquer Mexico.  They arrived with very little in terms of weapons, armor or resources, but they had a very clear strategic direction.
Amazingly, it was 3 words that Cortes proclaimed to his men that ultimately changed the course of history for the entire New World – “burn the boats”!  Essentially, Cortes’ orders gave his men two options – die or ensure victory.  Retreat was not an option.  And fight they did.  Against incredible odds, Cortes and his men overtook Mexico.History will argue whether they actually “burned the ships” or if they were simply scuttled.  Whether they were burned or not, eliminating retreat as an option for the army established an unwavering commitment to each other and the mission at hand.

A Powerful Metaphor

Not only is Cortes’ mission an inspiring story of leadership and bravery, but also serves as a metaphor for how we might think about marriage.  With divorce rates at an all-time high and what seems to be a daily media blitz of celebrity marriages coming undone, modern day culture could use a dose of Hernan Cortes to solidify commitment.


Today is our 11th anniversary!  My wife, Lauri and I were married under glorious sunshine in Phoenix, AZ on November 29th – the same week as Thanksgiving.  We are double GRATEFUL this week!

I am on-my-knees thankful for how God blessed me with Lauri as my best friend, life partner, and the mother of our children.  To say I am a ‘lucky guy’ is truly the understatement of a lifetime.

Those 3 words that Cortes uttered to his men on that historic afternoon on the shores of Mexico have had an indescribable impact on our commitment to each other.

The image of our ships burning behind us as we embark on our life journey together has freed us to experience the winding path together with both feet forward and a strong hand to pull each other through the rough patches.

A Final Word

So, have you burned your ships?  Could this be the kind of hand-in-hand commitment and vision that we need to restore in modern day marriage marriage?

Perhaps the battles of life could be endured and conquered without the option of retreat?

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Founder Todd Garreston

With over 15 years of experience leading market share growth initiatives of top consumer brands in Fortune 500 and privately-held business environments, Todd Garretson advises and helps organizations identify new growth potential, craft strategy that moves people to action and enhance overall performance.

Having a passion for helping people and organizations to unlock dormant growth potential, Todd writes and speaks for audiences in three core areas: business growth strategy, leadership and personal / professional growth.

Residing in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Lauri, and their four children, weekends and free time are spent with family, coaching youth sports, and sharing his passion for fitness and nutrition.