“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Marriage is miraculous. Bringing two unique lives together and creating one big, beautiful new life is not only difficult, but constant work and attention and demands more than love alone. Marriage requires humility, devotion, sacrifice, commitment, and grit. The rewards are as numerous as the stars, I believe, and has felt to me like throwing up a handful of glitter that catches the sun and seems to endlessly sparkle. Marriage is brilliant and beautiful and has the power to create more and more beauty as each day passes. I read these words recently and was reminded of how I have felt. “Once upon a time a boy loved a girl and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend the rest of his life answering.” (Nicole Kruass, The History of Love) This feeling touches on the essence of marriage – the continued mystery and the ever-present desire to know more about this one single person that seems to summon up all the hidden bells of our hearts. We are ever evolving. We are growing constantly and each experience adds new depth and color to our lives.
I’ve written about couples in my “Couples,” and my “About Me” section of this site. Much of what I shared there applies to marriage also. I have almost endless thoughts and experiences that add to the mixture as to why I enjoy working as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Simply put, it brings me joy. I love marriage. I love commitment. I love what it feels like to be actively building a life together. I love LOVE! I love romance, intimacy and safety, and I love families. I understand that each marriage is unique and comes with a history and a hope that is worth focused time and effort when in trouble.
A myriad of skills exist that help marriage partners to be successful. In therapy we spend time understanding each other and where we come from. We learn and practice good communication skills and we learn how to combine our values and use our inherent strengths to build our dreams. We discuss accountability and integrity. We work to understand and forgive if needed and we learn who and what we need to surround ourselves with in order to be nurtured with nutrients that bring us closer, rather than apart. We grow together and get on the road to unity and solidarity as a couple. Maintaining a strong marriage that marinates in love and growth is about choice, discipline and awareness.
Oftentimes couples come in to session expressing fears of destruction – they fear the loss of connection and they fear they are unable to heal. I understand that fear. I’ve experienced it myself. I do know though, that fear stumps us and attempts to trick us into believing we have no power to overcome and become what we want. The truth is, we absolutely can become who we want both as a an individual and as a married couple. When we are aware of potential dangers lurking and when we work daily to keep them far from us, we create a safe harbor for our relationships. We have unique abilities to love and nurture and to bond, but we must be aware of what these are and how to use them to grow closer, then, we have to constantly apply them to create fertile ground for our family. When we choose to actively be mindful of each other and to tenderly tend to one another, we begin to witness the power, lasting love, and bountiful beauty that can envelop our relationships every single day.