There goes the door after another one of “those” fights and your spouse storms out of the room.
You’re all alone and that all-consuming, nearly deafening silence engulfs the room.
The tears you held back during your fight, finally start rolling down your cheeks…
You sit there sobbing and wondering how your relationship got to this point.
What happened to those happy days from the beginning of the relationship? Why is it so hard to get along with someone who used to look at you with adoring eyes?
What’s the point of being with someone (much less get married) if the relationship eventually fizzles out and you’re left with the tattered remains of a once thriving relationship?
Have you ever wondered what the purpose of being in a relationship or being married really is?
If you’ve somehow found yourself sharing a life with someone else, ask yourself what the main motivation behind that is.
- Is it for happiness?
- Is it for commitment?
- Is it for sex?
- Is it for children?
- Is it to avoid being lonely?
When I’ve polled readers, these sorts of results are definitely not uncommon. The big problem, though, is that these are very shaky ground to build a relationship or a marriage on.
If things get difficult (which they inevitably do), you probably won’t be happy all the time about your relationship. Yet if happiness is the reason for the relationship in the first place, then what’s to stop you from walking out the door?
If your partner cheats, has an emotional affair, or is otherwise having doubts about the relationship, you probably won’t feel the security of commitment. If having your partner commit to you is the central reason for your marriage, then why bother sticking around?
What if your partner’s sex drive changes, they become depressed, or they lose the ability to perform? If sex is the cornerstone of your relationship, you are in for some difficult times.
Children are a gift, but they eventually grow up and start lives of their own. If the foundation of your marriage is for children, what’s going to fill that void once they move out and become independent? Or what if you or your partner are not able to have children at all?
And no one wants to be lonely. However, if your entire relationship is based around avoiding this feeling, clinging to someone else for fear of spending time alone with yourself, then what happens when you or your partner have to go out of town for a long period of time on business, are deployed for military service, or even become depressed and aren’t available to connect with you?
So What Would a Better Choice Be?
The problem with the examples I listed above is that these are all very conditional reasons to have a relationship, and they all involve relying on something outside of your control.
- Someone else constantly making you happy.
- Someone else committing to you for eternity.
- Someone else being sexually available to you when you want them.
- Someone else creating and raising new life with you.
- Someone else “completing” you, making you feel whole, and making sure you never feel lonely again.
Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on things outside of our control being there for us. That may sound jaded or cynical, but it’s true because when it comes down to it, the only person you have full control over is yourself.
You can possibly influence your partner but you have no control over their own emotions and vice versa.
If your relationship is based on something you cannot control or take personal responsibility for, then it should come as no surprise when your marriage seems to be hanging on for dear life at the whims of fate and circumstance.
Building a Better Foundation Together
What if the purpose of your relationship was something unconditional and something that you could take responsibility for?
What if the purpose of your relationship or marriage was something more like:
- Personal development
- Enjoying the adventure of life together
- Spiritual growth
- Practicing unwavering commitment to another person
Notice how each one of these reasons for a relationship or marriage is something that you can take ownership and responsibility for in both good times and bad times.
Personal development is a continuous challenge to make ourselves better, and what better way than to have your edges and limits tested and examined through the lens of a relationship with someone else?
Enjoying the adventure of life together is something you can do through both the good times and the bad times. You can chose to share your life with someone else whether you are ecstatic and riding high, or grieving together.
Spiritual growth is a way of testing our faith. We can show gratitude for our blessings or stay strong and devoted through the difficult times. This is something that is absolutely within our individual power.
And practicing commitment to another person is something that can pull us through the challenging times of doubt, frustration, or disappointment rather than hitting the eject button at the first signs of trouble.
When things like these are at the core of your relationship, they will steer you away from the pain of giving up too soon or making the wrong choice. These kinds of motivations will help steer you and your partner in a direction of growth, commitment, and deepened connection.
What’s the point of your marriage or relationship?
If you’re not sure, maybe this would be a good time to take a closer look.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Mika Maddela writes for the relationship advice blog called The Path to Passion where she helps people dissolve limiting beliefs and be loved for the unique person they are. She loves meeting new people, so stop by and say hello.