is your marriage freeing or suffocating?

you know how Hallmark movies are all the same? it doesn’t need to be that way in real life.

you see, when people in their 20’s get married, they barely know themselves. but sometimes this works out because as they move forward in life, they sometimes grow in the same direction.

if they don’t, then they should seek out a divorce before they have kids.

if they already have kids, they should still get a divorce.

a marriage is many things, but it’s not everything. if you’re trying to make it everything, you’re going to be disappointed.

but let’s say that two people that already know themselves fairly well get married.

how do they know if they’re a match?

well, it starts by trying to decide what they’re looking for in the marriage.

you see, when people are in their 20’s, one of the jobs of the marriage is to help both of them figure out who they are. it becomes a both that both people stay in as the float down the river of self-discovery.

but there are many roles a marriage can have – one of them is a financial vehicle – you want to build assets and provide for your lifestyle. lifestyle, btw, is a destination.

marriage is also a source of friendship. as you travel through life, your spouse can be your best friend and confidant.

it can also be a source for romance.

it’s also a vehicle of household partnership. this is more of a business dealing. and with any business, someone needs to take the lead. it’s just how this stuff is done. so you’ll have chores.

it’s also a vehicle of parenting.

it’s also a vehicle of socializing – do you have couple friends? what if you have your own friends and your partner has different friends? well, see, this is where the divide is. this is where the expectations should be different.

you see, a lot of people have this romantic notion that you’ll go to your spouse for all your friendship needs. but that may not be true for you. you may realize that there’s no way your marriage can provide all the variety and insight that you need from a wide group of friends. and, because you’re an ENFP, you may realize that you require socialization in order to feel mentally healthy. so your marriage would need to have the expectation that you’ll have time to socialize with your friends outside of work.

your spouse may not like this, because it takes time away from the family.

but if you believe that the family is an institution to support the individual as well as the community, then you’ll realize that the individuals in the family need to be respected when they know what they need.

Esther Perell says that couples that can’t find time for themselves in the marriage, will find it once they end the marriage.

it’s up to you to decide if your marriage is going to be a source of freedom and expansion for the members of it, or if it’s going to be a set of limitations that each member wants to get free from.

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