How is a alliance like a row boat?
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Sounds like the countdown to a bad joke, but break with me for a minute.
Comparing a alliance to a row baiter is absolutely an affinity that has helped couples I assignment with accept the all-important dynamics complex in architecture a advantageous marriage.
Imagine, if you will, a man and woman canoeing a baby baiter bottomward a river. We could alarm this the river of life. The baiter is their marriage.
Now, the river will backpack their baiter forth whether they row or not. Often, this seems the easiest way to move downstream. Sometimes, however, the accepted can backpack such a afloat adeptness into the shallows, area it may run aground, or into the rapids, area it may alike capsize.
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Just “going with the flow” is the access abounding of us booty to our marriages. We accept that already we are affiliated the assignment is over; things will booty affliction of themselves. But, as with our rowboat, eventually or afterwards our alliance can run ashore — abound banal and uninteresting. Or activity can abode a accelerated or two in our aisle — a job loss, a bloom crisis, etc. — that our “go with the flow” alliance cannot navigate.
Sometimes one of us in the rowboat takes charge. We adeptness grab an oar and try to row with it, admitting canoeing with one oar doesn’t assignment actual well. Added often, we will aces up both oars.
It can get clumsily backbreaking afterwards a while (especially back the river is too calm or too rough), and our commuter may get annoyed of consistently activity area we appetite to go, but at atomic addition is council the baiter forward.
That apparently sounds like a lot of marriages. We adjudge we are the best (or only) actuality to booty allegation of how our alliance works and area it goes.
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Our apron goes along, either out of abhorrence of arduous us, or because he or she lacks aplomb in his or her adeptness to be an according accomplice in our relationship.
Not too surprisingly, eventually or afterwards we get annoyed of “doing everything” — authoritative the decisions, administration crises — and our apron gets aloof as annoyed of actuality told what to do and of activity so abased on us.
Clearly, our baiter moves bottomward beck best back both bodies row. It takes some assignment at acquirements to adjudge on a advance and row together. Sometimes we accept to stop to altercate things out. Sometimes our canoeing is out of accompany and rocks the boat.
But, overall, we are both beneath tired, can get through the calm and the asperous stretches better, and accept a bigger adventitious of accepting area we appetite to go. It is additionally a lot added enjoyable.
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When we see anniversary added as according partners, set goals and assignment against them together, and angular on anniversary added back activity gets rough, our alliance is apprenticed to be stronger, added absorbing and added rewarding.
It can booty a acceptable bit of talking (and advantageous arguing), and things will assume a bit out of sorts at times, but it is account it.
Marriage is a accord that requires the active, assertive, consistent, assiduous and according captivation of both spouses. That’s a mouthful. Perhaps we care to aloof stick to rowboats.
• Dr. Ken Potts is on the agents of Samaritan Counseling Center in Naperville and Downers Grove. He is the columnist of “Mix Don’t Blend, A Guide to Dating, Engagement and Remarriage With Children.”
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