‘Togetherness’ is what provides the staying power in a marriage. Staying together, thinking together, sharing together, mutual respect, taking decisions together, planning together, saving together, learning together, forgiving each other – togetherness is just what matters.
The word ‘equal’ needs to be defined clearly here – it doesn’t necessarily mean equality in every sense of the word. There will be moments, situations when one will need to take the lead. There just needs to be a sense of comfort and acceptance of that fact.
Two people – with their commonalities and differences come together to create this ‘partnership’. It is therefore necessary to build a sense of marital identity – a sense of ‘we’ – ness in addition to and different from themselves as individuals. There is a fine line between thinking of oneself as an individual with one’s own needs and wants and thinking of the partnership as being together with common needs and wants. As the partnership grows in strength this line sometimes blurs, sometimes becomes more defined – either of which is fine as long as there is mutual acceptance.
The partnership is also a ‘responsibility’ and each partner is accountable for its success. There will definitely be moments or times of pressure when there will be one up-man-ship, manifestation of stress, financial burdens which perhaps one partner needs to take a lead on etc. Ego will play a huge role to either pull one apart or bring you together – as long as its ‘you’ exerting control over the ego instead of letting the ego take the lead – all will work out.
The equal partnership has to be a peer-to-peer relationship. Sometimes you need your better half to be a friend rather than a spouse. This flexibility ensures that you’re open to playing whatever role the marital situations demands of you. This is the best part of marriage.
The partnership is a safety net – a place that feels safe for love, hate, conflict, dependency, play, openness, fun – it should make you want to always go back to the safety net.
An equal partnership therefore is crucial to help make a ‘house’ truly one’s ‘home’.