I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Once a couple hits their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s – something changes. WE change.
We’ve lived some of life. We’ve seen what we’ve gotten out of life and what we still want. Sometimes we grow disillusioned with our spouses and where we are in our life. We look out “there” and see what we think are greener pastures.
It can happen so easily. So quickly. We’ve been with our spouses long enough to know their flaws. To realize how human they are. We see that they aren’t as perfect as we once thought they were. But then, they see the same thing in us.
We start hanging out with the girls (or the guys) and we like the freedom. We like the looks and attention that we might get when we are out and about in town. So then we start looking at our home life. We take things and highlight them in our minds making the problems bigger in our hearts and minds than they otherwise might really be.
We decided we want out. After all, we only have so much life left and ours just isn’t going in the direction we want it to go.
It breaks my heart.
I’ve witnessed this on many levels with many different friends. I see the kids struggle and grapple with a parent’s decision. One that they see is wrong. And I see a spouse struggle wondering why they weren’t good enough. They feel like a failure and begin to doubt and struggle with everything about themselves.
Our marriages are priceless. They are treasures. When we invest 10 or 20 years into something, it’s worth fighting for.
When we choose to abandon a spouse, a relationship, a LIFE built together – we choose to abandon part of ourselves. For when we got married, we became “one.” Part of who we are is forever wrapped up in the other person.
Marriages have lulls. They have times where neither person seems to understand the other or communication seems to just be “off.” But these times are normal. Sometimes even cyclical. You don’t give up on your child when they are going through a rebellious stage or a rough patch, so why would you give up on your spouse? Yourself?
Nothing out “there” is better than investing, nurturing, and growing what you have at home. Yes, your spouse may have issues. YOU have issues. You can choose to love someone through those issues, or in spite of them, and find something richer, deeper, and more satisfying than any temporary satisfaction you find outside of your marriage.
Stick it out. Hang in there. Regrets often come more from bailing out on a commitment than they ever come from staying the course.
Your marriage CAN get better. But not if you sail alone. Don’t give up on it or yourself and you’ll save everyone involved a lot of heartache and grief. For even if you do find something “better” out there? Trust me, some day you’ll discover they too have flaws and humanness that can’t be avoided and you’ll be right back where you started.
The temptation to step out from your home life is a lie. A trap. Don’t fall for it. Or you just might find that you’ve ruined not only the lives of very dear people, but your own as well.