Can a healthy marriage last?
October 5, 2012 11:46 AM Subscribe
How do I regain my trust in marriage when my role models of healthy marriage are separating?
posted by horizonseeker to human relations (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I met and have been close to a couple (let’s call them Couple X) a while ago, during a year of volunteering abroad. They have a happy, healthy relationship, which I found both admirable and amazing, as I had not met a couple in a healthy marriage before. While I know lots of couples who seem happy, I do not know any of them well enough who have been married for 5+ years to gauge the honesty of their love, respect, and affection toward each other. My parents have not shown real affection toward each other; sometimes I wonder whether they would both be happier without each other.
I assumed that the feelings I have had toward partners would not be able to last, and would eventually end - best case scenario - with tolerance of my partner. I see so many relatively new happy couples and so few truly happy marriages; I presumed that this was the path any relationship I partook in would end. Couple X was my first real hope of the kind of family I want to be a part of: their kids are secure and obviously well raised, he was the affectionate husband I want, and she was the caring wife I want to be.
Recently, they have decided to separate, citing some incident over the past summer that they have not elaborated upon and have not been able to get past as the catalyst to their divorce. This seems unreal, because while they have problems similar to many couples and families, they cared and loved each other and were genuinely happy. This one event changed their whole relationship from something that worked, something that benefited and fulfilled them. I feel like my faith in marriage is shaken.
How do I cope with this? How do I regain faith in marriage when I have no role models of it, especially as I have recently gotten engaged? Are there any resources to uplift my uncertainty, or do you have any anecdotes that are encouraging?
Also, how can I best support Couple X during this shattering period? Others have written them words of condolence. Is this the best way I can support them? I’d like to do more, but I live in another country. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
I am a mid-twenties female in the US, FWIW. Thanks, hivemind.