Today’s Wife 2 Wife topic is one that I was recently thinking about because of a pervious post I read today by another blogger that I follow regarding divorce and working on a marriage rather than giving up as soon as there is a bump in the road.
A young military wife struggles with a husband who is showing signs of not being committed to their marriage. What would you say to her?
This question immediately made me think of infidelity as the end result of “not being committed to their marriage”. I think my response to infidelity is different than what my answer to this question is, because I think that before a person has cheated, there is the opportunity to strengthen the marriage and fill in the cracks that are causing that person to look outside the marriage for companionship.
My first advice is always communication. You can’t fix a marriage (or any relationship for that mater) if you don’t know what is wrong. Your spouse is the person you should be closest too, there isn’t anything that you should not be able to tell them. Even if that means telling them something that makes you uncomfortable…like your fears about them not being committed.
After every thing has been openly talked about, I would recommend counseling. I may be biased because I am a therapist, but I think counseling can work wonders. Even if only one person goes, it can still improve the relationship. Both people going is obviously ideal with couples, so that both parties can make changes and work on fixing what was causing the relationship to be rocky in the first place. A marriage involves two people, and both people have to be willing to work on the relationship in order to have a long successful marriage.
But what if only one person is willing to work on the marriage? Or what if he actually cheats? At what point does “divorce” enter the conversation? That is a more complicated question that I think every couple has to make on their own. I do feel that many couples jump to divorce without putting in the effort first to try to fix the marriage. But I also don’t think a person should stay in an unhappy marriage for years trying to fix it while the other person isn’t putting in the same effort.
So I guess my advise would be communication and then counseling, because I do think that those two things can stabilize a marriage before it gets to the point where there is infidelity and divorce enters the conversation.