“Every moldy bread has it’s moldy cheese” – it’s a saying that my mom would constantly use, and one that Caribbean people know well. Meaning that there’s someone for you out there with the same values who would love you for you.
Marriage is tough! No if’s, and’s or but’s about it, and if you want to make it work, it’s something that together as a couple that you want to work hard towards. There’s going to be ups and downs and you remember those wedding vows you made, whether you made them in a church, at City Hall or even at a Las Vegas drive up window. Those vows, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part can sometimes suck the life out of you, making you wish that the death do us part come a whole lot quicker for that one other person, just not you. But how do you know when your marriage is truly over and it’s time to just part ways?
Most people tend to stay in a marriage because “the Lord doesn’t believe in divorces”, or “the children are going to suffer”. Don’t you think that the children are currently suffering watching the only parents they know walk around the house as strangers, not talking to each other, sleeping in separate rooms and living the single life? What example are you showing those kids? Wouldn’t you rather be happy and single than miserable and married?
I’m not saying that you should just throw in the towel and call it a day. Some marriages can be worked upon, and I would always suggest giving it a try before calling it quits. There are many ways you can do this. You can try to rekindle that love that you once had before in the past, and I’ll share with you how you can do so in a little while. You can try marriage counseling, and it has worked wonders for many a couple, but you have to be committed and willing to work with each other and enact change. Not just by saying “Oh I’m going to change”. Show and prove! So as promised, how can you rekindle the love that you once had?
1. Do random acts of love.
A “good morning how are you doing today?” text while you’re out and about can bring a smile to your loved one’s face. Buy flowers, (they cost about $5 at Walmart), a card or a letter telling them how much they mean to you, can help with your cause. If you’re not showing the person that you love them, why would they want to stay with you?
2. Show the Little Things Matter
The biggest problem a lot of married couples have these days is that they overlook the importance of the little things that make up a relationship. The glitz and glamour and the big gestures are all well and good, but they are not part of the daily grind of living with someone. You need to make daily life more pleasant by making sure you value the smaller and seemingly less significant things your partner does for you. Things like cooking, cleaning, washing, getting up with the kids in the morning, picking things up on the way home from work. These things matter and they make life easier.
So, it is important to try to look for ways of being able to show your appreciation for this. Something like writing a thank you note can help show your appreciation, especially when coupled with a gift. And it doesn’t even need to be anything big, it’s just the gesture that is important. This can have a profound effect, and could make a big difference to helping strengthen your relationship.
3. Take a trip together.
Even if it’s only for a weekend or just a day. Fill the car up with gas and just go for a drive. Start talking and keep it light. Don’t talk about the kids, or what the person did wrong. Just talk about how beautiful the day is, how was work, etc., and listen. Truly just listen. Sometimes that’s all they want and oftentimes your spouse just want that one on one time that can be difficult to put together. Take a few hours out of your busy schedule to spend some alone time with your spouse.
4. Put your family first.
Your family should always be your main priority and should come even before your job (in matters of emergencies) and definitely before your friends. So if your wife and husband wants to go out to watch a movie and you’ve already made plans with friends, cancel those plans or make them for another time. Show your spouse that they mean enough to you to put first.
5. Communicate openly.
This doesn’t mean argue! Express your feelings and let them know what you’re feeling. How will someone know that something they’re doing is bothering you if you won’t say it? Remember, unless your significant other is psychic, they don’t know what you’re thinking. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside can lead to resentment which then can lead into other things such as hatred. Be able to have a conversation and if it leads to an argument, be able to step away and come back. You don’t want to be arrested for Domestic Violence if it gets out of hand.
6. Enact Change.
This is quite possibly the most important step. If something is wrong in your relationship, first find out what that cause is. Maybe you’re not spending enough time together, maybe you’re always at work and the other person feels like they’re all alone. Ask for some time off and spend some QUALITY time with that other person. Maybe they think they’re not appreciated, show them that you appreciate them. Change the way you do things and be sincere about it.
There are things you might think you can’t forgive, for example, cheating, but everything is forgivable. I know a lot of people say “Oh, I’ll never forgive them if they cheated”, but if the person who cheated truly apologized and is sincere in their apology and is actively working towards change, then it’s ok to forgive. It might be difficult to forget, but you can forgive. And this is where you may also need counseling to help you both move on. How many times have you done wrong and have been forgiven? If you’re a Christian, think of how many times you’ve sinned and God has forgiven you? If you’re not a Christian, are you perfect? You’ve never done anything wrong in your past? Think about it!
If you truly can’t get past that and you truly want out, then I say do it, get out and try a bit of self love. Find yourself again after marriage. Get out there and do things that you’ve always wanted to do. A great website to meet like minded people like yourself is meetup.com. There you’ll meet people who share the same passion as you do. Join a biking club and go biking, join a hiking club and go hiking. There’s something for everyone there. Once you’ve found yourself again and start loving yourself once again, because an unhappy marriage can suck the joy out of your life, then you might want to reconsider dating again, if that’s something you want to do.
Some people decide that living the single life and enjoying the things they loved doing before is just want they’ve always wanted. Some decide that they need that companionship with another person and its time to start dating. You can do it the traditional way of meeting someone through a friend, or at a bar, etc, but there are also lots of dating apps out there, just do your research. A lot of people have met the loves of their lives on dating sites. Be sure that the person isn’t married or have a girlfriend, you don’t want to be “the other woman”.
There are many ways to save a dying marriage, but if you know deep down that you want out, that there’s no way that you want your marriage to work, then get out. Be happy and be single. If you have kids, remember, there are many single parents out there doing their thing. They are making it work and their kids are happy. Remember a happy parent means happy kids and our kids see and know more than we think they do. So make your decision. Would you rather be happy and single or miserable and married?