Happy people make happy marriages. Not perfect, but happy. Each spouse brings their entire life’s experiences, attitudes, belief system, and family culture into their own marriage. This is what I call the ‘true dowry’ in a marriage.
Many people enter into a marriage because they believe that this will make them happy. They are partly true. But the problem is that if they are not already a healthy and a happy person, marriage will not make them one. On the contrary, it will only highlight and intensify their unhappiness. That is because happiness works from the inside out and not the outside in. Just like God. He transforms our life from the inside out and then it affects everything we do around us. It affects everything we touch in life.
This is a heart issue. When two people come together and they are not happy with who they are, then friction begins. Their individual wounds and scars in life begin to rub against each other in the daily affairs of their married life. The pain reproduces after its own kind and it births more pain. Misery multiplies. This is why I often hear spouses tell me: “This is not the person I married! What happened? The one I loved, I cannot stand any more. I want out of this!” What they really mean is: “I did not know this part of my spouse. I did not sign up for this. I want out of this agreement. It hurts me!”This is the point where spouses face the pain from their relational friction and they retaliate towards each other in reaction to their pain.
What is the solution that I offer? An invitation to both spouses to courageously look at their pain and its root. This is the first step on their path to healing. The next step is to deal with the pain as they come face to face with it and begin to process its existence and effect in their life. This is where God comes in as the one who is the healer of all sickness; physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. With God’s help and wisdom, spouses begin to gain insight into this pain, revisit, and interpret the true meaning of their painful experiences, and find the truth about their experiences that will give them a deeper understanding of their own lives.
The defining moment in counseling is when the spouses begin to embrace truth that sets them free and they become free to receive love and to give love back. You cannot give something that you do not own. You cannot own something if you have not freely accepted it in your life. And God’s gift to us is His love. It is free and unconditional, if we accept it. If we do, then it is ours and we can give it away. It will never run out because its source, God, is ever unlimited and abundant.
To be loved and to love back is life’s most exhilarating relational experience on earth and it starts with God, as this is God’s gift to humanity. Are you ready for the journey to be loved and to love back? It is a very rewarding one and nothing compares to it. I believe we were created for this. Do you?
By Kayla Roberts, BCPC, RMHCI