Going into marriage, most people are ignorant, idealistic and ridiculously romantic. Some stay that way and that’s what keeps those relationships strong. That youthful naivete glues relationships and so do these other relationship glue recipes, learned from epic fails, for Romance Awareness Month.
If you’ve only been married once, and only to each other, people call you a rare breed (or a couple of nuts!) They also ask for your marriage advice. And that would be “fight and make up!” Seriously. Your marriage will go through through kids, money struggles, crazy schedules, addictions (everyone has ’em), job woes, health setbacks and mucho stress. And relationships get gritty in and of themselves without any help from outside interferences. Learn from mistakes. Take comfort in each other. Don’t shut each other out.
So you are going to bicker. So embrace it. Try not to let it get ugly. But it will. Sometimes, when you’re at low ebb you might even lob the D(ivorce)-word at each other. That’s not the end of the world. If your relationship is solid (and you’ll learn in time if it is), you’ll know even as you say the word, you don’t mean it. Just give each other a reason to love again (just a little bit’s enough).
A lot of people think it’s anathema to talk divorce. But it’s not a good-bad, black-white kind of thing. Reality teaches that it’s not discussing divorce that’s wrong. It’s the relationship that “seem so happy-normal” but which hides apathy, that fails. In fact, talking divorce can be healthy. It reminds you how deeply you love each other. A relationship rupture that’s out of your hands, like death, you have no control over that. A split you cause yourself is much harder to get over. Knowing you could voluntarily throw it away reminds you how destroyed each would be if you did. Pretty soon, you’ll learn to trust more. Then divorce threats become only blunted arrows, foolishly fired and aimed to miss the mark, and you both know it. And pretty soon you forget you ever know the word.
Stand by your lover. Unless there are some really serious issues (infidelity, untended addictions, abuse) make up your mind to be there for each other come what may (then be prepared for a lot of what may!) Take his part. Stand up for her against everything. You need each other. Let life throw her curve balls–you’ve got each other and a Higher Power who’s a crack batter.
Beware of Mr. Frost. For some reason, 25 is a popular year to divorce, probably because the relationship got put on hold too long. Partners are taken for granted once too often. A relationship can stand a fair amount inner strife. It cannot stand habitual distance and detachment. Conflict is flame that ignites passion: detachment is cold that freezes and kills.
Learn from Foreigner: “I Want to Know What Love Is.” When you first start a relationship, you don’t know what love is. And each new one is different. so try and fail and try again till you find what love is, for you. Romance Awareness Month is a great time to to celebrate marriages and upwardly-mobile relationships.