They sat in my office on the brown suede loveseat that many couples have sat in over the years.
They looked as if they hadn’t slept for days, possibly weeks. As if their marriage hadn’t been hard enough to begin with and then the pandemic hit. With three young children under the age of 9, they had their hands full, both working full time.
How does one handle so much at once?
They were contemplating divorce now.
It may be ‘easy’ to see how this (or any) couple could end up in a divorced situation with so many legitimate challenges. While many couples choose to divorce, too many couples give up too soon. What does ‘too soon’ even mean? I would suggest that it is before authentically trying to make it work-in other words, doing everything in your power to try and make the marriage a safe, fulfilling place where you feel seen and heard. If a married person can look themselves in the mirror and honestly say they did all they could to make the marriage work, especially when they have children, and are still not happy in the marriage, then walking away (gracefully) is a legitimate option.
Back to the couple on my loveseat…for them, we began talking about all the stress they had been experiencing pre-pandemic, and worked on gaining a better understanding of each other. They learned how to find compassion for each other, giving each other the benefit of the doubt and began to let their guards down. They realized that life had been challenging for both of them and that by working together as a team, life becomes easier.
So what about you?
Do you ‘work’ at your relationship?
The days when your relationship and/or life provides challenges, do you and your partner work together as a team?
What about at times of crisis like the pandemic?
How has your relationship fared?
For some couples, it was an opportunity to spend more quality time together-cooking, watching movies, playing games, making love, going for walks. Or did you and your spouse stay away from each other as much as possible?
Did you fight more or find yourself less tolerant of your partner?
Obviously there is much we have no control over in our lives but there are many decisions we make throughout each day where we can choose what kind of marriage/relationship we want to be in.
That couple who sat on my loveseat found ways to laugh with each other again, forgive each other, help each other to be the best versions of themselves and ultimately to love each other again.