A good marriage is a stress-free, safe haven for both spouses. In its fold, both partners come to feel emotionally secure and emotionally stable. They become physically, emotionally and cognitively connected to each other. There is no challenge or difficulty that cannot be confronted and successfully managed together, as a couple.
In the safe haven of marriage, each spouse feels freer to be truly herself or himself. Both partners learn to make adjustments to better fit their personality to the other, and over time these changes become almost effortless, are positively motivated, and are long-lasting. Neither feels compelled to be significantly different from his or her true self.
When a marriage is emotionally secure for both partners, discrepancies in points of view do not cease to exist. A safe marriage is not a marriage without disagreement. It is a marriage where disagreement, when it occurs, is handled with fairness, mutual respect, and with an eye toward a mutually beneficial resolution.
Spouses that are in the habit of providing an emotionally safe environment for each other know how to externalize their problems in a way that does not make either spouse to be the problem. They know that the problem is the problem, not each other.
Both partners learn to work on their significant issues together. There is no problem of one spouse that does not automatically involve the other. The partners come to embrace each other’s challenges as their own and are empowered to confront them together. They know that two working together are stronger, safer and more effective than either working alone.
Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? –Ecclesiastes 4:9-11.
For a variety of reasons, marriages can start out to be or become emotionally unsafe. An unsafe marriage is one where both spouses co-create an emotional barrier that keeps them from being close to each other. This barrier can be made of negative experiences, negative expectations, or negative assumptions about each other and about the relationship. Read more