“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws?” Elizabeth Gilbert
You’ve heard the saying that when you marry someone, you marry the entire family. There’s certainly some truth to that.
But when you marry someone, you also marry something else. Every experience they’ve ever had.
It is the experiences in our lives that shape who we are, and we bring who we are. All of it. To our marriages.
If you’ve ever been hurt in love, you might marry the good guy knowing he would never break your heart.
You might fear being abandoned if your father wasn’t in your life or lovers repeatedly left. Causing you to hang on too tightly in relationships.
If you only received love and attention when you would do the things that pleased your mother, you learned at a young age to please others in order to be loved.
If you were the oldest sibling and had to take care of your brothers and sisters at a young age, you learned not to have any needs yourself.
You learned to control your partner by criticizing and very likely, emasculating if you saw your mother constantly criticizing your father.
If your husband learned that being a successful man meant providing for the family, he likely works hard but isn’t emotionally available.
If he grew up watching his mother and father argue and disrespect one another, he learned to use anger to resolve conflict.
You learned to dull your shine and be smaller so as to not make others uncomfortable if you were constantly told that you were “too much”.
If you’re terrified of being alone, you will likely overlook some bad behavior in relationships.
When you decided to marry, you married every conscious and unconscious experience that your spouse has had. It shapes how they show up inside your marriage.
And he too, married every conscious and unconscious experience you’ve ever had. Every experience that has shaped who you are and how you show up inside the marriage.
You marry every dream and desire your partner has.
Marry every fear and insecurity your partner carries.
You marry every conscious and unconscious belief your partner holds.
What are the experiences that are showing up inside your marriage? And more importantly, are they helping or hurting your marriage?