‘Til Death (or Drama) Do Us Part

BY: - 14 Aug '14 | Marriage

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As newlyweds, I think it’s important for us to take it upon ourselves to put in the work to continue to build on the pre-marital counseling my wife and I decided to get.  It’s important to us that we are constantly thinking of ways to continue to work on our marriage, even though it is fresh and new.  That said, I was in a group that we attend with other married couples and one of the discussion questions for the day was “How does society look at the part of our vows which says ‘til death do us part?”  I want to address that question here, because it’s an important question to consider in the context of a marriage.

Options, or Lack Thereof

When we took our vows, the phrase ,‘til death do us part, was in the vows.  For us, that removes options to do anything other than stay married.  There is no alternative other than working through our problems, issues and challenges to get to a better tomorrow.  Society, in recent years, has implemented divorce as an option.  It’s important to note: once you consider divorce as an option, your marriage is already threatened.

I saw a quote recently that read “if the grass is greener on the other side, water your grass.”  That’s a great way of saying work on your marriage, and remove anything else as an option.  If someone’s life is at stake or other extremes, divorce would have to be considered.  By and large, this is not the case in most marriages.  Many people that I talk to would consider divorce because they are unhappy.  One of my early questions when I have conversations where people are unhappy is, “have you expressly communicated what makes you happy and how to provide that happiness?”  So many people, both men and women, have not had an open conversation on what happiness looks like for them.

Happiness is only one criteria.  There are many other things that can jeopardize a relationship if there has not been clear communication.  It is extremely important to note before the wedding that there are no options.  If you can profess ‘til death do you part in the vows, you have to understand the magnitude of the promise and you must be willing to keep the promise you made to your spouse, regardless of the situation.  The vow does not say, “Until death do us part, unless I decide it’s time to consider a different option.”  Honor your spouse and your commitment to your relationship by never allowing any option besides building a better marriage.

Drama

The reason we often consider other options is because of drama.  There are examples of people who feel that they are uncomfortable, unhappy, or things just aren’t working in their favor, so they need to get out of a marriage.  Let me be the bearer of bad news, drama is going to appear in your relationship.  You may not start it, may not even have anything to do with it, but some form of drama is coming.  The drama I see as a coach is often worse than the drama you see on reality shows.  The great thing is, all drama is fleeting if you are willing to put in the work.  It could be an unwelcomed opinion of a parent, infidelity, unemployment, irresponsibility or any number of little things that want to infiltrate your home and mess up your situation—they will all eventually run their course.

The ultimate decision is how you choose to handle the drama.  Even when you or your spouse cause the drama, if you stand firm that “we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to work this out” then you are remembering and honoring your vows.  Whatever the situation, if you make a commitment that there is no alternative but to stay married and no amount of drama is going to get me out of this marriage, what you are really saying to yourself, your spouse and the world is: I am always going to work to make our marriage better and make our marriage last.

I take the words “Until death do us part” to really mean “I promise and choose to love you forever, no matter what may come to pass.”  Forever is a long time, but when you get married, you agree that’s what you want, that’s what you choose and you are 100% committed to seeing it through.

BMWK – What does “til death do us part” mean to you?

Want professional help with your marriage for a fraction of the price? Learn how to prepare for and overcome life’s challenges in your marriage. Get the tools you need to turn your marriage around. Click here to find out how from the country’s top African American marriage experts.

About the author

Jay Hurt wrote 85 articles on this blog.

Jay Hurt is a Relationship Coach, columnist and author of the book, The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship (http://9tenetsonline.com/about-the-book ). Jay’s focus is working with people who want to design better relationships and get more out of life!

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One thought on “‘Til Death (or Drama) Do Us Part

  1. Tara S.

    I love this article because I relate so much to it. However, I have been considering divorce. I didn’t before of course and we haven’t been married long. There was a one time incident where I was unfaithful to my husband and he said we could work on things especially because we are bringing a child into the world. He became very rude though and it has become very evident that he has no interest in fixing the issue. He said he does not trust me and therefore he doesn’t see it working.

    I just feel like if one person is trying and admitted their mistake and has asked for forgiveness but the other partner does not want to work on the marriage…then divorce may ultimately be the answer. Would I be wrong in feeling that way?

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Why Your Independent Attitude May Not Be So Sexy to Your Spouse

BY: - 14 Aug '14 | Marriage

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When I was growing up, I lived in a neighborhood where single moms ruled. The majority of my childhood friends and I had that in common. However, we didn’t miss a beat. It never seemed to matter to us that there weren’t very many two-parent households. I would say that image played a major role in the future relationships we would create.

Some of us carried into our adult lives certain behaviors and ways of thinking. For me, I felt as though men were obsolete. It would be nice to have one, but I didn’t need a husband to raise a family, again, so I thought. I began the early phases of my marriage with this attitude. I was nonchalant, didn’t communicate well and struggled to manage any conflict that surfaced in my marriage. I could be in shutdown mode for days. Of course I loved my husband, but my actions could’ve been perceived as otherwise. My independent thinking, feeling like I didn’t need him, or that I could easily raise our child on my own, was detrimental to my relationship and me.

Most of us pride ourselves on our independence. We love the sense of power that comes along with being independent. By the way, It’s defined as freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others. As adults it may feel satisfying not having anyone to answer to. Being able to do exactly what makes you feel good, anytime you want, without considering anyone else, is true power, right? Spending your money how you see fit, without hesitation or having to think about the future or another person, while not asking anyone for anything is real living, correct? Not requiring a partner to help you make certain decisions or only relying on self, is pretty sexy isn’t it? Not so fast.

There’s no crime in being independent, in fact you should be. However, if your spouse begins to feel disposable or unwanted, what benefit is there for them to stay in the relationship?

I’ve seen far too many couples struggle with properly blending their lives together. So many of us are use to fulfilling our own needs and not expecting nor trusting someone else to care for us correctly. We create these negative scenarios in our minds of being hurt if we sacrifice just a little bit of our desire to do it all on our own. Most couples aren’t really sure what it means to need and support one another. In love, it’s important that we allow our spouses to play an active role in our lives. It isn’t healthy to be so independent that our mates question what they mean to us.

My early thinking in my marriage was harmful to me and my family. I was finally able to recognize that while I didn’t need a man, I did want one, and a really great one, which I have in my husband. Because I desire a healthy relationship, it is a must that my husband feels needed, appreciated and wanted, consistently. I also want my husband to want, appreciate and rely on me for certain things as well.  I don’t need him for validation, to rule over me or control me. I do look to him to love, support and share this journey with me.

A partnership is about two people relying on one another to accomplish the goals of the relationship. Each partner needs to frequently know how much they are desired by the other.  Too much independence, acting as though we don’t need our spouses, can be a turnoff and send them running in the opposite direction.

BMWK, what are your thoughts, can there be too much independence in a marriage?

Want professional help with your marriage for a fraction of the price? Learn how to prepare for and overcome life’s challenges in your marriage. Get the tools you need to turn your marriage around. Click here to find out how from the country’s top African American marriage experts.

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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