Can you imagine this? Falling in love … staying in love … falling out of love … and then falling in love all over again to the same person you have loved before?
But what happens if the love that used to be there is gone? What if you don’t fall in love all over again?
Separation and/or Divorce – To many people, this is the answer! This is the best way out of a marriage that no longer is. In today’s society, the counsel to warring couples is to separate or get a divorce and spare the children the trauma, the heartache, and the psychological damage which results from seeing parents fight against each other. Many strongly believe that it is far better to end a destructive relationship and live a new life free from each other; a life with a promise of peace and better days ahead.
But Are These Two the Only Solutions to the Problem?
Statistics show that separated and/or divorced individuals almost always face similar problems and go through 2 or 3 divorces in their lifetime. Sadly, most end up, in the end, alone. Studies also show that children out of these broken marriages are at least 50% more likely to get a divorce than those from an unbroken home. This is according to Penn State Prof. Paul Amato who is a nationally renowned expert on parent-child relationships. According to him, when both spouses come from divorced families, the odds of divorce are 200% higher.
Some of you may ask: what if the relationship is doomed to fail? What if the conflict is really beyond settlement? What if there is abuse in the home? Experts describe this type of situation as “high conflict” – and in such situations, divorce is seen as the most practical way out.
How about those who want out of the marriage because “one fell out of love” … or “the spark is no longer there” … or “it’s just not like what used to be” … What if one is no longer happy?
I remember a song by Deana Carter with these lyrics …
Look at me, I’m in a place
I never thought I’d be
Don’t have the strength to fight anymore
Or a reason not to leave
So tell me why I still keep holding on
To something I just cannot see
What makes you stay
When your world falls apart?
What makes you try one more time
When it’s not in your heart?
At the end of your rope
When you can’t find any hope
You still look at him and say
I just can’t walk away
Tell me, what makes you stay?
Indeed, what should make one stay?
Here’s one truth that I know – love is like all living things. It needs proper nourishment to grow and bloom. Could it be that somehow, neglect, often unintentional, caused the “death” of love?
Try A Little Harder!
If the marriage situation is kind of existential, and this is described as a condition where the challenge is more on the quality of life rather than a violation of trust, most marriage counselors admonish couples to stay together and try very hard to work things out, beginning with marriage counseling.
Accentuate the Positive
There is a wise counsel that says “Remember that you can always find good in everyone as long as you will but look for it!”. Try to think about the good qualities of your spouse … the very reason you fell in love with him or her in the first place. If you find it hard at first, try harder! It works! It really does … and before you know it, you’ll feel a lot better … and things will get better!
Fall In Love Again
You married each other because you “fell in love” some time ago; and maybe, somewhere along the line, you “fell out of love”. Why did this happen? Reasons can be aplenty. Suffice it to say that love does not just die by itself; neglect is usually the cause. Many married couples fail to nurture or nourish the relationship, not necessarily intentionally, but maybe because little did they realize that love is a “living thing”; it needs to be nurtured to flourish and bloom.
“Fall in love again” with each other – this is the counsel of the Lord. How? Maybe you can begin by taking a step back and re-evaluating your relationship, more on what you have not done – not what your partner failed to do. Then, resolve to do more and be more; in becoming a better spouse or partner. The key is doing all that you can do, and making God your partner in working at your relationship. At first it may not yet work as you would want, but in the long run, as you consistently do your part, things will get better. Your partner will see the change in you; the new and better you.
That will hopefully bring in a new leaf into your marriage …
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominicci /FreeDigitalPhotos.net