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Marriage Does Require Some Sacrifice

For those of us who are “commitment-phobic,” we may fear that the costs of marriage will outweigh its rewards.

Often, this fear doesn’t stop us from getting married, but may stop us from giving ourselves fully to our relationship. There is a tendency to put our own needs (or what we think are our needs) before our partner’s, in an attempt to compensate for losing our freedom. Not surprisingly, this strategy doesn’t work.

Such a struggle to maintain control results in increased suffering for both partners. In time, the one holding back can come to realize that the gifts we receive are far greater than the preferences that we give up.

Ultimately, our partner’s well-being can become as important to us as our own. In the process, we can experience greater fulfillment and joy than we have ever known. It turns out that sacrificing our desire for control and gratification in favor of a commitment to intimacy, mutual support, and spiritual growth is what makes our cup run over.

We may come to realize that the outcome is a bargain at a hundred times the price!

None of this is to downplay the sacrifices we are sometimes called upon to make in marriage. No, we can’t always do what we want when we want. At the least, we have to negotiate and coordinate with another person’s preferences, tastes, timetable, and styles.

We can’t always choose our choice of the video, the ice cream, the carpet, the restaurant, or the vacation destination. We may at some point be asked to move across the country for a spouse’s career, to have fewer or more children than we’d like, or to care for aging in-laws. We may even be called upon to go through unforeseen periods of hardship, addiction, depression, serious illness, or tragedy. If we stay together, at some point we will either endure the death of our partner, or our partner will endure ours.

In learning to let go of the need to always have things our way, it becomes possible to create a harmonious relationship that brings a much deeper level of fulfillment than does the gratification of ego-based desire.

When we create a shared history with another person, security and trust develop, allowing for a depth of intimacy that’s not possible in more superficial relationships. Most important, in all of this we become more loving human beings.

 

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Marriage Does Require Some Sacrifice

Bloomwork

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationship counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs. Linda and Charlie are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last (over 100,000 copies sold) Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams. The Blooms are excited to announce the release of their fourth book, That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren. To view our upcoming events and to sign up for our free newsletter, visit our website at: www.Bloomwork.com


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APA Reference
Bloom, L. (2018). Marriage Does Require Some Sacrifice. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationship-skills/2018/07/marriage-does-require-some-sacrifice/

 

Last updated: 12 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Jul 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.