“But I believe that there are marriages where you can have your pool table and she can have her scrapbooking room or garden or whatever it is. But when everyone has what they want, it’s not funny. There’s no conflict.”
There’s little quibbling about this point. Satisfy the streaming urge within the individual and there’s likely to be peace vested for the more important tasks of life. Why would we insist on frustrating the spirit of someone so dear as our partner?
Yet, we do so often because there’s a short-sighted sense of getting what we want.
Many marriages rail at this very point. There is, for some strange reason, or maybe not so strange, a rationale for gathering the thing we ‘need’, personally. These things we’re duped into thinking we cannot do without. In fact, we go there without thought; without challenge, we argue our own case. We need to be aware of it. Each, instead, could arrange room for those needs of, and for, the other.
The commonest sticking points could well be the same prattling things we were supposed to iron out in the first year or two.
The Beauty of the Better View
Better views are afforded the couple spending time identifying and quickly meeting, with good effect, these basic personal needs. Whatever’s important to them needs to be the thing that’s important to us. There has to be sufficient space containing the marriage in order that both partners have salubrious room for individual expression, and mutual appreciation if nothing more than for freedom.
Barriers to ordinary happiness are more than barriers to survival; they impel us toward a dearth of living experience where the heart shrinks and the spirit is contrived beyond its natural, comfortable self. The very institution that was supposed to actualise us—each partner, and the couple as a whole—has failed us, or we failed it.
Once we get the ordinary things out of the way, our individual and collective perspectives open; a marvellous—mutually inclusive—vista becomes apparent.
There’s no reason not to dream; every married person of a good mind, surely, wants the best for themselves, their partner, and the unity of their marriage.
A vision to believe in: of mutual acceptance and the gracious provision of freedom.
An image: We sit together on the park bench of life happily content with existence, and with each other, as we’re both personally disposed and within our togetherness.
Until the time of mutual acceptance within the scope of our individual frames of reference and activity there’s always the unpredictable threat of unwelcome conflict. The marriage is never safe.
Strive for the better view.
If we can, together, meet the basic things, the grand things of married life come then into view. Meet those needs, for they’re easy to pinpoint and satisfy. Then go on to what God ordains that which marriage could be like.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.