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Moving Away From the Brink of Divorce

A recent news report noted that NBA Star Tim Duncan is dealing with two battles. A quest to claim his fifth NBA Championship and a divorce from his wife of 12 years.

While few are chasing an NBA championship, far too many of us understand what it’s like to come face-to-face with the prospects of divorce. I have been on the brink of divorce on more than one occasion. There’s still hope!

Let’s first deal with a few musings that may be dancing around in your mind like; The first year or so was OK, what in the h*ll happened to the person I married? Or the ever popular, I’ve grown out of love with my spouse. And then there is sex. Oh no, not happening!

Sound familiar? OK, so now what? Grow up and work! Please pardon my blunt nature, but stick with me for a moment.

I walked into my marriage 19 years ago with immature and unrealistic expectations of what it took to build, nurture and sustain a marriage. I thought the real work was to catch the girl and then saunter down the aisle and say “I do.” I had no idea that the real work of marriage had only just begun. I don’t think that I’m alone in this regard.

To bring our marriage back from the brink of divorce, my wife and I had to work very hard to grow ourselves in order to grow our union. And it was our focus on beginning to understand and deal with our own blind spots that helped us.

A blind spot is often born out of personal strengths taken to the extreme, and/or the result of coping mechanisms developed during childhood. So how do you identify these blind spots?

Ask people you trust these two simple questions: Are there any areas of my life where you wish I could improve? Do you see me holding myself back from getting more out of my life and our relationship? Then listen very carefully. You will hear some things that you may not be aware of. Many of the answers will amaze you. Write them down and look for any consistencies in the feedback you received.

After  you’ve identified some of your blind spots you must make a choice about acknowledging them. Only then will you begin to muster the power to truly work on those issues. Commit to actions to address some, not all of your blind spots initially.

Don’t try to tackle too much at a time. Find a therapist who you both like to help during this process. If only one of you thinks the therapist is good, find another one. Trust me on this, it’s way better this way.

Recently my middle daughter commented to my wife that she noticed my wife and I hugging, kissing and laughing together. She said that it made her happy to see us that way.

To hear my daughter say that it brings her joy to see my wife and I openly share our love for one another makes everything we’ve been through worth it. For ourselves and for our wonderful family.

Darryl Cobbin is an accomplished, award-winning marketing executive, entrepreneur and author of  ‘Before You Wed…Read This!’ He loves his family and his work. 

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