Friday, January 29, 2010
But Woods, Edwards, Jolie/Pitt, and many others seem to beg the question: is happy marriage possible? Well, the answer is absolutely! The news is the news because there is footage and people will follow it.
Reports about the "happily married couple continue to love and appreciate each other" just doesn't titillate the way a good scandal does. The rich and famous sure seem to be willing to serve up the scandal!
What does this really mean? Perhaps that relationships involving the self-involved and narcissistic are tough to maintain.
Recently, I have been teaching a class on raising responsible kids in a narcissistic world, so the question has arisen, "why do these people shoot themselves in the foot?" My answer is because being surrounded by people who say "yes" to every movement, decision, and action creates the situation where reality becomes a more and more distant truth. "Reality" becomes whatever I want to believe, because there is no reality check around me.
Marriages work when two people decide to work as a team, not so much when either one or the other sees him- or herself as superior and above the rules. Marriage works when both people defend their relationship and guard against dangers. One major danger is attraction to other people.
Somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten that attraction to others is natural. Sexual attraction is not an aberration, but a natural part of existence. So the task is not to pretend there is no attraction to another person, but to guard against that attraction threatening the marriage!
Because we have forgotten this fact of attraction, we think that the attraction to another person is somehow 1) proof we should be with someone else, and 2) proof that there is something wrong with our marriage. Neither are true, but both beliefs can destroy a marriage.
Saving a marriage often starts by keeping a marriage out of trouble. Watch Tiger Woods and Jonathan Edwards. Now, when the problem is deep, both are doing backflips to save their marriages -- but the real issue is stopping the POTENTIAL for problems.
Guard your marriage. Guard your relationship. And remember the humility of realizing that nobody is above the rules. Marriage is about vigilance from outside dangers as much as the connection and love inside the relationship.
More marriage saving information can be found in my ebook, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE HERE.