You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, “Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.” See the positive in negative events. Joel Osteen

We thought we were soul mates. We thought we would always see things the same way. When we were young maybe we thought true equality was actually possible. Before we saw that people starting at the exact same place in their life, with the same opportunities, advantages, and circumstances made different life choices and reaped different harvests. Those life choices made a difference in their lives. Then if you throw luck in there, walking away from a car crash that kills most people, or investing early in the one company that became the success of the decade.

Life is about choices. What we learn, who we build our life with, where we build it. Some people get together and they become more than what they each were. Other couples become less than they each were. Some people stay and get through the ups and downs of life; other people only stay for the ups.

If we can’t stay through the tough times, and there will be tough times, we don’t reap the rewards of getting to the best times. We may think that people in long term marriages had it easier, but it is probably better to think they dealt with things better. It is dealing with, not the things themselves that determine where we’ll be.

Getting through marriage if we are critical, contemptuous, stonewalling and defensive will be much harder than if we can try and see our partner’s point of view, understand their fears, and get into the situation with them. We may think we can do it; of course, we’ll do that. When it actually comes time to see things from their point of view, when it is a point of view we can’t wrap our head around we are at loggerheads. They may think, how can you not see what I see, we may think how can you see that?

In tough times, we all hope for knights in shining armor, or the cavalry, to show up and effect change. Dean Devlin

At these times we may have to agree to disagree. We may feel we are betraying everything we believe to take their side. We may have so much of our self, and our identity wrapped up in what we are thinking it feels like a defining moment in our lives. It becomes an “If we don’t stand up for what we believe, what kind of person would that make us,” moment.

We can’t understand why they don’t understand us anymore, why they could think such things of us, how we have come to look at the world completely differently. We somehow have to reassure our self that our partner has a right to their thoughts, feelings, fears, insecurities, values, goals, and seeing things differently from us is not a threat.

When you come from a large family you know everyone saw things differently. It is like every one of us has a different take on the same story. We can only see things from our point of view; somehow we think our partner doesn’t have their own point of view. We think we have “our joint” point of view. That somehow our coupledom should make us one, we should automatically know what the other wants, needs, expects, requires, and is dealing with.

We got together because of the things we were attracted to; sometimes those same attributes begin to rub us the wrong way. Their sense of humor we so loved, seems so inappropriate, childish, etc. Their outgoing nature seems scary as people are attracted to them, and we worry they could get interested in someone else.

Everyone can always do what we fear they will do. We can’t make people stay with us, love us, be faithful, be kind, be considerate, not get ill, or die before us. We can make it so we are easy to love, kind, considerate, loving, supportive, encouraging, understanding, respectful, likable, and warm.

The only person we can change is our self. If we see things about our partner that needs to change, perhaps we should look at our self and see if we are being our best self for them. The power of our life is when we realize we are the change we need to see. When we change the way we look at things when we become the best we can be, when we focus on what we can do, when we deal with what is. We may not like what we have to go through to learn the lessons we need to learn, but we can be better, or we can be bitter.

A great relationship is about two things. First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Love is a Verb: Stories of What Happens When Love Comes Alive by [Chapman, Gary]
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