What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how
compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
What is it that makes us all unique? How can we be sure that we are compatible with our partners? What can we do to learn about ourselves and our partner? Or are we just to realise that the meaning of love changes as we age and grow?
How to lovingly examine who you are and who your partner really is asks you to look at what you both want from this new life and how you can grow together.
If we believe we are on a journey during our lifetime, then the fastest way to grow is through relationships. This information may help you grow together and flourish.
What drives us?
Personal Development has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise. There are many legitimate ‘masters’ (as well as some not-so-trustworthy ones) who can help us to really understand ourselves and those close to us.
As you enter your new relationship it is highly recommended that you learn more about such subjects as:
- the needs that drive us including intimacy;
- that we all have different values and beliefs and how to truly identify them;
- why many of us feel loved in different ways;
- the various personality types you may have living under your roof
- the skills and communication styles that you need to build a lasting relationship.
This knowledge will give much needed perspective on how to best relate to our partners and how to best strengthen ourselves.
Real giving is when we give to our partners what’s important to them,
whether we understand it, like it, agree with it, or not.
Ages and Stages
Love is our greatest source of nourishment. The love we need as children changes as we become teenagers, parents, and elders. We seek new forms of this vital energy to nourish us in different stages of life.
As we travel along the life spectrum our expectations and the qualities we seek in others along the way change. Understanding our place on the spectrum results in better choices and often improved communication. For instance:
- Older couples without children are accustomed to their independence and must be prepared to adapt.
- Young children are more likely to create a strong bond with a new partner.
- Older children have their own lifestyles and you may choose to become more a friend to them than a parent.
- Empty nesters must be prepared for their adult children to have preconceived ideas of how they expect you to be.
Growth is not limited to youth; it is a gift we enjoy throughout our lives. We’re all seeking a growing, lasting love, and we can have it if we realise that while the form of expression may change, the love itself endures.
Love is the real fountain of youth, one that can burst forth at any time.
The Importance of Me
You are the most important person in your life, uncomfortable a thought as that may be. How can you expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself.
There is no right or wrong way to do things. Accepting this will free you from the weight of responsibility, self-judgement, and guilt.
While we are all unique, we also fall into a finite number of ‘categories’. Understanding this can often explain why you do the things you do, why others act the way they do, and why the combinations are sometimes difficult.
Life is not about judgement, but understanding. The more we understand why something happened and how it served us, the quicker we can accept it and move on.
Love is the most powerful and rejuvenating power available to us; it starts with love of the self and spreads from there to the rest of the world. By identifying your desires and the sources of your inspiration, you can gain perspective on the wonder that is you.
Remember there is no right and wrong; it is most often a mix of personalities that produces the results.
Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.
Dr Barbara de Angelis
Know Your Partner?
It’s not how much you have in common or how compatible you are, but how you deal with the differences, that determines the success of your relationship.
One of the best tools to help you to identify and address the differences is to engage in open and honest dialogue. Review your respective values and beliefs and see how they complement or challenge each other. By making these discoveries now, you can address them together.
You can learn a lot about your partner from his parents’ marriage, their values and beliefs. Do they align with your own family’s values and beliefs?
If you find sticky points be grateful that you have unearthed them now and you get a chance to iron out any future potential problems together, before they become an issue. This will lead to a deeper bond and act as a guideline for future disagreements.
Recognise your equal importance in the partnership. Learn how to honour what’s important to the each other. Support each other’s dreams.
If you want your relationship to grow deeper with every passing year, you must be flexible yet strong, and where necessary, find a compromise where you are both valued and honoured, no one will be more loved by giving in all the time. You must build intimacy.
Just remember, marriage is a merger between two unique companies. Your respective processes and principles need time to merge smoothly. It’s important to find out early on what is compatible, contrasting, conflicting, or just needs a little cultivation.
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
So both you and your partner must believe you are equally important in your relationship for it to grow, but both must be committed and willing to face the areas where they don’t agree.
Commitment requires something the pledging of your whole self, your body and mind and soul, your precious time and energy and patience and effort.
Consider sharing three things you love about each other every week for the rest of your lives. It may seem a simple thing, but this is a very powerful way to remind you both that you love, and are loved. Identifying the things you share will help bond you together and make commitment easier. Differences are vital and add spice to the mix, but you do need some things in common.
Major differences in opinion are okay in the short term, but over the long haul they get heavier. Leaving serious issues unresolved may eventually cause your original love and commitment to wane or flicker out.
Do not just put your faith in the transformative power of love. Choose instead to do your homework and work out your differences at the outset, and your marriage will be better for it.
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.