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The Secret to Dealing With a Fork in the Road in Your Marriage

When Your Marriage Faces a Fork in the Road -- Are You on the Same Page?

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Photo: Nick Koudis / Getty Images
Photo: Nick Koudis / Getty Images
Throughout your marriage journey with each other, the two of you will face the proverbial forks in the road. When you are at these crossroads, some of the decisions may be serious and life changing. Years later other forks in the road in your marriage will be hardly remembered. All the forks in the road will require you to make a decision.

You know you are facing a fork in the road in your marriage when you realize if the two of you don't make a decision to go one way or the other you will hit a brick wall. Sometimes you have a pretty good idea of where the paths lead. Other times you may feel as if you are leaping into a deep canyon without any idea of how far you have to jump.

The Secret About Forks in the Road

The most important thing to remember about forks in the road is to not hide your heads in the sand. When you come to a fork in the road, make a decision. Other tips to handling forks in the road:
  • Accept that change happens and realize that not all forks in the road have negative consequences.
  • If the fork in the road is due to the death of a loved one, allow yourself and your spouse the time and space to grieve. Accept that you both may grieve the loss in different ways.
  • If the fork in the road is caused by a natural disaster such as a flood, hurricane, fire, or earthquake, be realistic about what you can and can't do and don't be in a rush to replace items.
  • Keep a monthly journal. List the important decisions you make. Did you move, lose a job, get ill, purchase a pet, let go of a dream, have a child, have an extended visit from your in-laws, face a financial crisis, handled an issue such as pornography or infidelity in your marriage, take a vacation? At the ending of each year, reflect back on the year and talk with each other about the way the two of you handled the many forks in the road that you faced together.

What Forks in the Road Have You Faced?

Most forks in the road are unexpected although you can foresee some forks in the road such as when your last child leaves home or if one of you decides to return to college.

As we look back on our years together, some of the forks in the road that have impacted our marriage and changed our lives include the birth of our children, the death of three of our babies, our divorce and remarriage, going back to college, illness and recovery, deciding to move, changing jobs, becoming an empty nest couple, coping with aging parents, fires, and remodeling our home. What forks in the road have you faced together?

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