I was speaking to a co-worker this morning and I came up with what I think is good advice:
"Don’t let little irritations turn into big problems in your marriage, resolve them while they are little. Divorce is hell."
This comes under the heading of "Experience is knowing a lot of things you shouldn't do again." Oh yeah, that's the point of this blog, isn't it?
So many of our problems started out many years ago as little tiny irritations or annoyances, and I let them slide because "it wasn't worth the battle". Well, I shouldn't have, because as time went on they became bigger irritations, and then mutated into problems that have become insurmountable obstacles.
People ask me "when did your problems start?" And, over the last month I have come up with various answers: 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years ago. Really, after a lot of introspection, I believe that they started soon after we got married, if not before, because we both were willing to "let things slide". Both of us dislike confrontation and avoid it whenever possible.
Many times, avoiding confrontation is a Very Good Thing. But, there are times when it becomes necessary, and I am beginning to believe that facing confrontation in a marriage from the beginning is a Very Good Thing.
If I could do it over again I'd have fought the battle back then. Or at least started looking for a solution or a compromise. Individually, in the beginning, all of them could have been solved and we wouldn't be in this situation now.
It's kinda like a cancer. If you catch it soon enough it can usually be solved with some kind of treatment; minor surgery or medication or radiation. But if you ignore it long enough then amputation and/or death will result.
Divorce is hell.