Men Express Themselves
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Life Happens

All of us want to believe that we are in control of our lives. And even, to some extent, in control of our marriage and family. But, reality dictates that this is only partially true.

Our lives are impacted by the actions and inactions of those whom we know and those half a world away. There is always a rippling effect. - Then, there are those of us who believe in God. Some think that he intervenes when asked to, others believe in total free will, and others feel that...

Regardless, I have yet to find a couple whose life, planned out as it might have been, not face unexpected miracles and tragedies. -- Often, it is these tragedies that define not only who we are, but our partner, and our marriage.

Perhaps it is the death of a child. Drug addiction. Compulsive gambling. A loss of job and home. Disease, albeit cancer, MS, or heart failure. War, declared or not, taking our spouse to the far corners of the earth. To return or not. To be scarred physically or emotionally. Being the victim of those who are anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti...

There is a line in a song that I heard Bob Seger perform. 'No one gets to walk between the rain.'.

All of these crises have the potential of bringing you and your loved one, closer together. Or to drive you apart. Or, to cause one or both of you to flee to what you hope will be pastures overlooked by daily rainbows and twinkling stars, in a clear, blue sky.

The test of a good or great relationship does lie in how you both handle these unforseen problems.
These times call for extra tenderness. Extra attentiveness. Going the extra mile even when you doubt that you can go any further. Being patient when your nerves are frayed. Saying the kind word even when it is difficult to utter. To forgive when your spouse is truly sorry. To be firm when they are weak. To hold yourself and them accountable for their actions, and to make consequences be realistic and suited to the situation. Even when we scream inside for retribution or release from the marriage.

The skills and strength with which to get through these life-altering times, come not at the moment they occur. But rather they are typically developed during the moments when all seems to be going great or at least, 'well enough'. -- Any two people can be happy together when they essentially have what they want from the marriage and life. True love and a great marriage is determined by your actions, later on, when all is rocky.

My purpose here is not to depress you. Or, to say that you should remain wed to an abuser or addict. My goal is to remind you that 'Life Happens'. You might not be able to prepare for the specifics of it. But, you certainly can, and owe it to yourself and your husband or wife, to learn how to compromise, to argue, to share grief and pain, as well as joy. To sometimes be loving when love feels like an 'empty emotion'.

And, 'Life Happens', even when there is great news. A new job offer in a different state than your in-laws or your own extended family and friends. The unexpected pregnancy. The promotion that takes you on the road, throughout the month.
These also require you and your loved one to have developed skills, beforehand. Those of discussing some of the likely 'what-ifs' in life.

Bottom-line, folks... You and your loved one need to work on things so that when struck with either joy, sorrow, or heart-wrenching choices, you can get through the situations, together. And, have an even stronger and happier relationship. It is doable! So, go for it. You both deserve it!

'Nuff said.

copyright - R. Irving 2014