This week the word “marriage” has been splashed all over the news. Groups dedicated to fighting for their version of marriage have done all they can to make their views known to the world. The battleground was pretty intense for this one based on what I have read in the news and heard from people in the various groups around me. As a therapist who works with couples, I find a bit of irony in all of this. As a country, so many of people are fighting for marriage! However, I sit across from people in marriages or relationships who aren’t sure if they want to fight for it. I hear of friends and family members who are contemplating giving up their relationship. If it’s so important on a macro level, then why do we not fight for it when it actually impacts us at a deep personal level?
So, let me as this question. Do you fight for your relationship? Everyday? Do you really understand what “for better or worse” really means?
Always, when people come to couples therapy they are ready to unload all the hurt their partner has done to them. Occasionally, I get someone who says something like “I know I need to change”. Rarely, do I get someone that is open and ready for a good long look in the mirror to see what needs to be done differently or how they might be able to love their partner unconditionally. Working on a relationship is often about working on yourself. Part of fighting for a relationship is taking a daily look in the mirror to realize what parts you you might need to improve or recognizing that your partner is allowed to not be perfect. Fighting for a relationship means being the first to apologize, being humble about your own human-ness, not defending your position all the time, being kind even in the face of conflict, and letting go of being right!! Because, the truth is, isn’t this what we’re asking for from our partner?
If you’re reading this, I challenge you to make your relationship matter. Take a good look at your own behavior in your relationship. Is there something you need to improve on? If so, then decide now to fight for your own relationship by making the changes that make you a better partner.
Until next time,