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January 26, 2018

There’s no “we” in romance

This is the ultimate challenge for those wanting a truly great relationship—how do I remain “me” while having a deep, intimate relationship with “you”?”
(John & Linda Friel, The 7 Best Things Happy Couples Do)

 

Far too often, it seems like we married folks are facing a choice—pursuing a better “we” or pursuing a better “me.”
One can feel self-suffocating, especially when it seems like we’re giving up more than our spouse in order to keep the relationship connected. The other can feel self-serving, like doing what’s best for me is antithetical to the whole idea of being married in the first place.

 

In my relationship coaching, I see a lot of marriages where one spouse does more “me,” and the other does more “we.” What gets lost in the mess is how the whole choice is a false dichotomy. It’s not an either/or. The best spouses find a way to strengthen their selves, and their marriages, at the same time (forgive the grammar).

 

The way forward is neither “me” nor “we”; the way forward is with a different pronoun altogether—a strong “I”. As in: “I’m choosing to go out with my friends one night this week, because doing so helps me be more fully present the other six.”

 

Or: “I’m choosing to NOT go out with my friends tonight because I really just wanna be with you.”

 

Or, if you dare: “ I apologize for my part in our recent fight,” (even if you think your spouse needs to apologize first).

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

 

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