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One of the things that a divorce inevitably results in is the deep consideration of relationships and what makes them work or fall apart.
Breakups hurt. Divorces hurt. And, I think we can all agree, relationships hurt.
I've spent a whole lot of time thinking about what went wrong in my last marriage. I've tried to pin-point how on earth we went from being in love and happy to the place where one of us was willing to give up completely.
If you think about it, almost every relationship starts out the same way. There is infatuation and adoration. Chemical attraction and soaring dopamine levels. Both parties confess their affection and make promises of devotion and undying love. But, with time, all things change. And of all the things that make or break a relationship, I truly believe (from the bottom of my heart) that the very most important component of love is RESPECT.
Many people will argue that trust is the most important quality in a relationship. But how can you trust one another if you don't respect one another? You can't. In my opinion, without respect you have nothing. You must respect the person you are with and they must respect you. Once you lose that respect, it is almost impossible to get it back. And that is where most relationships falter.
The day my marriage died was not a few months before my husband walked out the door. It wasn't even a few years. My marriage died when the respect for one another was lost. And that happened within the first few fragile years of being together.
We loved eachother very much. And there were so many good qualities to our relationship. But without the foundation of respect, we had nothing to stand on. We were trying to build on sinking sand.
End of story.