Recently, I have encountered too many saddened stories about couples getting divorced. Divorce is a strenuous and difficult process, however at times it is warranted and appears to be the best solution in various situations. However, since I am a strong proponent for marriage, the purpose of writing this article is to grasp the attention of those struggling in their marriage and instill hope in their relationship.
I understand and know too well that there are valid reasons for a couple to get divorced, but there are too many situations that in my professional opinion, give up too easily. It appears that the divorce rate continues to climb at an outrageous rate which has become normalized. Of course, there are exceptions when domestic violence is evident! Just as with any relationship, safety MUST be priority.
If you are not yet married and believe that you will finally feel happy after you get married, please take a step back and think about this. My husband and I have been married for nearly three decades, yes three decades and I can honestly say that marriage has not always brought us happiness. This doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other, it means that there have been numerous challenges and tribulations that we had to overcome. We haven’t always felt happy in our marriage, but the bottom line is that we never gave up on each other. Marriage is a holy sacrament that God places two people together to become one flesh. “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. The best way that I can describe marriage is that it is a roller coaster ride, so strap on your seatbelt because you’re in for the ride of your life. There will be ups, downs, and twists along the way, but the good news is that YOU will survive.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have seen hundreds of couples in my counseling office that have encountered numerous transformations in and outside of my therapy room. Many couples come into my office in deep despair about their relationship and as they resolve complicated issues, they find themselves in a vulnerable state and recognize that the one person they can count on is right in front of them. My point for this article is to not give up and be willing to put the work in your marriage to bring you joy and happiness. Let’s be real, just being married is not going to make you happy. It’s what you put into the marriage that will make you happy. Ask yourself this question, how many countless hours did you spend in your undergrad and graduate studies to acquire your dream career? Another question to ponder on, how hard do you work at your company to become successful and financially secure? How much work do you invest in your marriage? Is your marriage worth the work? Shouldn’t your marriage be much more important than your career?
If you have children, think about what you are role modeling for them with their future relationships. The way you treat your spouse is the way your son or daughter will treat their spouse. How do you think you will feel if your son or daughter belittles, yells, disrespects, their spouse?
Marriage Tips: First and foremost, start out your day with a loving statement to your spouse. Before your spouse leaves for work, give him/her a kind touch: hug or a kiss. Throughout your day, send your spouse love messages. At the end of your day, end your evening with a statement of appreciation. Here’s an example:
Morning: Good Morning honey, did you sleep well last night?
Goodbye: Give him/her a hug and say, “I hope you have a great day at work today, I’ll miss you”.
Daytime: Send a text message to your spouse saying “You’re on my mind today, love you”
Evening: Thank you sweetie for working hard for our family. You’re the best!
The bottom line is that each partner wants to feel valued, loved, and accepted. Please remember that the way you want to be treated is exactly the way your partner wants to be treated. “Do unto others what you would have them do to you”…Matthew 7:12.