How are you defying the odds of marriage? What are your traditions that are defying tradition? Now collecting submissions.
I still remember the “craziest” marriage I’d ever heard about. I’d just built my private practice after working in adolescent mental health for ten years.
My client was a manager for a large business and she wanted help in improving her team’s morale. As an aside, she mentioned that she and her husband owned a two family house. She lived on one side and he lived on the other and their son had a bedroom in both.
I assumed they were divorcing and that this was their solution for co-parenting when she quickly corrected me. “Oh, no. Not at all. We’re very much together. We just can’t live together. I need a lot of alone time. He needs alone time. We love each other but when we were dating, we kept breaking up. Somehow, we were lucky enough to figure out that we were combusting from the pressure of living together.”
The conversation moved on to what she’d come to me for but in the back of my mind, the questions and curiosities started ticking away. Does this woman struggle with attachment? Could her team be struggling with connecting with her and that’s why they aren’t gelling? Should I be “addressing” this?
I ultimately decided that she wasn’t experiencing an “issue” with it so it was my responsibility to move on.
Eight years later, I think that may have been one of the smartest and wisest marriages I have ever witnessed. Two people knew themselves so well, knew what they needed, and were brave enough to ignore tradition to do marriage their way. They didn’t have to abandon core personality needs in order to have a family. They did life and love on their terms and were thriving.
The statistics on marriage aren’t pretty. 50-60% of marriages end in divorce these days. People are writing articles wondering if marriage is dead and are decrying the institution.
It’s time to turn this conversation around. Want in?
It’s not the institution of marriage that is the problem. The rules, traditions, and expectations attached to marriage are stifling it and some couples are crushing under the weight. There are so many cultural expectations and judgments about what is “healthy” in a relationship versus dysfunctional.
If people threw out the rule book, would more marriages also survive and thrive? How many more relationships could survive if more couples were brave enough to live and love on their own terms rather than trying to fit themselves into a mold of others’ expectations for what marriage has to look like?
How are you defying the odds of marriage?
What are your traditions that are defying tradition? What’s your secret to making it work? How’d you figure it out and how do you manage the fall out and criticism from people who don’t get it? What have you learned that others haven’t?
I am now collecting submissions that share untraditional marriage stories. Share your story, your history, and your love.
Some couples are simply brave enough to chart their own course and do it their own way. Others need the example and encouragement to take a turn where everyone else colors inside the lines. Your story could inspire hope for other couples who might be wondering why they can’t get it right and why their relationship feels so fragmented and fragile.
My husband and I are childless by choice and I don’t consider that wholly untraditional. Many couples make that choice. I have been asked why we got married if we didn’t want kids. My answer: Because kids or not, I know I want to belong to a family. Marriage, to me, is about having a person. The union connects us in a way that I need to feel secure in the relationship. Not everyone needs that. I did.
Why did you get married? How are you making it work? What’s your story? I look forward to learning from you.
Share your story. Email me at [email protected]
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