“There are many seasons in all relationships. Some are easy to get through; some you have to push through.”
Here in Florida, we are in the middle of what is known as “Hurricane Season.” Six months of the year, we must be prepared for a hurricane to sweep through our community. Some years, there are none that come through my community. Other years, it seems like there is a relentless parade of storms. This year has been one of those years. Even though they may not have a direct impact here on my neighborhood, these tempests may still affect surrounding communities and those communities in which I have friends and family.
Of course, there are other seasons here, too. Seasons of peaceful tranquility. You can enjoy the salty ocean air and our hot sun. Seasons of fun and adventure. Sometimes these seasons are sprinkled with smaller storms that quickly pass. But, for the most part, it is very pleasant living here.
Struggling through our current hurricane season of back-to-back storms, I can’t help but be reminded that relationships are very much the same. Sometimes everything is bright, and sunny, and wonderful. Sometimes there are scattered disagreements here and there. However, they easily pass and you move on. Other times, there is argument after argument and there seems to be no end in sight. Mentally and emotionally, you may find yourself constantly “preparing” for these arguments to pour down on you. They take their toll on your marriage.
It is very easy to be on two different sides of a situation like this. On one side, you want to leave, to get out of the path of the storm, just in case. Depart before the roads get even more clogged.
On the other hand, you might miss work, lose expected income, and spend money you don’t necessarily have.
During all of this, you are weighed down with the thought of losing your home and the life you know. So, maybe you brave it out and hope that the tempest turns last minute. You hope that you will end up with clear skies after all.
The debate itself brings tremendous anxiety.
I remember having these same feelings when I was debating whether I wanted to go through a divorce. I knew that staying in the relationship had the potential to lead to destruction. Part of me wanted to leave and save myself the emotional wreckage. The other side of me worried about many of the same things that I fretted about if I were to leave during a hurricane. The cost of the divorce, having to restructure my life to support myself and my family on one income, and, perhaps the most painful, the potential to lose my home and the life I know. Ironic, right?
I have watched the cleanup and recovery of many destructive hurricanes in my lifetime. When I’m on the outside of that situation, I feel like I know all the answers. Why did you stay? Why risk your life? Material things are replaceable, don’t you know that? I have seen other relationships fail for the exact same reasons and, yet, I still had a difficult time making the decision to leave my marriage myself. It is so easy to tell others what they are supposed to do. It is so easy to have an opinion when it isn’t your relationship, your emotions, your life, and the home you built.
When going through these emotional times, remember that a lot of what seems irreplaceable to you can be rebuilt. Bigger, stronger, better. The most important thing is you.
There are many seasons in all relationships. Some are easy to get through; some you have to push through. Sometimes, there’s a season in a relationship that you can’t push through. It might be best that you evacuate the relationship for your own well-being, and for the well-being of those you love.