Throughout all of our time helping couples turn their marriages around the two questions that we hear the very most from people who first come to us are:  How do I know if I married the right one and how long do you try to make your marriage work before giving up?

What’s useful about these two questions is that they open the door to begin questioning and dispelling many of the unsupportive beliefs that many of us have about our relationships, such as if there is any such thing as finding the “right one”.

As I write this blog, the current population of the world is 7.6 billion.  Which means that if someone were to have the belief that they need to find the right “one” in order to have a great marriage, mathematically their odds of finding that one person in a sea of 7.6 billion is pretty slim to none.  (Well truthfully the number would only be about half of that because the world is split with half being men and the other being women).

So the idea of needing to find the “right” person in order to make your marriage work, is just that, an idea.  A much more mathematically feasible and realistic approach is recognizing that when you understand how to show up as the best version of yourself in your relationship and what you can do to meet your spouse’s needs so that you bring out the very best in them, almost any marriage relationship can work, and as I have said countless of times before, can even be spectacular.

For several years in our relationship, my husband and I had just about every reason for our marriage not to work.  We were brought up from two very different social classes and backgrounds.  We grew up with different beliefs, customs, and approaches to how to live life.  We had different personalities, emotional scars, and behaviors that were destructive to our marriage.  There were more people that believed that our marriage would not last than there were people who believed in us.  So if anyone were to buy into the belief that we were not the “right” ones for one another, we had just as many reasons as anyone else to believe it.  And believe me, there were most definitely days that we did ask that very same question ourselves.

I honestly think that the one thing that got us past and through those times was simply the fact that for whatever reason, neither of us could find it within us to let go.  There were days that our relationship was struggling so badly that all I could see and feel was the pain.  But no matter how badly it hurt, I could not end it.  There were days that I wanted to for sure, but no matter how much I wanted to end the suffering I was going through, I simply could not let go.

Which leads me to the second question that we are often asked, which is how long do you try to make your marriage work before you give up?  This is a question that I cannot answer because I never gave up.  At some point during our struggle I came to the decision that no matter how bad it got or how badly I hurt, I would not be the one to end our marriage.  I developed a resolve inside of me that I was going to either find a way to make our marriage work or go down trying.  What’s interesting about reaching this level of resolve in your life is that when you do reach it, where you give yourself no other options but to move forward, new findings begin to surface that begin to take you in the direction you want to go.

So the only advice that I have for those people who want to know how long to keep trying before they give up, is that they need to ask themselves what it is that they ultimately want and how much uncertainty do they have the capacity to handle, because if they are truly committed to finding a way, I think that it is possible for just about everyone.

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