Tuesday, May 06, 2008
"Can MY Marriage Be Saved?"
The reason this question is so important is because you really don't care if marriages in general can be saved. You want to know about yours!
In fact, this is an incredibly complicated question. Plenty of marriage advice is out there, some helpful and some hurtful. But in the end, your marriage is where "the rubber hits the road."
First, let me say that there are marriages that I believe should NOT be saved. Marriages that involve abuse are those marriages. When there is physical abuse, I cannot support working on the marriage. It is time for the abuser to get help on his or her own.
Unfortunately, abuse rarely ends, and almost always escalates, placing the abused at risk of injury and death. So, I draw a strong line there: abusive relationships are not ready for intervention.
Many people expect me to then place marriages where an affair occurs in the same category. I don't. In fact, the majority of marriages that suffer an affair do survive. Since barely a majority of all marriages survive, most people are surprised by that. However, in a marriage where an affair occured, often, the marriage becomes stronger after the affair.
So, my belief is that the vast majority of marriages CAN be saved. That is not the same as WILL be saved. Unfortunately, people are stubborn creatures, often unwilling to make changes, forgive, or move forward. We end up "cutting off our noses to spite our faces," as my mother used to say.
So, let's ask this instead: should you try and save your marriage?
That is a much more manageable question, because it is actually in your control. You cannot MAKE your marriage stay together. As I often say, it takes two to make a marriage, but only one to take it apart.
While you can't control what ultimately happens to the marriage, you can make a choice to work on the marriage. And I have never met someone, failed marriage or not, that is sorry he or she tried to save their marriage. When they have tried and failed, they can at least look in the mirror and be proud that they put forth the attempt.
It is easy and tempting to just give up and quit. But to make an effort, to work on the relationship, that is the challenge. As you work on your relationship, you are guaranteed to learn more about yourself and your strengths. As you read advice, you learn about relationships.
Your marriage MAY be saved. Your choice is only to do your part, to make the effort, so that wherever the relationship ends, you can feel good about where you are and who you are.
So change the question ("can it be saved" to "what can I do") and you will come out much better.
More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, available by CLICKING HERE.