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Built to Last

I regularly counsel couples whose marriages are struggling. It is something of a passion of mine to help preserve marriages. My marriage has lasted 19 years this week, May 14th. Notice how I say "lasted" as if it is supposed to not last. I should say I have been married 19 years. I never really think or wonder about my marriage not lasting. I know it will except death do us part. Obviously I have a wonderful wife and life mate who whole heartedly loves me. Many people think she must be a saint to love me as wholly as she does. I agree. I can be a difficult person to live with; but then so can we all.

Couples come into my office often voicing a similar sentiment of never concerning themselves with their marriage not lasting. And then something happens that threatens the relationship like an affair, or a sickness like depression or cancer, or some other event that weakens the marital bond. There are basically two kinds of marriage; those that have a secure bond and those that don't. Those with a secure bond can endure most anything life throws at them. Those with an insecure bond usually can't.

Dr. John Bowlby believes, and years of research and development of his theory of human attachment confirms, that we are biologically wired for a few intimate relationships. In other words, we are created to have close, secure, and safe relationships with a few individuals or "significant others". It is the way things are supposed to be, and it is exactly what God did as described in the creation account of Genesis. Something in us is wired to expect someone to be there for us and with us. As God says in Genesis, "it is not good for man to be alone." Attachment is a fundamental fact of life and we should expect our parents or other caregiver to be there for us and for our marriages to be "built to last".

There really are no surprises when significant human relationships go as designed. We develop a secure sense that we are important to someone else and they are important to us. Simply, someone is there for us who we can trust and depend upon and because of this we realize we are valuable. This helps us develop a secure sense of self and we come to "expect" that others will love us and we will love others. We have a fundamental confidence that relationships will work.

When Adam said to Eve: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh", it is a statement reflecting the fundamental created oneness of man and woman. When a man and a woman are united and joined into a one flesh union as husband and wife it is a relationship that is 'built to last" because it is basic and fundamental to who we are. Just like we are made for living and breathing in an oxygenated environment so are we made to be together; vulnerable, naked and unashamed.

Please view your loved one without all their coverings of fear and defensiveness based on a lie that we are not acceptable and lovable just as we are.

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