Valentine's Day is right around the corner.
This is a season when there's supposed to be love in the air: a feeling of roses, boxes of chocolates, couples buying diamonds, and what not. But you know what it really feels like? Like divorce is in the air.
Today I went around and everybody I spoke to was miserable in their marriage -- it was unreal. A good friend of mine, who has been married for about six years, recently discovered that his wife got pregnant again even though they haven't had sex once in the last six months. Now he's about to have another kid that he doesn't want to have. And all he can think about is how his marriage doesn't work.
Another friend of mine told me about his wife, who was constantly comparing him to the super husband's out there in the world.
"Why don't you treat me like Jim treats his wife?"
"Why don't we go away on a family vacation like Joe takes his kids?"
"Why don't you do _____ because super husband sexy Dave does _____ all the time."
All I've been hearing about is divorce and how couples do not love one another. So the real question is, as Valentine's Day approaches: does marriage really work?
I remember when friend number one -- the one about to have another kid -- first got married and his wife admitted that all she ever wanted in life was to be married. She wanted to be married and she wanted to have kids. His wife wanted to have the perfect family because when she grew up she didn't have that. So her life goal was to have that perfect marriage and that perfect family.
She was looking for a husband, and my friend was looking for a wife. He also had a fractured family, with fractured relationships, in a fractured home; so he too was looking for that perfect woman, that perfect family.
And when fantasy hits fantasy, guess what usually happens? Reality comes. And that's why the couple is talking divorce. Because the reality is, they don't love each other, they're not a fit for one another, and they don't understand one another. She is constantly riding him. He is lost, miserable, not happy and realizing he's in a marriage that is not full of love and that the fantasy is not like the reality.
My other friend went through a business loss. His wife doesn't really support him anymore even though for 17 years he worked his butt off to make that business work. He made a lot of bad decisions along the way, just to make sure that she was happy. And now, he lost his business and he's broke. He owes a lot of money and his wife is wondering why he can't be that super husband. That guy that just comes upstairs and gives her a big kiss after work, throws money around, watches the kids, and has sex with her when she feels like it.
Do you know why people are getting divorced? Because it's worth it. There are too many unhappy people in relationships that were based on fantasy who are now coming to reality.
So this Valentine's Day, I want you to take a look at things just a little bit different, I want you to take a look at your own marriage and ask yourself, "Is this real? What's real about this marriage? How do I feel?"
Ask yourself these tough questions. Ask if you're really, truly happy, and if you can be happy with that person, act upon it. Stop holding grudges this Valentine's Day.
Do you know your partner's love language? Do something for them. You know what will make them happy, or you can continue acting like you're too comfortable to bond, which only leads to that downward spiral called divorce.
Holding your ground in a relationship doesn't work. If you can find the love that you once had for somebody, act upon it. All it takes is action every day, small little steps.
Otherwise marriage really doesn't work because the fantasy of marriage is great, the reality of it is tough, hard work. It's also about marrying the right person, somebody who understands you; somebody who wants to love you the way they need to be loved; somebody you respect; somebody you honor; somebody who makes you feel wonderful.
So let's get real this Valentine's Day and let's ask ourselves the tough questions.
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