How do you know if it is worth working through the challenges and when do you know it is time to throw in the proverbial towel?
Am I being physically, mentally or emotionally abused? If the answer is yes to these then the reality is that is it time to take you life and your sanity into your own hands and get out? If there is abuse it can be very difficult to leave. If you are experiencing abuse please look for assistance at the links below.
Do I still respect my spouse as a person? It is not always easy to feel lovingly towards someone, but if you still have respect for them as a person there is usually room to remember what you loved about them once. If there is only contempt, you will continue to tear each other down. Contempt kills all relationships, not just marriages.
Is there anything about my spouse that still brings a smile to my face? This is where attention to details pays off. Often it is little things – the small gestures that still mean something – that keep a relationship going through really tough times. It is different for every couple. Small gifts, chores done unasked, adjusting the seat of the car for you when you are going to driving next, giving you the bigger slice of cake when it is your favorite, telling a joke when you need it, letting you cry and not trying fixing anything, making your coffee just the way you like it, balancing the checkbook when you are wits end, bringing a glass of water when you get back from a run, turning off the lights without reminding you about the power bill, a text or note in your lunch… Sometimes it is different at different times in your relationship. Checking the baby at 3 AM is rarely still necessary when junior is in high school.
If you are not being abused and you have more respect that contempt, this is the time of year to sit back and appreciate the little things that keep a marriage going.
By Tasha Lowe-Newsome