The Claddagh ring was used as an engagement during the 1600s, and it is full of symbolism about relationships that may still apply today. There are three elements in the ring´s design that convey meaning: the hands, the heart, and the crown.
The hands represent friendship and agreement; the heart represents love (you probably saw that one coming) and the crown represents the marital covenant out of which loyalty would naturally flow.
When marriages begin to break down, it is due to weakness in at least one of these areas. Further, if any one of these conditions is present it is possible to re-ignite the others over time.
Now I know that there are many people who are suffering in their marriages because of a breakdown in one or more of these areas so listen up!
What causes a breakdown?
Where many of us like to go is blame when there is a breakdown, I am encouraging you to get it that a breakdown in marriage is rarely (if ever) one-sided.
For example, if a man cheats on his wife, we can easily say “He has broken his covenant”, or “he has been disloyal”. However, having worked with people in the position, very often the man feels he no longer has a friend in his marriage and over time, somewhat in desperation he “makes a new friend”.
In fact, many divorces are triggered by one member getting depressed and depression often drives the partner to seek some kind of joy to jolt them out of their depression.
What causes the depression?
In a marriage, feeling that love is not present or that the friendship is not there is a major contributor.
Even worse for the “cheater”, they are often only temporarily satisfied. The wife is in the hell of betrayal and feeling they can never trust while the husband is not only a promise-breaker and family wrecker but also feeling desperate and alone.
How many people feel they are in a loveless marriage? They are loyal and friendly, but go through their day feeling the love is lost and that’s just the way it is?
Take away any one element and the marriage is on the way down.
Can we re-ignite the relationship?
If all three elements were present before, fear not! You can re-ignite love, you can rebuild friendship, and you can even recover from disloyalty or breaking a covenant!
Once committed and working towards rebuilding the three legs, you can even have a deeper, more satisfying marriage over time. Once you start down the road of rebuilding, you will find hope and strength. I’ve seen it again and again.
If you ignore the original basis of the marriage and don’t address the weakened or missing leg, you basically doomed to a lifetime of anger and possibly even warfare.
Though I have never had a client who went this route, I have interviewed plenty of people who, post-divorce, don’t understand why their ex hates them, poisons their children’s minds against them, and keeps re-suing them for more and more money.
All it takes is one of you to take the high ground here and your partner will follow you there and develop either a stronger marriage or parenting partnership.
Should I really try to rebuild the relationship?
Now I know that the idea that you could reconcile with someone who broke loyalty seems like a stretch. It might seem even crazier than two people can rediscover love just by deciding to.
I have seen couples overcome adultery, and there are countless stories of people in prearranged marriages who came to love one another over time. So, why not to people who were once in love?
I can´t tell you how many couples I have heard say that their love was re-ignited when their partner demonstrated loyalty by never leaving their side when they were deathly ill for example.
Now, this kind of choice takes real commitment and a can-do attitude, if you´re reading this and seriously disbelieving what I’m writing, it’s definitely not for you.
You will want to walk into a process like this with faith, the faith that the relationship can be more because others have done it. Because you know where you want to go with it.
The fact is, we never learn in the happy times, we learn and grow most individually and as a couple in the tough ones. So if you believe every day should be perfect and happy, this is definitely not for you! That’s just not how life works!
I´ve been there, I mean it
I have been through this process myself a couple of times over the years. Rebuilding any of the legs also requires a mentor. When my marriage got weak in one leg or another it was because I had no clue how to strengthen it.
No amount of self-help books, blog reading, or prayer alone would get me there. I needed the help of someone who had been there and could ask me the right questions.
That required me to let go of my old ways which were finger-pointing and blaming my partner for what was going on. I needed to stop telling her to clean up her act and, instead, demonstrate what that meant by cleaning up mine.
The new way is all about personal responsibility, intentionality, communication, and action!
If you’re looking to rebuild one or more of these aspects of your marriage reach out for help now!
Schedule a call with me at no charge and with no obligation other than to best serve yourself and your marriage. Let´s talk about what’s going on. I promise you will come out of the call with a better understanding of what to do next.
Having these three elements present in your marriage guarantees you a marriage “Rich in Relationship”.