The perfect couple does not exist. Let’s start there. Now that we have accepted that fact, we can have an even more realistic and meaningful conversation about our relationships.
Early in my marriage, when my husband and I would disagree/argue in private, I would always pretend to the rest of the world everything was all good. I didn’t mind not speaking behind closed doors, but communicating and putting up a front, as if we were in a great place, in front of our family and friends was a must for me. However, my husband had no concerns or reservations about who knew he and I weren’t on speaking terms. He didn’t get my urgency of not letting others know we had challenges. It was important for me, at the time, to show everyone that things were always fine, my marriage was consistently great and we were a strong couple at all times. The question, “who are you fooling?” quickly began to surface.
I learned the worst thing we can do for our marriage is pretend certain challenges don’t exist. Of course the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily care if our marriage isn’t perfect; in fact they already know for sure it isn’t. It’s us. For some, it’s about proving marriage equals happiness, for others it’s more about confirming the person they chose to marry was the right choice and yet for others it’s about maintaining a false image we may have established over the years. Whatever our personal reasons may be, it is time we join the rest of the world’s couples in declaring “there is no such thing as a perfect couple or perfect marriage”.
If we’re really being truthful, there are a few benefits that come along with being honest regarding our marriage struggles:
“¢ This type of truthfulness forces us to have realistic expectations more often. Again, neither person in a relationship is perfect. The sooner both individuals realize this the better. Without a doubt, there will be mistakes made, and actually we should come to expect them. Where there are two imperfect people, there we will also find an imperfect marriage.
“¢ An openness of this sort offers our children an inside scoop on the realities of marriage. We are setting our children up for relationship failure if we send them out into the world with an unrealistic view of life and marriage. The constant message should be disagreements are normal and exist in every relationship. The key is how a couple chooses to handle them.
“¢ This kind of honesty increases our chances of creating a solution. Just as a doctor must know the exact symptoms in order to diagnose a problem, the same is true for our relationships. Being honest about the challenges in our partnerships lets us know what specifically is needed for improvement.
“¢ A frankness like this confirms we aren’t perfect and don’t necessarily have to be. There is no surprise here. We managed to still fall in love with that awkward guy who struggled with communicating or that bossy woman who is learning how to step back, despite the challenge. This means we can also move our relationship forward despite its challenge.
“¢ This form of candor shows us we still have room and space to learn one another. There is reward in being in a place of learning and growth. No one has all the answers and we should always be willing and have the desire to mature in our marriage.
Marriage, along with every other part of life, did not come with a manual. We are learning as we grow. During that growth period there will be bumps, bruises and growing pains. Being honest and open about those pains gives us the greatest opportunity to overcome. We, are responsible for the success of our marriage, so pretending it’s perfect to the world, in the end, only hurts the couple who knows the truth.
BMWK family, what challenges exist in your marriage? What do you think are the benefits of acknowledging that challenges exist?