( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Greg and Cheryl Clarke Provide Help to Struggling Couples
ENSPIRE Contributor: Alexandra Rivera
Greg and Cheryl Clarke are also known as The Couple Motivators specialize in motivating couples to thrive and grow in their own relationships. They have a weekly podcast where they continue to share relationship tools that help couples learn how to communicate through proper communication skills. The Clarkes currently have a book out called, The Power of the 4 A’s, about how they used the 4A’s to take them from contemplating divorce to thriving in their marriage.
The Clarkes have been together for almost 30 years and after going through a rough patch they even contemplated divorce. After refusing to quit they took matters into their own hands. They then made it their mission to create a place for couples to learn how to take control and be able to impact their world. Their goal is to motivate couples to grow a profitable business without having to sacrifice marriage, family, or fun. They helped save over 100 couples and their businesses whose sales increased by 40% and their relationships could grow stronger with the Clarkes’ coaching.
ENSPIRE chatted with the Clarke’s in a recent interview.
What are the 4 A’s and how do you effectively use them?
Both: The 4As is a method that teaches couples exactly how to build and cultivate a thriving and intimate relationship. The 4 A’s stand for Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection, and Agreement. We wrote a book called, “The Power of The 4 A’s” that gives hands-on exercises and practical knowledge on navigating through applying the 4 A’s.
Greg: The 4 A’s principles are very paramount to our experience. The book, the “Power of the 4 A’s”, is our picture and actualization of what we had to do as a couple. So when you recognize the self-acceptance, the affection, the appreciation, and everything that leads to that agreement piece, you start to understand that not only is it something that is a great tool or a great chess of information, it’s something that we feel empowered to implement every single day! There will be breakdowns or issues in relationships, and you can always bring the 4 A’s back into the realm and the light. Therefore, you need to use at least one of the 4 A’s every single day of your life.
Cheryl: Just to piggyback off of Gregory, the “Power of the 4 A’s,” was really birthed out of our pain. We tell everyone that we are a walking intervention because our story helps to develop techniques that other couples are able to learn from. We are an example of what to do and what not to do in relationships so that others can have a balanced relationship.
What are some of the key issues seen with struggling couples?
Greg: Money, money, money, and most times, after that, comes intimacy. The issue could be a lack of intimacy or money or too much of it. Money issues can lead to issues with intimacy because, without enough financial resources, relationships can go left or right. Once we are having sessions with the couples, we break down the issues even further. Sometimes we discover that there are other underlying issues, like a spouse not feeling appreciated. In our sessions, we are an open book and don’t try to portray a “perfect picture.” Our authenticity is what allows us to impact the lives of those we encounter.
Cheryl: Besides the issues Gregory mentioned, I would say trust and communication. When you lose trust in the relationship, it is very challenging to get it back. If you have poor communication skills, it makes it that more challenging to gain trust back. When a couple can learn how to communicate with each other they can be more expressive. When a partner isn’t able to express themselves, it can cause them to feel unsafe. It’s hard to be intimate with someone you don’t feel safe with. We believe intimacy starts outside the bedroom. As partners, it’s natural to have internal thoughts and questions, especially as your relationship grows, like; “Can I still trust you with my heart, my money, my secrets, any and everything?“
Did the struggles you faced in your own marriage drive you to want to help others?
Both: Since starting our first business in the basement and the success of our several companies, it hasn’t been that long ago that we felt stuck and disappointed. All of our efforts were going nowhere. We had failed miserably in several ventures! We did what many people would have done in these situations: invested a lot of money, time, and energy into different opportunities that just left us on the verge of bankruptcy.
We had foreclosed homes, repossessed cars, a mountain of credit card debt, and a draining bank account. Everything around our life was getting tougher! Greg had been laid off from his position, and we were struggling to provide for our family. We were feeling frustrated, and miserable, and we contemplated divorce!!! Yes, divorce! Dissolving the relationship was on the table, but we refused to quit! We realized we had to take matters into our own hands. Ultimately, we made it our mission to create a place for couples to learn how to take CONTROL of their income, and create an IMPACT in their immediate world.
What can new listeners expect to hear in your podcast?
Greg: Well, they can expect me to be a little rambunctious, a little crazy, and a little off-centered. The reason for that is that I have found that God has a sense of humor, if he didn’t we wouldn’t have comedy. As much as we are faith-centered and distributing information for couples, I like to bring a lighter, jovial side, and Cheryl reels me back in when needed. You will find a good balance between comedy and seriousness on our podcast, The Couple Motivators on YouTube. Overall, viewers will get to hear from a couple that is in love and shares a space for other couples to grow and be impacted as well.
Cheryl: Just to add a little caveat, we want to be a model couple for people. I think that many people like us didn’t have a role model to look at besides ‘The Cosby Show,’ when we were growing up. I am not sure what everyone looks at now, except for maybe some things on social media, so we want to be a voice that advocates for marriages and relationships and provides tips on how to move through challenging times as a couple.
What advice would you give to your past selves when struggling with your marriage?
Greg: If I was to talk to my younger self, I would say not to be so introverted and to allow yourself to know that your voice matters. Now the ups and downs and rollercoasters I would do all over again with this young lady, but to recognize that some of our challenges I may have contributed to by not having a voice.
Cheryl: For me, I would say slow down and be present. I was so busy being busy and trying to get things done that I didn’t slow down and smell the roses. I would say, pull on the cheeks more and hug longer. We have six wonderful adult children, but I only have pregnancy photos from two of them, the first and the last child. To all the young wives, partners, and mothers out there, slow down and enjoy every moment.
Greg and Cheryl Clarke are trying to help couples overcome the challenges of money, trust, and communication. Using a strategy of the Four A’s they hope couples can find the drive they need to grow their own relationships instead of ending things for good. The Clarkes are hosting a Valentine’s Day Comedy Show on February 11 and you can find more information about the event on their website.