Traditionally, after the officiant presents the couple as husband and wife, they are thrust into this new relationship dynamic of two becoming one. But what does it really mean for two individuals to become one in marriage?
Does it mean both individuals must mold themselves in order to adapt to each other? Or does it mean just one individual must change?
What if two becoming one means working together to achieve your marriage goal of a life long commitment to each other, having a family, creating the life you both desire?
In this article, we will share a different approach to what it means to become one, and how to achieve it as a married couple.
A great definition of two becoming one.
Mark Groves summarizes what it means to become a unit quite wonderfully:
“While most people seek to be independent in relationships, I seek independent dependance. As in, I want to preserve my wholeness, honor my partner’s need to do the same, and also be able to depend on her.
What is the point of a partnership if we can’t turn to the one we love and say, “Today I can’t hold up my world alone, will you help me?”
It’s healthy to depend on people for support, it’s not healthy to depend on them for our wholeness and happiness. Those are two very different things.“
Our meaning of two become one in marriage.
The intention of marriage should never be to complete yourself or change who you are. You and your spouse should rather complement each other as you both grow to become better human beings.
We believe that in marriage, two complete and unique individuals come together to build a bigger and better component that they couldn’t build on their own. They become one unit for a bigger purpose.
And as the saying goes:
“Two heads are better than one.”
A common reality of two becoming one in marriage.
After getting married we are usually told that we become one with our spouse which represents the intimate and closeness of any marriage.
But a lot of people have the wrong understanding when it comes to this (the two become one).
Among the married couples we have observed, we can see a majority of wives and husbands thinking they must follow their spouses against their own good judgment because they must “submit” or “honor” them.
It seems they don’t understand that they have an equal say in EVERYTHING and are FREE to be themselves.
A different approach and mindset about marriage.
Just because you get married doesn’t mean you have to mold yourself into the absolute likeness of your spouse or to cater to all their demands.
In fact, it doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything especially when it goes against your values.
Also, it doesn’t mean you are going to have the same opinions or beliefs about everything. E.g. money, sex, communication, entertainment, etc.
How to become one in marriage.
1. Think about your marriage as a team of two amazing, unique, and talented individuals.
Becoming one with your spouse means you get to play, work, and grow together as a couple.
And to successfully do that requires changing your mindset to see your marriage as a team of two. So you can achieve your marriage goals, improve yourselves, and build something great as a couple.
Because when you get married, you play to each other’s strengths and balance out your weaknesses. The ultimate yin and yang.
2. Make your decisions together.
Seek each other’s opinions on anything that impacts your marriage and your spouse.
Because being unified on everything is essential for your marriage to thrive and succeed. Plus it shows you respect and value each other.
More often than not, you’ll have to come to a compromise in order to move forward in certain aspects of your marriage.
To be specific, compromise isn’t about one person giving in to the other necessarily (though that may happen sometimes). But finding a happy medium, a meeting in the middle if you will.
You might want more dollars to spend on item A in your monthly budget, while your spouse might want less.
However, by being unified and working as a team, you can come up with an amount that you are both happy with.
3. Resolve your marriage problems together.
Similar to number 1 above, whenever you have any marriage issues like disagreements about money, sex, life, etc., put in the effort to resolve them together.
By solving your problems together, you will discover new ways to understand and communicate better with each other.
In addition, it will provide you with different opportunities to strengthen intimacy in your marriage.
Another approach to becoming one with your spouse.
Dr. Henry Cloud explains it best in his best selling book, Boundaries in Marriage:
“Marriage is not slavery. It is based on a love relationship deeply rooted in freedom. Each partner is free from the other and therefore free to love the other.
Where there is control or perception of control, there is not love. Love only exists where there is freedom.”
Love can only exist where freedom and responsibility are operating. Love creates more freedom that leads to more responsibility, which leads to more and more ability to love.
The requirement for oneness is two complete people.”
The above statements really put any relationship dynamic into perspective, don’t they?
You are free to be who you are while working together towards your marriage goals. You must be an individual with your own boundaries and opinions.
