Does a happy marriage mean being inseparable?
Elizabeth Taylor, who married Richard Burton in 1964, divorced him 10 years later, and married him again in 1975 before they divorced for good less than a year later, once described their marriage as “being in each other’s pockets.”
That a couple seems to be perpetually joined at the hip is not necessarily an indication that their marriage is healthy. In fact, that kind of total togetherness has hidden drawbacks. Worse, it often masks serious issues, including possessiveness, control, and insecurity.
It is not uncommon to find one partner feeling suffocated in a marriage where their spouse sees any attempt to maintain individuality or personal space as a threat to the union.
It’s fantastic when your spouse is your best friend, but having only them to love and comfort you, to have fun with, and to confide in, is too much responsibility on one person. Your life together is fuller, richer, lusher when you share and enjoy it with at least a few other people, be they family, friends, or even work colleagues. Also, there’s a lot to be said for being friends with other married couples, older and younger.
Couples in this kind of marriage are often in denial. “Not at all, we are just very close, you know?” If you’re not sure whether or not your marriage is healthy in this regard, the following questions should help if answered honestly:
- Have you thrown away the things that are important to you because you’re now married?
- Has your support system systematically been whittled down to one person- your partner?
- Do you need your partner to experience everything with you, and feel every emotion you feel?
- Do you find yourself avoiding activities that you can’t do together?
- Do you depend on your partner for all the affirmation, protection, and unconditional love you need?
- Do you find yourself unable to take simple decisions without your partner around?
This is not the only or best way to be married. You may be surprised to find that the happiest couples don’t smother each other like this. Instead, they thrive on the newness that time spent apart affords them, and they each have friends and activities of their own that enrich their time together.
All of this is my opinion, of course. Perhaps somewhere in the world, a Siamese twin marriage is truly working just fine for a couple. Is that your experience? Do leave a comment.
You might also like:
- Domestic Violence: What Must Stakeholders Do?
- How To Explain Divorce To Children
- Dowry: How Important Is It?
- Marriage: Taking Nothing For Granted
Leave a Reply