THE Relationship Blog
The biggest fear and complaints that people have regarding relationships is that it the same thing day after day. The media, movies and TV, refer to marriage as hell because it’s the same thing every day. Men ask grooms, ‘Do you really want to have sex with the same woman forever?’ People warn about the monotony of monogamy or the dread of routine. They think that waking up with the same person for the rest of your life is a punishment. For some strange reason, this line of reasoning pervades the commitment-phobes.
The reality is that marriage is nothing like what they describe. Wait, let me be specific. Healthy marriage is not like that. A healthy marriage grows, changes, expands, contracts and evolves. We have been married for almost 23 years and we are not the same two who married back in the 80’s. Aside from weight, hair color and the stray wrinkle, we have grown up, mellowed out, found our voices and become really kick ass people. Sure, there is the glimmer of that skinny guy and that girl with Elvis hair and shoulder pads left but only in that they were our predecessors. Those two fresh faced kids are our ancestors and we honor them with a happy marriage.
The breakdown of a marriage may fall into 2 categories:
However, ultimately, these two issues are evolutionary issues.
When a marriage is presented with a crisis, like money problems, illness or children, we either rise to the challenge or we fight the change. Crises will demand solutions and the solutions usually involve changing of behaviors or habits. Many people resent the need for change. For whatever reason, some people would rather ignore problems than change. For some, change indicates that there was something wrong with the original. On the contrary, change is a healthy expression of emotional well being. Being able to roll with the punches and attack crises as opportunities is an attitude that will carry you through the worst of times.
A boundary issue that breaks up many marriages is infidelity. Infidelity is a breach of the marriage commitment. It is a boundary violation. These violations occur due to one of the partners deciding that the commitment was not worth keeping. It is a sign of emotional immaturity. Part of growing up is developing a deep sense of responsibility. Being able to commit to someone publicly is an outward sign that you are willing to take that responsibility. Dishonoring that commitment is tantamount to regressing to a pre-matrimonial state of evolution. In other words, you were not really emotionally evolved enough for the original commitment.
Explaining evolutionary roots to communication issues is much easier. Evolution demands that you make choices that help with your survival. When you choose to marry, you choose to commit to the survival of a marriage as well and the responsibilities that entails. Communicating from a position of ‘me first’, ‘I win’ and fear are indicative of emotional immaturity. If marriage is a journey then communication is the mode of transport. Those who choose to fight and position themselves are riding pogo sticks while those who engage in loving, open, effective communication are on Lear Jets with a Jacuzzi, stocked fridge and laser beams.
We hope this helps put things in perspective. If not, watch us tomorrow on Relationship Rehab at Noon ET. Join us on our live chat and get some good advice.