Love and Marriage - It's Really Complicated

    learning-how-to-love-in-marriage.jpgIt's valuable for us to hear the experience others. Sometimes we can see and recognize ourselves easier when we're looking at someone else's life.

    With that in mind, I want to share the thoughts of another married man. Bruce Sallan writes the blog A Dad's Point of View. The following are a few excerpts from his post It's Complicated -- Marriage. He wrote it after seeing the movie It's Complicated with his wife. See what you can learn from his love and marriage experience and the wisdom he shares.

    • There's a definite reason that second marriages fail more than first ones, and third marriages fail even at a higher rate. Our lives are that much more complicated the further we progress in them. Add into the mix children, aging parents, job changes and losses, menopause, weight gain, other health issues, and you tend to wonder how we can get along at all as we get older and these things crop up.
    • My wife wanted me to see how this couple allowed their relationship to aimlessly drift apart, even though they had terrific chemistry and three wonderful kids.
    • This was a familiar scenario but it made us wonder in discussion afterward, how often couples do give up on each other, don't put in the effort to keep things vibrant, or as in the case of the movie look elsewhere for affection and love, thus fatally damaging the marriage.
    • As a couple we've become a bit stuck in a cyclical pattern where one of us has hurt feelings and retreats from the relationship with various excuses such as being tired, having work to do, or other equally lame and childish efforts to avoid what is really on our minds. I'll speak for myself in saying it's cowardly and I hate when I'm doing it, I'm actually ashamed of myself, but I'm too stubborn to back off. It's a classic lose-lose, but I'm right in my mind, even when I'm sleeping on the couch.
    • I know I'm not alone in these sorts of interactions as I hear examples of them every Monday night in my men's group. I thank God for these men as they remind me how often it is my reaction that aggravates the situation when my wife says something I find upsetting. To take a phrase from our group, how I "show up" makes all the difference in whether a small incident escalates to a fight or I can "let it go," maybe give my wife a hug even when I'm irritated with her, and move on vs. hang on.
    • In a recent therapy session, our therapist had some good counseling solutions. He said that in the vast majority of marital arguments, both sides are to some degree or another, right. But, what difference does it make? What good is being right if your partner, whom you supposedly love, is upset? Frankly, it's childish. I stand by my rightness far too much and I lose as a result, let alone that I've hurt the woman I love and chose to share my life with.

    He gives some great examples of how love and marriage really is complicated -- and how each partner contributes to couples communication and marriage problems. You can read the whole post here: It's Complicated -- Marriage.

    I can see some of myself in here. Can you?


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