Making Good On Promises,

“Until Death Do Us Part”



by Sally Connolly, LMFT and John E. Turner, LMFT

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A mind-set of saving a marriage changes the way that couples approach a problem. When you think about ways to solve a problem rather than getting a divorce, a myriad of possibilities emerge.
George told me recently that there are times when he really feels like giving up on his marriage. The conflict and distance in his relationship depresses him, but he remembers how much he loves his wife and truly believes that they can get through this stressful time. 
Sandy was not sure that she could survive her husband’s mid-life crisis. She knew that he was acting differently than at any time before and she truly believed that he would come full circle and return home to make things work in the marriage.

Jenny and Jim were overwhelmed with the stress of trying to get pregnant, the loss of his mother and Jenny’s job lay-off. Both recognized that they were shorter and more critical of each other, not nurturing each other as they once had. When talking with them; however, the conversation usually ended with one of them saying something like “I know that things will get better” or “It cannot stay this bad forever”.

This belief in a solution to problems and stressful events can save a marriage. Having the courage to hang in with the relationship and work through difficult times has been what has made the difference in many marriages. When people are able to acknowledge the tough times and yet also talk about their commitment to the marriage and working things out, we feel pretty confident that the marriage will make it.
  
One study of long-term marriages reported that many couples reported very stressful periods, and yet, years later, they remember them with a sense of having coped, survived and even thrived as they describe how happy they were to have hung in there and made it through. Many say that divorce would have been the worst decision and, while it may have been the easy way out at the time, in the long run, remaining in the marriage and working through things has been the absolute right thing to do.

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