This is going to appear as a stream of consciousness on
the subjects of marriage, relationships that fall apart,
whether or not some are salvageable or not. Then how
to handle divorce.
Love warfare can mean “all’s fair in love and war!”
We have all been down in the trenches with someone we
had a commitment with and wanted to make it work.
Let’s start with dating situations…
Don’t be a doormat. When you meet a man you can come
across as someone who is strong and assertive without
being bossy or the opposite; whiny and weak. The best way
to be able to present yourself in a dating situation is to be
happy and act as if everyone is your best friend. That does
not mean be too comfortable!
I am going to tell you something, this is directed to either a
man or a woman: Don’t be listening to stories about his or
her ex! This is something that I meet men and they want to
start to spill their guts about all that went wrong. Wrong! I
am not your counselor and I am sure that we may eventually
talk about your problems and take out the baggage. But never
start on a first date! Please, trust me on this!
When you become the “listening date” you are ‘losing ground’
and losing the chance in becoming the next person that this
date will have in their life! You will only be a “rebound” friend.
You will cover all kinds of bonding and feel like you are building
a great foundation and BOOM! You are out of the frontline of this
person’s interest. You think, “But I am only being nice by
Please don’t defend this strategy. I am speaking from
experience. Been there, done that!
You need to get an edge!
My Mom has an interesting perspective (age plus some wisdom that
comes with age!) She says, “Try moving in a different direction to get
attention. Try a new recipe, hobby, read an article to share,… because
like magnets, people are attracted to others who are moving away from
them. It is FUN to be chased!” My mother said one time, “Go on your
merry way and soon right behind you, almost on your heels, is who you
wanted to catch all along.”
I am looking forward to some input that will validate this position.
Let’s go on to marriages or committed relationships…
Now, I am speaking on the subject of unfaithfulness. I have felt the pain
of being the one who is not being loved. But I do think you may need to
decide if there is any chance, especially if there are children, to reconcile.
This is not the way you would expect me to respond! I know!
Be strong while dating and be compromising if trying to save a family.
Children are the casualties in the war between the spouses.
“If you want something bad enough, you will fight for it!”
Men or women, gird your loins, gear up and get ready for the battle of
May the best man/woman WIN!
Hopefully, you will be the last one standing with your mate side by side.
Unfaithfulness can be fixed, it takes a lot of effort, and tons of forgiveness.
Letting the hurt one tell what really needs to be done to reassure him or her,
by having a counselor guide the couple through the problems until they are
Draw your lines in the sand, letting him or her know what won’t be allowed
to happen in the future.
No repeated mistakes or ‘there’s the door!’
Give it your “best shot.” Once you start that path back to a healthy
marriage, be gentle with each other’s hearts.
And if after counseling and trying to get the spark back, you both agree
the damage is done and the marriage is over….
If you don’t make it back to that place where you are secure together, try
to remember again, if you have children, to make sure you develop as
close a friendship as you can. After the damage has been done, moving
towards the patching of a relationship after the divorce to be a sane and
peaceful one filled with open communication is important.
Give up the fight, lick your wounds and move forward one step at a time.
I have a very good friend who was in the military and an officer. Sue and
her husband were back at “home” on the base for a period of time. She
had been trying to unwind (basically, “detox” from the action) and get
acclimated to being not in such a stressful place anymore. Meanwhile,
her husband was spending a lot of time at either the officer’s club,
playing pool, drinking or socializing.
Sue felt he was “escaping from the horrors we had experienced.” She
also overheard a rumor going around the base that he was having an
affair. They talked, she found out the truth and since there were no kids
they decided to dissolve their marriage. One thing she knew was, she
could have pursued a court martial! I was not aware of this potential
blow to this man, but she told me that was true. A married officer is not
to be unfaithful on the base nor with another military person. Instead
she chose 50% of his assets and pension. My friend “won” money but
also chose to not ‘re-up.’ She got out of the military, feeling very remorseful
since they had gone in young, stuck together during skirmishes in the Iraq
war and now, she was alone.
Another unfaithful story makes me upset just thinking about it! A young man
chooses who he considers the “hottest girl in high school” and goes after her.
He marries her, somewhere down the road 3 years and they have 2 children.
She is working during the day and he is working afternoon shift. He has an
affair with the woman’s best friend and neighbor. He thinks it is funny, he
says, “One day the wife comes home and just misses the action going on.
Clothes are on but not even buttoned and she carries in the 2 toddlers and
doesn’t notice. Can you imagine how out of touch she is to her husband?”
This story was told me in the Fall and I was appalled. I guess the laughter is
one reason for me to see “red.” The other is that he chose her and now, she’s
a mother to his children and she is no longer enough? It hurts me to think
back to a different time, a different scenario during my personal life. I heard
the similar attitude from the man I was married to and raising children while
he had several affairs.
I tried to fight to save the love especially for the children’s sake.
If given a chance, couples should try counseling and hope that the therapist
is able to give them steps to repair the relationship. I have read a few Ladies’
Home Journal Magazines over the years where the counselor is able to convince
the couple that they still love each other. Soon they have put their marriage and
love as a higher priority than the affair that could have wrecked their marriage.
Hope springs eternal!
The words Inner Strength come to mind. The hurt one by unfaithfulness needs to
use Inner Resolve to get through to the other side.
I like the song that has these lyrics from Rodney Atkins,
“If you’re going through Hell, keep on going, don’t slow down.
If you’re scared, don’t show it.
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there.”
Now, because I have used the word Hell, I want to make a final statement about
what marriages should not be saved: Physically abusive ones are very challenging
and usually not worth saving. This goes to the deep rooted need to hurt by hitting,
wounding, shoving, and other dangerous moves that are nearly impossible to
“cure” or “fix.”
The biggest problem is that the abuse can escalate and become life-threatening.
It is nearly impossible to rehabilitate a man/woman who hits or hurts their spouse.
It is hard to get counselors that can give the intense counseling needed to “break
the cycle of abuse.”
You are not a loser in this war.
You are a survivor.