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Get Married And Stay Married Out Of Want, Not Need

Get Married And Stay Married Out Of Want, Not Need

You married the partner of your dreams. You promised to love each other forever, and the two of you have made a life together. The years have passed, the reality of marriage has set in, and now it seems that the fairytale is over. Now, you’re not so sure that getting married was the best decision, and you’re wondering if maybe this whole marriage thing was a mistake. Maybe it just isn’t for you. And you start to think: should we stay together or end the marriage?

We’ve all been there. Every married person has had this doubt at one time or another. And if someone tells you they haven’t, it’s a lie. Unfortunately, social norms dictate that we should never doubt our marriage, no matter what. This expectation makes the reality of this very moment in your life particularly difficult. Why are you feeling this way when nobody else is? As you question your marriage, your sanity, and every other life decision you’ve ever made, there is one important thing to consider: Why are you staying? Are you staying in your marriage out of want or need?

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Reasons for Divorce

Divorce is definitely more common today, than, say, 100 years ago. Some people believe that the rise in divorces is a sign of society’s decline. Others believe it’s because people now understand that marriage should be fulfilling for both people involved. For Karen Rinaldi, author of the article “What is a Man For?”[1]  recently published in the New York Times, divorce came when her husband became infected with HIV and admitted to having extramarital affairs with other men. The fear of contracting the virus herself became too much, and the two divorced. However, they did remain friends until his final days.

Ask yourself: would you want to stay in this kind of marriage? Has your partner cheated on you or broken your trust? Are you staying because you can’t afford rent on your own place? That’s staying out of need, not want.

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Pressure to Stay Married

Marriage is a hot topic in many cultures around the world. Many people believe it is a lifelong institution that should never be broken. Others disagree. Maybe you’re not sure. But, you do know that you have a house together, maybe kids together. You have financial issues, maybe you feel protected in your marriage, maybe your spouse earns more money. The list goes on and on. Guess what? Nothing on that list is a reason to stay in a marriage. In fact, these are some of the worst reasons for staying in a bad marriage, writes Susan Peace.[2]

Don’t feel pressured to stay in a marriage out of need, out of fear, or simply because it would be too complicated to leave. Living your life according to other people’s expectations is a recipe for unhappiness.

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Wanting Your Marriage

You should stay in your marriage only if it’s out of want. Telling your partner “I love you” out of reflex, while thinking to yourself that you don’t – that isn’t fair. Let’s be honest, that isn’t fair to you or to your spouse. But, if you say those words and still mean it – there’s still hope.

So, what are the things that make you want your marriage? Looking forward to seeing your partner in the morning, wondering if they’ve eaten a healthy lunch today, struggling through the downturns of life together, and sharing the mundane tasks of living together – these are some of the signs that you do want your marriage. But, there is one sign that you want to stay in your marriage that somehow rises above all the others. It is knowing that you could just as easily do this life thing on your own, yet choosing not to, because you have found the person that you want to share it with.

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Reference

[1] Karen Rinaldi: What Is A Man For
[2] Susan Peace, LCSW, CADC: Top Misguided Reasons to Stay in a Bad Marriage

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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