A healthy marriage perspective is important in maintaining a happy relationship. Recently, I heard a man use the all too common phrase “the old ball n’ chain” in reference to his wife. Oh, how damaging this phrase can be.
While at times, this phrase may seem to accurately describe the feeling of being tied down, held back, or limited in freedom by our spouse, in reality, it is quite false. The first inaccuracy is that it likens your spouse (a living breathing human being) to an inanimate object with no will of its own. A second inaccuracy is assuming that you are attached to this object by a shackle to which you have no key. Any marriage perspective that dehumanizes your spouse and removes your personal accountability is bound to damage the relationship.
It would serve you well to remember, and reinforce through your thoughts and actions, that your spouse is not an object. Your spouse is in fact a person just like you, who, rather than deliberately anchoring you to the ground is simply striving to live his/her own life. Any resistance you feel on your end is felt equally on your spouses end. Additionally, whether you realize it or not, the shackle was not forced upon you as a punishment. You chose to bind yourself to your spouse and you still have the key. Ultimately, remaining with your spouse is your choice so take accountability for that. Humanizing your spouse and retaining your personal accountability in these ways will certainly strengthen your relationship.
I propose, that in order to reinforce a healthy marriage perspective, adopt a more accurate analogy. For example, how might things be different if you were to replace the notion of being attached to a ball and chain with the thought of you being two mountain climbers. As you and your spouse navigate the rocky and ice-covered paths of life, you have chosen to bind yourselves together with a rope for safety. If you feel resistance from the other end of the rope, it means your partner is stuck and needs help, or that they view the path differently than you and feel that a course correction is in order. Either way, if there is resistance, it means that you get to pay more attention to your spouse and consider his/her thoughts, feelings, and needs as you press forward on your journey together.
With this healthy marriage perspective you will find that there is no mountain you can’t climb together.