I love the TV show Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. How can you resist a man with an English accent who ruggedly handles all sorts of survival situations? He provides a glorious hour-long anxiety attack coupled with copious amounts of raw heart and/or bug eating. Oh, and there are alligators...lots of alligators.
What I love most about the show (English accent notwithstanding) is how creative Bear is when it comes to survival. He uses what he's got, what he can find, his brains, and previous special forces military training to make impossible situations work. Yes, yes I know many of the "dangers" are staged so that he can demonstrate techniques, but the principle is still the same. You do what you have to do to survive.
Marriage takes survival. And today couples faces so many obstacles. We have a horrible economy, lack of jobs, difficultly getting mortgages, two income households, crazy schedules, constant technology and marketing bombardment, and record debt rates just to name a few. In the midst of this our society puts very little value on the sanctity and commitment of marriage, family values, morality, living within one's means, a slower-paced life, church involvement, community living, and love that is based on choice rather than feelings.
In order for a marriage to last, we're going to have to throw many of the "proven" ways of doing things out the window. You're going to do what you have to do in order to make your marriage healthy and long-lasting.
If you and your hubs feel like passings ships in the night because you both work full-time and have kids as well, maybe it's time to buck the trend by cutting way back on expenses and adjusting your lifestyle to create less financial pressure and more time for each other. A marriage is unsustainable if you don't make quality time for each other.
Maybe survival means taking some of that religiously guarded money out of savings and use it for a family trip or much needed vacation.
Maybe you cut down on church commitments. Or cut out e-mail after 8pm. Or turn off your cable so that nights can be spent reading, learning, talking, or playing games. Things that build connection.
Maybe you let others into your marriage problems and allow them to speak wisdom and advice into your life. Maybe you go to counseling.
You do what you have to do, with what you've got, use your brains, get some training (books, seminars, counseling, small groups, etc.) and find a way to make it work so that your marriage survives.
-Melissa (*note that Jake does not love Bear Grylls' accent...it's a woman thing!)