Like everyone else, do you also look forward to having a healthy and long marriage with your spouse, but sometimes things feel…boring?
My husband and I have been married for almost thirty years.
A while back we started trying out Blue Apron, the service that brings weekly meals and recipes to your door.
His joking words the other morning were, “I’m liking Blue Apron. It’s nice after soooo loooong together to have something new to look forward to.”
Hopefully, that was a bit of sarcasm.
Marriage Is Not For Chickens…
Since then, I’ve given even more thought about how a healthy (or healthy enough) marriage or long-term relationship changes you. What does a person gain from the experience of commitment that’s apart from your religious beliefs?
Why do you look forward to coming in the back door after a long day, and hearing your other half puttering around the kitchen? What causes you to stick around as someone else makes mistakes or hurts your feelings? What keeps us from moving on to a newer model — someone with whom you could recreate that lust/love of so long ago? Or think you might?
Here are seven answers to those questions…
1. Watching someone else live their life, very differently than you, expands you as a person.
There’s a widespread belief that dogs and their owners start to look like each other; what happens with your human companion?
Understanding the ways each one of you may look at the world, you can realize that your perceptions are just that. Perceptions. And so both of you grow… if you don’t spend time fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong.
2. Seeing someone else falter, make mistakes or downright fail, can lead to compassion.
You watch him lose his job and become depressed. You watch her work way too hard, and burnout. And you support them getting back and getting back on track. You observe each other trying to parent — the toughest job of all.
Perhaps you would’ve judged in the past, but you’re not as likely to anymore. You recognize with the years that no one is always successful — everyone will struggle.
Want to know more about what a healthy marriage entails? Read 43 Pieces of Best Marriage Advice by Top Relationship Experts
3. You can experience true trust.
There’s a scene in “On Golden Pond” when Katherine Hepburn, usually quite understanding of her daughter Jane Fonda’s barrage of complaints about her father, slaps her suddenly in the middle of her calling him an SOB. She states flatly, “That old son of a bitch happens to be my husband.”
It’s not that we can’t see our partner’s weaknesses, but in a healthy partnership, we come to understand them, and love them anyway.
4. Having a daily touchstone lends a sense of security.
Someone knows where you are, what you’re doing with your day. Even though it may be pseudo-security, or a false sense of control, it’s still helpful. If you got into trouble, they’d be there. You’re loved, you’re missed, you’re valued, you’re cared for, you’re a part of a team.
Sadly, this is often the reason why people stay unhappily married. They’re scared to be by themselves, and rightfully so.. Being alone can have its own hardship.
5. Compromise helps you stay open and giving.
If it’s acquiescence, it doesn’t work. If it’s martyrdom or dictatorship, it doesn’t either.
But healthy compromise, meaning not always getting things the way you want them and realizing what the other wants or needs is important as well, keeps you focused on others, not just yourself. Through the years, you both help each other experience what you want or can have from life.