CNLP 390: Jon Acuff Interviews Toni and Carey Nieuwhof on How Their Marriage Almost Crumbled Under the Weight of Life and Leadership, Their Best Advice For Struggling Couples, and Toni’s Top Insights as a Divorce Attorney

New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff interviews Carey and Toni Nieuwhof about their relationship, how it almost crumbled under the weight of life and leadership, how they made it through, the best advice to struggling couples and on the insights Toni gained from her years practicing as a divorce attorney.

Toni shares insights on helping couples get through their hard times amicably from her new book, Before You Split: Find What You Really Want For the Future of Your Marriage.

Welcome to Episode 390 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey shares insights into making it three decades in marriage.

Guest Links

 Jon Acuff on Twitter | Toni Nieuwhof on Instagram | Toni’s Website

Episode Links

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Before You Split by Toni Nieuwhof

The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron

CNLP 320: Toni Nieuwhof and Dr. Rob Meeder: A Pediatrician and Lawyer Talk About the Reasons for the Rise in Childhood Anxiety, Beating Tech Addiction in Kids and Best Practices for a Thriving Marriage in a Busy Home

20 Honest Insights on Making it to 30 Years in Marriage by Carey Nieuwhof

Patrick Lencioni’s Working Genius Assessment

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1. Many couples end up regretting their divorce after going through the whole process

Staying married is extremely difficult for many couples, and that’s why divorce looks so appealing. During her time as a divorce attorney, many couples ended up telling Toni, “If I’d only known then what I know now, I would have worked harder to try to save my marriage.” So, if you are considering divorce, you might regret not trying everything you can to save your marriage.

2. The pandemic has polarized marriages, good or bad

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on so many people’s lives, but the jury is out on whether it has actually led to more divorces or not. Toni is noticing that marriages that were okay or good before the pandemic are mostly getting better. But, marriages that were struggling are actually getting worse.

3. Culture causes marriages significant damage by creating expectations that aren’t true or realistic

Your expectations going in could make or break your marriage. If you go in expecting a marriage that looks like everyone else’s Instagram accounts, you are setting yourself up for failure. If you want your marriage to thrive, expect to have to work, sacrifice and struggle as a team.

Quotes from Episode 390

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 390

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Get Before You Split Now!

“I didn’t sign up for this!”
“I can’t do this anymore!”
“That’s it – I’m done!”

Ever said or thought these things? Or, are you feeling disconnected, like you’re drifting apart?

For practical help on how to find what you really want for the future of your marriage, get Toni’s newest book, Before You Split today.

Together, we’ll show you some ways to leave your unhappiness behind instead of your spouse. Learn more today.


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Next Episode: Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni noticed that no matter how long or how well a leader leads, some things continue to frustrate almost every leader. Pat and his team came up with a new assessment called Working Genius designed to help every leader figure out what energizes and what drains them, and where their best contribution comes from. Pat explains all six types of Working Genius and how to use the insights to best position yourself and your team.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 391.

CNLP 390: Jon Acuff Interviews Toni and Carey Nieuwhof on How Their Marriage Almost Crumbled Under the Weight of Life and Leadership, Their Best Advice For Struggling Couples, and Toni’s Top Insights as a Divorce Attorney


  1. Thomas Savoy on April 18, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    This podcast helped me so much.
    I have been married for 41 years. I am an 8 like Carey on the Enneagram Assessment and my wife is a 5 like Toni.
    I was amazed at how similar our journey has been. Many of the points made in the podcast will be helpful for both now and the future of our relationship.

  2. Larisa on March 25, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Wow. So much of the conversation resonated with what I am currently going through in my marriage. I hope that by seeking therapy and reading the books my husband and I can find the love again.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 26, 2021 at 10:33 am

      I’m hoping for that for you as well! Glad to help!

  3. Bryn Joslin on January 12, 2021 at 5:19 am

    As someone who isn’t married I find both sides of this encouraging. I love hearing people who have been married decades say that it’s better now than ever. But I also appreciate hearing people say how hard their marriage was in the beginning. It’s reassuring to know that if there is ever problems that’s okay.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 12, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks so much Bryn!

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