Love and marriage should not be taken lightly. It seems like every day we see relationships in turmoil on television and Hollywood romances renounced. People aimlessly jump into this commitment without thinking like a couple in a drunken stupor leaping into bed. But love and marriage should not be toyed with either. It is not a game and the truth and lies of divorce can impede the pursuit of happiness. A dishonest marriage can turn two honest, loving people into two deceitful, unscrupulous people in a simple twist of fate. Marriage is certainly not a game anyone wants to play.

Like a child clutching its most adored lucky charm, we hold on to our faith that love conquers all, even if this love will ultimately lead us down an ugly road of despondency and separation. This passionate philosophy keeps people trying to rekindle the flames of an already extinguished fire for far too long. Even when we realize that our one true loves are not in fact the figure of our fantasies after all we hold on to them like a safety blanket just because we “love them.” But love should never require sacrificing yourself or forfeiting your joy or aspirations. You can love a person and choose not to be with them. Sometimes an honest perspective is healthier than a dishonest reality. Love is not enough of a reason to keep the flames burning. You might hurt each other if you keep burning what is just not there. While the split will still be sad, it does not have to be dramatic or deceitful. To avoid any unnecessary grief take the following truths and lies with a grain of salt:

#1 Lie: You should not split up until you have fallen out of love.

Truth: Once you love someone, you will love him or her forever. People do not fall in and out of love, as if love can be measured. People fall out of trust, intimacy, and respect.

#2 Lie: If we loved each other more, we would be able to make this relationship work.

Truth: Love is only a prerequisite, and it is the easy part. Great marriages take deep partnership, and a commitment and a willingness to grow together and individually on all levels – emotionally, mentally and spiritually – by both people.

#3 Lie: If the relationship ends, we have failed.

Truth: The failure is overstaying. Be honest with yourself and each other when it is time to end your relationship, without having to make it anyone’s fault. Your goal is not to become the next reality television show, but to use the power of unconditional love and respect that you hopefully started the relationship and marriage with to gracefully transition out of it. Remember, at the end of the day, you both want the best for each other, do you not?

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