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The Best Way To Stay Married

By on July 23, 2015

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The title to writer Ada Calhoun’s recent Modern Love article, The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give, makes you think it’s  about some dead fiancé or a jilted bride. But it’s not that morbid. In fact, if you are married or plan to get married, it’s the one wedding toast you will want to read and remember. While I’m not married, the advice in this well-written “toast” has stuck with me, and struck a chord with lots of other readers  too. That’s because it reminds any of us who still believe that good relationships shouldn’t have their moments of doubt and remorse, that it’s totally normal that they do.

Calhoun’s mother’s advice is spot on. She says, “The way to stay married is not to get divorced.”

It seems so simple, and in a way, it can be.

In marriages that last, you get through it. You stick it out. Because even relationships without utterly trying times have bad moments.

And still, sometimes we choose not to get through it. That’s okay too. You shouldn’t stay with an abusive partner, or in a situation that doesn’t allow you room to be happy, or to grow and change. If you have major trust issues, you deserve someone you can trust and you always have the right to leave. That’s not the point.

The point is marriage, or any committed partnership, is work. No matter how easy it feels or how much in love you are, one day or another and another, you are going to have to work to stay in love, or to feel love at all. And if you don’t do the work, you will find yourself not happy enough to want to stay married. Staying married may mean sucking up an opinion, or laughing at a situation that doesn’t seem funny at the time, or pretending to love your partner madly even on the days you don’t. But whatever you choose, if you choose to stay married, you will have to work at not getting divorced.

How do you stay married?