“When you make the sacrifice in marriage . . .

Photo by Erean on Morguefile

. . . you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.”

  • Joseph Campbell

Well said! Other ways of saying it: Secure Attachment. Two-person system. Couple Bubble. Having each other’s back. Safe and secure relationship. Safety and support system.

Marriage is the third entity in your relationship (funny to say that after writing about the difficulties with ‘thirds’ recently). There is you, your beloved, and your marriage. When couples come to counseling, I see the marriage as the “patient” as opposed to each of you. It’s part of my vision for counseling, but also how I work in an unbiased way. (Full disclosure: I am biased to help you work through things in your marriage. And, it’s your decision whether you stay or leave the relationship.)

I believe it will help you to make healthy choices for your relationship to view your marriage as a separate entity. Not “What’s good for me?” but “What’s good for our relationship?”

I’m not saying don’t care of yourself–I always want you to do that. You bring your best, authentic self forward when you care for yourself. It can’t just be about you, or always about your honey. That’s imbalanced. It needs to be about your marriage.

I’d love for you to think about negotiating instead of compromising. For many people, it’s easier to negotiate than to concede.
According to Merriam-Webster:
Negotiate: to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter.
Compromise: settlement of differences by consent reached by mutual concessions.

Recently there have been a lot of stressful situations that my husband and I are dealing with. Yet we are dealing with them as a couple, a team, working together to figure out solutions. These issues are not putting our relationship in jeopardy. Our marriage comes first. We are aligned in finding solutions. This is an example of making each other our priority; of having unity as the underpinnings of marriage.