How much do you respect the covenant?
My cousin has this theory about failed relationships - it's called BREACH OF CONTRACT. It makes perfect sense. When you meet someone and begin a new relationship you put your best foot forward to make a good impression. You are on your best behavior while the relationship is new. During the "courtship" the relationship continues to be good. Both the guy and the girl are willing to compromise for the better of the relationship. They like each other's friends, go to sporting events together and are even willing to go to the Symphony to enjoy each other.
As the relationship matures, they love spending holidays with each other's families, shop with the future in-laws and even entertain the soon-to-be brothers- and sisters-in-law. They share everything - their hopes, dreams, aspirations. They plan a wedding - which we know takes alot of time and planning - and then suddenly the relationship is elevated to a MARRIAGE!
The honeymoon year(s) are upon them and things are still perfectly wonderful. They are working on their careers, buying a new house, still hanging out with their friends and basically their life is continuing as it was before the marriage - blissful.
Then, either planned or unplanned, they welcome children into their family to make them "complete". They are so excited and enjoy learning the newness of parenthood together. Then, after some time, they have another child and possibly another. And get busier and busier, oftentimes separately. Sometimes the woman takes time off from her career to take care of the children. This is an honorable decision, if they can afford it financially.
The man goes off to work and meets so many young, professional people, including other women, throughout his work week. Everyone is so polite and nice because that's the way it is when you have professional relationships, everyone's on their best behavior.
Meanwhile, back at the house, the woman is feeling left out, trapped by the very choice she made to stay home and be the "mom". She interacts with kids all day long, takes them to the park, cleans the house, runs the errands and cooks the meals. After a period of time, she feels like a "scullery maid"! (that's for you, cousin :) She doesn't feel appreciated, she doesn't feel romantically satisfied, she doesn't feel wanted by him. Sometimes, she gains weight and her self-esteem becomes very low. She has changed since the beginning of the marriage, blames everything on the husband and gives into a depression. When the man comes home from work, she bitches at him, nags him to help her, whines about him not spending more time with her, and so on.
She has become someone that she was not. BREACH OF CONTRACT
At the same time, there's him. He goes to the office, possibly has martinis during lunch and flirts with the women in his office or his female clients. It all starts fairly innocently. Just a brief smile here, some eye contact there, lunches which can turn into dinners, drinks which can lead to intimate conversations, and time spent with someone that thinks he's terrific and not the poor bastard that "just doesn't understand". He plays golf more than he ever did before. He ordered season tickets for him and his brother or a friend. He works late into the night. He drinks more than he ever did. He doesn't talk to her or spend time with her.
It's seriously a relationship in decay. It's sad, it's what happens and they both "BREACH THE CONTRACT". The contract that said they would love each other, take care of each other, be with each other, grow over time with each other and support each other. It's a contract that promised one thing, yet delivered something else.
So, if you're relationship is one like this - think about it - who's breaching the contract? Is it you? So, go on a diet, workout more, get back into that sexy shape that your spouse loved so much! Talk to each other, fix it!! It's the best way to be.
If it's not fixable, agree to disagree and part friends. Why take each other to the cleaners? Why pay the attorneys more than what you'll get in the end? Why hate each other? Why torture the kids because you can't get along?
But in the end, look back, analyze what went wrong, take responsibility for your part, learn from your mistakes and move on. When you find someone else, because you will, remember that now you have baggage and more-than-likely so do they. It gets more complicated because there may be hurtful relationships in their past that they cannot get over. There might be kids on both sides, or not, either way, it can be complicated. Remember that it will NEVER be perfect, but it will be what you put into it. If you love and support - the hope is that you will get love and support back. Conversely, if you bitch and complain - you will get back unhappiness and discord.
Just remember....life is short and love is viral, it only grows as you give it away.
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. :)"
- The Beatles, 1969