I do not believe that there are any experts on marriage. Some of the most capable marriage counsellors and “experts” have experienced failed marriages. I certainly do not consider myself an expert on marriage. However, there are insights that experience and study can provide one. In this article, I share a bit from what I have gleaned from some years of marriage and counselling.
Contrary to what lots of people may think, marriage does not join two people at the hips. Letting Individual personalities thrive in a marriage is important. Expecting that you and your spouse will do everything together is naive and will likely become a clog in the wheel at some point if you don’t drop it.
Expecting that the two of you will enjoy the same activities or want to execute the same projects at the same time will leave you disappointed too. Trying to get your spouse to fit into your own box is a guaranteed way to start your marriage on a downhill spin.
Note that marriage evolves as different scenarios and factors change. Many people want things to never change. But that is not realistic. Changes in job factors, location, lifestyle changes, health factors, biological changes, arrival of kids, and much more all contribute to the changes and evolution of marital relationships. Personal taste also evolves. You and your spouse will develop new tastes over time, and sometimes those tastes will diverge, not converge.
This is not a problem unless you want it to be. This is where mutual respect comes in. Each partner should never have to be apologetic about expressing or being themselves, even if their interests and tastes are different from the other person’s. Never. Self expression within marriage depends a great deal on mutual respect and kindness, than it does shared tastes and interests.
Did I say that marriage does not join two people at the hips? Well, that is not entirely true. Apologies to non-Christians, but that bible verse about two becoming one flesh refers to two having sex, which is…errr…an encounter in which they do get joined at the hips, if only for a few minutes (express service) or a couple of hours (art form). Ahem. So, errrrr, more accurately speaking, marriage does not join two people at the hips except when things get steamy.