As you walked down the aisle on your wedding day or waited at the alter for your bride, we often do not have a realistic view of marriage. We are still in the honeymoon, head over heels phase. This is a wonderful phase and it feels great, but marriage is not always about that honeymoon feeling. There will be tough times and challenges, joy and pain. As easy as it is to know this logically on our wedding day, we often do not really know what some of those challenging times will be like later in our marriage.
So I am going to take what might be an unpopular stance for a moment on these challenging times. I feel that people are happier in relationships when they can see them self outside of the relationship. What?!?! This is not supposed to be the stance of a marriage counselor. Hear me out. If you get so stuck on saying this relationship has to work no matter what, then you become overly dependent on the relationship and this can actually do more harm than good. I call it doing the relationship dance. Where you are so busy just dancing around trying to make the relationship work that you lose yourself. You lose what you need. Heck you may even lose what your partner needs. Live this way long enough and it tends to develop a lot of unhappiness on your part and even anger and bitterness. How fun is that person in a relationship?
In no way am I advocating divorce. Divorce is an incredibly painful process that I would not wish on anyone. But, knowing that you are important, your needs are important and that no marriage is a guarantee is amazing motivation to do the work that needs to be done to make your marriage healthy and happy. It helps to push you into having difficult conversations with your partner. It creates a feeling that you want your marriage to enhance your life not make you who you are. It pushes you to concentrate on your partners needs and wants as well.
All I am saying is to make your marriage something you work for, but to not lose who you really are in the process. You get what you put in. Be a partnership, do the hard work, have the hard conversations, have some healthy fights. This is what creates a healthy marriage. Not a dependence so strong on the marriage there is no you left. It takes two whole people to be happily married.