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CreatingLove-bookcoverAnyone who has not made a mistake in their relationship, please stand up. I don’t see anyone standing from where I’m looking. Maybe there are some of you saints out there, but I haven’t met you yet. After being married almost thirty nine years, I feel fortunate that my husband and I haven’t fallen into murder or infidelity or both or at least not yet. I can remember those times when these options felt like a good idea, but we used restraint instead. The couple relationship can bring out the best and worst in us if we don’t manage the result.

On vacation I read a wonderful summer read on secrets, lies, infidelity, forgiveness, love and redemption. Even though the book was fiction, it could have described countless couples that I have seen in my office or known or seen on TV. The closeness and intensity of the marriage relationship can bring out the best and worst of us over time.

I feel that mistakes can be part of growing and learning and developing compassion for ourselves and others. That doesn’t mean that you can go out and “sin” because you can say sorry later. It means that we all have feelings, needs, unexplained drives and experiences from the past that can cloud our judgment. The New York Times columnist, David Brooks, in his latest book says the research on most behavior and decisions originates from the unconscious.

What I am trying to say here is that we all are capable of making mistakes and we hope that our situation never gets so bad that we feel that we cannot be forgiven or understood. In fact most of us learn best from the mistakes we have made so that we can make a better choice the next time. The trick is to learn from the small missteps, so that the damage we reap is minimal. Sometimes the damage we create takes much compassion and time to achieve forgiveness from loved ones. Self knowledge and its never ending pursuit can help too.

My book, ”Creating Love For A Lifetime-The Five C’s To A Successful Marriage” was written with lots of my husband’s and my mistakes included. All that we have learned through compassion and forgiveness with one another, only made our passion and commitment stronger. It also made our understanding and compassion for other couples a given. Maybe we all can’t be the story behind a great summer read, but with compassion and forgiveness for our spouse and ourselves, we all can become a great love story for our marriage. Happy reading!