Marriage takes Four!
Marriage takes four!
We all know that marriage starts off with two individuals who fall in love, and therefore wish to spend their lives together. All too often though, these marriages end with a breakup. Why? Why is it that two people who seemingly have so much in common, end up in a dysfunctional situation that only serves to penalize themselves, and God forbid, their children if they have any. There are any number of books written about saving marriages; the Five Love Languages is very common. And there are countless more. But let me share a thought with you that is simple, yet empowering for a strong marriage.
I’m not a psychologist by any stretch and I don’t pretend to be one. But, as a person who was married, had six children, and then went through a long and protracted divorce, I have done a great deal of personal research, personal soul searching if you will, and spent enormous amounts of energy trying as hard as I could to determine what the cause was behind my situation. How could it have come to this? I have come to the conclusion that marriage, the successful ones that is, do not take two people, nor as many churches say, three people, but rather they take FOUR. Four independent entities that all serve to support a marriage through good times and bad. Without all four, marriages can falter, much like a table with four legs holding it up; have all four in place, you’re solid as a rock, lose one, you still stand but you’re wobbling, lose two you fall over eventually, lose three, you fall over quickly.
Getting two basics, we know that two of the legs are the two individuals involved in the marriage. Each individual is unique in their own way with idiosyncrasies, habits, and experiences of their own. We know that these two people bring images and expectations into their marriages from their own backgrounds. It’s been said that the two people in bed after a long day’s work are actually six; the first person and their two parents, and the second person and their two parents! Clearly, this is a sub-conscious effect, but it’s real nonetheless. So each of these people has to have a certain base stability to begin with. Ok, that’s usually not a problem. Where do we go from there?
The churches will quickly supplement these two people with a ‘third’, and that is to add God to the marriage. The reasoning of course is multiple, but it centers on a basic belief that God designed marriage, and that humbling ourselves to a far superior power will add perspective and wisdom to the marriage. This puts parameters on the marriage and helps set the basic guidelines from which the marriage will operate. But, as we’ve now gone to a slightly different level by integrating a third into the marriage, there has to be some level of agreement by the two individuals. The Bible talks about people not being unevenly yoked meaning that two people should share the same relationship with God, but I think this can go much further. Adding this third faith system to a marriage begins to establish the boundaries on money, children, discipline, and much more.
Ok, so we have two people, ostensibly rational and deeply in love, we’ve added a third leg to the stool of a higher power to bring purpose and boundaries, etc, but what’s the fourth then? What is that magic key that seems to make some marriages bullet proof?
Well, here you go, I believe it’s as simple as this. The two individuals must also effectively create a WE independent of the two of them. This WE factor is the final leg of a stool that allows a couple to weather the storms of life and still stay standing. Too often, marriages occur when two people independently have fun together making it seem like they’re a couple, when in fact, there’s no WE in their fun. Things gets related to as I had fun or he had fun rather than we had fun, and the fun encountered by the we factor is often times different than the fun either one of the individuals had in mind.
Now, the Steve Beaman Group is all about helping people….. period. If you’re a young couple looking to get married, or a married couple experiencing problems, think about your relationship in terms of a we factor. How high is yours? If you’re not yet married and don’t find that you have a we factor, then do yourself a favor and do NOT get married. You’re in for much more than your bargaining for, let me assure you. If you’re in a marriage that’s faltering, even if one of you has dialed out, think about the We Factor. How can you work to establish in, small at first, but growing through time. I believe that with patience, time and a great deal of work, you can build your we factor to bullet proof your marriage.
Cleary, there’s more to this topic, and this message and future SBG Casts will undoubtedly explore this, but for today, I’m Steve Beaman and thanks for listening.