MARITAL CRISIS—AND BEYOND
There comes a time in most marriages when the bottom falls out. The entire relationship is called into question. Usually, one partner feels this more strongly than the other.
The less affected partner feels puzzled and hurt while the more affected one is faced with the choice of whether or not to continue.
This crisis can happen more than once, even in a very good relationship. It is a time of great stress and anguish. The reason it happens varies widely.
To stay together in a satisfying marriage, the couple must somehow weather the crisis without doing irreparable harm to their bond. Even if the bond is shattered, often a new one can be forged.
Many couples don’t make it through this but many do. Some find their joy and commitment enhanced after the storm.
Here’s how to make it through. First, you must avoid an impulsive, emotion-driven decision. Acting too quickly can abort or delay the working-through process. Remember, emotions change and your inclination can swing wildly from one extreme to the other in a crisis.
Next, sit down with your partner and get it all out. You must be thoroughly honest and give your partner a chance to do the same.
Use your listening skills and speak without too much malice. But tell it like it is.
This can take a while. Even to figure out your own position can take time. Stay with it. Expect to be exhausted and to cry a lot.
This is a time of transformation. Either you make it or you break it. Drastic times call for drastic measures. If you’re having an affair or want to, say so. Likewise with any other secrets you’ve been holding.
Don’t take others’ advice. Make your own choices but give yourself the time you need. A good relationship can seem terminally wounded when it really isn’t. Many have risen from the ashes. Go get therapy, not for advice but to help you see things more clearly.