Two of the most dynamic and appealing men I know are as they say, "caught between a rock and a hard place". Lately, they have been on my mind as they have common ground in life similarities and level of marital suffering.
I have spent quality time (infrequently) with both men and we share a friend dear to all of us. At a point in the near future, I hope they gain the courage and inspiration to change their lives and move forward in a positive and productive manner. My gut feeling is that they are getting little or no advice in order to improve their situation; something many people need, particularly in an unhealthy marriage.
Below is some basic information about them:
A) Both are smart, intellectual and interesting.
B) One has had several challenging female relationships throughout life and the other seemed to always have cool girlfriends/female friends around him.
C) During our times together, I have enjoyed their wisdom and company.
D) Both are athletic.
E) Both had a WIDE NET (maybe didn't know) to choose from in regards to picking a life partner.
F) Unfortunately, both made the IRRESPONSIBLE mistake (See September article on the right) of not "Choosing Wisely" (See March article) with regard to marriage.
G) Both have endured (at a minimum) several years of unhappiness and today their marriages are at a precarious level.
H) Both have children.
If asked, my message to them would be:
Although you made the mistake of choosing the wrong life partner, it is never too late to turn that negative into a positive. You are two of the most interesting men I know but you have built yourself a "house of cards", that while still standing is not far from collapse. You must DO SOMETHING about it with regard to moving your life and the life of your family forward. There are only two paths to take; Attempting to gain your happiness back in marriage OR a journey in the other less favorable direction (divorce) which could actually be the best thing for everyone in the long run. Each day you "dangle in the wind" is another day of lost hope while the abyss gets deeper and deeper.
And there is hope. There is always hope but you have to go after it by getting the proper help and/or counseling from professionals or friends. Bad marriages don't get better on their own. If you want to save your marriage, you must do whatever it takes to move it in the proper direction. That may involve confronting your spouse and telling her your true feelings and what you really want from family life. It may involve a host of troubling or distasteful elements but if it takes you out of your suffering, it will be worth it. Let's not forgot that an unhappy marriage does little for your wife and could negatively influence your child's future. I firmly believe that it is better for a child to grow up in a world not living with both parents than to grow up in a BROKEN household.
One of the best forms of advice I ever received was from an acquaintance in New York City. We were friends but not extremely close, although he could be trusted and had great judgement. I was dealing with a complicated business situation that I had to confront and bring to a close. Not wanting to face it like a man, I was doing everything possible to avoid an unpleasant situation. For a variety of reasons, I kept procrastinating and procrastinating.
One evening, my friend pulled me aside and asked how it was going. I said, "nothing new, still thinking about it". He said to me, " George, stop messing around and DO SOMETHING about this situation; It will not improve or come to a conclusion unless you make it happen". His tone was strong, a bit angry and to the point. It was one of the most poignant moments and life lessons in my life. The day after, I attacked my problem relentlessly and it was resolved in a matter of days. His words changed my life forever. I think of them constantly and when faced with an important situation that needs action on my part, I never procrastinate even if it is uncomfortable or unpleasant.
Remember these words:
There are many ways to Lose your Life: "All at Once" or "One Day at a Time".
1) All at Once - (i.e. plane crash or tragedy)
2) One Day at a Time - (i.e. each day in a unhappy marriage or not living the life you desire)
DO SOMETHING about your situations as they will not improve on their own. Every day with inaction means a day where a small part of you dies.
I implore you to ACT NOW in much the same way my friend inspired me. If I didn't act swiftly after receiving such spirited encouragement , my life wouldn't have been nearly as interesting, happy or exciting.
Now is your opportunity. Don't wait or your life just might be LOST, One Day at a Time.
Happy Gswede Sunday!
Gswede enjoying a moment of relaxtion - (London, England coffee shop, 2006)