Recently, I learned of a couple who, after 40 years of marriage, were struggling to keep their relationship afloat. Needless to say, I was shocked. And, while I have no intention of judging their situation, I do wonder where things went wrong. To be honest, it scared me. The good news is that they weren’t just throwing in the towel. Somehow, they managed to hold a finger on the pulse of their relationship and found signs of life. All is not lost.
Typically, when a marriage reaches critical condition, couples usually see two options, fight or flight. Those who choose to walk away fail to see any possibility of revival. In their eyes, the marriage has run its course and it’s time to bring the relationship to an end. On the other hand, those who choose to stay and fight recognize important vital signs that indicate there is hope for their marriage after all.
Whether its one year, 10 years, or 40 years, never give up on the time invested in a relationship meant to last a lifetime.
If you are in a troubled relationship and find your marriage on the rocks, here are some telltale signs that your love is still worth fighting for.
Respect is Still a Two-Way Street
Even though things are rough in the relationship, your communication still carries a respectful tone as you try to alleviate some of the hurt you are both currently feeling. Neither spouse is willing to belittle the other for the sake of winning an argument. When a conversation gets heated, you both still manage to purposely refrain from saying the ugly and nasty things that tend to destroy rather than build up a relationship. And you do that out of respect.
Consideration is Still in the Building
Neither of you is willing to just rush off and do your own thing regardless of what the other has planned. Despite the friction, thoughtfulness is demonstrated. You discuss potential plans before committing with a third party. And, out of consideration, you still deny yourself of certain things or behaviors you may enjoy if you know they irritate your partner. And you do that out of consideration.
Serving Your Spouse Still Gives You Pleasure
Regardless of what’s going on, once in a while, you still manage to rustle up some buttermilk pancakes, eggs, bacon and a fresh cup of coffee for your wife. You know how much she loves your cooking and it’s always given you pleasure to serve her in this way. Or, maybe getting his clothes prepped for work is one of your favorite things to do for your husband. Whatever the opportunity, taking care of your spouse has not lost its cool.
You Still Think of Them When You’re Apart
It could be as simple as driving past a park where you once went on a walk with your spouse. Or, maybe your company lunch takes place at a restaurant where you and your wife had your first date. Maybe someone tells a joke that your husband told you a few years back. Whatever the reason, you can’t help but think of your spouse when you’re apart. You find yourself having random thoughts that still manage to bring a smile to your face.
You Still Have a Case of the “No One Else’s”
It may sound quirky, but no matter how rancid the relationship gets, you know there’s hope when you still have a case of the “no one else’s.”
- No one else makes me laugh as much as he does
- No one else turns me on like she does
- No one else is allowed to see your vulnerable side
- No one else is given the chance to pursue you
While it’s certainly true that it’s still possible for a relationship to fizzle out despite these signs, chances are it’s got a better chance than not of making it when they are present. If you find any or all of them still exist in your marriage, seek out the kind of help that will cheer your relationship on and nurture it back to good health. If allowed, the love you once had and lost can once again be revived and you may even discover new ways to keep it going strong. Whether its one year, 10 years, or 40 years, never give up on the time invested in a relationship meant to last a lifetime. Look for signs that there is still hope then do what is necessary to keep it alive.
BMWK, if your marriage is struggling, do you see signs of hope?
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