“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw
Ever wonder if you married the right One? Often when people feel dissatisfied with the current state of their marriage, they begin to doubt, and then wonder if they married the right “one.” The seeds of self-doubt then lead to greater disengagement from the relationship altogether, and sometimes a spiral downward for the relationship as a whole.
In fact, disillusionment is a common state of marriage, usually followed by misery, and hopefully, eventual rediscovery. The crucial point is how couples respond to this level of dissatisfaction. Some ignore it hoping things will improve. Some shout at their spouse with irrepressible anger. Some cry in their closet, feeling trapped and hopeless. Some seek love elsewhere. Finding the courage to address the disappointment, hurt, or frustration is not always easy. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
We seldom stop to wonder if we “got” the right child. Instead we seek to shape our children. Similarly, we shape our relationships by what we put into them.
The truth is, you are the author of your love story. Sure, your spouse has his or her own version, but what you think and do matters. Having found love at one point does not guarantee the presence of love 10 or 20 years down the road. You have to keep recreating love by the thoughts, feelings, and actions you choose to pen into the romance novel of your relationship.
Not all love stories have happy endings. However, if you are still in the relationship you always have the opportunity to twist the storyline with new thoughts, actions, or feelings. Even the smallest change can make a difference and lead to bigger change. Perception works the same way. A simple shift in how you see things can turn frustration into gratitude, or turn hurt into hope.
How do you create a love that will grow your relationship into the one you desire? It may mean learning to forgive, or being more open with your thoughts and feelings. It may mean deciding to show a little more kindness. Giving grace or undeserved kindness is always a nice way to create new love in the relationship. It could be that you need professional help to heal old wounds that keep getting infected.
Marriage is actually less of a romance novel and more of a ongoing mystery adventure as two very different people spend a lifetime discovering new ways to love each other. Simple curiosity can turn doubt into deeper relationship and intimacy. It is never too late to uncover the mysteries of the “one” in your life. One could dig years and years and never reach the bottom of the well of vast mystery in another person’s being, thoughts, and soul.
If you are still married, the “one” you married is still the “one,” as long as you choose to create and share your story with each other. May your adventure be grand!
Clinical Director at Fuller Life Family Therapy Institute