Learning to Work Through the Hard Times
This may be the biggest decision of your life. Maybe it seems like it would be easier to just throw in the towel rather than work through the mountain of conflict that you're dealing with. But before you do, you need to know that all marriages have peaks and valleys. Learning to work through those hard times is something that all couples have to do, even couples in good marriages. And if you think it's not possible, keep in mind that moving on to a new partner won't change much. Usually, the script stays the same, it's just the characters' names that have changed. And children - research shows they are the biggest losers when their parents divorce.
So What Can You Do?
First, please keep in mind that at The Marriage Resource Center we do not offer counseling, but relationship education and skills classes. We do make referrals to area counselors as needed. Please call us at 410-386-9003 and ask for Anne. In addition, we offer the following ideas for your consideration:
The National Institute of Marriage founded by Smalley Ministries. For distressed marriages.
Retrouvaille, a nationally recognized program to help couples work through deep struggles in their relationship. The program has a high success rate helping couples heal and rejuvenate their marriages when both couples are open.
Weekend To Remember is a powerful weekend conference that has changed marriages all across the US. It's a valuable weekend which can help to restore troubled marriages.
Before you throw in the towel, please consider the facts shared here: www.smartmarriages.com
Even when it seems hopeless, time is often the unseen ally in a troubled marriage. The Case for Marriage points out that many who report that their marriage was at the bottom of the scale on marital satisfaction, when asked again five years later, reported being at the top on marital happiness. When asked what changed, many had no idea. It seems that keeping your vows – hanging in through the "for worse"– even the "for boring" times or when you feel all out of love – can, eventually, be what gets you to the promised land. Get married, stay married – what a concept!
Recent follow up research, Does Divorce Make People Happy? fleshes out the earlier research. People going through unhappy periods in their marriage fantasize about getting out of their marriage and gettin happy by falling in love with someone new. It turns out that the surer route to happiness – in the long run – is to fall back in love with the person with whom you have children, extended family, and a history – someone who will enjoy the grandkids with you and has been there to know what you've done for others.
- MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
Children raised outside of marriage are 5 times more likely to experience poverty. Children with married parents are more successful – they are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to graduate from college and land better jobs.
- MARRIAGE IS HEALTHIER FOR YOU.
Married men and women live longer and experience better health than similar adults who are not married. Unmarried men and unmarried women are 2 and ½ times, respectively, more likely to die before age 65.
- MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOUR POCKETBOOK.
Married men and women earn more and save more than singles or unmarried couples. Working together in a healthy, lifelong partnership, men and women actually produce more, spend less, and save and invest more wisely and unattached people – even singles with the same education and jobs.
- MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.
Adults who are married report being happier and are less likely to be depressed or show other signs of mental illness and distress. Children whose parents stay married have lower rates of suicide and other psychological disorders.
- MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOUR SEX LIFE.
Married couples report having better and more frequent sex than single people. Married couples are more faithful and committed which leads to a safer, more satisfying sex life physically and emotionally.
- MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOUR FAMILY.
As adults, children whose parents get and stay married are twice as likely to say they have warm, close relationships with their parents. Both fathers and mother remain closer to their kids when they stay together.
- DIVORCE IS NOT LIKELY TO MAKE YOU HAPPIER.
Two out of three unhappily married adults that avert divorce report being happily married five years later. Only one out of five unhappy spouses that proceeded with divorce report being happily remarried within that same time period. Stepfamily marriages have a 65% failure rate.
- MARRIAGE EDUCATION CAN TEACH NEW SKILLS.
Many couples did not grow up with good role models for a successful marriage. Through taking a marriage enrichment course, such as PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills) couples can learn conflict resolution skills necessary for making their marriage work.
- USE OF MARRIAGE MENTORS CAN RESTORE 80% OF “ON THE BRINK” MARRIAGES.
Trained mentor couples can provide valuable accountability and support to a couple that is struggling but committed to the relationship.
- MARRIAGE RESOURCE CENTER OF CARROLL COUNTY CAN HELP.
MRCCC provides both marriage education/skills training and on-going mentoring support for couples that want to SAVE THEIR MARRIAGES.
"For Years" - Thoughts From A Soon-To-Be Ex (Husband)
I found the following letter on Dr. Laura¹s blog Nov. 7, 2007
I got this eloquent email recently, and wanted to share it with all of you, as
> it addresses the consequences of some behaviors that often come up from
> callers to my radio show:
> ³Two months ago, I left my wife and children and moved into a condo about a
> mile from our home. This morning, I was moved to write the following, just to
> help me vent my frustration over the treatment from my wife that led to this
> painful and damaging decision, called ³For Years:²
> For years, you behaved as if it didn¹t matter whether I came or went, so I
> For years, you were unsatisfied with the income I brought in, even though it
> was way more than enough to allow you to stay home with the children. Now you
> have less, and you get to go to work.
> For years, you behaved as if my touch meant nothing to you. Now, it¹s gone.
> For years, you never complimented me on the household repairs I made, keeping
> up the lawn and garden, cleaning and organizing the garage and the hundreds of
> things I did to keep our home balanced and running. Now, you can do them.
> For years, you complained I didn¹t do enough housework. Now it¹s all yours.
> For years, you chose not to attend community and social events that were
> important to me. Now they¹re not an option.
> For years, you expected me to read your mind when you were hurt or upset.
> Never could, never will.
> For years, you punished me with your silence. Now you have plenty.
> For years, you would not share information about our kids¹ schedules, doctor¹s
> appointments and so on. Now some attorneys will help you polish your
> communication skills.
> For years, I chose to love you, protect you, provide for you, confide in you,
> and have fun with you. Now, I don¹t.
> For years, you behaved as a long-suffering martyr. Now you can be one.
> For years, I chose to raise your son as my own. Now, he¹s hurting.
> For years, you treated me as the lesser parent. Now I am.
> For years, our precious young daughter has watched this debacle. What do you
> think she¹s learned?
> For years.
> P.S. I bought and read ³The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage² months ago,
> and asked my wife to read it with me. She laughed.²
> Still My Kids¹ Dad
> in Southern California