How Stable is Your Marriage?
Did it surprise you when you heard that Al and Tipper Gore separated? For many baby boomers and Generation Xers, news of this “perfect marriage” being threatened was a sobering wakeup call. Indeed, how does one begin to rationalize divorce and separation in 40-year marriages? How can a bond that once seemed so unbreakable suddenly come to an end? When we see someone we look up to (and not that many people around “look up” to Al Gore, but for the sake of illustration we’ll use the poor shlub) fail in their efforts, we start to think about our own life situation. You might even second-guess your own marriage or that of your parents.
How do we really know when someone is happy behind closed doors? We can’t know for sure and that’s why we shouldn’t jump to conclusions when we hear startling news of other people’s lives. All we really know is the value of our own relationships. In order for a marriage to last in the long run, four factors are vital.
First, the husband and wife must have mutual respect for one another. Second, there must be constant communication. Third, there must be compromise from both partners. Fourth, there must be shared core valued by both mates. This is why many people divorce, plain and simple. This may even be what led to your separation or divorce.
People often times grow apart in life. One partner may find himself changing, while the other partner stays the same (or vice versa). Husbands and wives want familiarity, compatibility and empathy. If two mates are heading in different directions in life, then that new lack of compatibility will be felt.
If you are going through separation or divorce, try not to think of the situation in terms of failure or fault. Think practically about your situation and determine whether you and your mate have a marriage worth keeping. Not a respectable relationship—a close marriage. Why else are you married if you are not compatible with one another?
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