MANY people experience genuine happiness and fulfilment in their marriages. However, all relationships, including marriages, face tests, and require effort, communication and compromise from both partners. It's natural for couples to face challenges and ups and downs, but sometimes it's the C word, compromise, that comes with the most challenges.
What has been the major issue in your marriage that you've had to forgive and move past, to have a long and happy union? We asked happily married women in unions over a decade long, and this is what they said.
Sandy, 60, nurse, married 35 years:
He had three children outside with another woman while I was abroad working. I didn't want to have children so I guess he felt that he had to sow his seed. While I was away the woman also moved into our house and lived there for quite a while. I returned to the island about 12 years ago and we just resumed our marriage. Throughout the whole thing I understood my role in the way he acted and the choices he made, and he also knew that we had too many ties and love for each other to separate. The children are well taken care of and are doing well, and we are enjoying our retirement years just the way we planned.
Bev, 65, retired educator, married 23 years:
He had substance abuse problems for a long, long time, that impacted both the marriage and our children. He drank alcohol and smoked, and just basically would bleed away all our money. Several times I thought about leaving and starting over, but he always begged me not to. When he lost his big job because of his drinking, that's when he turned his life around. He basically quit on his own, and got involved in church and that helped a lot. I'm glad I didn't give up on him, but those years with his demons truly tested our relationship.
Monique, 42, executive secretary, married 17 years:
It wasn't just one issue — there were several women who tormented me, especially when we just got married. As soon as I thought I got rid of one, another one would be there like ticks — hard to get rid of. In a way I was relieved when he got sick, because no young girl wants anything to do with a sick old man and his health problems. Then, he saw who was there for him, and when he got better, I had a whole, new, faithful husband.
Chelle, 45, port worker, married 20 years:
His family — literally the worst set of people you could ever imagine. They are dreadful, abominable, awful leeches, who suck the good out of everything and everyone. When his witch of a mother died, that's when he started standing up for himself, and me. But before that, I was so tormented that I thought they had worked Obeah on me, to be honest. Just think about the most loathsome, hateful people you can imagine, and then multiply that by 1,000.