Merging Your Values In Marriage
Marriage is hard work! It needs a solid foundation to withstand the cracks, shifts and periodic earth tremors threatening to break it down. In preparation for a partnered life, there is a sense of self, maturity and personal sincerity necessary for committed cohabitation.
Preparing to welcome your love usually happens by accident. You fall in love and during courtship are so caught up in the moments of exhilaration, infatuation and comfort that we seldom think of ourselves as ready to be open to be ourselves with our partner.
Inherently, it’s assumed that sharing your life story is enough to provide a good base to the one you will live with. Truth be told, developing your new culture requires shedding off a lot of the old you to accommodate the needs of your other.
The thrill of being joined together
In this time, when passion reigns supreme and the fantasies of building your life together are enough to sustain your new home, overcompensating for your husband is normal.
In building your new identity you put your original self aside if only for a while to solidify the marriage. Early on though, expressing your values, wants and needs is imperative to sustaining a healthy balance between the couple and the self.
Opposing views cause conflict and it is in these moments when couples learn important lessons in communication. One tough lesson is allowing your spouse to express their opinion and be heard with calm reassurance and rational feedback. This may sound easy enough in these first days but it takes a lot of restraint and maturity.
However, if done right, it’s the place of peace within conversation’s that allows for different ideas to develop within the new dynamic.
Of course you can come against a strong defensive character that thrives in being right and getting their way but the first encounters will determine how your communication will develop over time. This is when you need to reveal yourself.
Firstly reveal your values
State clearly what you believe is important to you in the context of the current discussion. Courtship doesn’t give all opportunity to share your truth but provides a good base to start with.
Your values create the armor for your daily walk and guide what you will accept and reject in your home. Clear values make it imperative for you to hold yourself to higher standards. While your spouse will respect this and treat you accordingly, extended family and friends may need some nudging to understand the new priorities.
What brought you and your husband together were outward expressions of love and attraction. What will keep you together are the similarities in thoughts, ideas and meaning given to aspects of your lives that will nurture your joint future. You will know by now whether these values merge or collide.
It is easier to resolve when the backstory is similar than when you have to carve out a whole new marriage persona. If you find you’re on a collision course here then you will need to evaluate if it really means that much to you. If not, discard it and create something new. Bottom line is you want it to makes sense for your current and future context.
Reveal your relationship deal breakers
Your deal breakers are the things you absolutely cannot live with or without in your new home. When the normal routine kicks in after the honeymoon, you are bound to collide.
Curfews, time with friends and family and how to share or use personal finances now require joint agreement. If these hadn’t been discussed beforehand, they have to be agreed on to smooth the way. Make the what, why, where, how and whom very clear.
The good news is as the relationship evolves so too will your deal breakers. You will surprise yourself by how you ease up on or encourage more of over the years. Try not to be dogmatic and set ultimate rules because marriage has a funny way of eventually trivializing the things you thought would break or make you. Be open to learning other, better ways. This will happen naturally through your life experiences and will serve you well in all your close relationships.
Reveal Self love
You do your partner a disservice if you don’t lead the way in self-love. You cannot love someone else in the way they deserve if you do not love yourself first. Create personal habits to fuel yourself and rejuvenate when you need that extra encouragement.
Everyone has something they like to do and enjoy for themselves. Regularly do exercise, go to the spa, enjoy outdoor activities, read and engage with other people who enhance your life. Receiving will make you a better giver and the flow will continue.
The hope is that this partnership will last a lifetime. Open yourself up to the truths you need to feed it right, constantly challenge and remind yourself of the joint values you are cultivating. It will be very clear early on what those values are but they have to be revealed and given the momentum they need to keep guiding the relationship towards success and longevity.