Marriage, to me, is a spiritual journey. It carves at the edges of our soul, scraping and probing the deepest parts, at times, without mercy. Love and romance are cultivated and maintained, not effortless. Some moments are grotesque and sad, others are drug-like highs filled with admiration. We journey back to our childhood in marriage. We re-visit old wounds, the ways in which we were loved and the ways in which we were neglected. We try and braid our beliefs together like wriggling snakes, wiley and untamed. Patience becomes of utmost importance and our limits are stretched again and again.
We see things in our partner that we tried to escape and yet we chose it for ourselves. Why? It is the spiritual journey of marriage, to allow our wounds to be exposed, to hurt one another in order to learn how to grow. My wounds become the teachers. They are meant for me to heal and my partner to grow. When he re-opens them, unintentionally, and I lash out, it is in that intense moment that we both realize the weight of things. We realize that I need to heal and he needs to grow. And together we dance through these moments, in fear, frustration and anger. We rip things wide open in order to sew them up for good. We must be aware of the wounds if we are going to heal. We must be aware of our partners wounds if we are going to rise to the occasion of helping them heal, by our growing.
Marriage is a challenge to selfishness. The more selfish the individual, the more corrupt the marriage. We find that the more we give to one another, the more we are filled up. I give to him, he gives to me, instead of looking out for our own interests we focus on each others and care for one another.
It’s about making sure our negative thoughts about our partner don’t outweigh the positive. Some of us are more prone to being critical of others, which I have lived in the past. This is not a beautiful lifestyle. It hurts to feel that way all the time. It hurts you and it hurts those around you. In marriage, criticalness can destroy the relationship through tiny pinpricks of degradation. It’s like a rock turned into sand by the ocean, it might take a long time to fall apart but the journey itself lacks in luster.
Why wouldn’t we attempt to have the most epic beautiful relationship we could muster? Why wouldn’t we dive into life partnership as a way to grow and thrive?
Is it hard? Yes. Is it daily effort? Yes. Is it bad ass? Yes. The things that require the most work yield the most epic results. Speaking from 8 years of experience, I have traveled through the wounds of my childhood with Johnny, being re-hurt, re-wounded, but because he is honest, true and constantly in pursuit of that which is best, we have both journeyed through it into a new territory. One that contains an exceptional amount of understanding for one another.
It is because of these things that we find ourselves with an obsession for growth and facilitating that for others. It is because of these things that we write this book. There are thousands of marriage and relationship books out there. But how many are written by young couples in pursuit of the epic? How many evoke healing from the get go instead of waiting till things build up. How many remind us that the decision to marry is a decision to step onto a landmine that may destroy us. But as the phoenix rises from the ashes or the fire-weed grows after a wildfire to heal the land, so can the reckless, messy, epic, life changing, bad ass relationship between two humans that surpasses any relationship on earth. We need to start seeing our partnerships like this, instead of the “ball and chain”. No one wants to be imprisoned. Marriage should set you free. And not the you that you’ve created for society, but the you that you diminished and hid from view. The one that screams out freedom and dances with no shame. Your partner is going to hurt you but they can also be the one to set you free.