You must also be responsible and considerate of your spouse.
When you decided to spend your life with them, you also committed to keeping their needs a priority, as well as to be respectful and loving towards them.
It’s not just doing things that you want whenever you want.
You must grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually in a positive way, while keeping your priorities straight—your marriage being the most important.
For true love and total oneness to exist in your marriage, or any other relationship, you must be free and complete individuals working together as a unit.
It’s not all about you though, your spouse has these same rights, freedom, and responsibilities.
And you need to respect them!
Your happiness is your responsibility.
Yes, our spouse should add to that, and we theirs, but ultimately, it’s in our hands. You can’t expect your spouse to complete you.
The term two become one can make it easy to believe in that fairytale—you found love—so now everything will be perfect.
Yes, your spouse should help push you out of your comfort zone and aid in your growth in a healthy way.
And, by working together as a team, both bettering yourselves individually, side by side, you can cultivate an amazing intimate relationship that takes you to heights you never would have imagined on your own.
But, you must each strive for that betterment individually, while leaning on each other for support.
When I first got married to Marcus, I remember thinking “Now my life can start. This is my fairytale. I have him to make me happy and complete me.” Boy, was I naive.
I can look back now and see how selfish that was of me to put all those expectations and pressure on my husband. I was setting us up for failure.
Unfortunately, unlearning this fairytale fantasy took some time. Eventually, I shifted my mindset and took my happiness in my own hands. – Ash
Obviously there are some situations where a mindset change won’t help, and your spouse is doing something to harm the relationship, such as betraying trust, abusive behavior, disrespect, mistreatment, etc.
In these cases, you have every right to ask your spouse to change their negative habits or leave the relationship.
Seek an outside professional’s help, and/or consider leaving the marriage. Abuse of any kind or form is never acceptable. You deserve better!
When the two of you truly become one, marvelous things can be achieved.
The point is, married couples have so much more freedom in their marriage than some think.
Some spouses believe they are ONE yet they don’t feel free; they feel trapped because they are married.
But marriage isn’t supposed to be this way.
We had this experience too, especially when we had our daughter. It was as if all our freedom went out the window.
This experience turned into another marriage lesson that has made our love for each other grow deeper because we worked it out together.
Adapting your oneness as first-time parents.
A couple of years after getting married, we went from being wife and husband to being mother and father as well (first-time parents).
We had to learn to find a balance between the many hats we now had to wear, and not feel trapped in our marriage.
In addition, I had to remember to take time for myself for my own well being and mental health.
I would sometimes take a bath by myself, go for a walk, or meet a friend for coffee. Writing or making things gave me an outlet for my creativity.
I had to work on me, just as much as being a mom, and a wife. – Ash
If we had not adapted to that season of our life, and grown individually, we wouldn’t have much to offer in our marriage and family. As a result, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve our marriage goal of becoming ONE.
By growing as separate individuals in healthy ways, we grew closer to each other after our baby was born.
I had to change my daily schedule to adapt to being a husband and father. It was not an easy transition for me because I enjoy my alone time.
However, it was something I had been looking forward to. I ‘d thought I was a patient man before having children.
But now I see I still had plenty of room to grow, so I’m doing just that. – Marcus
Don’t wait until the kids are gone, or have a big fight with your spouse on this issue before you begin to enjoy the freedom you can have in your marriage.
If you feel trapped, talk to your spouse about it.
And come up with a plan of action so you can both enjoy your marriage and truly become ONE.
If you feel that there are some areas in your marriage where you feel controlled or restricted, and as a result don’t feel you are becoming ONE with your spouse, we highly recommend reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Boundaries in Marriage.
Because this book showed us areas that we needed to work on ourselves so that we can grow together as a couple, and intimately become ONE.
As a married couple, thinking as WE, instead of ME is the first step to becoming one.
And with this mindset shift, you will be able to solve many of the issues you will face as a couple, work together as a team and achieve your goals.
How can married couples become one?
In what ways has your spouse pushed you to become a better person?
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