When my best friend of four years admitted to me last month that her marriage was falling apart, I cried. I cried for her but not with her. With her, I was strong and freely giving of my advice. I shared little tricks that I have learned in my own eight year marriage to ease tensions between a husband and wife. I’ve seen it in movies, I overhear about it while standing in the smoke hut at my job, and I witness it in the waiting room of my medical office; people who were once in love that can barely make eye contact with their partner.
I never considered that my dearest friends would be deliberating over who gets to retain their friendship with my husband and I, and which partner has to bow out gracefully. Divorce hurts. The phrase, heard a million times, has now become somewhat cliché but is full of resounding truth. How do two people that vowed to be together “till death do us part” find themselves on opposite ends of the bedroom? How does one partner speak so hastily with no regard to the pain endured by their mate? “I hate you”; “you are the worst mistake I ever made”, “I didn’t ask for all this”, “I fell in love with someone else”. Do we not understand what great impact our words hold? In life, our parents teach us not to burn bridges for we never know when we may need to cross them again. Feuding spouses use “burning bridge” phrases everyday.
This I believe: first and foremost be healthy; mind, body, and spirit. An unhealthy person feels bad about them self and finds the need to feed on the joy of others. Therefore their spouse is left drained of love, patience and happiness. Don’t hold onto regrets. Every one of us looks back on some part of our life and thinks “if only”. It is those of us that fuel ourselves with proverbial pats on the back, for what we have accomplished, that survive such self defeating mentality.
We tend to treat our coworkers better than we treat our family. Saying please and thank you, not speaking over someone, and keeping unkind thoughts to oneself should be manners practiced with all. I believe that if we continue to give up on the idea of a truly happy marriage we fail to teach our children tenacity… the age old adage “anything worth having is worth working for” will sadly become obsolete.