i know of a handful of marriages that are really struggling right now. a couple of them could make it through the battle. a couple of them probably won’t. it’s just the way it is.
the fact that i’m sad about those marriages…or that i seem to have more hope than they do…doesn’t matter at all. it’s their deal. it’s their lives. i wish i could lay in front of the bus, but i can’t.
as i think about marriage tonight, the issues become pretty black and white to me. i hope this doesn’t come across too calloused.
marriages don’t fail because people are ignorant. marriages don’t fail overnight. marriages fail because bad decisions begin to outnumber good decisions.
it starts slowly. most of the time, it goes unnoticed. thoughtless responses. careless acts of self-centeredness. inconsiderate scheduling. insensitive reactions. a lack of sympathy here. a rash word there. alone, they mean nothing, really. but when they start to add up, they begin to chip away.
trust erodes. kindness is forgotten. thoughtlessness becomes the norm.
for a time, both are equally to blame. after a while, one wants the marriage more than the other…and the other has stopped caring.
the damage is done. the relationship has been redefined by months and years of bad decisions that seemed so innocent and harmless at the time. and once the foundation has been eroded, simple thoughtlessness is replaced a hardening of the heart… and barring a transplant, death is imminent.
i’ve seen it many times before. sadly, i will see it again.
so here’s my advice to you who are young and married: make right decisions. you’re not stupid. you know when you are doing things that hurt or frustrate your partner. so stop it. if you’ve already made a bad decision, talk about it and apologize.
rinse and repeat. everyday.
if you are deep into years of bad decisions and calloused behavior, there’s still hope. as long as you’re still together, change in your marriage can happen. if you have already developed a pattern of “going through the motions”, it won’t be easy. it definitely won’t be pretty. but there is help around the corner.
you just need to throw up the white flag.
somebody will see it.