Love starts off so simple, so blissful, and so free. That's how I remember it. But when things take a turn for the worst, and broken vows turn into hurtful words, how do you decide whether keeping a marriage together for the sake of the kids is more precious than keeping it real with yourself about how you feel?
Backtrack to the beginning, before love got complicated. Before cohabiting, before marriage, before the kids. We wined, we dined, we travelled, and we entertained. But somewhere after the honeymoon stage and before the constant bickering, reality hits. Yes, things get that serious quick! Responsibility comes as kids come into play. That's the natural stage of progression and we can't deny that's what we all look forward to the most.
But no one accounts for the stress that being in a relationship brings. No one realizes how much sacrifice it takes. Nobody talks about the amount of compromising being an equal partner requires. Not to mention how our children distract us from our own personal desires.
As we are bombarded by blood-curdling screams, diaper changes, doctor visits, balancing bills, cleaning up toys, constant bottle washing, and busy conflicting schedules, there is hardly room for two hardworking parents to stay in love with each other. So what now?
When the love for each other is lost, how can two parents stay together in a happy home? When one's neglected and the other is scorned, resentment and anger linger in the home. Is now the time to divide and conquer? Or is there any room left for rebuilding and rekindling the love that began it all?
I believe in the power of communication. I believe in the strength of love. I believe that every family deserves a good long hard fight. So I believe you gotta give it your best shot.
Rebuilding after the pain takes time and commitment, and any family worth saving is gonna have to fight the good fight. It will be heartbreaking, exhausting, and even a bit redundant but if you built it once, you can build it up again. I mean, you can't just give up just because the grass looks greener on the other side. You gotta water your grass, throw down some fertilizer, and maintain it well on the daily.
Life is about challenges. It's not always gonna be easy. And when children become the priority, it's easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal: family. Fight to bring back the blissful moments from the past and to relive the good times when the life was fresh and exciting. Don't forget how you started out, free and fun. Find time to reminisce on the reasons you got together and determine whether or not you'd really be happier apart. Just don't give up without a fight.
If you realize the only reason you're fighting is the kids, you gotta wake up and face the fact you need more a reason than that to stay in a relationship. Point is, if you're gonna stay, don't just stay for the kids. Stay for honesty, stability, happiness, partnership, friendship, support. Or simply stay for love.
Delicia Davis Burrell is a writer, performer, and public speaker. Through programs, performances, & events, she has changed the lives of youth & young adults around New York City. As a wife, mother, and inspirational woman, she lives by the words of wisdom she offers as a life & relationship coach. For more info about Delicia’s creative & entrepreneurial endeavors, visit DDBurrell.com.