• Why Can Marriage Suck? What Are the Benefits of Marriage?

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    Why Can Marriage Suck? What Are the Benefits of Marriage?

    At the beginning of a relationship, we get together because of attraction and love, and it’s new and exciting.

    Our brains are awash with neurotransmitters designed to keep us preoccupied and obsessed with the other person because nature cares about one thing: procreation and the continuation of our species.

    Nature is not necessarily interested in long-term relationships because those neurotransmitters wear off after about a year.

    This is to save energy, and we automate (like what we do after we know how to ride a bike) our partner as they become “deep family” (a term coined by Stan Tatkin).

    So, we revert to the relationship template we had growing up.

    This template informs how we respond to connection and separation.

    We also live out what was modeled by our parents, and it usually informs what we do when we’re triggered – if we go to fight, fight, or fix.

    So, after about a year, the relationship starts to become more challenging.

    The stuff from our templates rubs against each other.

    And if you throw in careers and kids, it doesn’t leave much space to work through the conflict and issues – and that can fester.

    That is why marriage can suck.

    Then, what are the benefits of marriage?

    Life is hard.

    If someone we trust is committed to us, we are more secure and less lonely.

    Collaboration with our partner helps us navigate life with less burden.

    We have someone to help pay bills and raise kids, a confidant with whom to share struggles and setbacks, and someone with whom to amplify things that have gone well in our lives.

    We have someone with whom we can connect emotionally, physically, and sexually.

    This connection reduces stress, brings vitality to our lives, and helps us live longer.

    As humans, we are wired to connect with others.

    If we have a healthy marriage, we are stronger together.

    When our marriage sucks, we need guidance.

    An effective guide (marriage counselor) will help you understand your disconnection patterns as a couple.

    They will also enable you to navigate out of them, so you know how to avoid and repair them when you two go there.

    They will also help you understand your and your partner’s relationship template – what you learned about relationships growing up (take the relationship quiz in the footer to learn about yours).

    They will remind you to be intentional about maintaining connection. For example, what makes you and your partner feel loved? And are you two doing that for each other now?

    They will help your relationship suck less.

    Because when your relationship is healthy and secure, you live with less stress. You feel connected and more confident in life, and you will live longer.

    Click here to learn more about our marriage counseling services.

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