Marriage is so much more than a license, a ceremony and a promise made with symbolic jewelry. Marriage is the spiritual union of two souls who have been guided to each other to serve the highest good and create a spiritual family. The exchange of vows is a sacred rite of passage whose true meaning has escaped so many. When the ideals and fantasy of what you think marriage should be and feel like begin to fade, and the realities of responsibility set in, your emotional and spiritual health may take a back seat. And divorce may seem an attractive option to stop the fights and end the suffering.
If your marriage is in trouble, and you're starting to doubt the decisions you've made, take a step back and take a breath. Close your eyes and remember that there is always somewhere to turn when you feel you've lost your way. Remember your faith, in any form it comes. Faith will give you strength and clarity and help you change your mind, body and spirit to one that attracts the experience you want.
So how do you find the faith to keep your marriage strong? Here are three ways:
Believe in each other
Finding faith in a partner who has let you down can be painful and difficult. You two may spend so much of your energy trying to fix each other that you forget to believe and trust in each other. But how can you trust someone who doesn't seem to be changing for the better, or putting in the work to make the relationship work?
Believe that your spouse can be different, whether you see the changes or not. Instead of focusing on the missteps of the past, or the frustration of the present, believe that your spouse has the ability to be everything he or she strives to be. And this is the key. Believe that your spouse can uphold his or her own standards, or the standards of a higher power, not just yours. No two people are the same. And even a same-faith union does not mean you and your spouse share identical values or principles in every aspect. Nor would those same ideals manifest in identical ways. Find out exactly what your partner thinks and feels about all aspects of marriage, its meaning and its manifestations. Then believe that it will all happen. And in the meantime, do this same thing for yourself.
Believe in your marriage
Your marriage is an ordained expression of the lessons of your spiritual system. You and your spouse were brought together to achieve something momentous, and this was not done lightly or in vain. The entity that you, your spouse and your higher power created is larger than the two of you; more than the sum of its parts. But with great power comes great responsibility. Upholding your spiritual tenants in the face of everyday adversity becomes paramount in raising your family in the grace and omnipresence of your higher power. Keeping your faith means looking beyond the temporary, the mundane and the obstacles in your physical and spiritual success. Believe in your marriage as you believe in your higher power and its plans for both of you. Find or rediscover the purpose you two are meant to fulfill together, and model that for your children. Teach them to search for the meaning in life's difficulties, and the divine in their marriages.
Believe in your path
Your marriage is a milestone on your lifelong journey to ultimate happiness and peace. In matrimony, your road has merged with the road of another, and you are sharing this sacred space as a part of both of your journeys. Marriage is an intersection that you can barrel through, missing the signals and likely causing a collision. Or you can slow down and usher the other passengers to their destinations - your spouse and children. Your path took the twists and turns it was meant to, even when you found yourself feeling lost and unguided. You may not have the map, but the right road is the road you're on, and you and your spouse are travelling in the same direction. Travel together. You may need to breathe some fresh air at a rest stop, but use that time to recharge, regroup and reunite with yourself, your spouse, and your higher power. You and your life mate crossed paths as a way to guide you both home. See your marriage as a vehicle that was created to help you become your true self, and find your inner power, strength and love.
My parents, throughout their 30-year marriage, were excellent role models in teaching me how to choose a good mate, and how to traverse life's bumpy roads while staying connected. Marriage is not without its hardships, the belief that together they can get through anything teaches me in many ways how I wish to manifest this leg of my journey.
The key to keeping faith and avoiding divorce is not to avoid divorce; it is to thrive in marriage. Really be as fully invested in your marriage as you are in your faith. Believe in it. Trust in it. Know it will guide you and protect you. Remind yourself of how far you've come, and how much you've already overcome. Look forward to how far there is to go, and how much more there is to experience. And consider how you got here, and why you came in the first place. Then let go, and let faith guide the rest of your journey through marriage, family and life.