Tonight is the first of twelve weeks we will be walking alongside two couples we love dearly in preparation for marriage. Over dinner and conversation, our goal is to put as much stuff on the table for discussion to prepare them for what every couple encounters during their marriage. When we went through our own premarital counseling, I saw the benefit of talking through issues and topics preemptively which would otherwise surface during an argument.
Last week at Allume I attended a marriage workshop led by Myquillin Smith and her husband Chad. The topic, “Blog and Marriage: The Gritty Realities of an Everyday Life” was pertinent to every married couple, not just bloggers. The statement was made:
The purpose of marriage is oneness. If anything divides or gets in the way of your oneness, you need to reevaluate.
Of course, so much of this is rooted in expectation. I have found in my own marriage, expectations unmet or not communicated well can lead to disappointment, division, and vain imaginations. We enter into marriage with expectations of one another and of our marriages. Reality and our every day lives together are shaped by our expectations from little things like who will do the dishes, how and with will we celebrate holidays, how love will be expressed and how money is stewarded. Unless these things are talked through, expectations can lead to resentment.
In unpacking the purpose of marriage being oneness, Chad said (paraphrased by me) our goal in communicating expectations is not to be convincing, but to be engaging. Our goal is to stay unified with an understanding of what we each need, want and desire as an outcome. “Informed people are cooperative people,” and let’s face it, a marriage with two people who are uncooperative with one another is the pits.
I think the same thing is true for all our relationships… friendships, work relationships and extended family relationships. When we are able to communicate what our expectations are and why we have them, it’s much easier to adjust the expectations on both ends when necessary so they are measurable and more importantly beneficial to the relationship.
So today… what is threatening the oneness of your relationship? What do you need to reevaluate and communicate more effectively?