The goal of most people when marrying is to hopefully create a relationship that is unified and cooperative in such a way that we are almost welded or combined into one entity. For many this is why religion is such an important undertaking, as they long to be one with a loving higher power. The symbol for Marriage has always been the idea of becoming one. “One” with your spouse, or together with your spouse we were to become “One” with God. A thought that for anyone married more than a few months has realized, it’s much easier as a metaphor than in real life. So how do we create a more unified marriage? How do we learn to take two very different people and turn them into “One” in purpose and power and potential? Here are four steps that could help us all on the journey to “One.”
Recognize Which “One” You’re After
There are three “Ones” in every marriage: You, your partner and your marriage. Mutual Hope is created when we both agree that we’re going to work together to improve the state of the “One” Marriage over the other “ones”.
Working to protect the “One” Marriage means that we spend our time protecting the marriage – time, rituals, rules and conversations. It means we protect the marriage relationship over protecting our own egos or selfish needs or wants.
We also make sure to distinguish between marriage, kids and family goals so we don’t assume that every family activity is also strengthening our marriage.
The idea that you are to become “One” means in marriage, you are to not lose your sense of self or identity.
If creating unity and togetherness in marriage isn’t taking precedence over your need to express your personal opinion, then oneness really isn’t likely to happen.
Everybody is after the ideal form of unconditional love that can emerge as two people truly learn to lose themselves with each other. But you can’t have that level of love, until you’re able to “lose yourself” in another.
Own All of Your Thoughts, Feelings and Actions
Owning your own thoughts, feelings and actions builds mutual trust in each other.
You can’t permanently possess something you don’t own.
Take responsibility for what you bring to the marriage, both good and bad.
Don’t try to blame any of your thoughts, feelings or actions off on your partner.
It’s your brain so they’re your thoughts. Phrases like, “Well what am I supposed to think?” can’t be accepted.
Remember that what you feel are your feelings. No one else can control your feelings or change them except you.
The actions you take are yours. They make us or break us but they are still ours. Even if our partner creates the perfect conditions that would make me mad or blow up, being mad and blowing up is still up to me.
The sooner you realize you’re the driver of the car, the sooner you can drive.
Owning your thoughts, feelings and actions means we don’t blame others, excuse or justify our mistakes, make up stories about them, live by assumptions, point fingers at others, or get even.
Normalize Mistake Making and Forgiveness
“To Err is human, to forgive divine.”
Humans make mistakes all of the time. Research shows that the freedom to make mistakes actually improves our ability to learn. The more comfortable the conditions that foster “trial and error” are, the more able we are to have truly creative thinking and more dynamic results.
Paradigms that expect perfection or are intolerant to “mistakes” are what actually create the opposite of “oneness” or unity…division.
Find a way to make apologizing the center-piece of your marriage. Allow some time every day to apologize for the things you’ve done wrong to hurt one another.
Allow people to apologize quickly, when they do apologize accept it and make it safe for them to come to you. It should be happening every single day.
People that can’t make mistakes feel like they have to hide their errors, which only creates more and more problems for the couples down the road.
Communicate in a way that shows more patience and tolerance of your differences, instead of intolerance.
Don’t judge one another’s request to each other.
Don’t act like the parent to the other. Whenever you do, they’ll act like a child.
Don’t carry a person’s mistake from the past into the future or they’ll have to disconnect.
Learn that you’re really not any safer, remembering all of the bad things your partner has done than you are by forgetting them.
Find The “One” Today
We tend to find what we’re looking for. So we have to be looking for the time every day that you and your partner were actually “One”!
Make it a goal to find the few fleeting moments when you and your partner were “One.” It may only be for a few minutes.
Perhaps it is only a glance at each other, but find it and talk about it with each other.
Perhaps when you were laughing at each other’s jokes.
Perhaps it was when you both became emotional during a moving, or when you both had similar thoughts while listening to your kids.
By seeing the moments that you are connected and “One” with your partner, you can begin to also have conversations about those moments. You will begin to learn how to do what seems so impossible to do for other couples.
You will also begin to find more than one time a day and will eventually have two or three or more every day.
By looking with anticipation and actually finding that you and your partner are able to become “One”, you’ll have more and more hope that “Oneness” is real.