There are a multitude of reasons that marriages can fade and fail over time. Far too many of us have experienced failed marriages, myself included, and while one of the two parties to a broken marriage may have contributed more to its demise than the other, the truth is that we are all sinners and there are no saints when it comes to failure. BOTH parties failed in some degree because a solid marriage isn't simply a 50/50 proposition, but rather an 100/100% one in nature; neither party has stainless hands.
Contrary to popular belief, successful marriages do not just happen in storybook fashion, but rather require common values of respect, commitment, communication, adoration, kindness, honesty, humility, selfless and total faithfulness, along with good measures of passion, patience and lots of laughter by two people who long to share their lives together. And most importantly, both parties need to realize that they may not always 'Like' their mate, but they should always 'LOVE' them.
Love in my personal opinion is perhaps one of the most misunderstood words in language and certainly the most misapplied and one taken for granted. When we're young for example, it's common to confuse Infatuation with Love. Infatuation is 'emotion' based, whereas Love is 'devotion' based; the difference is HUGE. Infatuation is a temporal feeling predicated on 'outward' attraction whereas Love is an ever-growing feeling predicated on 'inward' attraction of traits, behaviors and common values. Where Infatuation is selfish in nature, Love is selfless in nature.
Reading thus far, you may be thinking that while it appears easy to destroy a marriage, building a strong one requires a lot of hard work? Well, you'd only be half correct. It is indeed very easy to destroy a marriage -just act on your Id as any common narcissist (more common in number then we'd like to think) which hopefully you're not (but another VERY common problem is that far too many nice people marry narcissists and suffer accordingly until the light-bulb goes off one day and we realize, we can't change them). Actually solid, lasting relationships are easy to build if your willing to be patient enough to take the time to allow yourself to discover a mate who shares the same values and commitment that you do. In an environment of mutual values, the sky is the limit, whereas dissimilar values will always lead to divorce or lingering despair.
I'm by no means a genius, but I've always tried to model the example my Dad displayed regarding his love for my Mom. I'm all but certain that Dad may not have always 'liked' Mom, but he ALWAYS Loved her.
Anyway, imagine my surprise, when years after divorce and single-fatherhood of my three sons and taking care of my Dad as he faded into the darkness of Alzheimer's, when I'd all but given-up on ever finding 'Her,' 'She' found me and I discovered that this one was nothing like anyone I'd ever met. So if you find yourself in a place like the one I was in, all I can suggest is that perhaps you should stop looking and start relaying on faith that your one-in-a-million 'The One' comes your way. Try not to dwell on what you want to find, but rather focus on who you are, or more specifically, who you want to be. To find true Love, we all should really understand what it is because we can't truly love anybody unless we know what Love is. Let's look at what our 'Owner's Manual' says about it:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
-1 Corinthians 13: 4-13
I Love You Netti and I'm Blessed to share my life with you...