Is it really possible to be happily married for life?”
Often in therapy, I am asked a few questions that break my heart. Near the top of my list of such questions is the question “is it really possible to be happily married for life?”. While the optimist in me wants to shout out, rather loudly “yes, it most definitely is”, something restrains me. I look into the eyes of the heart-broken spouse (that is usually the one asking this question) and I see dashed hopes, fragmented dreams, unspoken fears and despair. After 26 years of marriage, I understand where they are coming from.
So instead of glibly answering, I pause and reflect for a moment.
Like every married couple on this planet, I know that marriage is hard. It takes much more than the desire to make it work. It takes often dying to yourself to be reborn anew; It takes seeking to please more than to be pleased; it takes constantly placing the needs of the marriage above your own needs or even the needs of a spouse that we once loved, and maybe still love in some way. As a relationship therapist, it appears to me that we all know what it takes to make a relationship work. Those of us who have the worst marriages, somehow manage to have an exciting affair or at least several strong friendships. We know that it takes patience, time, seeking to please another, shared interests etc to make a friendship or an affair work - the same things it takes to make a marriage work. So I dare say, the issue is not ignorance of how to make our marriages work. The issue might be more of a desire to make our marriages work - a desire that was once there as we walked down the aisle; a desire that has somehow been destroyed by the demands and the mundane nature of living together day after day, after day…after day!
And so, I look into the heart-broken eyes of my hurting client, take their hands in mine and say gently “I believe it is possible. It takes a strong desire on the part of both spouses, a commitment not just to each other, but to the marriage. If you both desire to make your marriage work, I will walk alongside you to help make it happen”. As hope slowly returns to their eyes, I remember again why my role as a relationship therapist is more of a calling than a job.
If you are struggling to make your relationship the best that it can be, go ahead and call me for a free phone consultation at 334.549.9757 or better yet, click the appointment tab on our home page, schedule an appointment and and lets talk.