How Long is the Last Straw?

When I saw the reaction to Halle Berry filing for divorce I was appalled at most of the comments. The general reaction was that clearly something must be wrong with her because she “can’t keep a man”. Those comments coming from people who probably never stopped to wonder if those men were worth keeping.

In general, we never know what’s going on inside other’s relationships. But that somehow never stops people from judging. We tend to impose our standards of how much we will accept in a relationship. “I would never take that from a man.” “I would have left him if he cheated.” “If he doesn’t do this or that then he doesn’t really love you.” Many of these declarations wouldn’t hold up if we were actually in the other person’s shoes.

I never thought I would keep coming back to a man that didn’t make as much of an effort as I did, but I have. I never thought I would allow someone to string me along for years, but I did. We never think we are capable of accepting less than perfection from a mate until we are faced with those decisions in real life. Caring about and loving someone drives us to fight for that relationship which sometimes means biting our tongue and making compromises or sacrifices.

There are couples that I know who have reconciled with someone who deeply hurt them and maintained their relationships for years. The guy cheated, dumped them, dogged them out. Then when the girl moved on the guy woke up and smelled the loneliness. As soon as the woman made the steps to move on the guy came running back apologizing until they were blue in the face. Now those couples are living together, expecting kids, married, or a combination of the three.

What if they had been like the rest of the judgmental people they heard comments from about how they shouldn’t take them back? Were they really meant to be together or did they just make the best of the situation they faced? How do we measure how much is too much to handle?

There are so many reasons why relationships end, from minor to major. Cheating, stealing, lying, wandering eyes, not making the other person a priority, leaving the toilet seat up, snoring, etc. So many of these reasons I swore I would never put up with. Then I found myself saying, “Whatever happened to for better or for worse?”

They are apart of marriage vows for a reason. But too many times what people really mean is “for right now until you do something I don’t like or until someone better comes along”. With the advances in technology making everything we need readily available at the push of button, we have become accustomed to everything being easy to obtain. Relationships, along with many other things in life, are not easy. They take hard, continuous work.

Divorce rates are higher than success rates and every time I open Instagram there’s coverage of yet another couple breaking up. We never know the real reasons behind every breakup but is it possible that there’s more they could’ve done to salvage those relationships.

There are quite a few things that should never happen in any relationship (i.e. abuse in anyway) but are we too quick to abandon someone because of a mistake they made? Maybe instead of calling it quits, we can help them find ways to never make that mistake again. Then if the person continues to betray our trust and forgiveness then make the decision of whether enough is enough.

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