Today is the day that all of the sweethearts take a day to show their love for their mates and sweeties.

It's a day for the rest of us to look on and cheer you on as you continue your journey together to your happily ever after.

Marriage isn't a piece of cake, even though it often starts with one. It has it's ups and downs and hopefully, there are more ups than downs. The vows you share "in sickness and in health" for most aren't tested until you are much further down the road, but sometimes the challenge arrives earlier.

If you are fortunate the "for rich or for poor" brings you to an understanding of the value of a dollar and some sort of agreement to the use of those dollars.

The saddest of all endings are the "'til death do you part" endings. After a life filled with love and memories and most likely a family, the loss of your sweetheart is the hardest.

For some of us, you marry with all the above in mind and you find yourself alone often because of the unfaithfulness of your partner. Wrapped however they like, it is what it is. It's a lot like a death, without the casseroles I've heard it best described.

But hopefully, if you find yourself in the last two paragraphs, like me you're cheering on the couples at the beginning of this article. Watching the steady couples who when life gets tough, they keep going. When it's not fun, you grit your teeth, grab hands and go through it.

Society, and TV especially make the breaking up of a home look so easy. They never cover the damage that it does to the remaining spouse or the children, no matter their age. It ignores the effects that it has on grandchildren and how it messes with those trying to make sense of it all.

I say all that to say this.

If you are in a relationship, and you have issues being faithful, your spouse knows it, your kids probably know it and if you refuse to acknowledge it, you have more problems than your family.

For some reason, the ones that struggle are the ones that are quick to feel unloved, when in reality, they are loved more than they realize, but their unfaithfulness makes them realize how unloveable the really are.

For most in a relationship like this, one spouse will do all they can to keep the marriage together, while the other tests the relationship and the boundaries.

I suppose this piece might be a public service announcement from the "duh" department, but do everyone a favor, figure it out. I don't mean, throw the marriage and relationships overboard, I mean get some help. It's much easier to fix something that has scars and cracks than it is to fix something completely shattered.

Marriages and relationships aren't something you throw away, it's a continuous journey with the benefits outweighing the walking away. I've always had a dislike for the term irreconcilable differences. In general, that means that one partner isn't going to put all of their effort into the marriage, but believes they should have the benefits of marriage as well as a side partner whether it be pornography, online relationships or another person. The partner with this belief is the one that in general will fight to the death, of their marriage, for their right to not put all of their effort into the relationship.

Like life, marriages, need other healthy marriages as examples. Surround your marriage with others who are in a good relationship. If your marriage is in trouble, seek out a minister or a counselor. You aren't alone in your struggle.

If your spouse, who needs help won't talk to someone, you need to talk to someone. If you have some great friends that are in a great relationship, I know this will go against societal advice, but talk to those friends. Often, a good friend is the one that will listen and support you. Sometimes you need the ear of a person who knows you best. The one with the steady hand to steer you down the middle of the road, rather than off into some ditch when you aren't thinking correctly.

But in the end, couples, if you really love each other, you put all of the problems in the background and figure out how to work on your issues.

Sometimes it just won't work, and that's when you know you've married someone with more issues than they are willing to work on. When that happens, hopefully, you walk away with the understanding that there is nothing that you could have done, and ultimately, it's really not about you.

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, understand this as well. You are being abused because the person abusing you needs that power over you to feel strong. Leave. Leave now. Leave fast. Threats they make against you and your family and even pets are all mind games. Don't play along.

You're in a battle. A battle of the minds. You are stronger than the one abusing you. Find a friend or if you need out and your only option is to call 911, it's alright to admit that you are in over your head. There are others out there like you, you'll be able to help them once you are free. But get out now. You cannot help someone who is hurting you. Sometimes the only thing they understand is the firm hand of the law.

Friends and families. Be strong, live life right. Be the one that the hurting people can go to. Be the encouragement that a hurting marriage can go to. Be the ear that someone in a bad relationship can reach out to. Be the hand that reaches out to someone that needs rescuing.

All we need is love. Love for those we are with. Love for the families that are sometimes hurting. Love for those that need rescuing.

We're all in this together. We're all in different places, but we can all love those around us. When we do, it's Valentine's Day every day!





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