Named must your fear be before banish it you can.
-YODA, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back
Many people go into a marriage with an ideal in mind. After saying “I do” to him or her, life will be a happily ever after, long walk on a sunset beach, hand in hand, staring into each others eyes, and then making love in the morning with the cool breeze through the window and the birds singing in the trees- Blah, Blah, Blah. If you are currently married, you know full well that this fairy tale seldom, if ever occurs.
How many of us go into a relationship having thought through worst case scenarios? What’s the worst that could happen in a marriage? Is it the prospect of divorce? Maybe. For me, the worst case scenario would be monotony. Settling for the same thing each and every day for as long as we both shall live. Where do I sign?
I am not in favor of divorce. Most of the time, it is the easy way out. Failing to acknowledge a possibility does not make it go away. Inherent in every relationship is the ending of it. Honestly address the fact that our relationships involve risk, and then we are more capable of conquering the fear often associated with the risk. The thing about risk; risks often aren’t that scary once you face them.
Most people become paralyzed when faced with the prospect of risking their relationship. They will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. They choose to settle with their spouse. The idea becomes “well if this is as good as it’s going to get, ok,” or “they are never going to change so I might as well get used to it.” In this scenario, the only thing left to do is wait for death, which may be a long way off.
What if we actually faced the fear? Took a risk?
It’s amazing to me that when faced with the prospect of divorce or changing some things in the marriage, many people do not choose to change (at least within the current marriage)! However, when a spouse joins you in the process of changing some things, tremendous energy is discovered. It all begins with a pointed discussion regarding the current state of the marriage. From there, you can begin to design the relationship you both want. The Marriage Fully Alive team is producing some resources to assist in this process. Be watching for these products, due out around the beginning of 2008!