“I love him and I don’t want to lose him. I am so desperate to save my marriage!” It’s a familiar plea… the need to force a husband or wife to stay in a marriage they’re attempting to flee.

Some marriages never should have begun at all while others are built on the weakest of foundations. The left behind spouse may be unable to recognize the problems within the marriage as they cling desperately to their illusion of the marriage, not the reality.

Some marriages begin with the premise that “once we’re married, (s)he’ll change.” Unlike magic potions that change bad habits to good, marriage usually intensifies the negatives.

During courtship men and women are supposedly on their best behavior so that potential mates will stick around. But some people accept bad behavior expecting to write new rules for their spouse after marriage. If one of them cheats during courtship, where’s the proof he or she can commit when married?

Courtship is a “proving ground” for marriage. If fidelity is lacking during courtship, it will most likely be lacking during marriage. Marrying an alcoholic or a pot smoker and then expecting them to quit drinking and smoking pot is a quick road to an unhappy marriage.

My first husband used to say: “I may be the world’s worst boyfriend, but I’ll be the world’s best husband.” I bought into the premise even though I had no proof of his “good husband” potential. If I had been smarter, I would have insisted he prove himself as the world’s best boyfriend first before we considered marriage.

© Pat Gaudette. All rights reserved.