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"Do we have to divorce? Isn't there another way?"

This blog is solely the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of the staff or firm of Zoller Biacsi Co., LPA.

Of course, there's another way! It's not easy, but, honestly, neither is divorce. It takes a lot of work, but - surprise! - divorce is work, stress and heartache, too.

The "other way" requires you to look in the mirror and be truthful with yourself and your spouse. The "other way" demands that you take ownership for your role in the demise of your marriage and change yourself and your behaviors. It insists you understand that the only person you are capable of changing is yourself and no one else. But as you change, the other person must change as well, to accommodate a different, new reality: situations cannot stay the same if half of the couple refuses to remain in whatever rut they have created for themselves.

As someone who has been through a sad, sad divorce and has married again, I can tell you without hesitation that there is no "happy ever after," nor is the grass ever greener anywhere else. I realized when I was on the brink of divorce with my second husband that I had merely traded one set of problems for a different set the second time around. Did I want to be a person who would run from trouble every time it surfaced? Or was I ready to grow up, face the trouble and learn from it?

My second husband is thrilled that I decided to grow up and learn. Every day.

Every day, I read something inspirational for married couples, even on days when I don't feel inspired at all. Every day, I question how I can be a better wife, resisting the temptation to ruminate on all the ways he should be a better husband. Every day, I offer a prayer for him: for work for his hands, for a soft heart towards me, for peace when he feels anxiety, for confidence when he feels lost. I don't expect this back from him; I do it for his sake. And actually, I do it for my sake, too.

I have learned that I am far from perfect, so expecting someone else to be perfect at all times is ludicrous. I have learned that forgiveness when I need it is the sweetest thing, so when I forgive him, I share that sweetness. I have learned that holding hands in the face of a storm is stronger than turning our backs to each other and running our separate ways. And I've learned that when we attend church together, even when we might be angry with each other, it is nearly impossible to remain in that angry state, when we kneel and pray together.

Are we perfectly happy? Of course not! Marriage is hard stuff! We are human, and we fail. We make mistakes. But we forgive, we pray, we try again.

Every day.

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