Create a love that endures the tragedies of life

Heartache and tragedy are a part of life. They can strengthen your marriage or drive you apart. It’s up to you.

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  • Couples enter marriage with a rosy glow of how wonderful their lives will be. They can’t imagine the tragedies that might happen to them. And that’s a good thing because many of them never will. But what if something awful did happen, or has happened? What then?

  • It has been said that if you haven’t had a deep sorrow or tragedy in your life it just means you haven’t lived long enough yet. This world is famous for hosting heartache. And that’s not a bad thing. What we learn from these difficult experiences can become our most valuable education.

  • Where’s our baby?

  • As newlyweds, we talked of having a large family and enjoying the happiness each child would bring into our lives. It was our plan from day one. But year after year, unanswered prayer after unanswered prayer, our hearts were broken with no baby on the way. Finally the day came, and the pregnancy test was positive. What a glorious day it was! That happiness lasted only two and a half months then we lost the baby. It was an ectopic pregnancy where complications were discovered during the surgery after the tube broke thus making it impossible to ever conceive another child. Our tiny barely-developing baby died along with all our dreams of having a big family — any family.

  • We had determined that, no matter what, our relationship would stay strong. We would not let this heartache drive us apart, but rather let it bring us even closer. We still had each other. And we still believed in the power of prayer and asked to be guided to children we could adopt. Just because we have tragedies in our lives doesn’t mean God isn’t there or isn’t listening. We knew he would help us. And he did.

  • As a result, we have five adopted children who have given us 20 grandchildren and immeasurable happiness, along with a bit more heartache, in the journey. We discovered, as so many do, that we can live through tragedies and overcome them with alternate plans.

  • Here are a few things we’ve learned that may help you through your heartaches.

  • 1. Never stop praying

  • Just because your prayers aren’t being answered the way you intended doesn’t mean they aren’t being heard by a loving Heavenly Father. Mostly it means you need to have patience and accept the answers that do come.

  • 2. Build your marriage relationship every day

  • When you are doing the things that keep your love alive you can make it through most anything together.

  • 3. Don’t blame your mate for tragedies that occur

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  • If he or she happens to be the driver in an accident just remember that no one wants an accident to happen. If it does, stick together and do what it takes to support each other and make it through, even if someone is injured or dies, as a result. Heartaches are best dealt with when shared by a mate who is loving and understanding.

  • 4. When illness strikes, hang on to each other and search for answers

  • To some degree, most illnesses, even the very serious ones, can be overcome. It’s amazing how the human body can heal and adapt. We have been impressed with our friends Alan and Suzanne Osmond. Alan has multiple sclerosis (MS) and handles it with such dignity and determination that he still functions very well, though needs a cane and a helping hand from Suzanne, at times. She is always near. Their love has grown even stronger as they continue to inspire others who face tragedy through illness, including their son David who now faces the same illness as his father.

  • “There is a good side to every challenge in life,” says David Osmond. “Sometimes dealing with something like multiple sclerosis can make your marriage better, I know both my wife and I have learned more patience with each other through this journey, and I absolutely would not be where I am at today in conquering MS without her.”

  • You can see another beautiful example of how this worksby watching this video of an Omaha couple who face her Alzheimer's together.

  • Light in the tunnel

  • There is always a way to deal with the hardships and heartaches of life when couples stay true to each other and seek answers and comfort together. You don’t have to wait for the light at the end of the tunnel. You can create light in the tunnel by holding on to each other.

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Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.

Website: http://garyjoylundberg.com

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