If I sound pessimistic, I do apologize. It's not my intention to convey that I'm against sappy wedding vows. I really feel touched by them when I'm at a wedding. However, I am concerned that they set people up for an unnecessarily ugly journery in marriage. Why? Because there are some bitter realities in marriage that are not meant for wedding vows, but need to be accepted in order to make a marriage stronger. Let's continue this conversation to explore what these realities are. I won't list everything that couples go through that contradict what they believe their marriage "should be", but I will share the biggest misconception that drives the train.
The first is this concept of "the one". Everything else comes from this one ideal that there is one person out there who is perfect for you and when you find him/her, then everything else that comes after will just make sense. It's a beautiful concept and I don't frown on anyone who believes they have found "the one". However, you will discover that you may meet someone in the course of your marriage that is also a great fit for you. Your partner may meet someone else as well, perhaps who is even a better fit for him/her. With the amount of people in this world and easy access to connecting with people worldwide, it's not realistic or even fair to set yourself up that you are with "the one", because out of billions of people, there's bound to be more than one right person for you. So why is it so important that I made a point to tear down this idea of "the one"? It is because I want to offer a more realistic view of marriage, which is that you are married to "the one you choose". Historically, marriage wasn't a choice for women and until recently, marriages weren't a choice for some impoverished cultures. But today in 2018, marriage is a choice for us in America and however long it lasts, marriage is part of a choice to continue a journey despite what or who else comes along.
The therapeutic takeaway from this is that I want to encourage you to think about why you are choosing to be with your partner. When things get difficult and you don't feel the warm fuzzies you used to, ask yourself "why am I choosing to be with my partner". Take it a step further, and ask your partner the same question. How you both answer this question will give you a lot of information about your beliefs and where you both stand in your marriage. If it's time to talk to therapist, you'll know.