Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage Yet!

Here are some things to consider before ending things

There have been a couple of times during my 38 years of marriage when trusted advisors said to me, “Don’t give up on your marriage yet! The best is yet to be, unless you give up and walk away.”

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Of course, in each of these cases, those who were advising me knew me well, and they also knew what a great match Tammy was for me. I occasionally need to be reminded that, no matter how upset I am about something, “It would be tough to do better and easy to do worse!”

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There are 2 “new” realities for married people today:

  • We long for real, lasting love
  • We are unwilling to remain in relationships where that love isn’t experienced

The results for many are:

  • Some have given up on having a loving, lasting, deep relationship, but are afraid to leave.
  • Some are deeply unhappy but don’t know how to make things better
  • Some have hit the relationship wall and want out.
  • Some sense a trace of love remaining love in their relationship, but they seriously miss the deep feelings of connection, love and joy

Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage Yet!

Here are 2 quotes to tuck away into your mind for those tough times that all couples face:

“To get divorced because love has died, is like selling your car because it’s run out of gas.”

“To give up on love while remaining married, is like keeping your car and refusing to refill your tank.”

Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage Yet!

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It can be really helpful to remember that marriages, like any living thing, go through stages. These stages each have strengths, weaknesses, and needed things about them. Each stage has at least one action item in order to get the most out of being in that stage.

Rita DeMaria, PhD discusses the different “stages” (or “places” or “times”) of marriage.  These may not follow in succession, but odds are you will experience them all at some time:

Passion Stage
You may be in the Passion Stage if your relationship is all about the two of you and the excitement, sex and intimacy you are experiencing.

Action: Strengthen your sense of “us” – make time for each other, leave work at work.

Realization Stage
You may be in the Realization Stage if you find you are beginning to get to know each other’s real strengths and weaknesses.

Action: Develop the important communication habits – listening and confiding – that are essential to expanding understanding and trust. Consider enrolling in a couple’s communication class.

Rebellion Stage
You may be in the Rebellion Stage when each of you is seeking to assert your self-interests and you end up having volatile – or hidden – power struggles.

Action: Learn how to negotiate and keep agreements – keeping promises builds trust. Identify areas of difference and start talking about them – one at a time. Don’t change the subject.

Cooperation Stage
You maybe in the Cooperation Stage if both you and your spouse seem more preoccupied with the kids, money, home and work and you start to feel like business partners more than lovers.

Action: Make your marriage a priority, de-stress and keep the passion alive. Set up a regular date night. Find a babysitter!

Reunion Stage
You may be in the Reunion Stage if you have an ‘empty nest’ and begin to have more time for yourself and for each other to renew your friendship and passion.

Action: Refocus on your marriage, get off autopilot & unpack any old baggage. Plan some special events that bring back good memories.

Explosion Stage
You may be in the Explosion Stage, which can happen anytime, if you are experiencing major career, health, parenting and family crises.

Action: Make use of emotional, physical and spiritual support for yourself, your spouse and your marriage. Pay attention to your physical and emotional health and well-being.

Completion Stage
You may be in the Completion Stage as stability and security reign and you enjoy each other and the life you have created.

Action: Look to create a new sense of meaning & purpose for yourselves & your marriage. Establish a special project that you will begin together.

Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage Yet!

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Jed Diamond says that there are five stages to a healthy, long-lasting relationship:

Stage 1: Falling In Love

Stage 2: Becoming a Couple

Stage 3: Disillusionment

Stage 4: Creating Real, Lasting Love

Stage 5: Using the Power of Two to Change the World

Jeff continues, “Like most people, I thought there were two stages, the ‘in love’ stage and the ‘deeply loving’ stage.”

  1. Too many give up at stage three.”
  2. “Everyone runs out of gas at Stage 3, but it doesn’t have to signal the end of the relationship.”
  3. “Disillusionment is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of a relationship that can be more satisfying than anything we’ve ever known.”
  4. “Staying in a relationship at this stage can feel like we’re dying, but we’re not.”
  5. “Stages 4 and 5 combine passion, great sex, deep love, exquisite intimacy, and powerful purpose.”

Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage Yet!

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So, the next time you start thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence think again.

I occasionally need to be reminded:

  • “Don’t give up on your marriage yet!”
  • “It would be tough to do better and easy to do worse!”

Maybe you need these reminders too?

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Sources:

http://www.smartmarriages.com/diane.sollee.html

http://menalive.com/

http://www.marriagedoctor.com/article-7stages-of-marriage.htm

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/dont-give-up-yet-5-things-to-consider-before-ending-your-relationship-wcz/

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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