Thursday, November 4, 2010

The perils of marriage.

I was reminded today by a friend of the perils of marriage.  I am, myself, in the wonderful stages of the promising beginnings...the time when you still remember being alone, wondering if your soulmate existed, if you were destined to be alone forever.  I was happy alone...don't get me wrong...I wasn't just looking for any old person to keep me company...and I did remember what it felt like to be in an unhealthy relationship and I certainly would never want that again...but I'm MUCH happier with someone that complements me and my personality and I do look forward to spending the rest of my life with that person.  I do still remember what it looks like to imagine living as a single unit in this world for the rest of your existence.  No matter how much work a marriage takes, I still choose to try.

HOWEVER, what happens when you no longer remember what it was like to be alone?  When you start to take your soulmate for granted?  These are the questions that keep me up at night and as I watch some of my closest friends reach this point and their marriages start to faulter...why I feel it is my job to remind these couples of how lucky they are.  I watched my own marriage fail...and although we were certainly not right for each other, it did give me a flavor of the fine line between a relationship functioning ok and a couple that is so resentful that they lose their way and end up hating each other.  To the people I love out there that were lucky enough to find their soulmate in this world...please remember the love you felt for this person before the stressors in life came along.  Remember that although they may be causing you pain in some way, they started from a place of love...that they are a good person...and that you both deserve the love that you have for each other.  It is important to find that again.  Do what it takes.  Go to counseling where they will force you to open pandora's box, talk about the things you have ceased discussing, and to remember how much you love each other and appreciate each other.  Try to find your place of love again because coming from this side of things, the beginning, it feels REALLY good to love and be loved and it feels REALLY awful to watch your marriage disintegrate, leaving you alone and floundering in this world.

I had no choice but to end my marriage, but unless your spouse is doing something really really awful that you cannot look beyond, save it.  Cherish it.  Find the place of love again.  Don't wait until things are so bad that you have no choice.  Rescue it before the flame has burned out.  A little bit of work now is worth saving you from how bad things can get later.  Don't be embarrassed to say, "We need help.  We need a third party to shake us from this bad pattern."  There is no shame in it.  You deserve a healthy relationship and you deserve to be loved.  Your significant other is the one that will give you that love.  He has just lost his way as you have lost yours.  Give each other the benefit of the doubt.  As my Nana said today, "With all the disabilities your Grandfather has now, I have to focus really hard and use a lot of patience to support him with even more love than I ever did before."  She knows what it takes to keep things going.  When she gets frustrated, she puts more love out there, loves him more ferociously than she did before, and she knows that it is worth it because of the love he has for her in turn.  They respect each other beyond the annoyances and pity resentments.  They know that the history created between them is worth its weight in gold and that they are soulmates through thick and thin.

So, to all those couples out there that are feeling the strain.  Know that I am thinking of you and wishing only the best for you and your loves...but that I also hope you step up to bat and fight for your marriages.  I can't imagine all of you floundering out there alone.

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