Saturday, May 16, 2009
Many partners describe their dissatisfaction with the marriage by describing, "We are not compatible". What does this mean and is it something that can change?
Differences are inevitable between you and your partner. Chances are that you have different biological makeups, family backgrounds, experiences, and these lead to different viewpoints, desires, and reactions. Yet, you have managed to overcome these differences in the past. When you met, you brought all of these differences to the relationship, but you managed to transcend these differences and create a relationship that was mutually satisfying. So what is different now?
When the relationship began, you made an effort to communicate the importance of the relationship by giving your partner the message, "You are important to me and I want a future with you." Now what message are you sending your partner? Many find that they are sending the message, "How much of me must I give up in order to be with you?"
As the relationship becomes more secure, a funny thing happens - you begin to negotiate for what you have to do to maintain the relationship. It is common for couples to almost entirely quit giving a message that the relationship is important and that they want a future. Perhaps the message is only given as part of your anniversary.
Instead, each partner bargains for his or her own selfish desires. The golfer bargains for as much time as possible to play golf. The spender bargains for as much money as possible. The list can become long and the negotiations quite heated and complicated.
Take a look at your relationship. Are you and your partner sending a message that the relationship is important and you want a future with your partner? Couples that consistently share this message find that their personal desires become more flexible. The pleasure of the relationship competes with selfish pleasures (note: selfish pleasures are not wrong and should be present to some degree) and compromise is based on mutual caring.