‘Cause how could you give your love to someone else
And share your dreams with me
Sometimes the very thing you’re looking for
Is the one thing you can’t see
The question is how could you give your love to one person while sharing dreams with another. Last week I shared the top ten posts for 2013, and number seven was about the myth of the other woman. It would seem that sharing dreams, and more importantly, sharing goals is important in a love relationship. And to me, to share goals means not only sharing each other’s goals with each other, but sharing in the encouragement and motivation for each other’s goals as well.
Of course there are common goals that the two work together on that impact the couple as a unit. But there are also individual goals each has that still need to be a partnership with sharing. It’s like many things in a relationship that need to be shared – such as acceptance, loving, and forgiveness. It’s hard to accept, love, and forgive others if you can’t get to the point you can accept, love, and forgive yourself.
But it’s a catch 22 that you also have to feel accepted, loved, and forgiven to be able to extend those same three to yourself. In a close loving relationship, these three feelings are all shared with each other. And that is one reason why I say that God’s love is the Best Love model for the Better Love we want to share with our spouse – He loves, accepts, and forgives us without conditions.
GROWTH IN MARRIAGE
There is no steady state plateau in a marriage. There must be a constant input of energy to maintain a level of love and sharing. Thermodynamics teaches us that the energy in a closed system is constantly changing towards the (lower) energy or temperature of the surroundings. Everything we do and say has the potential to build up the marriage, to add energy, or to tear it down and diminish the level of energy.
I have talked about sharing, about communication, and about commitment. Though communication and commitment need to be shared intimately for an intimate relationship, what I think is even more important is to have shared trust. As more and more is shared through open and honest communication, the level of love, acceptance, and forgiveness can increase. Then in turn, the level of trust also increases, prompting more of all the other feelings. It becomes self-reinforcing.
THE VITAL INGREDIENT
There is a popular group trust exercise, where each person falls straight back in turn and is caught by the outstretched hands of the other members of the group. If we agree with a group to be caught, our expectation is that everyone will do their part. But in a real relationship, we seldom create an exercise prior to coming to a point where we need to be “caught” or rescued. When we are indeed saved from little trips, our trust and confidence in our partner are increased to the point we believe our partner will catch us even in a big fall. When we do have a big fall and are caught, again, it all becomes self reinforcing and we are able to trust even more.
We would probably all agree that we cannot have a good relationship without sharing good communication and commitment. And most would agree that acceptance, love, and forgiveness are parts of Better Love. But the one thing that a growing marriage really depends on is trust, not only a mutual healthy dose of it, but in increasing measures.
What about you? Can you think of anything to do today to increase the level of acceptance, love, or forgiveness in your marriage? What could you do to demonstrate more trust?
thanks to David Bork for the image