With Southern California divorce rates at a staggering 60 – 75%, Where do couples begin to learn how to stay committed and loyal to each other? First of all, we need to un-learn what the media and our culture has been raining down on us, that love is romantic feelings that are paramount to a lasting relationship.
Getting a Grip on Reality
Dr.Thomas A. Habib, clinical psychologist, founder and senior partner at Mission Psycholoical Consultants, Inc., San Juan Capistranio, California, writes in his book, “if these walls could talk”, couples need to accept that love is not constant or perfect. Dr. Habib shares, “In psychotherapy with my clients, I can hear them tenaciously cling to their wish for perfect love. Almost every married person wonders if he or she made a mistake in selecting a life partner.”
Contentment Through Acceptance
Dr. Habib implores couples to consider, “In a good marriage, each day we can expect to feel:
- 5 minutes of love
- 15 minutes of feelings ranging from ambivalence to hate
- a whopping 23 hours and 40 minutes of indifference!”
Commitment is Constant
Uncle Bernie as many know him, exemplifies what it means to be loyal and devoted to your spouse. You see, he was married to a woman for several years who gave up on life. Doctors, relatives and friends tried to reach out to her, yet she still chose to be moody, depressed, cantankerous and ultimately disengaged from people. Bernie still continued to clean, cook and care for her in their home. What is astounding is that Bernie is completely opposite of his wife. Bernie is as strong as an ox, athletic, and a community leader. Many people thought Bernie should have left her. After all, it was her decision to give up. She would barely eat enough to survive day by day. She looked more like his grandmother than his wife. Bernie refused to have an affair, divorce or leave her side. He relinquished his dreams of travel, and living the “good life” during his golden years. Instead, he mounted their marriage certificate on the hall wall, just outside her bedroom door, a constant reminder that love is commitment, “For better for worse, for richer or poorer, till death do we part”.
For more information and resources on children with special needs, family, parenting, counselling from Dr. Habib: MPCCares.com