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Marriage Rules/Wedding Rings

Marriage Rules©


By Dr. Larry B. Gelman


So you’ve had another fight for the umpteenth time!  And this one is worse than the last! 


You’ve had it with your spouse and begin to wonder if you chose poorly.  After all, with so many billions of people out there, is this really the best you can do? 


Each of you makes a feeble, half-hearted, effort to “bury the hatchet”, except, neither of you has very much tolerance any more where the other is concerned. 


It seems that the novelty of earlier times, when you both enjoyed the experience of opposites attracting, now finds you seriously wondering whether or not you have anything in common or ever did! 


If you break up, then you must essentially start from square one all over again with no guarantee that next relationship will be any better than this one. 


If you make up then, presumably, you build upon what went on before, unless, of course, what you’ve built previously is faulty or untrue. 


I am reminded that every marriage, even those that are the very best, feel, at times, like the very worst.  And of those marriages, that really are the very best, most strain mightily not to come apart. 


To paraphrase a saying from the Tao, “all spouses are one spouse”. 


The Western version is that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” until you have to mow it.  What to do? 


“Make up or break up”?


From a psychological perspective, “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”. 


It is common knowledge that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. 


Those that aren’t tough don’t go anywhere.  They perpetuate the status quo. 


For such individuals or couples, “no pain” translates into no pain. 


Any “gain” is perceived as the absence of pain.  


A “no pain, no gain” orientation suggests that pain serves as a catalyst for growth. 


It’s just that the experience of pain must be modulated within levels sufficiently tolerable to enable whatever is necessary to harness that pain to make it work for you.


Marriage can, occasionally, hurt. 


Simply put, you must find a positive and constructive way to use the pain or lose the pain. 


If you succeed in using the pain in service of losing it, chances are pretty good you will make up.


If you opt instead for losing the pain without meaningfully using it, chances are pretty good you will break up.

“Make up” is not just what you put on your face to look good! 


“Make up” is what you do to repair, rebuild and renew you marriage. 


“Break up” is what you do to shatter it. 


“Make up or break up”!


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