At the end of every interview we conduct with happily and successfully married couples we ask the most powerful question of our interview protocol – Can you imagine life without your spouse?
The question always draws tears to the eyes of the couple we are interviewing. We have asked them a question they have repressed. It is a question no loving couple wants to think about. The answer is, however, nearly always the same – No!
When we take our marriage. vows – until death do us part – we never imagine that someday it will all come to an end. But all marriages and relationships do end, of that, you can be sure.
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So, how do we prepare for it?
Our advice is, never dwell on or contemplate the question. It doesn’t matter.
What is important is that we love our spouse, that we enjoy our spouse, and that we live our life with them to the fullest. If you think about the inevitable, your relationship will end in a different way. Yes, a different way.
Here is how it works. If you spend your time imagining the end you will never do all of the things required to deal with the beginning and the middle. You will lose the richness and beauty of each moment.
You will, in the end, misplace the essence of your relationship with each other.
Your relationship will be based on the end instead of the possibilities.
When you cannot imagine life without the one you love, you have reached the nirvana of your loving and committed relationship.
But to dwell on the inevitable end of your life together diminishes the here and now and spoils all the joy that lies ahead.
In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For hundreds of tips to enhance your relationship get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships