When Times Get Tough

by Dr. Virginia Smith

You may or may not be married, but you probably have either attended a wedding at some point in time, or, at least seen one on a television show or a movie. At least in the past, the traditional wedding vows went something like this:

“I ______________(fill in your name) take thee, ___________(fill in spouse’s name) to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”

These vows were a part of our wedding ceremony and even though, at the time, I thought I understood what they meant, in all honesty, I didn't have a clue about all of the implications – about how tough times might actually get.

Relationships Will Be Tested – Challenges Will Come

Our lives are full of commitments we make to other people – to a spouse, to our children, to our parents, to our friends, or to coworkers or others. Sometimes, these commitments require very little on our part because the relationship doesn’t experience many hardships. Other times, our relationships are stretched to the limit due to unexpected challenges or curve balls that come our direction. It is during these times that our ability to endure becomes invaluable as we seek to not only survive, but also deepen and strengthen our relationships.

When you find yourself facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge in life – particularly in a relationship, try taking these eight steps to get yourself off high center and make progress through the difficult time so that you can emerge on the other side.

Life will throw you curve balls. It is inevitable. Especially in relationships, these challenges can seem overwhelming and out of your control. But, with the decision to endure, you can make it through and come out on the other side stronger and more in control of your destiny. And your relationships will deepen and grow as a result.


Dr. Virginia Smith is a speaker, author, and life-long educator. A Kamm Distinguished Fellow in Academics, Research, and Leadership, she holds degrees in family services, business, and education with areas of concentration in curriculum design and development.

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