The Deconstruction of Your Beliefs and Your Marriage
One of the most difficult challenges I ever undertook was to deconstruct my beliefs and stay married.
Honestly, there were many times Lisa and I didn’t think we were going to make it. But we did. And I’m so grateful.
(DISCLAIMER: When some couples I’ve known, or one or the other, enter into deconstruction, they sometimes discover they were never really in love, got married under naive or inappropriate conditions, or that they have fallen out of love and into a rut. Divorce becomes a viable option for many marriages in many of these cases.)
However, there are many marriages that should remain. There are many people who should work hard to keep their relationship in tact. Yes, you will experience traumatic and cataclysmic change, but if you do a few things right, there’s a very good chance that you will make it and that your marriage will not only survive but get better.
Like I said, Lisa and I made it. Our marriage is better than ever. But we did a few things that helped us survive.
1. We talked. Communication is key! Process everything.
2. We got help. Counselors, therapists, coaches. You name it. Do it.
3. We read good books on marriage. Get my favorite here.
4. We didn’t make decisions under confusion. Wait for clarity!
5. We learned love kept us together, not compatibility. Respect their uniqueness.
6. We kept romance alive even when the fire wasn’t there. Date. Buy flowers. Talk.
7. We remembered what drew us together and how madly in love we were. Remember?
8. We embraced change as not only inevitable but preferable. Welcome change!
9. We held out in hopes that things would get better. Hope!
10. We hung out with other healthy couples. Find supportive friends who model love.
I could go on. But these are the keys to helping your marriage survive deconstruction.
Remember, you used to be so much on the same page spiritually. Now, you’re not! You have to learn how to love at a deeper level than compatibility. You will each grow in different ways at different paces. Respect and honor that.
As one stretches in a more liberal direction while the other stretches in a more conservative one, this will put new strains on your marriage. But if you learn to work with the bonds of marriage as if they’re elastics instead of chains, you will succeed.
For Lisa and I, the rough patch was for about 2 years. That sounds like a long time. But it was worth it, and the work paid off. Now our marriage is stronger and more delightful than ever!