What do the US Navy Seals and a healthy long-term Marriage have to do with each other?

Feeling proud to be an American every day of my life, I felt especially proud to be one upon hearing the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death at the hands of the absolute best military special operations force in the world – the US Navy Seals. Having a son preparing to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in just a few short weeks, maybe I’m not so objective when I say the SEALS are the best of the best. The Navy Seals bring a commitment to get their mission done which is second to none! Just think about how great your marriage and relationships would be if you brought the same sense of commitment to them that the Navy Seals bring to their mission.

The commitment we bring to our marriage is the linchpin which holds it together. Love is not enough to keep you in a happy, long-term relationship; you must be fully committed to it. It is so easy to be committed to our marriage when things are humming along and going our way. It is easy to support our partner when times are good. But what happens to your sense of commitment to your relationship when the marriage is going through some tough times?

Let’s be honest – all relationships have their ups and downs. The question I pose to you is: “How strong is your commitment to your relationship when the relationship is feeling not so good? Does your commitment to your marriage begin to falter? Do you start to doubt your love for your spouse? Do you begin to wonder if it’s even worth all the work anymore?” If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, your commitment to your relationship has begun to fade. If this becomes the case, you quickly need to re-think your sense of commitment to your relationship to put it back on solid ground. A healthy commitment to your relationship will prevent your marriage from falling apart at the seams during difficult times. Staying committed to your relationship will help you get through life’s adversities together – and prevent you from growing apart.

A marriage can survive the unanticipated challenges life throws at it IF you are determined – and committed – to face these challenges together, as a couple. If you begin to blame each other every time things in the relationship take a bad turn, you will be allowing life to divide and conquer your relationship. Every challenge your marriage faces provides you with an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your partner while strengthening your commitment to each other. Weathering these challenges should be viewed as an opportunity to evolve within your relationship – adding a new dimension to who you are and how you can express your love and support for each other.

There is no magic here – you have a very clear choice in the face of adversity – endure it together or begin to come apart. This doesn’t just happen to your marriage – we allow it to happen.

Being in a committed relationship requires the ability to be loyal and stay emotionally connected to your spouse even when it is hard. It is easy to love your spouse when things are going well – it’s not so easy to love one another when things are rocky. Maintaining a strong sense of commitment to your marriage during stormy seas will go a long way in helping you navigate your marriage through these tough times together. Your commitment to your marriage will prevent the turbulence of the storm from ripping you apart from each other.

Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann

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