People (faith conscious Millennials specifically) needed to know that there is someone who completely understands why they might be concerned about the future. Being able to have relationships that connect in a way that is sustainable over a lifetime is vital to a healthy marriage.
Faith conscious Millennials know that they absolutely MUST change their perspective on love if they want to change the trajectory of marriage in their own life. The trouble is, they don’t know where to start.
Two Kinds Of Couples
After a decade of practical coaching, researching and studying marriage and family dynamics, this is what I’ve noticed as the difference between those who stay together, and those who don’t.
When two people marry they, generationally speaking, continue repeating their parents unhealthy habits even when they don’t want to. Subconsciously they go back to what they know because it’s whats comfortable, like a dirty diaper. Even though a dirty diaper stinks, we’ve adapted to wearing the same thing over and over again because it’s what we’re use to. Often these couples end up in a divorce just like their parents.
When two unhealthy people marry who are consciously aware that making the choice to change their subconscious beliefs take work, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to create a healthy environment, they become difference makers that not only stay together, but also change the world around them.
Why Some People Never Change
Those who don’t want to take personal responsibility to grow will often argue, “Who’s to say whats healthy and what isn’t? The term “healthy” can be subjective from a relational sense.”
Though that may be true, I speak of a healthy love that is rare, one that removes pride, bitterness, greed, gossip, addictions, criticisms and that takes personal responsibility for showing up BEING love, instead of demanding love. This takes work, and often financial resources, to create a healthy environment.
You might be asking if this environment would still be possible if only one person in the relationship were to choose a healthier lifestyle but the other refused? My answer will always be yes. It is still possible, but it takes twice as much conviction on the part of the one who is making healthier decisions to stick with it. My own life was a direct reflection of that.
My husband believes he can only go so far with healthy choices before he will turn back around to what he’s use to. I can’t fault him for doing what is more comfortable when we’re all guilty of the same thing. This is simply human nature. The choice I had to make was whether or not it was worth the risk to do what I needed to do to stay healthy without him, rather than go backward to what might leave us divorced someday. Was it risky? You bet.
My husband is a woodworker, and an overall handyman. He is amazingly talented and a complete perfectionist in his work. He also believes that in relationships, “good is good enough”. I find this quite interesting when he is a complete perfectionist about everything else. (For the record, being a perfectionist adds its own level of unhealthy) Both my husband and I came from unhealthy environments, and the truth is, he doesn’t care to work as hard as I do on relationships in general. So ‘good’ is actually as good as it’ll ever get to him.
Settling or Strengthening
Does this mean that I’m settling by staying? Not one bit. I chose to marry the only man I’ve ever loved. I made a covenant between God and myself to stay committed to him and live in unity. This takes an extra dose of conviction on my part to be intentional about my choices. I don’t allow pitfalls or excuses to keep us stuck in unhealthy sinful habits, nor allow beliefs about who we are as a couple derail us from staying together and finding joy. My husband loves this strength in me and knows it’s what binds us together. But every strength can also become a weakness if we’re not paying attention. By my stepping back and allowing him the space to step up and take responsibility as the leader in our home, we each do our part to make the marriage work in a healthy way.
No matter what we’ve been through, we are content, and (most of the time) quite happy to stay married for the rest of our lives.
Millennials Pay Attention Here
I’m speaking directly to single or newly married Millennials: do not buy into the philosophy that ‘good is good enough’. When you feel your relationship is good enough, you stop growing. There is no moving forward. There is simply doing the same things you’ve always done while you keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten. I can assure you that this thought is part of what contributes to divorce. Always keep learning about what make a great marriage.
Absolutely be content in all thing, but always choose to give your very best to your significant other just like you did when you began to win them over. If you will remember that loving differently than your examples did is ALWAYS worth the risk, then you may soon see success. You will STILL have ups and downs no matter what, but you’ll be able to get through them in a much healthier way, the only way… together.