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Growing a Relationship Through Adversity
by T.W. Winslow

We have become a very demanding and impatient society. Possibly, such advances as television and the computer play some role in this. On any given night we can turn on the t.v. and watch as someone's life falls completely apart, only to have all issues resolved and them back on track a short thirty minutes later. Computers and the Internet now provide us with immediate communication, products, services and information, further feeding our apparent desire for instant gratification.

This is fine for entertainment purposes, but when it comes to our personal lives and relationships, this expectation for immediate results is unrealistic. We have become so accustomed to having things our way - and right now, that when we experience difficulties in our personal lives and relationships, we often lack to ability to cope. Unfortunately, this often results in our giving up, rather than hanging in there and working to figure out solutions to the problems we encounter. We have to look no further than to the staggering divorce and bankruptcy rates in this country to recognize this fact.

Saddest of all, is by our not having the courage and fortitude to stay the course - to weather the storm, so to speak, we miss the opportunity to grow. There's a lot of truth to the old saying, "Whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger." Adversity in our lives and relationship shouldn't be avoided, but rather embraced. For it isn't the good times which build our character and bond us together in our relationships, but rather the bad.

Adversity, whether it be work related, financial difficulties, issues in a marriage or other personal relationship, is a simple fact of life, and a necessary ingredient in our development as human beings. To turn away from it - to not face our conflicts and work to resolve them, is to deny the opportunity to grow, to mature, and to succeed.

When everything is going our way, and we're experiencing good times in our lives and marriages, it's easy to be happy and content, but these times are not when strong and lasting relationships are built. When we as couples experience adversity in either our personal lives or in our relationships, this is when we and our marriages are truly tested, and where we either grow together or grow apart. All too often people turn away from their mates when faced with major issues or problems, rather than working together to resolve whatever issues or problems exist. Trial separations are often seen as a means to work through marital problems. Unfortunately, this distance only tends to compound the problem and often leads to divorce.

By our not having the courage and fortitude to stay the course - to weather the storm, so to speak, we miss the opportunity to grow. When faced with adversity - whether it be a personal issue or a problem within the relationship, we need to pull our loved ones closer, not push them away. Communication is the key to understanding our problems and working through them. By opening up to each other and airing all of our concerns, emotions, fears and anxieties, we not only unburden ourselves, but we allow our mates to better understand the problem at hand, giving them the opportunity to help. This help can be as simple as listening, or as involved as working together to resolve whatever issues or problems exist.

This type of intimacy, trust, and reliance, in the face of adversity, is what builds lasting bonds and molds us together as one. Our marriages and spouses should be the one place we know we can always turn to for support, comfort, and strength. However, this doesn't happen over night - it takes time, work, love and commitment - but isn't that what marriage is all about?

�2001, T.W. Winslow owns and operates The Mystic Beagle - a free advice web site dealing with love, life and relationships. Free advice, romance tips, true love stories and more. The Mystic Beagle also publishes a free weekly newsletter. MysticBeagle@aol.com
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