A marriage crisis can hit you like a sudden blow to the face. It could be a bolt from the blue that turns your marriage into a war zone. And suddenly you don’t have any clue how to make your marriage work anymore.
Let me tell you my story. I always felt that marriage was the final destination. That you arrive and that’s it. Twenty-two years of fairly peaceful married life is not a joke. It takes a lot of effort from both spouses, and Rick and I have done fairly well. We have known and loved each other since our college days. We understand each other and are compatible too. That’s why we got married in 1995.
But life is long, even if it seems to last for a deceptively short span. It makes us witness a lot and changes us in ways we would have never imagined and often presents us with circumstances that are rather hard to deal with.
What Is A Marriage Crisis?
A relationship crisis can be rough. It’s a war zone full of insecurity, hurt, and jealousy. And this was what was brewing between me and Rick last year. There were so many pent-up issues. Frustration with in-laws, his equation with the family, the responsibilities we were expected to uphold, and the complete lack of acknowledgment from them. All of it burdened me.
And somehow he held me, his companion of two decades, responsible for everything. It started with some innocuous jibes. Sudden attacks about my career, income, my decisions in life – I didn’t know where they were coming from. And before we knew it, we had hit a marriage crisis.
He made me feel as though all that I had done for the family was a waste of time and I should have rather done something more ‘meaningful’. It was hurtful, to say the least. Neither of us is aggressive. We can’t just resort to screaming sessions. So, it turned into a cold war of sorts, with each of us giving the other silent treatment. And then, fate introduced me to Paul at a party.
I realized the signs of our marriage crisis were staring us in the face. But we were both refusing to acknowledge that our marriage had actually hit a crisis. I was mentally down and emotionally vulnerable when Paul came into my life.
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How Marriage In Crisis Destroyed Her Life
A casual conversation about your lives and backgrounds made me acutely aware of how similar we were and how charming this guy was. I was drawn to him. He said he’d just got out of a relationship and was heartbroken. But he didn’t miss the chance to flirt with me. I loved the attention, even though it was vaguely discomfiting. I wasn’t used to being wooed yet he made me feel wanted.
I debated if it was a good idea to put my entire married life in jeopardy like this. Despite everything, my marriage was still the image of bliss and happiness in my head. When one is married for so long and has two teenagers one loves dearly, it isn’t easy to just throw caution to the wind and jump into an extramarital affair.
So, I returned home. Everything was the same, except I now knew that the road to instant gratification was but one call away. This was when Rick and I entered into direct conflict. He refused to acknowledge my plans or accept my opinions as credible or practical. All kinds of petty fights with my husband turned ugly and millions of issues came to the fore.
All because I started speaking out against what I didn’t appreciate. I just couldn’t take being quiet anymore. If I didn’t speak up, then maybe there would have been nothing to talk about ever again. The marriage crisis had hit us and, finally, we knew that all was not well.
Was an affair an option because of my marriage crisis?
Paul was a welcome intruder. His momentary emergence triggered conversations that would have probably never happened otherwise. Dormant problems would have continued to embitter our marriage. My ‘mid-life crisis’ needed answers. And if that meant screaming matches every day, I didn’t mind.
However, things turned really ugly, and I finally told Rick that he needed to either fix the issues or I was leaving. It’s natural to feel that it’s unfair to push your spouse like that. But there’s always a point where you feel that you have had enough. Your point of view is as valid as his. Your opinions matter. If your partner refuses to acknowledge that, you need to put your foot down.
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We are in our mid-40s and life is fairly settled for both of us. We are both established in our careers. Our financial situation is good. There is no other crisis in our lives. Just our marriage in crisis. And if we couldn’t fix even that, it would be a pity, to say the least. But we didn’t know how to save a marriage in crisis.
Finally, we decided on getting marriage counseling. Rick agreed to speak to a family friend in the profession and, over the span of six months, he worked his problems out by getting help for marriage in crisis.
Marriage Crisis Counseling Helped Her Survive Marriage Crisis
By the beginning of this year, I started to feel the difference. Counseling was benefitting him and he was starting to appreciate my point of view. He became calmer and, by getting marriage crisis advice, got the courage to deal with the other issues he’d been suppressing for so long. Once those bigger problems were addressed, the need to constantly butt heads slowly vanished.
As for Paul, I don’t know what happened to him. I never felt like speaking to him again. I didn’t need him. I just needed to mend what was mine. He showed me the right way. I could have plunged into an affair and made my marriage crisis worse. But I acted logically using my brain instead of my heart and didn’t let the demands of my body get the better of me.
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I stayed awake for nights, asking myself what I really wanted – a rollercoaster affair with Paul or to fix the marriage crisis we were in. I realized I wanted to deal with my marital crisis and work on the marriage.
I just wanted Rick I had always known to be back in my life. I did not want all these external factors spoiling our marriage so I opted for marriage crisis counseling and that really helped us put our marriage back on track. We are a happy couple once again.
(As told to Neetole Mitra)
The biggest reasons behind a marriage crisis are lack of communication and repressed feelings. It is important for both spouses to remember that they are partners and need to share everything with each other – the good and the bad. Healthy communication leads to healthy marriages.
Sometimes, relationships turn too toxic for us to handle on our own. Simply telling each other one’s feelings is not enough then and one must seek the help of professionals. A marriage therapist will be equipped with the training and tools to help you sort through your marriage issues and fix them.