What is the third entity in a marriage of two?
I have written on many topics regarding relationships and marriages and frequently refer to the three entities in a marriage. There is you, the spouse and the relationship. All three MUST be treated differently and empowered, and fostered for a good, decreased stressful relationship to flourish. There is much misunderstanding and confusion on the “relationship.” How does one treat that differently? What specifically is this nebulous entity? i have fielded numerous questions in and out of session on this topic. I want to make an attempt to clear up the controversy and give a better explanation of what specifically “the relationship” is and how one can empower it?
The relationship is the dance two people do whether it is a friendship or a marriage or two individuals that live together and love each other with the dedication that there will be monogamy. Think back to your friendships. Your friendships in grade school as well as high school and then even college or young adult hood. How did they change? How did your criteria of friendships change? Did you become more accepting over the years of those unlike you or less tolerant? All of these factors are very important to determine how you treat a relationship. The relationship is NOT you buying flowers or gifts, it is not one doing favors or sacrifices for the other. That behavior is what we do for each other. Yes, this behavior, this unconditional love and gift giving is part of the relationship but the relationship is the dance itself. When you call because you may miss the person, the problem solving, the walk you both walk when deciding and working on a specific project. The relationship is built over time, with commonalities and trust as well as gift giving. Not tangible gifts but verbal sharing. No one starts with a relationship first and then they get to know each other. That, in fact is impossible. The tree has a relationship with the sun, soil and the rain. The tree is dependent on the other two for growth and in return the tree gives back to the soil. Each party is dependent on each other. Dependency gets a very bad rap. I am not referring to “bad” dependency the kind that inhibits independent thought and growth, I am referring to dependency that benefits the relationship. It is a known fact that marital couples live longer. Part of the reason, is that couples help remind each other of doctor appointments, and remind each other of medication to take and enhance the compliance of their medication and in turn directly and indirectly, out of love, take care of “the relationship.”
The relationship is the invisible bond, the dance that two individuals do and are not even aware the dance is happening. It is the wind carrying the autumn leaf to a predetermined destination, the destiny of a clothing ravel that later is used for a bird’s nest, and the symbiotic benefit of giving and working together with no regard for the self. The relationship must be fostered and if not the superficiality of two will remain that superficial. Two individuals can love each, give to each and be totally in a vacum when it comes to the dance.
So how do individuals address the dance specifically. Very similar to learning new steps to a waltz. In any relationship there will be stepping on the toes until the steps are honed and it becomes a fluid, beautiful motion. We feed the relationship with honesty, no secrets, and we disclose all that we can in the form of fireside chats, morning coffee, and arms, legs wrapped around each other with blankets tucked under our chin. We dance in a relationship by reaching a point of psychic connectedness. This takes the form of psychological as well as physiological connectedness. It is not a coincidence that girls living in a dorm begin to get their menses at the same time or close to it. Humans that live with each other and love each other begin to not only know each other but can predict outcome of happiness as well as tears. This bond is so intense that it is precious and can also be misused. The misuse occur when the very bond of the relationship is used as buttons to be pushed to try and wound each other. This can be one of the most destructive forces in a relationship.
This third entity “the relationship” is a force that is created by two and can be fostered by each person over time. The steps can be taught but the actual dance must come from the heart and soul. This is combined with desire for it to flourish, as well as respecting each other. Words and this article may be inspiring, however they both are one hundred percent worthless unless put into action. DO NOT WAIT FOR THERE TO BE PROBLEMS IN THE RELATIONSHIP. Automobiles need regular oil changes, gardens need to be tended to for weeding, watering and fertilizer, and homes need maintenance. As humans, many of us take the relationship for granted. We DO NOT address the relationship until it starts to breakdown. When we experience fear we either, freeze up, leave, get angry or panic. It does not have to come to that if there is empowering along the way. Many believe one should not address issues, let them flow and if you love each other they will take care of themselves. These are the same people whose gardens do not yield much fruit because they are overtaken by weeds. Cultivate your relationship and watch it grow. Put it as a priority. It should be more important than your children, for if the relationship falters both of you will not be there for your children. If one does not patch their canoe, it will either sink or become very difficult to paddle as it fills with water. Have you ever seen a couple that denies their canoe is filling up, as their feet get soaking wet. There are thousands of marital couples that are in denial. Just waiting and waiting for it to get better. It takes effort. Put forth the effort, dance your waltz, dance with your partner in life and laugh until you cry, cry until you laugh but risk the change damn it…RISK and improve. That third entity is the mortar that solidifies two to become three.