TODAY   |  April 12, 2013

Gabrielle Reece: ‘Self responsibility’ is vital to marriage

Mother, author and former pro beach volleyball star Gabrielle Reece writes candidly about the struggles and highlights of her marriage. She tells Kathie Lee and Hoda you have to take personal responsibility in order to make you and your spouse happy in a relationship.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> gabrielle reece is one of the country's most accomplished athletes and has quite a few titles to her name.

>> she certainly does.

>> not only was she a volleyball champion and she's a fashion model, fitness expert and actress.

>> and now she's written a book. a book about marriage and motherhood and she's so candid about some of her own struggles along the way. it is called "my foot is too big for the glass slipper ." what a fantastic title, by the way.

>> it's not that clever. i have a size 12 foot. so --

>> gee, she does.

>> you're not supposed to look at my feet.

>> it's such a page turner, this book. i really like it, it's really personal.

>> it is.

>> we've all read lots and lots of books on relationships and marriages and divorce and they all tend to sound very much alike with the same kinds of advice. and yours is not like that. it really stands out.

>> i think for me, i was approached about doing this as a project and i thought if you're going to really do it then certainly you have to do it your own way, who you are. but try to be as honest without you know, kind of gratuitous, if you will.

>> because you are still married. so it's tough to write about the times when --

>> yes, but you have to reference things to give examples why you have that opinion. but again, i think sometimes sharing honestly but with you know, a little bit of privacy, and i try to make it more girlfriend talk.

>> it is.

>> instead of you should do this, versus well this is what i've discovered.

>> a lot of people when they hit a bump in their marriage or a big pothole just sort of throw in the towel and you thought about that, too, didn't you?

>> my lus and i were, we were married a very short time, three or four years at the time and we went through a big challenge. and we, we had actually considered divorcing and because he was polite in his own way, he said you know, can you file. and then we both realized, for a number of reasons that it was something worth working through. but you know what it is, too? it has to do with that you don't come with a skill set. and it's learning to move with your partner and around them and also realizing separately, i realized, too, that that's a big theme in the book is self-responsibility and no one -- no husband is going to come and make you happy. no one rescues you, it's your personal responsibility to make yourself happy and your partner, for that matter. think that was something that was important to learn. and as a woman, not take things so personal. we take things so personal.

>> and you're honest about the fact that when you did get back and had two children, you still struggled. you realize this is the person that i have the potential to be happy with for a long, long time.

>> right, and that's an important thing. when you have that opportunity with a friend or partner. you're fortunate, so it's worth it, it's a foundation of the things that are there. and i'm reminded, too, to try to have some fun.

>> well, good, we enjoyed visiting with you. and you're also going to be on "rock center" with brian williams tonight. and an excerpt from gabby's foot, "my foot is too big for the glass slipper " --

>> and i know i'm not supposed to say this but your husband is a hottie.

>> he walks around a lot without a shirt on, so that's nice.