Not True! Marriage Ends When...
I just read this quote about marriage in the Times of Malta:
Marriage does not end with divorce but the moment a couple stops loving and respecting each other, Michael and Juliet Mifsud believe.
They are a happily married couple, married for 16 years. They are both Catholics, but they favor a divorce law, the subject of a referendum in Malta yesterday.
I do not disagree with the Mifsuds about the value of a divorce option. What I am hopping up and down about is their notion that the moment a couple stops loving and respecting each other marks the end of their marriage.
This drives me mad because I see it so often. Couples stop loving and respecting each other all the time. The ones who believe loving and respecting lie outside their control give up when it happens. The rest learn how to deal with it.
Someone asked this very question on Quora last week, and the good folks at Quora called my answer "awesome" on Twitter. Even so, you will see Quora users voted up an anonymous answer that includes this: "Life isn't a fairytale, and not all love is forever."
No question about this. Not all love is forever. But know that restoring love (and respect) may take no effort, just a different perspective. Know that 80% of couples who stay married through a time when they are unhappy or very unhappy find themselves happy or very happy five years later.
While you feel no love or respect or feel you receive no love or respect, marriage can feel awful. If you do nothing, you may squander an awful lot of your happiness and your kids' security. But do not fall into the trap I fell into. Divorce is not the only option here. If you can think of no others, reach out, because they exist.
I believe marriage ends when one of you will no longer consider reconnecting. You can be this one, or you can be the one who believes love is not just something you feel, it is something you do.