Are you wondering how can you be happy again?
It has been said that marriage is the last chance we have to grow up. The main factor is that a marriage is a relationship where we choose the partner, and we select this person in purpose to play the most important role of our grown up lives, to make us happy.
We get married not only to fulfill social expectations (as when you mother asks: “when are you going to get married?”), because we are grown up people now. Getting married involves several objectives, the main being happy by sharing life with a loved one.
Among those objectives, but never clearly formulated, is that we are looking for a companion to help us accomplish the goals we set up for our own lives. Here, instead of looking at your intended, we focus on your own life planning: What is your life mission? What were you born to do in this life? And how is your marriage aligned to help you become the person you need to be?
Let’s begin exploring what a healthy marriage is:
“A healthy marriage is a learning, mutually satisfying relationship committed to both partner’s ongoing growth and personal development by providing reciprocal support and respect for each other individualistic needs satisfaction and life purpose accomplishment, and for shared goals.”
Marriage is our most important relationship, which can either support or destroy self-esteem, physical health and mindset. Each marriage is a work in progress, developing a long time and with a lot of personal effort. Certain amount of friction and confrontation between partners is part of the process of getting what we need, while supporting the relationship. The most pressing issue is to decide if we share the same ethical and principled goals with our spouse.
We all need from time to time to have a deep, sincere look at the present state of our marriage and then decide what to do to align it with our personal goals.
When marital difficulties appear because both parts of the couple are fighting about different values, or they pursue different dreams, then the gap between the two begins to transform into an abyss.
Painful conversations can make clear to you that the other side either doesn’t sees your life objectives in the same light, or clearly doesn’t give a damn for them.
When you show your interest for some aspect, (for example, starting a spiritual search) and receive a put down, a sneer or a bad joke, what are your feelings? Beyond the surprise of the reaction experienced as an attack, what you feel is the utter loneliness of your personal search for what makes you happy!
The path to marital desperation begins with this experience of loneliness; then it develops into the “feeling of being always alone even in permanent company.” It ends up being a marriage that is an empty shell where both sides are following parallel paths that don’t touch each other. There is no happiness when our life purpose is either ignored, sabotaged or considered disposable by our partner!
We probably need to make the conscious decision to talk about a marital “contract” with our loved one where we would share with him/her our personal project and set goals to be pursued…The point here being including those individual dreams as an active piece of the shared relationship.
The word “contract” here means the explicit sharing of the personal, individual goals that were important to us before we got together in a permanent relationship, and thus they need to be valued and respected, because they are part of what we are. If we try to fit our personalities only into the gender roles (he as provider, she as the nurturer) this will reduce the importance of individual goals, and make both of them poorer. If you silence your deep interests in life or your permanent dreams in order to keep him, or to fit into the gender roles assigned to you, you will experience the deepest of unhappiness, because you are forgetting your soul.
Because these goals and aspirations were our mindset before the marriage, and will be there after marriage…is a mistake to believe that marriage will either archive or make them happen automatically, because we need to work personally on them.
Negotiating these individual goals into a shared set of common goals is what makes a marriage happy, healthy and successful. This is the way both sides develop and grow into adult human beings.
If this conversation about where do you want to go and be and experience, and where I want to go and be and experience never takes place, we are cheating each other from the basic help to support the other to fulfill his/ her life mission.
So, now, the question is: how much do you know about your spouse’s life mission? And how clear are you about the kind of support your loved one needs from you?
Don’t be afraid, giving your spouse your support will not take this person away from you; so you don’t need to smother any of his/her aspirations with control or sarcasm. And getting the courage to stand for your own life purpose will only enrich his life. Your relationship will be based on the reality of each partner’s goals and aspirations, and will grow stronger because of the agreement designed to support both people to grow up. Then, marriage will support your happiness, not work against it.
Would you like to have your own free ebook about How Healthy is your Marriage“?