THE BLOG
04/09/2012 07:52 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2012

Would You Get Rid of Your Dog if He Wasn't Doing What You Wanted?

My beautiful yellow lab Willow, who I rescued back in 2004, is peeing all over my house. I'm constantly cleaning my carpet, scared that my house will smell like dried urine. She can't help it. She's 12 years old (we think!). She has lost control over her bladder. She seems embarrassed. The whole thing is frustrating. But am I going to give her away because of it? No way.

In response to my blog post on March 8, 2012, I Just Wish He Would Have an Affair, someone commented, "You want to get rid of your spouse because he isn't doing what you want, but would you get rid of your kids (or your dog) for the same reason or would you work on the problems?"

I love this comment! We do live in a disposable society. My parents used to pay money to have the vacuum repaired. Today, I think we are more apt to put it out with the garbage and buy a new vacuum cleaner instead of taking the time and making the investment to repair the one we already have.

It is frustrating when things don't work the way they are supposed to, or the way we hope they will. But, there is something to be said for investing the time, the money, the energy, and the emotion into taking something that you value, that perhaps isn't meeting your expectations anymore, and making it into something you can value once again.

You know where I am going with this. Our divorce rate continues to hover around the 50 percent rate. One out of two marriages will reportedly "break." I know many couples do try to repair their relationships. They do invest the time, money, energy and emotion into trying to fix what has broken. And to each of them, I say kudos for at least making the effort to fix what is broken; even if ultimately you aren't successful, you can take solace in the fact that you really tried.

But, having spoken with many couples over the past few years, I am shocked by how many people seem to throw in the towel before sufficiently exhausting all options; namely, valuing the relationship enough and the time already invested in it to see if it can be repaired.

So many people I speak with, both men and women, tell me that their spouse came to them with his or her "mind made up" about wanting a divorce. Period. No discussion. No counseling. Over and done with. These people feel like they haven't even had a chance to try to work on things. A decision was made -- albeit unilaterally -- and that's the end of that.

I'm dreaming here, I know, but wouldn't it be nice if couples tried more diligently to repair the broken things before completely throwing in the towel? Wouldn't it be nice if we valued and respected the "original" or "older" model instead of seeking the latest and greatest model with all the new features? Wouldn't it be nice if the marriage repair-person (aka marriage counselor/minister/therapist) got a call before the divorce attorney? Perhaps I'm dreaming -- or perhaps it's food for thought!

In closing, does anyone out there have a fabulous carpet-cleaning product to recommend that removes both the stain and the odor? I love my sweet Willow and will continue to clean up after her!

More importantly, does anyone out there have a comment about our disposable society -- especially when it comes to relationships? Should we invest the money, time, energy and emotion to fix things, or should we just go for a different model?