According to Psychology Today, almost 50% of marriages end in divorce or permanent separation, about 15% of marriages experience infidelity, 15-20% of marriages are sexless, and roughly 60% of people are not happy with their marriage. 🤷♂️
Whoa, what’s that all about?!
What about promising to love and to cherish, until death do you part?
There seems to be some misunderstanding here, and I believe it all starts with the set up. These traditional vows sound great, but they don’t actually line up with the experience that most people have in their marriages and relationships.
For one, as sensitive and imperfect humans, we are incapable of maintaining a fairy-tale view of our partner at all times. Don’t get me wrong. I would take a bullet for Jenny, any minute of any day, but I don’t always cherish and love everything that she does in our personal life. My job is not to stop judging or change Jenny, because that’s impossible. My job is to take responsibility for my judgments and turn them around to better understand myself and grow as a person.
Second, placing the promise of togetherness over self-love, can set many people up for a whole load of pain. What is someone supposed to do if their partner becomes emotionally abusive, strung out on pain-killers, or mentally ill? At some point, we have to realize that we are an individual, within a partnership, and that doing what’s best for ourselves is what’s best for everyone. This includes seeking individual help, setting boundaries, and possibly ending the relationship.
And finally, where is the magic? If there was ever a moment to throw the script out the window and show your heart, this is it! This is the time to share your love with your tribe and step into the fear of being seen in your vulnerability. You may never get to do it like this again!
There’s no right or wrong way to do this dance, but it’s worth thinking about if you’re considering getting hitched. You also don’t have to wait to get married or go back in time to come up with some solid agreements that feel good for both of you. If you don’t continually make new agreements to fit each new phase of life, you’re going to fight each other, feel irritable, or hide yourself…A LOT!
In our experience, lack of communication tools, low self-awareness, and unclear agreements are some of the most common relationship killers.