Each marriage is unique. We enter into an alliance with love and hope but bring all our strengths and challenges. Struggles and crises are part of life and connections. The requirements to succeed in the quest for a loving, respectful relationship may seem overwhelming.
Many highly developed skills are required:
strong personal foundations of self-esteem
individuation, comfort with individual sexual needs
well defined boundaries,
well-developed communication skills
negotiating and compromise skills
highly tuned coping mechanisms
ability to cope with grief and loss
ability to forgive
a good sense of humor.
Our ability to enhance or even negotiate within these intense emotional relationships is not always well developed.....AND these skills learned and developed within a family of origin, with all their individualized strengths and deficiencies, are not always optimal.
When love, passion or hope falter, people often find it helpful to have someone with distance, perspective and additional knowledge to assist them in remembering the reasons they chose to marry. Marriage can be a maze of physical and emotional challenges that develop healthier patterns of relating to each other within a framework of having their personal needs met while respecting and nurturing the needs of their partner.