Who would you turn to for relationship advice? A couple headed for divorce? At first glance, of course not. But who better to discuss the major pitfalls than people who have gone so far wrong they’re at the point of losing it all? Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Ian and Armina Keer.
Before Armina Keer can have the baby she dreams of, she needs her estranged husband Ian to sign their divorce papers. Putting everything on the line for a second chance, Ian must convince her their love is worth saving, and Armina must decide if love is worth sacrificing her dreams.
“You hate me,” Ian whispered, feeling more nauseous than if he’d ingested a prosthetic eyeball. How could she not hate him when she believed their personal relationship had meant less to him than an employment issue?
Armina gazed beyond his left shoulder. “I don’t hate you. I’ve never hated you. When we got married, I understood you had a strong work ethic combined with an unusual drive to succeed and a consuming passion for the Inn. I knew I’d come in second to this place.”
He opened his mouth, wanting to argue, but couldn’t. If she’d made him choose, he wouldn’t have picked her.
“I thought I was okay with it,” she continued. “After all, I loved the Inn, too, and wanted you to realize your vision for it. Turns out I wasn’t okay. I didn’t realize how distant second place actually was.” She shrugged her slim shoulders. “Live and learn, right?”
Not right. He wanted to take back the lesson and teach her about real love instead. “You never should have had to settle for second place. With me or with anyone else. No one has the right to ask that of you.”
“Agreed.” Her voice came out stronger, her shoulders squared, and she looked him directly in the eye. “Now you understand why I want a divorce.”
Acknowledge the past can’t be changed. You can apologize and vow to do things differently going forward and talk through what happen and your mistakes. But you can’t change your past actions, and tearing down the other person for the choices they made won’t help either. Sometimes you just have to accept what was and move forward.
He turned in front of her and stopped walking, forcing her to stop, too. “I know we can’t go back to how things were. I’m not asking you to give up the life you’ve created. I’m just trying to understand who you are now and how you’ve changed since we were together.”
Armina opened her mouth, but found she had no words. She had no intention of sharing the goal that had driven her every decision over the past year. To have a baby before time ran out, she needed his cooperation to ensure a quick divorce.
“I’ve moved on,” she finally said, not sure she spoke the truth but hoping she did or at least that the words would soon come true. She needed to move on. The next chapter of her life couldn’t be put on hold.
“I’m not asking you to stop moving on. I just need you to give me a moment to sprint to catch up to you.”
COMMUNICATE – This is all in caps because it’s so important. Not every problem starts with lack of communication but almost every problem is made worse by lack of communication. Armina first left Ian because her uncle’s medical emergency, but it was the lack of communication afterwards that led to her not returning.
Make the other person a priority. – If your work is more important than your relationship or if your actions show that it is, your partner will begin to resent you and the time you spend on the thing that always takes priority over her/him.
Spend time together. There are no shortcuts to making a person a priority than constantly doing so. Ian was such a workaholic that he consistently chose work over Armina until she came to believe that she meant nothing to him.
So, you’re on the brink of losing someone, like Ian is about to lose Armina, and you need a Hail Mary to win the person back. What do you do? Maybe it’s time to make a deal.
“Our wedding night in Vegas….” He began.
“Was amazing,” she agreed. “I’m not saying we didn’t have good moments, but real life seemed to intrude every time we tried to hook up. Either we didn’t have sex because you were flat-out too busy to come to bed, or when we did have sex, you rushed to the finish so you could take a call or run out to accommodate a guest.”
As much as he wanted to deny her criticism, he couldn’t. He’d let the Inn take priority in the bedroom. The only wonder about her leaving him was that she hadn’t walked away sooner. “I was an idiot and a complete ass to let my work come before our marriage. Believe me, I’ve had two long years to think about it.”
She stepped away from his embrace. “If I’m supposed to be impressed you’re man enough to admit it, sorry, but I’m not. If you’d cared about fixing our relationship, you would have made some sort of effort to seek me out.”
“I should have. You’re right. I needed to make changes to my life, and those changes didn’t happen overnight. All the time I kept hoping you would return and see my transformation and give me another chance. By the time I adjusted my thinking to consider coming after you, you’d served me with divorce papers.”
“Speaking of which—”
No. He couldn’t believe he’d brought up the topic he most wanted her to forget. Panic slithered up his spine at how close he was to losing her. He needed to truly connect with her to have a chance. “Sleep with me, Armina, one more time. I know you want me, and you can feel how much I want you too.”
“Simply wanting each other isn’t enough to keep us together.”
“If you’re not completely satisfied,” he barreled on, his heart breaking. He’d have to keep his word, even if it killed him. “I’ll sign the papers, no questions asked.”
Put the other person’s pleasure first. Be generous. Love without holding back. Your relationship will have chance, and maybe, just maybe, so will Ian and Armina’s.
Author Bio: Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her keys at least three times a day. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/rx_AL
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