We've all seen the romantic movies and read the novels or heard the tales of great love. Still, seems love in real life is never quite as simple as the two hour movie special on Lifetime or Hallmark. In real life, we have to deal with distrust and disloyalty. We have to sort through our feelings and decide if each infraction is worth terminating the relationship, or if it is only a kink in the chain that can be fixed. We have to battle our own changing desires and ideas as it relates to our partner. And we're supposed to do it without hurting them or ourselves, which sometimes it comes down to a choice of who will suffer. Sometimes, you find yourself giving up your primary interests to alleviate your partner of concerns or for his/her better interests. Other times, you push forward in direct opposition to your mate, causing a great deal of friction. Daily living with this one person makes for many challenges if you want to last.
A fact of life and love is that pain happens even in the best relationships. Everyone who is happy together now has not always been that way. They have hurt one another, failed one another, went through disconnects. Furthermore, they remember those things even now while they are happy, but choose each other over the temptation of anger or anguish at the memories.
Not every woman who has been cheated on left her mate. Not every man who has been lied to and used turns away from the woman he loves. People endure lying, infidelity, violent rages, brutal arguments, babies outside of marriage, illnesses, financial strain, family disagreements and even drug abuse or imprisonment just to make their marriages work. Sure there are a ton of people out there telling you that you shouldn't have to go through these things, that it is dysfunctional, that it isn't God, that leaving certain kinds of people is the best option. But there are just as many old married couples who have been through all of it and stayed together. After 25, 30 and 50 years together, they believe they made the right choice.
My point: work out your own relationships. Don't buy the hype of a perfect man or woman, or perfect relationship conditions. All those glittering relationships aren't gold. They are just like yours. They are troubled sometimes. They are joyful sometimes. They feel like all other people, tired of each other sometimes. Sometimes they remember bad things against their will too and suffer from bouts of anger or pain. But they are together, and for that, we must thank every one of them. Each enduring marriage is a testimony of grace, love and mercy.