How Marriage Can Help You Through the Good, Bad, and Ugly Times of Life

BY: - 7 Jan '16 | Marriage

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Welcome 2016.

In the middle of downtown Austin, at the Auditorium Shores, right on the edge of the Colorado river with the skyline as our backdrop, my son and wife held hands and danced to the live music playing 200 ft. away from us.

A wall of people staring at the skyline waiting on the eventual fireworks extravaganza were forced to watch a random family twist, spin, laugh, and dance as if there weren’t thousands of people around. In the crisp darkness of a fading 2015, I couldn’t think of a better way to release 2015 and welcome in 2016.

That moment wouldn’t be possible without marriage.

The Good

That’s the best thing about marriage. A genuine one – defined as two people who attempt to service the everyday needs and wants of another grown human for the rest of their lifetime – will enhance, enrich, and quite literally expand the amount of love in a person’s life…exponentially.

Little Person and MommyEvery new year. Every birthday passed. Every holiday season on the books. Every new life. A memory book of love. What on this earth could possibly be better?

A good marriage is the definition of fortune. There’s two sides to every coin, because every single thing in this world has a cost.

Fortune isn’t possible without despair.

A few years ago – The Bad

After another great night out with some good friends in Atlanta, we all decided to head back to our friend’s house to keep the evening going with our usual patio hookah and cocktails. When the four of us were together, good memories were always the outcome. As I drove us through historic Dekalb my phone rang. My oldest brother was on the other line.

“Isom, I have some bad news.”

“Wsup, man? Tell me.”

[I can hear the laughter in the car from the ongoing background shenanigans.]

“Chris is dead. He committed suicide.”

“What?……………………Suicide? What are you talking about?”

[the car fell silent]

I pulled over. I heard the story of how they found his body. His two kids didn’t see him. Thank goodness.

His two kids…

The Ugly

My wife and I flew to Texas for the funeral. My poor step-mother. My poor poor step-mother. She always had my brother and I, but Chris was her very own. It broke my heart to see her hurting so deeply.

We all took our time in the viewing room. I truly believe if Chris was able to see how many people came out to pay their final respects, he never would do what he did. But to think that is to take away from the demons of depression he was not equipped to handle alone.

So I try not to think about it. That day we all took our time as death is always the loudest reminder of how precious time truly is. We all took our time – except my wife. She found herself unable to enter the viewing room due to her uncomfortableness with death and the deceased. She simply “can’t do it” as I remember.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not one to make another grown adult do anything.

I remember seeing my brother’s lifeless shell and feeling alone in a room full of people. Very selfishly thinking how I wished my wife was there with me in my time of despair.

I remember it making me feel proud that I was raised without a mother because I already knew how to live life without a woman in it. The memory created a deep mental division I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten past. I have to live with that.

That’s the worst thing about marriage. The extreme highs are only possible through the extreme lows. Most of us can’t trudge through the low.

10 years later – The Good can return

The new year seems sweet on my horizon. I’m excited about our goals. I’m excited we both want to grow in the same direction both for our family and also for our businesses. I’m glad we talk business with one another. What’s a marriage but a partnership in life? So many people choose the wrong partner. So many people can’t grow together. So many more simply don’t really care while living under the farce that they do.

Mommy and her son dancing 2015 away

Mommy and her son dancing 2015 away on the shores of the Colorado river

I find myself already looking forward to New Year’s Eve 2016 on the horizon of 2017 reflecting on what we got right, wrong, how we can do better, how we’re blessed to get another year to try again, and what songs will our family be dancing to? I bet it’s something by Chance the Rapper.

BMWK, how can being married served you in this new year?

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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For a Strong and Healthy Marriage, These 2 Options Better Be Off the Table

BY: - 7 Jan '16 | Marriage

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It is a brand new year and a great opportunity to revive your marriage. You and your partner may have struggled and barely made it through another year of marriage. There may have been more disagreements than you would have liked and even harder to find solutions.

Believe me, you weren’t the only couple last year to wonder if your marriage was going to survive. There were couples around me who were at their wits end and are finally beginning to turn it around.

Marriage is for grown folks only.

Marriage, like any other lifelong commitment, will have temporary seasons that are more complicated than others. It’s normal and it’s okay. What couples must realize is that for every trial there is a solution.

Depending on the couple you ask, there are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to healing a marriage. My challenge to everyone reading this article is to, no matter how bad your situation looks, remove two of the options that always appear to be the easiest for couples.

Option 1: Cheating

You’ve heard the saying, and maybe have bought into it a time or two, but the grass isn’t any greener on the other side. No matter who you are in a relationship with, the newness wears off and the real you and them shows up.

Marriage is for grown folks only. Cheating is for weak individuals who weren’t strong enough to really show up in their marriage. If you find yourself on the verge of cheating here are a few solutions:

Tell your spouse. There is something present in your marriage making you feel like infidelity is the only real option, so gather up the nerve and tell your spouse you’re thinking of cheating. Of course your spouse will need answers.

Be prepared to explain what it is that has you so unhappy or has that other person looking so desirable, that you’re thinking of being unfaithful. I know most of you have a fear of taking this action because you don’t want your marriage to end.

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And if this is the case, we must be honest with our partners giving them a chance to help fix what’s broken in the marriage.

Consider all the challenges in the marriage and take ownership of the ones you’re responsible for. It’s so easy to point fingers and blame our spouse for the unhappiness we are experiencing.

But they usually didn’t do it alone. So examine your role and decide where you can make improvements, prior to cheating.

Pray before you cheat. Ask God to remove the lust you feel for the other person and give you a new love and appreciation for your spouse.

Again, cheating is never a solution to any problem you may be facing in your marriage. Promptly remove it and focus on real options that will restore your marriage.

Option 2: Divorce

You may also be familiar with this saying “divorce is not an option.”  Some couples use it as a threat or keep it in their bag of tricks when the marriage becomes a little shaky. Couples must be realistic about their unions and who they married.

Some days are going to be harder than others, it’s reality. You will disagree and yes your partner will frustrate you from time to time. But divorce is never the best option. Before divorce becomes your choice, here are a few things to consider:

Relationship professionals specialize in marriage and offer resources, exercises, and tools built to heal even the most broken of relationships. Prior to calling it quits, seek the help of an experienced professional.

Movies, books and webinars are at your fingertips. Some couples are private and would rather heal the marriage on their own, and that’s perfectly fine too.

There are a ton of resources, that touch on every trial you can think of in a marriage. With your partner decide which resources best addresses your situation and use it together.

Act like divorce doesn’t exist for your marriage. Don’t use it as a threat and simply don’t speak it into the atmosphere. If friends suggest it as an option, shoot it down as quickly as they share it. Remove it from your consideration completely and look for alternative ways to begin the healing in your marriage.  

Couples, I know it isn’t always as easy as I make it sound. However, when you remove certain thinking stinking from your marriage vocabulary, it forces you to grow up and take a stand for your marriage. When your back is up against the wall and you no longer have those two as options what will you do? I’ll tell you, you will fight for your marriage. Because again there isn’t any other option.

BMWK, have you removed these two options from your marriage?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 632 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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