The difference between the left column and right column are profound. The left is looking out for yourself, the right is looking out for the union. Which leads to the relationship you want?
Therapists often say that women should maintain a sense of individual identity in their marriage. If this worked, all women would have a fulfilling self-identity and a wonderful marriage, but this is rarely the case. Think of high powered career-women, who prioritize professional life over their marriage.
When man and wife do not prioritize the marriage, neither is satisfied. Marriage is the most fulfilling and intimate relationship that man & woman can experience.
The flaw in trying to maintain an individual identity in a marriage, is that marriage is a structure for man and woman to become one. Marriage itself, is the losing of an individual identity. If you want a happy marriage you must let go of your individual identity and all the boundaries that come with it.
Think of all relationships as shapes, and when people enter in to a relationship, they are stepping into a shape. Every shape has its structure; for example, an octagon has 8 sides, so perhaps that’s the shape of an orgy. If you enter the shape of an orgy and expect monogamy, you’re in the wrong shape. All relationships have rules (principles) that govern their existence. The rules that govern each relationship are real. If you step outside those rules for any reason, it will cause pain to the person(s) in the relationship.
It’s important to “know the rules” of marriage before you step into it; marital relationships aren’t simple. If they were, every man would have a white picket fence and the woman he loves inside, naked, making him a tuna sandwich with joy and exuberance. Every woman would have her white picket fence with security and monogamy, and the full emotional/sexual support of the man she loves. This white picket fence scenario, tuna sandwich and all is sustained only through the structure of marriage. Marriage is the only relationship between man, woman and God that addresses the needs of their core; Monogamy, Support, Understanding, Attention, Commitment, Love, Forgiveness, Trust, Time, Patience, Intimacy, Openness, Nuclear Family Unit, Money, Honesty, Fun and Respect.
Problems arise when people form marriages based on their own rules, and expect the structure and promise of marriage to stand the test of time.
Take a breather, stand up, stretch, get your coffee or drink some water, get some air. Do what you gotta to reset, then come back.
When we speak of marriage, we only speak of Husband (Man), and Wife (Woman). We refer to the true framework of marriage as found in the origin of the word itself. Let me tell you why…
derived from Latin, marītāre, meaning to provide with a husband or wife and marītāri meaning to get married.
When we redefine a word, we create confusion; some individuals will operate off an older definition, while others will only identify the new definition as real. Think about the shape of Marriage:
In the illustration above, the Wife attempts to redefine “marriage” by changing its shape (or definition). She accomplishes her goal of allowing other lovers in, but now the couple is no longer in a marriage; they are in an open marriage.
You may be thinking; so what’s the big deal? Marriage and Open Marriage are close enough.
Do not be mistaken, Marriage and Open Marriage are two very different things. An open marriage is a relationship with its own rules and consequences. An open marriage has sexual relations with others at its center, while monogamy is a key rule of marriage. Think about how predominant the conversation of monogamy is in romantic love; how much of your mind it takes up, and how significantly being monogamous affects the way you move. When we loosen our grip on the definition/shape of marriage, we water down the perceived power of the word; and what it really means.
Most importantly, it does not matter how people twist the word to fit the wants of the people of the time; the shape of marriage remains the same regardless. Marriage is a specific type of relationship, it’s when one man and one woman unite to become one flesh. The shape is governed by the laws of nature.
Procreation is a property of life; and without it, the human species cannot continue living. For this reason, consummation is a natural property of marriage; and we cannot separate consummation from procreation.
The following is an except from “Definition of Marriage” by James A Watkins:
“There is finally no getting around the fact that marriage cannot be detached from what we might call the “natural teleology of the body”: namely, the inescapable fact that only two people, not three, only a man and a woman, can beget a child. The hard, obdurate fact here is that if marriage is detached from this natural teleology of the body, it loses the defining features, in principle, that cabin its meaning and establish its coherence. Children must come into being through the only kind of family that nature knows.
We refer to the definition of marriage as one man and one woman, not with bias, but because nature has determined what marriage is for us.
Relationships are powerful. They change the course of your life. Know the expectations and consequences of the relationships you enter. Know the boundaries; you are not in control of the relationship, the relationship is in control. You bend to it, not the other way around. Don’t outsmart yourself.