Very few of us get married thinking that we will be among those whose flame will burn out, but so many of us fall into the same trap– as the years pass, we take our love for granted and focus too much of our time and energy on work, kids– even our pets, while failing to make our partners feel like they are a priority. Many just suffer in silence, but let’s face it– no one likes playing second fiddle, and it is precisely the resentment that will eventually kill all the passion.
The harsh truth is that while many may contemplate a divorce, the economic realities of that choice will keep most people from actually pulling the trigger. If you have a established a very comfortable life under one roof, but you realize you cannot maintain that same life in two separate households, then many people will try to suck it up believing that everyone will be able to just maintain the status quo and keep up a happy facade. But all you need is one perfect storm to have the whole house of cards come crashing down– and the storm is inevitably going to come, it always does.
Whether it is a health scare, the death of a loved one, loss of employment, an economic crisis, or something else, life will always present us with challenges that make us reassess our priorities and question whether we are on the right path. If you and your partner are not in sync during these moments of existential crisis, this is going to be a real issue. Why? Because you can’t be on a tandem bike and have two people go in separate directions– that doesn’t work.
It is of no surprise that one of my all time favorite plays is “No Exit” by Jean Paul Sartre, who portrays hell as being a place where you are stuck for eternity with others that you cannot stand– and there is no escape. Well, marriage should not be your hell on Earth. It is meant to be your sanctuary, so if it is not, then do something about it: either fix the issues or get out, it really is that simple.
There is a new tv series coming out this month on USA Network that will explore this dilemma that many 40/50 somethings seem to be facing. I got a sneak peak at “Satisfaction,” and I am definitely looking forward to seeing how it unfolds and is received by audiences. In the meantime, 5 past blogs seem to be resonating with a lot of my peers, and honestly, I am not surprised because we simply are at that age:
1. Is There Really a Midlife Crisis?
2. 5 Reasons Transitions Are So Scary;
3. Til Death Do Us Part;
4. 5 Key Points to Consider in Divorce; and
5. Top 10 Signs You Are Falling Out of Love.
If you feel like you are stuck in a loveless marriage, I suggest you take some time to do all your research and explore all your options. Get away for a weekend and do whatever soul-searching you need to do, and then try to have some honest discussions with your spouse about how you feel. If your partner is willing to work with you, then I think that is a great sign that all is not lost. But if that person refuses to acknowledge that there’s a problem and/or isn’t willing to work with you to address the issues at hand, well then you alone have to decide if you can live with the status quo or not.
No matter what just remember– you are not stuck. Marriage is not meant to be a prison, but rather a beautiful union between two individuals that choose to freely love each other every day by exercising their freewill. If that flame has died out yet you sense that there is still a passionate side of you that is yearning to be free, then you have to find a graceful way to exit your partnership so that you can then go ignite that fire again elsewhere.
Untethered from fear, anything is possible. So, don’t be afraid, but rather with what little time we have left here go explore life to its fullest potential!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.