Here is a question for you that you might not think about very often. How many couples do you know that have been married for a substantial period of time (let’s say 20 years or more) and who still love each other? Two? Five? Ten? (Feel free to count those couples that aren’t officially “married” by governmental standards – what we are looking for here is longevity in Love).
Picture them in your mind. Write down their names. Do you have them all listed? Are you sure?
We hear so often of people breaking up, getting divorced, or of people looking for love that sometimes it can feel as if true love is elusive and something that is achieved by just a few.
Love Going Right
I want to change all of that. Not only do I want to help couples build, nurture and grow that great Love, but I want to change the perception of what we have been taught. We hear so much about love gone wrong and not enough about Love going right. Loving couples with great longevity are out there. Look for them. Notice them. Realize that they are not an anomaly. Really. They aren’t.
See, it All Comes Down to Math
Even though the divorce rate is sadly high (49%), that means that 51% of marriages are NOT ending in divorce. Does that mean the 51% are happy? No, it doesn’t – but it is hopeful just the same because over half of the people who get married at least have the ability to figure out how to stay together.
After spending over a decade in divorce recovery, I was starting to feel like marriage was a lost art; that perhaps nobody was going to stay married, learn how to live well together, appreciate each other and grow more deeply connected over time. It was easy to feel that way since that is what I saw over and over again. That is the conversation that was happening among those I talked with. Then I did something different. I started looking for happy couples (even if at first it felt a little like looking for unicorns). Know what? I found them. They were right there in my own circle of friends and co-workers and neighbors. Why didn’t I see them before? Because most happy couples don’t go around talking about how great their relationships are all the time. I think that may have something to do with social training – I mean, it seems pretty acceptable to talk about drama and less acceptable to talk about something that may sound like bragging. That’s too bad and it would be helpful, I believe, if the conversation could switch around a bit and we could talk about love going right. When breaking up and divorce becomes too “normal”, it undermines our belief that long term happiness and connectedness is achievable. So, come on now, you happy couples out there – brag a little. Show others that what you have is worth fighting for and encourage them a bit. More people could stand to know love going right is possible .