Friday, March 4, 2011

Has your marriage failed?

I was married for 20 years and thought I had a good solid, marriage.  Beautiful kids, a hard working husband and that is all I needed.  Until one day, eight months ago my husband walked out on me, and my life fell apart. I was lost, in pain, no money, no home and no where to turn.  My life had no meaning and no joy.  Have you ever felt like that? Post your comments.


  1. EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning,
    you fell in love with your spouse. You
    anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and
    liked their idiosyncrasies.

    Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In
    fact, it was a completely spontaneous
    experience. You didn't have to DO anything.
    That's why it's called "falling" in love - because
    it's happening TO YOU.

    People in love sometimes say, "I was swept off my
    feet." Think about the imagery of that
    expression. It implies that you were just
    standing there; doing nothing, and then something
    came along and happened TO YOU.

    Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and
    spontaneous experience.

    But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria
    of love fades. It's the natural cycle of EVERY
    relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls
    become a bother (if they come at all), touch is
    not always welcome (when it happens), and your
    spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute,
    drive you nuts.

    The symptoms of this stage vary with every
    relationship, but if you think about your
    marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference
    between the initial stage when you were in love
    and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

    At this point, you and/or your spouse might start
    asking, "Did I marry the right person?" And as
    you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of
    the love you once had, you may begin to desire
    that experience with someone else. This is when
    marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse
    for their unhappiness and look outside their
    marriage for fulfillment.

    Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and
    sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But
    sometimes people turn to work, church, a hobby, a
    friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

    But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie
    outside your marriage. It lies within it.

    I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love
    with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY
    you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same
    situation a few years later. Because (listen

    SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous
    experience. It'll NEVER just happen to you. You
    can't "find" LASTING love. You have to "make" it
    day in and day out. That's why we have the
    expression "the labor of love." Because it takes
    time, effort, and energy. And most importantly,
    it takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to
    make your marriage work.

    Make no mistake about it. Love
    is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you
    can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed
    with your marriage.

    Just as there are physical laws of the universe
    (such as gravity), there are also laws for
    relationships. Just as the right diet and
    exercise program makes you physically stronger,
    certain habits in your relationship WILL make
    your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and
    effect. If you know and apply the laws, the
    results are predictable - you can "make" love.

    Marriage Fitness a step-by-step system for making
    and maintaining love in your marriage. And the
    program works for any marriage even if only one
    spouse does it.

    So what's your first step?

  2. Often we think an unhappy couple has only two options:

    1.Stay together and be miserable.
    2.Get a divorce.
    But there is a third option, and many couples successfully take this other road. In an exciting new study, couples participating in a national survey were asked to rate their marriage on a scale of one to seven, with one being very unhappy and seven being very happy. Those who rated their marriages a "one" had incredible turnarounds just five years later – if they stayed together. In fact, 77 percent of those giving their marriage a very unhappy "one" rated their marriage as a "seven" after five years.1 Was there some breakthrough therapy involved? No. In fact, many did relatively little – they just "stuck it out" and things got better.

    As mentioned earlier, another study found that about 60 percent of marriages that ended in divorce were not bad marriages, but average.2 They had average levels of positive interactions and average levels of conflict. Basically, these marriages were "good enough" but could be improved. Most marriages go through emotional ups and downs – times of great happiness and times of boredom and fatigue.

    To have good marriages, we need to ride out the "lows" and learn from those times so that the relationship can be strengthened. If your relationship is at a low point and you wonder what happened to the spark, there is good news. It's not too late to revitalize your relationship.

    What Makes Marriages Get Better?
    Researchers followed up on those couples who rated their marriages as unhappy at first and happy five years later. Here's what the couples told them were the reasons for the dramatic turnaround:3

    •Waiting. Since many couples have unhappy marriages due to outside pressures (like a job loss or the demands of young children), the passage of time changed those circumstances. Things just naturally got better again.
    •Working at it. Many of the problems in marriage are a result of poor communication. Some couples told the researchers they simply learned to take small steps – like listening to each other – which resulted in happier marriages. For example, husbands learned to compliment wives, and wives learned to encourage husbands.
    •Personal happiness/perspective change in one spouse. Sometimes, one spouse simply decided not to base all of his or her happiness on the mood of the other spouse. Instead, one spouse took up a hobby or simply made an attitude adjustment that allowed him or her to be more patient and accepting of the other.
    •Credible threat of consequences for bad behavior. Some of the marriages were initially very unhappy because the husbands were engaged in "bad behaviors" – out late drinking with the boys, infidelity or even occasional abuse.4 Just as Dr. James Dobson advises in his book Love Must Be Tough, these wives took firm action and let their husbands know they would not tolerate such behavior. The husbands changed.
    There are many ways to improve your marriage. Today, there are hundreds of tools focused on ways to build strong, healthy relationships. A few examples include weekend getaway-style marriage conferences by Family Life Today or Marriage Encounter, film series and seminars hosted by local churches under the title "Marriage Enrichment" and mentoring programs through local churches.

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