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Some thoughts about marriage

Recently, I had some thoughts about marriage. Marriage, besides other things causes a perpetual inner conflict between a desire for freedom and self-determination, and longing for true intimacy, total openness and even merging. It appears that partners are constantly looking for a compromise between these two conflicting and opposing drives.  It is a sort of a dance which is performed in a sine wave, or rather on a scale – closer/farther.  When marriage is developing in a functional and healthy way, ideally partners are getting closer and closer while still doing their little “closer/farther” dance.

Oftentimes one partner is more ready for deeper intimacy than other and it can lead to conflicts and crisis. If conflict gets resolved successfully and partners are able to talk about their needs, desires and expectations and find acceptable to both solutions, it leads to even greater closeness. During crises re-negotiation of unspoken (or explicitly expressed) contracts takes place in order to redefine them as well as roles each spouse plays in the marriage. Both partners are learning to communicate, interact, interrelate, negotiate, modify their behaviors and adjust to each other. At some point in the marriage comes time (somewhere around 7 years) when partners must distance a little from each other to “find” themselves individually, to become more mature, whole and independent and then return to each other in this new quality as two more complete individuals who want to be together. If this doesn’t happen, the marriage risks to become stagnant and partners might become more dependent on each other and lose themselves in the relationship. However, if only one partners chooses to grow while other one stays the same and doesn’t want to change, this marriage is probably doomed to fail sooner or later because the distance between spouses  will grow wider and wider, until eventually nothing holds them together…

So, if you want your marriage to thrive, don’t forget the fact that it is a dance together, not two people dancing to their own tunes.

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