FIRST THINGS FIRST
Marriage counselor and author, Gary Chapman, “The Five Languages of Love” writes the ideal candidate for marriage is a person in their late twenties/early thirties, who, regardless of his or her upbringing, spent the time discovering one’s natural talents and then explored different ways to develop those talents for employment and career paths. They have also viewed life as an adventure and tried different things so that by the time they are ready for marriage, they are actually ready for marriage and the commitment a healthy, fulfilling marriage needs to grow and thrive, as do the partners.
However in a world dominated by the “Disrespect Philosophy” instead of “The Respect Principle” many people’s early years scarred people’s hearts, jaded their minds, and clouded or covered their true identity … talents, passions, and interests … because the “Disrespect Philosophy” seeks to keep people small, limited, unhappy, and unfulfilled as a person, which a person brings to all relationships, especially one’s marriage. Unfortunately, as the divorce rates show, the strain this brings to a marriage is also the ball that breaks a marriage with events such as affairs, debt creation, mid-life crisis, and more.
WAKE UP CALL
As difficult and heart-wrenching as divorce or violent ends are to a marriage, the gift of the broken marriage can be the wake-up call to discovering more about one’s self … or not. Not doing the personal work required to heal and grow results in repeating the pattern until the work is done.
My first marriage at sixteen, without pregnancy, I realize in hindsight was my escape from painful things happening in my life in that community, so when a handsome prince swept me off my feet, literally and figuratively, and without believing I had any other viable choice, “I do” sealed the deal, but my youth, naivety, and survival drive forced me to run away when force was used at home.
My second marriage at twenty-one was the respectable one as I strove to be safe by being responsible … doing the right things … steady, traditional job, buying a first home, etc., but when the quietness settled into the safe life, what began to erupt was the parts of me stuffed away to be responsible and traditional began to bubble up and ultimately led to another divorce, but fortunately also set me on the path to discover who I truly was and to discover how not to repeat the relationship mistakes that led to getting married when I should not have.
WHEN LOVE WASN’T ENOUGH
Sadly at the time when the second marriage was ending, I fell in love like I never had before, for which I was both thrilled and terrified. Thrilled because I had never experienced feeling so liked for who I was as a whole person, not for my body or looks … terrified because of the marriage mistakes and their painful consequences. Ultimately my fear won and my words and actions pushed him away … very far away.
WE CAN’T GIVE TO OTHERS WHAT WE DON’T HAVE FOR OURSELVES
The love I most needed first was love for myself in my entirety though first I had to discover what my entirety was composed of and what I needed to do to feel fulfilled, happy, and whole. Much studying and personal change has been required. Learning how to respect … value myself regardless of how others judged or treated me was a key part of the healing process.
As was reconnecting with more than just my physical being and intellect. A deep-seated need for a higher connection led me down the path of studying much philosophical and spiritual beliefs, which ultimately brought me back to God, yet with a better understanding than my Catholic childhood years provided.
One of the key quotes from the Bible that shook me to the core in a negative way were the words “Wives are to obey their husbands,” which after my experiences certainly did nothing to endear me to the idea of marrying again, at least not without great trepidations.
Fortunately, my studying the Bible the past few years shed new light on the often-quoted partial phrase that women are to obey their husbands, but interesting enough, as with people who select the passages of the Bible to serve their purposes, they forget to finish the guidance that a man should cherish his wife and that her glory will be a reflection of his treatment of her.
What an enlightening perspective to add to the knowledge of who we are and what we will bring to a marriage as healed, whole, and aware of what love and marriage truly are meant to be … the most beautiful of rewards for hearts and souls willing to do the work to gain the greatest prize.
Best work I have ever done … raising my “Respect Level” that helped me learn how to love unconditionally … myself, others, and one day, for the third time, my husband. I know for me the third time will definitely be the charm, for which I am very grateful, though I would have been happy if I knew this before I ever married … which is why I am sharing this with you.
Whatever time it has been for you or if you have not yet taken the leap, I hope you also do the personal work, sooner than later, to reap the greatest reward marriage brings … the trust that no matter what, you will be there for each other until the end because you know yourselves and each other, are aware that growth and change is part of who we and our marriages are and therefore are not afraid of the costs we pay for loving so deeply, but are empowered by love to live so boldly instead.
As always, best wishes,
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier
June 29, 2017
ENTREPRENEUR PRESIDENT FOUNDER SPEAKER AUTHOR KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle … the for-profit social business venture raising Respect Levels with original entertaining, educational, and inspirational books, products, and services. ©All Rights Reserved 2015