#12 Tip for a Thriving Marriage - Healthy Individuals

The last thing that needs to be said about a thriving marriage is that it is made up of two thriving individuals.  As we’ve already pointed out, a marriage can only be as strong as its component parts—namely, husband and wife.  Common sense itself suggests that healthy relationships emerge when healthy individuals come together in a healthy, positive way.  This means that there’s a place for appropriate self-care and self-development in any marital relationship.

Spouses need to be concerned about preserving their individuality in other areas as well.  Marriage consists in the mysterious one-flesh union of two distinct lives and personalities.  This union is a blending, not a cloning.  It’s a partnership in which sharply defined differences—not merely the difference between male and female, but the distinctions between two separate individuals—come together and complement one another as pieces of a puzzle and parts of a whole.  These differences should be affirmed and enhanced.  Without them, no marriage can become what it is meant to be.

This is why spouses need to give proper attention to maintaining their uniqueness as persons created differently.  They need to take time for self-nurture—time to be alone, to be with friends (he with his and she with hers), to develop personal interests, and to engage in lifelong learning.  Perhaps most importantly, they have to understand that husbands and wives can’t be everything to each other.  As imperfect and finite people, they don’t have the capacity to fulfil all of each other’s longings and most pressing needs.  But if a man and a woman are willing to understand and grow together in their marriage, they can have a deeply satisfying intimacy that will weather the storms of life and stand the test of time.

Try This! Take some time to spend alone with your friends. Take this opportunity to do girly things (a manicure or spa day?) or manly things (a round of sports and a quick drink after?) and fully enjoy celebrating who you are as individuals. Couples who are satisfied on a personal basis can come together and enjoy each other on a greater level.

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