I don’t remember exactly when it happened, or if you ever notice when it does, but I do know, for a fact, that it did. Our kids were growing up, I had gotten out of the Navy, and we were somewhere around our 12th anniversary (give or take a few years). We were getting along for the most part, and we had gotten into a routine.
And there it was…
One day turned into another into another, and none of them really stood out. Life just seemed to be happening and we were less participants and more passengers. One of the biggest problems with this is that you just kind of drift along and anything can come along and get you of course and you don’t even realize it. It wasn’t until we stood face to face after an argument that probably wasn’t about anything in particular and we finally admitted something that we both knew had happened.
We had gotten lost, and not together. She was in one place, I was in another. And in that moment we weren’t sure if we wanted to find each other again. And the truth was out. I remember sitting in a chair in our room, just looking at her and wondering what was I doing. I’m sure she was thinking the same thing.
Worlds apart from each other and only a few feet separated us.
It’s Easy To Get Lost Along The Way…
Without being purposeful in our marriage, both being active members in this relationship, we had stumbled into a place that neither of us had ever thought that we would get to, and it happened far too easily. Again, I blame a combination of being to stupid and to scared to do anything about it, and too blind to seeing any other way to move forward but together. But how?
Enter, counseling. Yes, I am an advocate for marriage counseling. I really believe you need to find someone who you can just talk stuff out with, individually, and as a couple. That third-party has an unbiased (mostly) opinion of what’s going on in your lives, and can offer advice and steps to bring you back from the edge.
Sure, you can do that on your own, but…
- Who ever really does that?
- Who has the strength when you are so worn out?
- How soon will you be back there if you do?
For all you men (and a few of your women) who think that counseling is for wimps… seriously, nut up. Get help. Work things out and stay together. You fell in love with your spouse before you were married, and sure things have changed, but underneath it all, they are still that person you fell in love with. And I’m serious about getting help.
The Three Step Process
In the end, what lead us down that path was that we just drifted along. It’s easy after all, and by nature i think we are all just lazy enough to let things pass on by (read that as ‘take advantage of what we think we have). So, here are my three steps to keeping your marriage away from the edge…
- Be purposeful in your relationship.
- Be able to admit you need help.
- Get help if you find that you are in need of it.
Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.
I really can’t stress the need to be purposeful in your relationship. Too many things are going to come along and distract you (i.e. kids, family, video games, college, work), so you really need to make this a fundamental part of your relationship if you want a chance of making it.
Because, if you don’t, you might do exactly what I did that night and look at your spouse and wonder who they are even though you have been with them for years.
And nobody wants that, do they?