Fairy tales pale in comparison to the fantastic expectations for marriage that engaged couples often harbor in their hearts. We have been dumbfounded when these expectations surface in one form or another in a marriage counseling session.
Often marriage is perceived as a beautiful box that is full of everything the couple has always wanted in a relationship and frankly has never gotten. The hope is that all they have to do is reach into that magic box and they are going to find everything they’ve always dreamt about in a partner:
- A great communicator
- A passionate, always available sexual partner
- A deeply spiritual companion
- A great chef
- A housekeeper
- A masseuse
- A best friend
- A therapist
- A mind reader
- A chauffeur
- An entertainer
- A romantic
- An adventurer
- A loan officer
- A protector
- A person who shares in and delights in all that they delight in
Have you gagged yet? These expectations leave us ‘crusin for a brusin’. No wonder couples end up disillusioned, disappointed and in despair.
What is reality? Reality is that marriage is very much an empty box. There will be nothing in your marriage box except what the two of you choose to individually put into that box.
Marriage is not a passive undertaking.
Marriage requires two active, initiating, conscious, self-disciplined lovers.
If our focus as we approach marriage is on “getting” and the predominant question in our mind is, “What will I get?” we are already bringing toxins to our marriage and setting ourselves up for disappointment.
If we are hesitant to make a commitment because we’re afraid our needs won’t be met, we have a misguided focus. We are already a danger to our partner.
Sooner or later, if our emphasis is on getting, we will be disillusioned. No human can give us everything we need. When we realize that our marriage box doesn’t contain everything we had hoped for, then we begin filling our marriage box. What do we fill it with? We fill it with resentment, anger, criticism, hostility, bitterness a sense of being robbed, ripped off, duped, and disillusioned.
At that point, it is easy to begin to fantasize about someone else out there who could meet my needs better than this ‘schmo’ I married. Rarely do we question our sense of entitlement. We only want to exchange our partner for a newer and usually younger model. Frankly at that point we are a danger to ourselves and others.
The questions we contemplate are crucial. If my focus centers only on, “What can I get?” both of us and our relationship will be injured.
If, by contrast, my focus centers on, “What can I give?” both of us and our relationship will be invigorated.
What are you bringing to your marriage box?
Until our next Conscious Lover’s blog…