Originally Posted by BenL
This statement and U-dog's poetic definition of marriage shows marriage as the dynamic state it is. Marriage is essentially a formal relationship (contractual and/or covenental) between two people.
Marriage dies when it becomes static, existing in an unchanging state.
Hello everyone, Polly the marriage and family therapist here....I haven't posted in so long that I almost forgot how to do it.....but I have been reading. U-dog and I were having dinner and I was pontificating and he said, "you should post what you just said on the What-is-Marriage thread, so here I am.
I'm jumping in after BenL said 'marriage dies when it becomes static' because I really resonate with that. In the past several weeks I've seen couples in crisis and more than a couple of people have complained, "this isn't the marriage I thought I was going to have!" To this I must say: exactly! That's just right. If you are fortunate you will only have one partner, but with that partner you WILL have many marriages. The dynamic, alive, healthy and satisfying marriage is one that is being repeatedly renegotiated as each partner grows and changes.
Couples tell me: "we have too much conflict in our relationship." But conflict is a good and natural thing; it means that growth is trying to happen. When the seed sprouts and tries to break through the earth to find the sun, the earth resists it. The sprout has to push to break through the ground and come up. Growth is like that. Without conflict there is no growth, only dormancy.....no new life.
Partners are usually uncomfortable with conflict because they haven't learned how to work through it to enable growth. They have the same arguments over and over and nothing gets resolved. That sort of conflict would wear anyone out.
Embrace conflict; it means you are about to grow. And yes, when the growth spurt is over, you will have a new marriage, and that is exciting. Part of what makes people create their marriage anew is based on external variables, some of which are out of their control. Part is based on internal factors, some of which afford us some choices, and others of which do not. Being in control is mostly impossible and besides, I think it is grossly overrated.
So yeah, choose one partner, but expect to have more than one marriage with her or him. It really is a journey, and you can't know where it will lead. The journey itself is the point.