This week I have been blessed by being able to meet a lot of new people socially. I get to the privilege of hearing a lot of people’s stories. As it does not matter who sits beside me at a party, it generally turns to their life story. This week I heard four different marriage stories, all but one ended in divorce. There was such sadness and the sorrow that if they had only done something different, there could have been happiness.
I work with unhappy couple’s who want to stop fighting with their spouse and love again. The one thing that always amazes me is that its hard to help people understand that it is about living your own marriage. What I mean by that is that your marriage can be anything you want it to be and you just have to start living the belief in what it could be. Don’t worry I heard each of you put in the but. But mine is different. But I’ve tried everything. But, but, but.
Marriage does not have to be fights or cold silences. What it does have to have, is two people who are willing to accept responsibility for their marriage and live it. My colleague, Rachel Koetsier, just wrote on Doing it Scared. The concept applies here too as this is the scariest thing you will probably ever do. People with great marriages do not get it “right” all the time. What they do is open themselves up to vulnerability. They allow the other spouse to see who they really are, when they screw up and when they have accomplished something great. They also let the other one see when they are afraid and when they feel like they are not enough.
What has happened is that we are a society who is scared right now. The recent deaths on the news remind us that there is evil right outside our house. We in turn live the belief that it is scary to let another person in because they might hurt me or reject me. So, I must be strong and soldier on so no one, especially my mate can see the weakness. Cause the worst thing that can happen is if he or she thinks I depend on them because I can do this on my own.
Which is exactly what is happening, we end up with a society of brokenness. Broken marriages, relationships, hurting children and most of all regrets. But we all did it on our own!
Take a chance to live your marriage. Change the belief from my marriage is lacking, hurting, doesn’t meet my standards, into my marriage is caring, loving, two people facing the world together. As you live those beliefs, your marriage will evolve into that and loneliness will be a memory of the past.
If you need help altering the course of your marriage, we are here to help.
Trish Pauls, MA RP