Today we have a guest post from the Multi Tasking Mama . I love to read and follow her blog and asked her to participate in my Marriage Advice From The Future posts. With marriage you take the good with the bad and the ugly. It’s important to talk about these things and I think you will find this post to be inspiring.
When asked to guest post I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about. Being married for twelve years (next month) gives a gal a lot of fodder to cover J. But, as often happens when I turn something, such as my writing, over to God the topic became obvious through things going on in my personal life.
Several of my close personal friends are experiencing difficult times in their marriages. It is so hard to watch friends in pain, especially since it reminds me of challenging times Mike and I faced throughout our marriage. For anyone to profess that marriage is easy and fun all the time is perpetuating a lie. Marriage is work, work well worth it but work nonetheless.
When the concept of separation or divorce is introduced to a marriage, particularly during hard times, it changes the dynamic of the relationship. All of a sudden a relationship that is based on “forever” has been given an Opt out option. Please don’t do this to your marriage. Every challenge, every disagreement needs to occur within the forever context. Knowing that no matter what (and obviously I am not writing a post about abusive relationships) you and your spouse are in this for the long haul and that promise needs to be in the forefront of your minds at all times.
Please realize that marriages, especially the content and committed ones, will (and have) experience painful, difficult, I wish I wasn’t married to this person times. We are all human, we all make mistakes, we all have bad days. Successful marriages are the ones that allow the other the space to make those mistakes, have those bad days and love them anyway.
Mike and I have faced some incredibly difficult times in our marriage. As a matter of fact because we were so young when we married (I was 18) our marriage was doomed from the start, according to statistics. And, we did not come from families that modeled appropriate relationships either. We have learned through attending conferences, reading books, finding couples to mentor us and prayer. We have also learned what not to do by realizing that it didn’t work well. And, we have made our commitment to each other, NO MATTER WHAT, that we are in this thing together.
Make your relationship a priority. Date your spouse, listen to your spouse, make your spouse’s needs more important than your own. Then, when those difficult times arrive (and they will because this is real life) you will have a solid foundation to come back to when the storm has passed. Please keep the concept and word “divorce” out of your relationship vocabulary.
I take a lot of offense to this. While I wholeheartedly agree that your marriage/relationship should take priority in your life, I don’t agree that everything can be worked out. And I certainly don’t think that you should “make your spouse’s needs more important than your own”—no one should take more priority to you than you.
Of course, I’m with you about not throwing out the word “divorce” as a threat in an argument, I don’t agree that all marriages can get through the bad times. I got divorced two years ago (I was only 27). If I hadn’t made this very brave and difficult decision, I would still be living with a man who did drugs behind my back and invited hookers over when I wasn’t home. I left my house with only what I could fit in my car and moved in with a friend. I lost everything—my husband, my home, my two dogs. Everything. It wasn’t the easy way out. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever been through in my life. That being said, I never, ever think, “Wow, I wish I was still in that relationship” or “Man, I wish I didn’t have a wonderful boyfriend now.”
Marriage, and relationships, for that matter are not that cut and dry. While I applaud anyone for trying to help make the relationships of the world better, you are sharing advice based on YOUR MARRIAGE. Everyone’s dynamic is different. You (all of you out there) are important people who deserve the best life you can have. It’s up to you to figure that out and to be at peace with your choices.
I agree with you Nik….there are some situations that are deal breakers and i certainly think that yours was a deal breaker! I had a friend in a similar situation and I am so happy she is out of that marriage. No one should have to live with that! I think what the guest poster was saying is for people who are going through a “rough” patch for whatever reason need to really think twice and put in an effort before throwing in the towel….Certainly not in any sort of emotional, physical or mental abuse from their partner should a person feel that they should “work it out”.
I hear you on that, Jen. I do think divorce is a cop out for some. I guess the best thing is to take it (and life in general) one day at a time and do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do!
Nik-sorry you took offense but I was pretty clear that what I was writing did not apply to abusive situations. Sorry if you misunderstood. I approach the “putting your spouses needs before your own” as an act of selfless love and thankfully I am married to someone that puts my needs first- a winning situation and the way I believe marriage was designed to work.
Tips to save marriage relationship are as follows. If your marriage is in crisis, don’t show your partner that you’re panicking. Showing desperation will make them feel suffocated and will push him or her even further away. Never beg or plead with your partner to get them to return. You’ll then feel humiliated when they don’t respond to your pleas and feel your self esteem drop. If they want space, give them space. Spend time doing those things that make you feel strong and good about yourself. If your partner is aggressive towards you, do not lash out in return. Be calm and in control and if you portray this attitude, you will begin to feel this attitude. Finally and most importantly, you have to realize that you have a choice. Either reacts to the situation you’re in or change your behavior! Don’t focus on trying to change your partner’s behavior but focus on changing yours.