Marriage: when two become one

Marriage
Marriage

The idea of a married couple becoming one is a spiritual one. It is built on the understanding that after marriage, there are no longer simply two single individuals, but now the two make one unit, one couple.

This is not to say that either one of them lose their individuality. They are of course two separate people with distinct personalities, with individual needs and desires. However, when we choose to join with another in marriage, we focus on the “we” and “ours”, rather than on “me” and “mine”.

Your spouse is now a major part of you — just as you would protect and care for yourself, you do the same for them. It would not be wise to take care of only part of your body and neglect the rest. Eventually, the neglected part would suffer and cause the entire body to suffer.

If we neglect the needs of our spouse and only take care of ourselves, then we are not protecting our marriage and eventually it will suffer.

Symbolically, a couple becomes one during their wedding ceremony, but learning to actually live as one does not happen instantly through the mere exchange of vows. Because of our fallible nature, we tend to be more concerned with our own comfort and happiness than with that of others. This is why we hear it said often that “marriage takes work”. It takes intentional effort to put our spouse above ourselves and to put the marriage relationship above everything else.

Marriage is a romantic dance of give and take, a picture of lead and follow that comprises routines that are not only unique to the couple, but that are practiced over a long time in order for the couple to finally find their own harmonious rhythm that is poetic and powerful.

A married state of mind is a mindset that prioritises your spouse above anything or anyone in this world. It’s a state of oneness where it’s you and me first, and then it’s them. And “them”, often has to include the children too. It’s a place where you’ve cleaved enough to be one and are totally and unashamedly transparent with one another.

It’s a place where your spouse knows you’ve got their back no matter what, no matter where, no matter who and no matter why. It’s “us” united against the intrusive in-laws for instance, instead of us fighting one another over our in-laws. It’s you and me fighting our financial situation as one, instead of us fighting over money.

A married state of mind is a place of trust, unity, loyalty and harmony. Like dance partners on the dance floor, we lead and give way to each other in a structured yet poetic rhythm of trust, focus and love.

It’s a place of far lesser conflict, not because you’re avoiding them, have lost yourself in marriage or are naïve. But it’s because you’ve given your spouse the right to be themselves and to fully express their individuality such that your differences don’t intimidate you. You find a way of embracing each other in your realities without the fear of being judged or criticised. You complement one another in your differences, and make your differences serve your marriage instead of them being a source of consternation and conflict.

To fully realise a married state of mind means you have to have a common understanding of why the two of you are joined together in marriage. It also means you have to have a shared purpose, common vision, and a shared value-system. Furthermore, a married state of mind is built on the principle of oneness, which teaches us the essence of marriage. It teaches that marriage is a sacred covenant that binds a husband and wife together as one flesh until they are separated by death. It is a permanent and deeply intimate relationship built on God’s design where a man and his wife grow to become inseparable.

Being of “one flesh” means just as your body is one whole entity and cannot be separated into pieces and still remains whole, so it is to be with your marriage, inseparable. You are no longer two entities or individuals, but are now one entity, a married couple.

Becoming one takes an intentional choice on the part of both spouses. It steers couples in the right direction, alleviating stressful moments, reducing the possibility of disillusionment and fostering success.

Marriages in alignment provide a foundation for confident, stronger relationships. When couples are open and honest in communicating, it builds trust and intimacy. They prefer to talk things out when they disagree.

Being one means connecting and being willing to grow together at all levels. It’s referring to “mine” as “ours”, and then later back to “mine” again as referring to both of you. It’s sharing the responsibility of running a household, doing chores, raising children, and providing for your family — one of the most down-to-earth aspects of married life. This very practical side of marriage has deep roots in something that can only be characterised as profoundly spiritual. It’s an awesome and fascinating experience of two becoming one.

Lastly, it’s a question of the two identifying so deeply with each other that you start looking at the world from one another’s point of view. This is a position you grow into, over a period of time, and after going through certain things in life that chisel you into oneness. It’s when one plus one equals one.

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