Thursday, June 15, 2006

How to Stay Married

It pains me to see so many people going through a divorce. Two people who once loved each other, now tear each other apart. Two people who once had everything in common now stand in complete opposition to everything. No one wins, everyone looses and if there are children in the mix, they lose even more.
What really causes this vast transition?
I have developed this philosophy that I often pass along to young couples. It comes down to doing things together. You need to establish positive memories of sharing and caring. I paint a picture for them.
Marriage is tying a knot. Every time you do things together you tie another knot. These knots are what bind you together. Sharing in all things can tie a series of knots.
The problem comes down to this: everything else in life is trying to untie those knots. Well meaning and not so well meaning family members will make demands that will untie knots. Career activities will often untie knots. Even your own children will work to separate and untie your knots. The ultimate goal is to tie more knots then those who are diligently working to untie them.
You may have a problem if you look forward to doing activities separately instead of together. Subtle things like "Guys/Girls Night Out" or stopping off for a drink after work, slowly work at untying a knot. A subtle positive activity could be as simple as going grocery shopping or taking a walk with your Significant Other--namely your Spouse. The significant part should be foremost in your mind during these minor activities.
Relationships are an investment. Your wife/husband is the biggest investment in your life. You put everything into this person from surface stuff to what is deep down. In return this person has invested as heavily in you. The returns on this investment include a partnership built on trust, intimacy, friendship, compassion and loyalty. Each of you will look for ways to please and uplift the other, tying knots and increasing the investment.
If you are reading this and think that you are down to your last knot, perhaps you need to step back and think about what you can do to tie another knot. Set up a date with your spouse. Plan a local activity that includes conversation with your spouse. We found a local waterfall as the ideal place to sit, talk and share. We still reflect on this fondly even though we have moved from the area. No need for lavish events that cost vast amounts of money. The goal is to spend quality time with each other. Staying local is also preferred as these activities can be repeated and help strengthen the knot. Local activities reduce planning and preparation and allow you to focus on each other. Share each others past childhood memories and family dynamics. These will help you understand your partner's hopes and dreams and how they became the person you love. Conversations of the past generally come easy and will allow you to build toward conversations of the future. Your daily existence becomes a safe haven when you are working together toward a future that serves your combined hopes and dreams.
Does this mean I can't do anything away from your spouse? Of course not. You are free to do things separately but your goal should be to do as much together as reasonably possible. When you do things apart you should share the highlights with your loved one so they gain a better understanding of who you are.
Real issues and serious problems may need counseling to work them out. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice; if it really matters, it is worth every effort.
I know that my wife is the best and greatest thing that has happened to me. I want everyone to have this same level of love and commitment in their relationship with their spouse. As she sits beside me, she reminds me that she feels the same about me. Now that is a loving and committed relationship!

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Blogger Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Thank you very much for your comments on one of my recent blog entries. You are right, having a good marriage does take commitment and dedication from both spouses. It is wonderful to be in a loving and positive relationship. My husband and I make sure that we make time for each other whenever we can. It is wonderful to see that you and your wife also share a beautiful marriage. Our relationships give hope to others who feel that this is not possible.

2:59 PM, October 03, 2009  

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