Marriage has long been characterized by many as an independence killer. It’s not unusual to hear antagonistic phrases such as “ball and chain,” or “on lockdown,” when talking to people about their spouse or about getting married. This stigma, while it hasn’t derailed the billion dollar wedding industry, continues to sully the image of truly successful marriages. It is, quite frankly, annoying. True enough, marriage is hard and it takes work. But, it is also one of the most emotionally, mentally, and physically liberating experiences one could have. So, as we near the celebration of our country’s independence, I thought it fitting that we share the role of freedom in marriage. Not only are behaviors that lead to freedom necessary, but they are a driving force behind marriage success and should no longer catch a bad rap.
Freedom in Marriage: 3 Liberating Behaviors That Promote Marriage Success
- Vulnerability – letting someone all the way in liberates the mind
- Honesty – telling the truth liberates the heart
- Meditation – time alone to pray, worship, or meditate liberates the spirit
For years, television sitcom’s “Martin” made Martin and Gina #relationshipgoals for some couples. We watched their relationship blossom and grow. We also saw some heartache and setbacks that were all too real. In one of the most moving episodes, the opportunity to advance in her career meant Gina had to move to a new city and either take her relationship with Martin to the next level or leave him behind. Though Martin loved Gina, he thought the whole thing was a plot meant to bully him into proposing to her. So he did. Check out the clip below and then let’s move on.
It was one of the most gut-wrenching proposals on TV. It underscored the stigma associated with marriage to an audience that many falsely believe have a problem with marriage. Martin’s fear of losing his independence drove him to act in a way unbecoming of the relationship they had worked so hard to build. What he didn’t realize is that once united, there are liberating behaviors that promote rather than hinder independence and all but guarantee marriage success.
One of the hardest things for people to do in relationships is to be vulnerable. For many, opening up means peeling back layers they’re unable or unwilling to face. However, just like peeling an onion, vulnerability often produces tears. There’s something to be said about having a good cry. Letting others in on the thoughts that plague you and depress your mind can offer the kind of cleansing necessary to function well in a relationship.
If your spouse is truly your best friend, they will embrace the chance to hurt with you, cry with you and pray for you. Once you get it all out, you truly feel liberated and you have strengthened the bond between you and your spouse.
Like vulnerability, honesty has its perks. When you are honest with your spouse it frees your heart from harboring resentment that might otherwise build up. Marriage success is not possible without honesty in your relationship. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a difference between intentionally hurting someone with your words and being honest. It’s important to use wisdom when you have to talk about matters that might cause pain. However, hiding the truth suffocates the heart. Rather than allowing things to fester inside of you, speak the truth in love to your spouse and set your heart, and most likely theirs, free.
Whether you call it meditation, prayer, alone time or something else, the point is you should free yourself from all the noise. Vulnerability frees the mind and honesty frees the heart. But there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as a free spirit. Take time to connect with God, nature, or even your inner self. Allow your spirit to soar and watch your relationship with your spouse rises to whole new levels. Give your marriage the chance at success by giving your spirit the chance to recharge.
For all of those who are afraid of losing their freedom in marriage, I believe you’ve got it all wrong. There is no greater opportunity to grow as a person and find ultimate freedom than when you surrender yourself to those liberating behaviors that can truly set you free.
BMWK, how liberated are you in your marriage?