Regret! There is nothing worse than living with that nagging feeling that when you reached a fork in the road; you turned the wrong way! All of us feel regret for something we did in our past and wonder how things would have been had we done things another way. Unfortunately regret for our actions can turn into a mountain of guilt and pain that can literally stifle our future. If ever you are looking for reasons to reconcile a marriage at the top of your list avoidance of regretting the decision.
In other words, it is important to be sure that a marriage is over defined by the entirety of the word before giving up. If there is a glimmer of hope, a spark of love or a smidgen of hope and dream that your future with your significant other can be worked out than it is important to try to reconcile. This doesn’t mean it will work; but it does mean that you will leave the marriage knowing you did everything in your power and heart to make things right. Since marriage is always about two people; your efforts may be in vain- but at least you won’t spend the rest of your life feeling regret or wondering “What if?”
If a marriage is ending over one spontaneous act of injustice like an affair or singular argument than chances are you should take another look at things. The people closest to us, the ones that we love the most often have the ability to hurt us the deepest and make us the most angry. In anger it is easy to act irrational and make spur of the moment decisions that don’t truly reflect our feelings. When marriages end abruptly due to anger…they can usually be saved and it usually stands to reason that the way you feel in that moment is not indicative of how you feel in several months. Try to reconcile. Maybe not right away; but don’t make definitive decisions in the heat of the moment.
Whenever a couple has children it stands to reason that every last attempt to save a marriage should be made. Kids definitely make reasons to (try) and reconcile a marriage. Realizing of course that the decision impacts more than just you and your spouse can sometimes enable people to look past common marital strife and perhaps make the most of it. Certainly if abuse is involved than it is always better to just get out! For most people domestic violence is a way of life that can’t be counseled out and it definitely can never be taken back!
Let’s be real for a minute. When people get married they are full of a lot of misconceptions about their life. The relationship at the moment of marriage is much like a baby at the moment of misconception – a shell of what is to be! People marry without having essential conversations with one another and without really knowing what to expect in the future or what is considered normal for a relationship. Sure we have all witnessed parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and tons of other married people “acting” married and may think we have a good idea of how things will go. But we don’t. We are absolutely clueless about what it is like to wake up and go to sleep with the same person night after night for eternity. We don’t truly know, understand or bear witness to the crucial personality traits and definitions of morality that each of us carry secretly inside until we have been together long enough to feel safe exploiting them. Even then; marriages change again and again. With each decision, new responsibility or life change the marriage takes a new turn which drives us to yet another set of unfaced circumstances. There is no way to be prepared for how our spouse will react. No matter how well you know your partner; there are some things – important things – that YOU DO NOT KNOW and will not know until you are knee deep in the relationship.
Having children, pets, dealing with money, making decisions about raising kids, intertwining families, traditions and religions; understanding personal needs and expectations and learning to live with one another’s ingrained sense and thinking is certain to cause arguments, disagreements and plenty of moments where you wonder why in the world you married this person. The best relationship in the world transitions once the two people get married. Once we become man and wife we are suddenly privy to living up to all the secret and intuitive feelings about traditional gender roles or the way a household should be ran; which makes things like taking out the trash and who should wash the clothes a new issue. Often we may not even know why we are fighting because so much of who we are has to do with how we were raised and very few of these marital inklings are encountered until we become a married person. This does not mean that any of it can’t be worked on and worked out over time; but it does mean that there will be plenty of reason to reconcile a marriage throughout the duration of it.
It is interesting that people think of getting married as “settling down” when in fact it is just the beginning of forward momentum. Once we say I do, we are already in the midst of the snowball effect, rolling downhill and picking up snow. Some good, some bad and some just plain baffling. At the bottom of the hill lies a flat piece of land covered with just enough fine power to make it comfortable and sometimes boring. There isn’t enough snow to make a snowman or ski, but it isn’t slushy, gray and melting either. This is where you want to be someday. Any marriage that wants to last has to be between two people who are willing to be disappointed, let down and let go of their unrealistic expectations. They should be able to find reasons to reconcile the marriage in their own mind at times and realize that sometimes rolling further down the hill will make it all worthwhile in the end. In so many cases, it really isn’t your partner that is bad, negative, evil, ridiculously selfish, ignorant, unreasonable and irritating; it is the outline of expectations that you have built in your head of which no marriage could ever truly live up to. Let go of them. Use your heart as a guide. Reconcile. Live with no reason to regret and you will find a new, better and indescribable kind of love that feels like friendship but is somehow more fulfilling.