In Defense of “Sticking It Out.”

RBM_RC12_geboMy last blog entry discussed cutting those out of your life who drain, exhaust, and are otherwise negative on a constant basis. While that course of action can be justified in many situations, there are also many relationships where it is better to stick it out. If there is someone who is going through a rough time (it can last for years), it does not necessarily mean that the relationship is doomed. Traditional marriage vows include the words “for better or worse” for a reason.

This blog post was the result of a conversation I had with my husband about the last blog post. He posed the question “Why is everyone always cutting things out of their lives all of the time… What if they actually stuck it out?” Another observation he had was that if a lot of people out there have so much to cut out of their lives, then perhaps they should stop getting attached to the wrong stuff to begin with. But that’s another topic for another blog post for another day…

Growing up, my parents were not Ward and June Cleaver. They did, however, stick it out through every single marital mishap, blunder, mistake and disaster. Believe me there were many. Some were small and others that were marriage killers, yet they held true to their vows that they made in Mexico back in 1958. “Till Death Do Us Part.” My mother, in the end of her days, mused to my dad how much she appreciated his staying by her side through thick and thin. My dad remarried several years later and again, he and his new wife stuck it out until the end of his days.

So much in our culture is disposable. I am having a hard time looking back as to when relationships became disposable. Perhaps it has always been like that, but now in the information age, we all know about it. All you have to do is pick up the latest newspaper or tabloid and find out which celebrity couple is having a divorce. Couples cite irreconcilable differences while the children learn from an early age that if it doesn’t work, it gets thrown away.

All relationships are work. It is important to make sure that you both are working in it. When one party has given up, it’s time to get outside help. Marriage counseling is a great start. If you think your relationship is doomed and your partner wants to help make things right, then the least you can do is give it a try. The worst that can happen is the relationship ends, which is what you expected in the first place. That brings up another aspect – if you are convinced that your relationship is over then you could be making a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your own thoughts and actions may be making it end without you knowing it, so when you reach that point really look inside and try to see if maybe you’re the one who needs to change their approach to the relationship. As the saying goes, “it takes two…”

Many people think they “fall in love” with another person who isn’t their spouse. Often, this new person has some quality or qualities that the married individual may find missing in their own relationship with their spouse.

Every relationship we are in is the result of a Soul Contract we made before coming here. When we are on the Other Side looking over the blueprint of our lives before we come here, we are in a state of ecstatic bliss. That being said, we pick the most human experiences we can have. Then when we find ourselves in our wonderfully frustrating, painful and human moments (they’re not always pretty), sometimes we break down and give up.

Keep in mind that if there is abuse in any relationship, I am not advocating for you to stay in that situation. By all means, get yourself to a safe place and get some help.

If your relationship is struggling, try this simple exercise to see if this brings you two closer. Take a moment if you can, to be with your spouse, or companion in a quiet space. Sit cross legged from each other and look into each others eyes for a whole five minutes. You may laugh, you may cry, you will most likely feel quite vulnerable. Embrace all of the feelings as you begin to witness each others soul. The eyes are the windows to the soul. You will begin to remember why you loved each other in the first place. If we all did this on a regular basis, perhaps more of us would stick it out.

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