“When we gather the courage to search for the truth of our being and the truth of our partners being, we begin a journey of psychological and spiritual healing.” -Harville Hendrix
When we see marriage as a spiritual journey to wholeness it can change everything. When both partners enter their marriage this way or come to realize it later on it can have profound effects on their relationship.
So often we work hard on our career or other endeavors in life, why is it that we don’t view marriage as something to challenge us, help us grow and become whole? Why do we give up?
We need to look into our past, our childhood, and discover how we were denied adequate nurturing and how we repressed essential parts of our self. It’s as if our parents pass us off to our spouse so they can finish the work that was started. The more dysfunctional the family of origin, the more intentional the communication and action must be in the marriage. We can do this searching through self-reflection, journaling, therapy or whatever avenue makes sense to you. As we discover new things about ourselves we can share them with our partner to start building a new way of interacting. Every single day Johnny and I share new things with one another and calibrate accordingly.
Some people might say, “My partner doesn’t listen to me" or you don’t feel comfortable sharing with them. In this case trust must be built first. Marriage remains stagnant without trust, openness and vulnerability. We can start by “going first”. When our partner reveals anything about themselves, no matter how small, we must respond with understanding and compassion in order to start building the trust from our end. As we build our Love Map (a concept I will describe in Part Two) we will inevitably find ways to love our partner in the way they desire so deeply. Even the most stubborn, elusive partner will soften when their needs are being met on the deepest level. We’ll actually start to see them as “wounded children” whom we can heal with our unconditional love.
Stay Tuned for Part Two.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David