I know no one wants to be a marriage underachiever. Would we have low standards for ourselves about our marriage? Whose standards are we using? Have we discussed what we want, what we need, as a couple? What our roles will be as husband and wife (and our view of the other as husband or wife)? Or two wives, two husbands?
In the past, marriage was to unite and strengthen lineage for position and gain. It’s only in the last 50 or so years that love is the driving factor in marriage.
In a movie I saw recently saw, marriage was described as having one person among billions of people to witness us, our life.
I decided to look up* the words ‘marriage’ and ‘relationship’ and that led me to ‘connection’ and bond,’ and I want to share those definitions with you.
Connection: noun. Something that communicates, relates
Bond: noun. association, relation
As you consider these definitions, how do you think you are doing? How does your mate think she is doing? (Did you notice I am not asking how you think your mate is doing?)
Consider what you need to experiment with or change to be marriage achievers (which is not being perfect, by the way), and practice those things.
Remember that Dr. John Gottman’s research shows that as long as we have five positive interactions for every one poor interaction, we have what it takes to have a happy and healthy marriage.
It seems a lot of marriage underachieving is a result of not being explicit about hopes and dreams, expectations and needs, and of not putting in the time, effort, and work that relationships take.
For a list of topics to discuss with your beloved, see my earlier blog.