No one has to get married or form a life-partnership with another person to be successful. So if you choose to go it alone, that might be the right choice for you. But if you choose to be half of a matched set, you will have to do some things together if you want to do them right.
That is not to say that couples don’t need their own space and personal endeavors. Each member of a couple is still an individual. Forgetting that could be detrimental to your union. Here are a few things each person should maintain:
- Their own hobbies
- Their favorite entertainment such as music and movies
Some couples even find it healthy to take separate vacations from time to time. Perhaps one likes cold-weather activities while their partner hates any temperature below 70º. Perhaps You like touring old, historic cities while your partner prefers only modern things. Whatever you decide about separate vacations, just know that drifting apart is one of the signs your marriage is in trouble. The key is to know which things you should do separately and which you should do together. Here are a few things you should definitely do together:
Almost everyone could stand to improve their health in some way. Vitamins and supplements are a part of any health plan where diet alone is not sufficient. Since you both eat from the same fridge, you likely have similar deficiencies.
Get personalized vitamin packs to address your individual needs. But both participants need to engage with supplements, especially when there is a subscription plan for convenience. Subscriptions often fail when only one person participates. They might feel unsupported by their partner. And the cost of the program might cause resentment even if that cost is minimal.
The one not participating is also sending a subtle message that they don’t really need it as much as you do. That is the wrong message to send. A couple needs to be healthy together as a part of their commitment to each other. Health plans can be inadvertently sabotaged by the person who should be the biggest supporter.
Marriage counseling is one of the most important tools available to a couple trying to save a struggling marriage. However, it only works when both parties are equally committed to saving the marriage and using the same tools to do so.
If only one party shows up for counseling, the chances of it being successful are diminishingly small. The one that shows up is sure to learn important lessons for their next marriage. But the lessons and techniques they attempt with the partner who does not buy in will fall on deaf ears and might even serve to exacerbate the situation.
The person who doesn’t attend is either stating that they are not the one with the problem, or they do not believe in the process. Either way, couples counseling will not work for an individual. Counseling must be done together for the best effect.
There are necessary sacrifices when making a healthy change in diet. Both parties have to agree to cut out certain foods for the sake of health. But that sacrifice might cut deeper than expected. One person might be lactose intolerant. That means the person who isn’t will need to make the same compromises for the sake of the one who has no choice.
The same is true for smoking. It is exceedingly difficult for one person in a couple to stop smoking while the other continues. The same applies to drinking and other vices. The person with fewer limits needs to be willing to make the sacrifice to support their partner. If only one person works and they have to move to the night shift, both need to reorient their schedule to the night shift so that there is no unhealthy separation between them.
Couples are individuals who have chosen to throw their lots in together to achieve something better than they could alone. They must remain individuals, while working as a single unit. Whatever else remains as individual pursuits, a couple must get healthy together, do marriage counseling together when needed, and make sacrifices together. Couples that can do those things together can face anything together.
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