We hear it all the time, right? Two become one. Now that you are married you are supposed to share everything and this other person is supposed to be your everything. They are going to keep you happy, meet all of your needs, make you feel good about yourself, and as long the relationship feels okay you get to feel okay. This fantasy version of relationships is really getting us in trouble. Because guess what? Your spouse is not in charge of your happiness, they cannot always make you feel good about yourself, and you’re okay even
if your relationship is not okay.
I know the fantasy of marriage is fun. I know at the beginning of the relationship it is normal to feel that way, but when you become too reliant on another person for your happiness you are setting yourself up for failure. Marriage is imperfect just as the people who enter it. Some days they are going to be great at loving you and some days they are not. You have to feel okay in this world on their good days and bad. You have to feel good enough even if your spouse is imperfect enough to hurt you deeply. At the end of the day you cannot control your spouse only you and how you feel about yourself. Marriage is about ebb and flow. There will be days of closeness and days of distance.
Another part of this fantasy that is flawed, is it doesn’t seem possible for one person to be able to meet all of your needs. Humans have such a vast array of needs and with so many needs it doesn’t seem realistic that one other person would be able to meet them all. We should get a lot of our needs met in our intimate relationship, but this is why we have friends, hobbies, and jobs. These are places that we can get our needs fulfilled as well. If something should happen to our relationship, we should not crumble and have no life left. We should be sad, we should grieve, but we should also feel like life will move on. Your partner could get taken away from you tomorrow, either by choice or death and you need to be prepared to still be a whole person (and again, not to downplay the pain of this).
I know I have killed any sort of movie version of romance. I am trying to be realistic because realistic is what will help relationships last. Relationships are actually better because people are in them because they enhance his or her life not because they feel dependent. Two become one is dependent. Relying solely on one other person to meet your needs dependent. If you are not dependent you will work harder to show the other person love, caring, and grace because there is no guarantee they will be there tomorrow. Two whole people feels way better than two become one. Two whole people can still have an intimate and amazing connection even if they aren’t dependent on one another. These people act as a team, they support each other, and they can be close and connect yet allow enough space for the other person to be an individual. It can be a pretty amazing relationship.