About month ago a dear friend of the family passed away. Sudden and always shocking we got the dreaded phone call that as we get older, reoccurs more often. The sad news and then funeral the following day made me reflect a lot on everything from “do I have things in order?”, “Do my loved ones have things in order?”, “Life is so short, I need to make sure I am doing what’s right!”, to “What makes a lasting relationship?”
You see, the friend had been married to a wonderful man for several decades. Despite the fact that they had a slight age gap, with her being older, he was from a different culture, and their relationship involved step kids, they were honestly the closest couple I had ever known apart from my own parents. They were always together. Always. They traveled and worked together, and could often be spotted walking hand in hand with one another. It was beautiful to see, as with all healthy relationships, a beacon of inspiration for the possibility that finding your perfect match isn’t necessarily a fantasy. But the aspect of their marriage that I really admired was how patient he was as a husband, despite their ups and downs as every relationship goes through, he always remained extremely patient without the slightest hint of attitude or complaint.
That seems like an important ingredient to a successful marriage, patience. Right after the often talked about communication, I would say as an outsider looking in, patience would fall next on the list. Because all sorts of things are going to be thrown your way, every married person will attest to that, you will definitely need a boat load of patience.
Some tidal waves you will see coming and brace yourself for, but many of others you won’t even know what hit you and that is when you will have to really practice sabr, patience, and rely on the fact that God will never give you anything YOU can’t handle.
Sadly, I think this characteristic is becoming somewhat of a rarity. With the U.S. divorce rate hovering around a dismal 50%, one can’t help but think that sometimes just sometimes issues could have been resolved if both parties exercised a little patience when trying to weather their storms. That maybe couples are too quick to throw in the towel? I have even heard from people who provide marriage counseling that a lot of couples do come in ready to divorce over problems that are fixable.
A lot of men that I see online are young and divorced already, which in and of itself is sad. Some of the ones with kids aren’t even divorced yet as indicated in their profiles and are actually “separated” but looking to quickly remarry, which I think is utterly ridiculous.
Everyone needs time to heal after a breakup especially when it’s a marriage of significant length and involves children, to prevent any further failed relationships in the future. These daddies on the rebound who can’t even wait for the ink on their divorce papers to dry, are in such a hurry that some separated shortly after the birth of their youngest child. You can usually tell this when they fill out the section for the ages of their children and place “0” in the box for their youngest offspring. I’m always compelled to write them with a “Really? You are separated and your youngest child is an infant and you can’t wait to remarry?”, but I resist the urge.
Honestly, what is your hurry? Like I have said before, whatever is meant to be for you won’t pass you. Take your time and be patient. If your marriage doesn’t work out after exhausting all means, then try and part amicably. After that, you should reflect and see what mistakes you made, and this doesn’t mean you say “I regret marrying my ex.”, but what could have been done better in the relationship or even during the engagement process. Neither of you were perfect, so swallow your pride. It may be that you now see that the both of you rushed into the marriage or you overlooked a red flag that in hindsight was major, or didn’t even ask pertinent questions during the engagement because you were busy swooning over them.
Ask yourself what you could have handled better. See what worked in the marriage and what didn’t. Reflect on yourself and what you would like in a new relationship and what you can bring to one. Overall, take in what you learned from your marriage, because with every relationship we learn something.
I completely understand the fact that you want to be in a relationship, don’t want to die alone, and can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with someone, but hastily looking and lacking patience won’t help you attain your goals. It will only help you make the same mistakes over and over again and repeatedly step into the same relationship pitfalls. Believe me when I say I have seen this happen too many times to count.
I honestly remind myself of these facts as well, as I hope to only marry once and make it for life. I figure the long wait will just make our relationship that much more precious as I will forever remember how long it took for us to find one another. I presume it will be like a cool drink of water after traveling through the unrelenting Sahara desert for a number of days without sustenance. Yeah, sweet relief.