Oct 152014 2 Responses

The Math of a Good Marriage: 1+1=3

In a good marriage, the two become one. Yet they also remain two.

They don’t become one at the expense of the two. They become one in addition to the two.

When marriage works, 1+1=3.

There are two ways to miss the equation to success.

Some miss it because the two never become one. Each partner remains their own identity, but they never become a true couple. Each lives their own lives and they never experience the power of togetherness. By themselves they can accomplish much, but they have not learned to accomplish more than what they can do on their own. In this relationship 1+1=2. They are good, but they are only as good as two, no different than when they were married.

Some miss it because the two become one, but they lose all sense of individual identity. This type of relationship is tricky because they couple might believe they have a healthy marriage. They do everything together and appear very much in love. However, they have lost their individual selves. They are unable to accomplishing anything without the other. In this relationship, 1+1=1. They are good, but they are only as good as one. (See: My Best Friend, But Not My Only Friend)

In a healthy marriage, each spouse keeps their individual identity, enjoys themselves, accomplishes things without their partner, while also merging into a powerful partnership. They are both individuals and a couple.

This is how I want my marriage to be—me, her, and us. (See: Wake Up Every Day and Consider How to Make Her Dreams Come True)

I am me. I exist beyond my spouse. She doesn’t define me. She doesn’t complete me. She doesn’t dictate who I am as an individual. Even without her, I’m still me. I am responsible for myself, my own happiness, my own identity, my own relationship with God and others.

She is her. She has a life beyond me. I don’t define her. I don’t complete her. I don’t dictate who she is as an individual. Even without me, she is still her. She is responsible for herself, her own happiness, her own identity, and her relationship with God and others.

Yet we are also us. We define who we are as a couple. There are things which only we do together. There are aspects of our lives which are a joint venture. Without her, I don’t act. Without me, she doesn’t act. We have our individual things, but we also have our couple things.

This is marriage at its best. It harnesses both the strength of two individuals and the power of a united couple. When any of these three aspects is not fully functioning, they all suffer.

A marriage can only thrive when each spouse maintains their individual identity. Individuals can best thrive when their marriage is strong.

In a good marriage, 1+1=3. (See: Stop Spending Your Spouse’s Dreams)

Does your marriage equal three?

If no, why not?

What is suffering?

Are you failing as a couple? Is your relationship a complete partnership or has it become lopsided? Do you spend a proper amount of time together? Are their activities which you only do as a couple? Are you striving together toward a common goal?

Are you failing as an individual? Have you lost your identity? Do you spend a proper amount of time alone? Are you working diligently? Are you nourishing your soul? (See: No Wonder You Don’t Love Each Other)

Is your spouse failing as an individual? Are you allowing them to spend ample time to themselves? Are you encouraging their individual achievement? Are you supporting them in their dreams and aspirations?

Because the math of a good marriage is 1+1=3, I have two responsibilities in marriage–me and us. I am not in charge of my wife. I am in charge of myself and I can greatly influence the relationship.

At it’s best, there are few things better than marriage. It makes me better as an individual and makes me part of something I could never be on my own.

2 Responses to The Math of a Good Marriage: 1+1=3
  1. […] This is true for every couple. “When dad works and mom stays home” mom is still playing a key ro... kevinathompson.com/partnership-when-dad-works-and-mom-stays-home
  2. […] On paper these are marriages, but in practice they are parent-child relationships. And it is unfair ... kevinathompson.com/marry-partner

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