has a way of sometimes dulling a marriage.
Helping a marriage to shine again
is not only possible, but wise.
It’s pretty easy to become worn down by all the happenings of our average day. The chaotic pace of modern life can especially take a toll on marriages. It’s as if our primary relationships have a tendency to receive our energy leftovers.
On the other hand, a healthy romantic relationship can stabilize and restore us in challenging times.
The 3 Styles of Marriage
Why is that some marriages are the casualty of a hectic day, while others are the antidote?
Often it depends on the fundamental dynamic in the relationship. If two partners have a similar intention for the style of connection they seek, then they’re relating tends to go well and their partnership is consistently reinvigorated!
An important first step towards cultivating what you want in your marriage or partnership, is to become aware of your own patterns. Do they work for, or against, your desires for true romantic intimacy?
There are typically three types of dynamics at play within a romantic relationship. Often times these dynamics play-out on an unconscious level.
These three styles of relating apply to all types of couples, including same-gender ones.
One style is not better than the other. How could it be? We’re all on different paths at different times, learning different lessons. The point here is to increase your own awareness about your past styles and current style, so that you can move closer to the style of relationship you most desire in your future.
Which of the three styles is best for you?
Marriage Style #1: The Drama Triangle Relationship
In a drama-triangle relationship, one person has to be the loser and the other has to be the winner.
The roles can shift from time to time but there is never a sustained win-win environment for each person.
When we commit ourselves to being in this sort of relationship there is an underlying agreement that real love means that someone is always losing.
Where do we develop such an unconscious belief? Usually, it’s rooted in our early childhood experiences and the relationships we saw modeled by our relatives or family of origin.
It’s called a triangle, because there are three possible roles in any given moment: persecutor, rescuer, or victim. It tends to be a very passionate, high-drama relationship. The style may not be so good for your longterm physical health. However, in its own way, it can be very intimate.
Marriage Style #2: The Less-Risk Relationship
Though the couple in this dynamic may live together and share a bed, they tend to maintain almost everything else as though they were still single. This can include their financial, social, and professional lives. People who are drawn to these types of relationships want to minimize the risk and loss that are inherent possibilities in all relationships. However, in the hopes of negating the prospect of pain they sometimes lose out on the rewards of deeper intimacy.
The upside to this style of relationship is that one is perhaps able to maintain a greater independence.
Marriage-Style #3: The Union of Souls Relationship
In this style of relationship, the couple is able to negotiate a mutual interdependency for the greater good.
This dynamic requires facing fears, changing habits, and finding new ways to communicate and compromise.
Downside: Though all three styles of relationships require work, this one also requires the most change. We’re talking about lasting change, which can be very difficult.
Upside: In exchange for their honest and open work, partners will often benefit from a sense of freedom and strength within a tender and encouraging union.
Hasn’t Worked Well for You in the Past?
Which of these three style of relationships best describes your own experiences so far?
If you have been able to shift away from destructive patterns and into healthier ones, what were the keys to your success?
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