They had been together 20 years. They dated for 6 years and were married for 14. Throughout the years they had experienced the ups and downs of relationships. He wanted more sex, she wanted more of his time. The dreams of one had been put on hold to help pursue the dreams of another. There were compromises made and life seemed to go on happily. He was a successful marketer while she was grateful being a home maker.
One day due to the rough economy, he lost his job. The savings dwindled over the passing months, the refrigerator became empty, and the bills piled up on the desk. He spent everyday searching for a new job. He searched the job boards, he tapped into his existing network, and he made connections with unknown people in his field. However, no matter how much energy and effort he put in, he never got the results he hoped for.
His wife would see him come home everyday defeated. His continence was sad. His body language was depressing. His eyes were almost unbearable to look in to. Each day she would ask him if there was anything she could do to help and everyday he declined. This went on for 6 months.
As his frustration grew, their relationship changed. He was always quiet, angry, defeated, and depressed. He preferred to stay at home moping on the couch instead of taking a walk on a beautiful day. There was not much that brought him joy. She tried everything to brighten his outlook. She encouraged him that better days would come. She provided him with support in his time of need. She offered to help and he always said no.
He was the man. It was his job to provide. If a man can’t provide, he doesn’t feel like much of a man. This unemployment hurt him on such a deep level that he was ashamed to show his face in public. You see a man doesn’t want help, he wants to create. He wants to build. He wants to hunt. He felt like crap and there was nothing but a successful “kill” that would have revived him.
He used to surprise his wife with gifts and trips. He used to bring home lobster and steaks for them to enjoy together. He remembered how she looked at him when he would tell stories about the things that went well on his job. He remembered the dinner dates and the expensive dresses. He wasn’t that guy anymore. He didn’t feel like much of a guy at all. If he couldn’t do it himself, it wasn’t going to get done.
Then it happened.
The home that they built together was taken away. It was foreclosed. This relationship became non-existent. 20 years were erased in a matter of 1 year. How?
He was too proud to share how he truly felt. He tried to do it all by himself and the stress killed him.
When we make those vowels and say for better or for worse, we have to make sure we mean it. Are you committed to go through the ups and downs of life without segregating the one who means the most to you. Your wife or husband is not someone you have to continually impress, lie to and hide from, they are your partner. We have to learn to work together to get through the challenges of life. They could have made it if he took the time to notice what he had, and had the courage to work together.
Pride can destroy a marriage. Kill the ego or it might kill you.
Frank Jennings is the founder of A Spark Starts ( http://www.asparkstarts.com ) where he writes inspirational and inspiring stories. These stories give hope to single parents, encourage people consumed by debt, restore broken relationships, re-build damaged families, empower disgruntled employees, strengthen the weary soul, prepare the uncertain, and help you reach for your dreams.