Opinion - My marriage is falling apart, but that's what keeps us together

M. Brown

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Bridget Flohe via Unsplash

**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

How we deal with our relationships when they are unraveling really does matter.

Do we avoid problems in our relationships when they arise? Do we charge at conflicts with irrational anger? OR do we try to find some sort of balance between the natural personality challenges and external influences that can affect two people trying to make a partnership work?

A partnership can be so many things at the same time. It can be content. It can be volatile. It can be quiet. It can be tense. It can breed resentment. It can create pleasure.

On any given day, a romantic relationship can be any number of these things at any given moment — sometimes all within a 24-hour cycle.

How we cope with this vast array of emotions and circumstances is the real nitty-gritty guts of human love relationships.

There are days when it feels like my own marriage is falling apart.

There are days when I don’t like my partner very much. There are moments when I want to pack my bags and get on a plane to somewhere else — somewhere without all of the responsibilities that human relationships bring.

Then there are those moments when I don’t think I could breathe as well without my partner by my side — supporting me in my worst moods and through my most desperate emotions.

Marriages and long-term partnerships can be both hanging by a thread and existing in absolute bliss all at the same time.

There are many moments when my marriage feels like it’s falling apart. There’s always something that needs attending to or that’s screaming out for special attention.

A relationship has all sorts of moving parts that will need regular maintenance in order to keep it running smoothly.

Throughout the peaks and valleys of a long-term relationship and/or marriage, we must expect that there will be days, weeks, months — even years sometimes when we simply don’t connect with our partners for whatever reasons.

These phases of disconnection can be terrifying — especially if you ultimately want the relationship to work.

During the most difficult chapters of my own marriage, I’ve strived to keep in mind the reasons why we are together in the first place — the fuel that drives what we have together.

At the core of our relationship, my partner and I have mutual respect for who we are as individuals. We realize that we both have our own passions and ideas independent of our relationship together. We can also recognize when we start drifting too far apart from one another mentally, emotionally, or physically.

In those moments, when it feels like our relationship, our connection, and our reasons for being together are splitting apart at the seams — we both have to make a concerted effort to climb back up that difficult mountain of compassion and communication.

This is no easy feat. Sometimes this journey back to one another is entangled in frustration, misunderstanding, and pure exhaustion.

Trying to sort through relationship problems can be grueling and uncomfortable. That’s why many couples simply choose to ignore the cracks and disconnections in their relationship — because it’s not fun. It’s work.

This relationship work often involves confronting yourself — sometimes at your worst — and admitting your mistakes.

It also involves apologizing when you’re wrong which is another challenge many people in relationships still cannot master. Just speaking an apology isn’t always enough.

A real apology means not doing that thing you said you were sorry for again and acknowledging how the other person may be feeling about it.

When I sense that my relationship is in trouble — when it’s starting to fall apart — I have to recalibrate. I have to evolve. I have to be open to some form of compromise. That’s how healthy long-term relationships operate.

I have to be awake to the reasons why my marriage may be drifting out to sea in order to bring it back in.

I have to let the emotions come. I have to talk about what’s going on. I have to really see my partner and listen.

I have to allow my marriage to fall apart in order to find better and more enlightened ways to help put it back together again.

it's okay to let things fall apart sometimes as long as both partners in a relationship are committed to catching those broken pieces when they fall and are working together to create a more improved space for their love to live in.

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