I’m back! I was on vacation for three weeks (which turned into a month). I haven’t posted here in awhile and I thought, “Well, it’s about time.” What I am really into right now is talking about the purpose of marriage. Before we go further, this is for you if you are going through a tough season in your marriage, or you’re experiencing a test, or a moment of disconnection, or your spouse isn’t doing something that you want them to do, or it doesn’t look like they’re taking your marriage growth as seriously as you are. Maybe you’re feeling a little bit sorry for yourself. This is for you. This is for me. This is for everyone. This is not only for marriage relationships, but this is also for relationships in general.
When that doesn’t come true, you not only wonder what’s wrong with your marriage, but more importantly, what’s wrong with your spouse, and then secondarily, what’s wrong with you (but more so what’s wrong with your spouse if we’re being honest about it; people would not remarry if they really looked at themselves first). So, here’s what I believe about the purpose of life, because we have to look there first.
A very universal concept is to develop as a human being. To grow, to become more caring, more compassionate, more understanding. To fight the battle against our ego, which serves to disconnect us from each other, and serves to protect us. Protection isn’t a bad thing, but that’s when anger and frustration and defensiveness and criticism come out. If the purpose of life is to grow as a human being, to become stronger, to develop those muscles that eventually lead to more happiness, more contentment, more joy, more enthusiasm, more flexibility, more understanding, really more personal fulfillment and satisfaction, then in that context… what is the purpose of marriage?
I don’t think it’s any different.
I think marriage is simply a laboratory in which we can do that “people growing” work that we need to do in ourselves, which is the purpose of life. This is vastly different from the “happily ever after” scenario that we’ve been taught and fed… Disney movie after Disney movie, romantic comedy after romantic comedy, romance novel after romance novel, in our culture.
When you do that, all you can do is blame other people for what you’re going through, which is disempowering.
I know it’s super cliché, but it works. That is what I challenge you to do if you’re in a situation with your partner or with somebody else you’re in a relationship with. What is this growth opportunity here in front of you? How will you become more compassionate, more understanding, more patient? What will you change about your character? How have you contributed to this dynamic in your relationship? How can you be happy for somebody even when it feels like a detriment to your own happiness?
I know from experience, this is the happily ever after of marriage, when two people can mature and grow and become more self-reflective, that is when marriage becomes phenomenal. I’m not saying that I’ve reached that stage of my marriage just yet, but I am getting a glimmer of it, which is extremely exciting and I want that for you too as well. Good luck with this challenge, let me know how it goes and I will be thinking of you. Talk to you later.