Why Should I Stay Married?
May 23, 2016
My husband and I are clearing out clutter. It is a time consuming adventure into the past. We started by just going through stacks of books and piles of paper trying to sort them into more organized stacks and piles we labeled keep, toss or give away.
But we get easily sidetracked when we come across a card one of our children wrote to us when they were little, or pictures of our boys when they were babies.
Today we came across some real gems.
A letter my son, Thomas, wrote me when he was little:
“Mommy, I hope the surjry tomorow goes ok. Remember, if God wants you to live you will. Love, Thomas.”
Then there was my: the wedding dress I wore more than 26 years ago. The most amazing thing is that it still fits! … But just barely. And we found many books we read to our kids when they were small. My husband and I started laughing loudly at one book in particular and we literally recited the entire book from cover to cover from memory! That’s how often we read this to our boys who are now grown. We talked about how we cherish these books and how we will save them to read to our grandchildren.
So many memories.
And then it hit me.
What if I had chosen not to stay married, when it seemed hopeless?
There would be no shared moments of reading these same precious books to our grandkids.
In fact, there would be very few shared moments with our kids and grandkids at all after divorce.
And when coming together is forced through some big celebration or ceremony, everyone feels awkward and tense.
When the boys are married and have their own families, they would have to make the obligatory holiday rounds so they have time with each parent separately.
Then I wondered how they would feel about a stepmom or a stepdad?
What if they didn’t get along? And what if their wives’ parents were also divorced? Now there are four families. What a mess! What a complicated, entangled legacy to leave my kids!
Why I Chose to Stay Married
I stopped in that moment of cleaning out, and I put my hands on my dear husband’s shoulders. I thanked him for never giving up on us. I told him I want to grow old with him and grandparent with him. I told him I would marry him again. Pretty amazing when you consider there was a time I wanted out and was convinced I would never be able to love him again, much less stay married. But I do love him. With every fiber in my being. I love him. We laugh a lot now. We have overcome so much. We have finally figured out this thing called marriage and discovered it really can be wonderful and passionate and fun. Even after 26 years.
There was a time when I viewed my marriage with the same critical eye I’m using on my household clutter. Except the marriage almost went into the “throw away” pile.
I was so unhappy, I couldn’t see what the future would hold for me or my kids if I did divorce their dad. Even more unhappiness.
My marriage was making me unhappy, but divorce wasn’t the answer. Putting my marriage on hold and getting authentic, honest counseling was what made the difference. I divorced my old marriage and built a new one.
Our marriage almost died from a thousand paper cuts, instead of one big event or trauma. Click To Tweet
And it was put back together in the same way.
Small repairs and movements toward each other that over time, created this beautiful marriage we now treasure. And you know what?
You can stay married, too.
I know this not from books or clinical research, but from my own real life experience.
Your marriage is worth fighting for even if your spouse is done.
Divorce is not the easy way out. It is a complicated mess especially if you have kids. If you want a different legacy for your kids, fight for it.
We know how to help you do that. Contact us here. Or call us at (972) 441-4432.
Fighting for your marriage is exhausting, but the pain of divorce lasts a lifetime.
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KIM BOWEN is a licensed professional counselor who offers relationship therapy through her company, The Marriage Place. Her blogs and newsletters have been featured in various publications
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