Ten Reasons to Stay Married

Although there are relationship circumstances in which one's physical or emotional safety should be the primary concern, it is often worthwhile to consider the positive aspects of a marriage before calling it quits. Some possible reasons to consider staying married are:

1. Because you have a history together. History has value. If it didn't, there wouldn't be preservation and historical societies. Your shared history is part of how you each became the person you are today. You do not and can not share that history in the same way with any other human being.

2. Because although it's more difficult than you expected, there is still more good than bad. If there isn't, ask yourself what you are doing to change the ratio.

3. Because the things in life that create the best, most satisfying feeling, are those things that feel like the greatest challenges. We feel best about ourselves when we have fought and overcome the odds, not when we have taken the easy way out.

4. For the kids. Yes, it's cliche`, and not always the best choice, but the two of you created those children together, and planned to raise them together. Do you really want to risk that they will be raised in part by your ex-spouse's new partner? You are very cautious about choosing a babysitter, and now you're going to throw this up to chance?

5. Because although your spouse can be incredibly annoying, the fact is that everyone has annoying traits and habits. You might as well stick with the ones that you already know and focus on practicing patience and tolerance. It makes more sense than signing up for a whole new kind of annoyance.

6. Because it's not your differences that matter, but what you do with them. Although you may have been initially attracted to one another because of your similarities, it's your differences that allow you to complement one another and give you strength as a couple.

7. Because love is a verb, a behavior, a way of acting, and not just a feeling. The feeling of love comes and goes, ebbs and flows. The fact that you may not feel love right now is not a justification for divorce. The feeling is not supposed to be consistent or last forever. The commitment is what holds the union together until the feeling comes back.

8. Because the two of you have built something together. You built it through trial and error, sometimes with your own sweat and tears. Unless it was built on lies, it is a foundation that can solidly support your family for years to come. Do you want to have to start digging a new basement now?

9. Because you and your partner have brought out the best and the worst in each other, know things about each other that nobody else can know, and you are still hanging in there.

10. Because love alone is not enough, but love and commitment together can overcome almost any obstacles.

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Cathy Noblick, LCSW • 39 Avenue at the Commons • Suite 106 • Shrewsbury, NJ 07702 • 732-380-0012

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