There are six varieties of marriage. You either marry an:
• Acquaintance (an arranged marriage)
• Friend (someone you know and like)
• Best Friend (someone you love and want to share almost every thought with)
• Business Partner (someone you do great work with)
• Lover (someone who really revs your engine and takes you to sexual bliss)
These can and do overlap; but it is very unlikely that one can be best friends, best business partners and best lovers. You might get two out of three.
When things get strained, you’ll wonder what’s wrong. But the truth is, we’re not supposed to be all things to someone, and no one person can be everything to you. But we’re programmed to demand it. When we do, we begin to damage, tax and disintegrate our relationships. When we do that, when we demand everything of one another and imprison each other in ‘marriage vows,’ we, over time, lose friendship. We alienate business partners. We exhaust our sexual chemistry.
And then we become the other kind of marriage. It’s very common, and you know it when you’re around it. You become:
At that point, you have to leave each other alone.
The solution to this problem is to unbind from the overly-demanding nuclear marriage contract, and to be honest about what YOU are as a couple. And to honor it, accept its limits, and allow each other to find those other pieces of yourself in life.
It takes communication. But you can do it, if you try.