Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

In general, when life throws adversity our way, we attack it and solve it as an individual.

Somehow in marital problems, we embark on a never-ending quest to solve a problem that involves not one individual but two.

It’s a tremendous and detrimental mistake.

No one can force another person to grow and evolve in a relationship. From a practical perspective, we know this – from an emotional perspective we disregard it.

If your spouse either:

Does not care enough to solve the problem
OR
Go to counseling and remain there until there is healing, resolution and forward movement
OR
Your marriage suffers from addiction, narcissism, abuse or another type of relationship killer

Then this marriage crisis involves only one individual that cares enough to prioritize the one they love and salvage the union.

Therefore, avoid these 3 mistakes during a marriage crisis:

Do Not Lose Your Foundational Footing:

Do not invest so much effort into fixing the marriage that you walk away from yourself. Once you lose your foundational footing things will not improve. You will become depleted while the relationship continues to flounder. It’s a lose – lose.

Do not abandon things that you love (daily rituals, hobbies, etc.) that define who you are as a person. Making your relationships a priority and fixing the problems does not mean you cease to exist. Do not chose escapes such as food or wine to comfort you. This is walking away from yourself and towards something to temporarily replace the lost joy.

Keep your individual purpose and foundation strong. A marriage worth saving would never involve a spouse that would allow you to sacrifice yourself to retain their love.

Do Self-Focus and Self-Protect:

A floundering marriage is a crisis of identity. Our family life is what all else stems from. Therefore, this creates an imbalance in our lives which leaves us questioning our self-esteem, our choices, and our future. It also speaks to our greatest fears of relationship failure and a temporary loneliness.

Accept this as a part of the journey. Do not give your power away to others. Do not care so much that you allow your inner critic to judge you even more harshly than the world at large. The world is already full of people and/or situations that can beat you up. Do not take the bat and do it for them.

This is a challenge when you feel as though you are not living an authentic life that you are proud of. Remember that some of the most judgemental people are living their own problems. After a certain age, most humble and confident people realize that no one is in a position to judge – that “there but by the grace of God go I.”

Do not let this temporarily vulnerability allow you to absorb the judgement of others.

Do Not Seek Love in the Wrong Places:

Do not seek out people to help you save the one you love from themselves or to save your marriage. Instead, turn to the family and friends who are knocking at your door or ringing your phone. The people that are participators in your life and not observers.

No one can save a marriage except for the two individuals in the relationship. However, there are circumstances where family and friends do initially step forward in concern. These would be in situations of abuse, addiction, narcissism, the well-being of the children, etc. In addition, perhaps an otherwise good marriage where one person is experiencing a crisis and a loving conversation may support the marriage.

It is tempting to reach out to the family and friends of a spouse who is struggling with addiction or illness. However, if they cared enough or chose belief instead of denial they would already love that person enough to have crossed your threshold. An absence of individuals who care deeply when your spouse is struggling is either evidence of denial, avoidance, or that they lack the deep relationships necessary to command this type of presence in their lives. It can also mean that the family already struggles with the same issues and therefore, has no ability to see it as a problem.

In most healthy situations, someone from that person’s world would show up long enough to determine what is truly happening in the marital crisis.

They would also care enough about the children to seek and determine the truth.

Do not turn to family and friends that you have to call and ask for help. The sideline observers. If they cared enough to listen or get involved you would be hearing from them not calling them.

A struggling marriage can render unbearable pain. It can make us abandon our own heart for the one who once stole it.

If you make these mistakes you will ultimately lose much more than your relationship. You will lose yourself.

And thus, when it’s time to rebuild and pick up the pieces there won’t be enough of you left to meet the challenge.

Do not lose yourself for someone who was willing to lose you all along.

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(Photo courtesy of Pexels)
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Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist
on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

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