Romantic relationships were designed to be beautiful, pleasurable blessings that bring joy to our lives, and many do. However, all too often, they shift from being pleasurable to stressful when they fail, causing heartache. An article in Psychology Today says, “In the U.S. 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201202/the-high-failure-rate-second-and-third-marriages). Since marriages were designed by God and should be a source of joy that lasts a lifetime, why are so many not working out? Why are there so many single parents on online dating sites? What brings people from being so deeply in love that they don’t want to be apart to filing for a divorce and paying a significant price both emotionally and financially for it?
These are important questions, especially if finding answers can help prevent relationship failures. This is critical because relationships have significant long-term effects on our joy, productivity, and achievement of life goals. It is important to choose carefully who to enter a romantic relationship with and then strive to make it successful. A divorce can ruin your whole day–for many days. Have you ever heard people say that they’ve been through a major divorce? Recently, a woman on a radio show said that she’d been through a major divorce. Why do people add the adjective, “major”? Is it possible to have a minor divorce? Probably not. Any divorce is major. It’s a major heartache, a major source of stress, and a major impact on the lives of the people affected.
A divorce can be like an explosion with shrapnel flying in all directions. It injures not only the couple involved, but also other people in their lives, including friends and family. A relationship breakup can be especially harmful to any children involved. Broken marriages have become an epidemic affecting many children. Although various studies show differing statistics on the exact consequences, they indicate that going through a family breakup impacts children emotionally, academically, and economically and has long-term harmful effects on their wellbeing. Since having a healthy, strong relationship that lasts is a multi-generational issue with potential long-term consequences, it is vitally important to your wellbeing and that of your children to succeed at your relationship. The best parenting advice is to have a strong, healthy marriage that lasts.
Although statistics and research help to give an understanding of the harmful effects of divorce, we understand the terrible consequences based on personal experience. Julie has been through three divorces (two with the same man), and Mike has been through one. We know first-hand that relationship failures inflict deep scars and leave emotional baggage that is hard to get rid of. Sadly, we’ve also seen the detrimental impact on children, innocent bystanders to divorce who should not be burdened with emotional scars and baggage at such a young age.
Neither of us wants to go through the heartache and pain of a relationship failure again. No person would ever want to go through that, and no parent would ever want their child to go through it. Despite our experience, we believe that it is possible for anyone to have a successful relationship that lasts and blesses your children. Yes, it is possible to overcome the odds and have a marriage that lasts “until death do us part.” Doing this is vital to you, your family, and even to society. So, how can you do this? The answer is by applying God’s principles to your relationships, starting with seeking a partner and dating. This leads to a happy, healthy and successful relationship.
After failing at relationships and suffering the consequences, we know how important it is to get relationships right. Next to God, your relationship with your spouse or fiancé should be your most important priority. You should invest your time and effort into making it successful. However, it’s important to invest that time and effort in the right way. Although our past breakups were painful, they taught us valuable relationship lessons and the importance of applying God’s principles to any romantic relationship. To save others from going through the heartache and consequences of a relationship breakup, we wrote a book called Island in the Bubble about the lessons we learned and how to apply God’s principles to relationships. The purpose of the book is to help people find the right Mr./Mrs. Right and enjoy healthy, happy, and successful relationships. If this book helps to save even one marriage, it will have been worth it. Island in the Bubble will be published and available on Amazon soon. Subscribe to the Team Awful blog to receive notifications about the upcoming book release and new blog posts.