This used to be how my husband and I approached our marriage. We were taught this and it sounded good, right? It is very common marriage advice in LDS marriages. At least it was for us.
Over time, we have both come to realize that this idea was not necessarily working in our favor, especially in the face of a mixed faith marriage. Here are some of our realizations:
When divorce was not an option, we realized there was the tendency to feel stuck, like we had no choice. It most definitely felt like a life sentence and less like a the kind of marriage we had hoped for. It also felt like we were at the mercy of our 20 something selves.
When we see divorce as an option it means we choose regularly to stay. We choose to do the work to make this marriage work so we want to stay.
For me, it meant that I was staying because I wanted to. Not because I had to for financial or child care reasons. It helped me see the marriage as more than a social contract or a transaction.
It also meant that we can reinvent the marriage. Two years ago we went on a trip we called our second honeymoon. We were celebrating our new relationship. We were recognizing that we were no longer the same people we married and where choosing again to be in a relationship with each other as who we were now and who we were 20 years ago.
It gives us the courage to communicate about the issues that need to be discussed and not to avoid them indefinitely because they are ‘uncomfortable”. (Number one reason this idea can hurt a mixed faith marriage)
Now we tell each other that divorce is an option and today we are choosing to stay together. It may sound scary to some, but it really makes our marriage more real and more enjoyable. It creates a space for more honesty and more commitment.
Feeling stuck in your marriage? Feeling like you can’t or won’t talk about the hard stuff? You need coaching. I can help. It only takes one person to make a change in a relationship. Let’ talk.
Talk to you soon,