Marriage is a relationship that is both radical, and logical. To think that two people could live out their lives, together, under one roof for the rest of their lives could certainly be considered a radical step. However, it is also a logical one, when we think of how monogamous relationships allow for a certain sense of relational security and true intimacy, maintaining of culture through reproduction, the promotion of family values, and the additional benefits that marriage brings. When we think about how radical and logical can come together in such a way, it can also seem somewhat mind boggling. How can it be? What makes it work? What happens when it doesn’t?
Four relationship enhancing keys
While this will be very limited due to blog space, I would like to introduce four relationship keys that are fundamental to a growing marital relationship. Although as we read through these, they may not seem astounding to comprehend or agree with, carrying these out, is where the challenge is. When the effort is put forth and maintained, we can keep the marriage off the rocks.
Yes, there was an Aretha Franklin song back in the day called this. Respect is our regard and approach to another human being as to who they are, and for their creation. What a miracle, and to think that there is nobody else on earth just like them (even in the case of identicals). We demonstrate this in what we say and what we do. The moments do add up.
As human beings, we represent the only life form that is able to reason with one another. That involves communication, a willingness to enter into dialogue, and engage thinking toward understanding. Too often, wanting our own way (often referred to as selfishness) will get in the way of effectively doing this.
This is not restricted to those raised in the South. Courtesy is the extension of treating someone with regard to how you also would like to be treated. It is the acknowledgment of another (outside of ourselves) and demonstrative of consideration of the other. Seems to tie-in that Respect and Reason part, also.
We’ve heard it said that nobody is perfect. That is certainly in evidence in relationships, and marriage. It is during those times when we make the choice of extending grace, or giving the other some space to be imperfect. Grace, however, is not license, and is not giving a free pass to all imperfections and excuses.
Again, what looks easy to read, is the challenge to carry out. Ask anyone that you know who has a couple of decades worth of marriage behind them, and they can probably cite some pretty good examples of the above. Continue to check our website, or call us, to discover more helpful and healthy relationship tips.
Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Miller Counseling Services. He has practiced in a variety of behavioral health settings in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 1981, including innovative approaches to substance abuse and chronic pain management, crisis intervention, as well as working with relationship issues with couples and families. Areas of interest, and expertise include: mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse education/screening/outpatient follow-up, ADD/ADHD, relationship/premarital/marital counseling along with co-therapy, stress/pain management including biofeedback modality, life transition issues especially with college students as well as older adults, adolescent counseling.