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  • Writer's pictureTravis

Surviving Turbulent Times in Your Marriage

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

We all want life to give us certainty, and we all desire a sense of permanence. At the same time, there are moments when we are faced with the reality that life is uncertain, and volatile. Even with the latest advances in medicine, and our eternal struggle for immortality, we still face a reality that at some point, we will lose loved ones around us, and eventually, we will die. How we navigate our longings and desires in a world where we are forced to face certain realities is an area that can challenge our well-being, and the connection in a marriage or love relationship.

In moments of uncertainty, volatility, or loss, we reach for other people that we trust to respond in ways that help us through life’s storms. Is our partner or spouse emotionally available for us in a way that helps us feel safe to reach out when we are vulnerable? Do they provide soothing responses that help us feel connected, rather than isolated?

For couples in marriages or love relationships, it is precisely these moments of need that can shape and pave a path of their journey. We need our partner or spouse when the vulnerability hits us. Some partners or spouses may not realize how crucial it is to continue providing soothing responses to their loved one long after vulnerability or loss has struck.

For instance, the sudden death of a parent can bring overwhelming feelings of loss and grief to one partner. The intense need for understanding and comfort from the partner or spouse may never be higher. As we are forced to face loss, many people experience grief in waves that may continue for years after the event.

A challenge in a marriage or love relationship is to embrace each other in those moments of vulnerability, even when it may seem that the loss 'should' already be healed. Grief can be complicated, and a loving and caring partner or spouse shows compassion toward their mate through the long haul.

Ask yourself: can you count on your partner or spouse to be emotionally available for you during times of vulnerability, uncertainty, or loss? Can you imagine feeling safe and comfortable enough to reach out to them and ask for what you need in those moments? Have there been times in your marriage or love relationship when you’ve experienced intense vulnerability, and your partner or spouse let you down?

In our love relationships, we need to know that we can count on our primary connection to consistently respond in ways that help us feel better. This is not a state of perfection, but being able to predict that most of the time you'll get what you need forms the basis of a satisfying and long-lasting marriage or love relationship.

The good news is that inviting and receiving positive responses is not the result of something we are “born with.” We can learn a set of skills that help us thrive in our marriages or love relationships. With solid connections with our mates, we can plan for our future, reflect on the nature of our lives, and search for deeper meanings together. We can find comfort in our connection with the person we love most, sharing our vulnerabilities with each other, while receiving empathic responses that lessen the blow and the dread that can come with life's uncertainties.

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