1. Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow . . .
First and foremost, many couples simply start too late and give up too soon. By that I mean couples let the problems in their marriages go on for so long (often for years!) that they become increasingly difficult to fix (not impossible, but definitely harder). Then, when couples do finally decide to fix their marriages, so much hurt and resentment has built up that they give up too soon.
And frequently, couples who come in for counseling say, “We don’t know whether it’s going to work out.” I always look around and ask them, “What is it?” I point out that they are speaking about their marriage as if it is something outside of themselves that they can’t control, like the weather. I remind them that “it” is actually the “two of you.” I tell them what I’ll now tell you: If you want your marriage to work out, work it out. It’s up to the two of you to work on it, to put in the time and effort required to learn marriage-success skills like those taught in our StrongMarriageNow System.
2. Wherever You Go, There You Are . . .
Second, running to a new relationship doesn’t solve 50% of the problems that ended your last relationship, because you bring yourself (50% of the partnership) with you into the new situation. Staying and working on yourself and through the issues with your spouse allows you to learn and grow into a better person and a better partner.
3. The Grass Isn’t Always Greener . . .
Finally, when things get difficult and painful, it often appears all too easy to walk away from the person you’re having problems with. I’m amazed at how many people think that all their problems will be gone if they find someone new. The bottom line is: Wherever you go, there you are. In other words, whatever issues you had in your previous relationship, you’re likely to have them in your next one, too, because you’re there. Plus, once you start dating, remarrying, and blending families, you bring a host of new issues into your life. Yes, a new person can bring about those exciting, passionate feelings again . . . for a while. But that may not be worth a lifetime of complications.