Aleteia

Why you have to face your personal demons to build a strong relationship

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To live as one with your spouse, each partner has to face his problems.

Many couples claim that there’s a conflict between their ideal of marriage and what they experience on daily basis. Partners feel disappointed and wish to understand what they did wrong, fearing that their vision of marriage was an illusion. 

A strong couple is built like a cathedral. As in the building of a cathedral, this requires courage, perseverance, a lot of will power and humility. Both partners need to face their personal demons (selfishness, fear of loss of control, vanity, etc.) — the “passions of the soul,” as St, Francis de Sales calls them. It’s an ambitious project on par with the internal desire to be fulfilled.

A couple in a long-term relationship has to make choices that present both a personal and a marital challenge. A couple does not consist of a sum of two individuals — it is a living entity unto itself, born of a desire to walk the same path together, to fulfill a specific mission usque ad mortem (“till death do us apart”) which we humbly pronounced in the course of a religious marriage ceremony. 

The first area where each of us must face the truth is no doubt in the relationship with our partner. This most beloved of our loved ones who constantly makes us take a closer look at ourselves. Couples who wish to revive the inner flame that used to animate them have to go back and revisit all the areas that gave meaning to their life together and reexamine their “everyday” experience. Their fear can then become powerful energy and the truth will set them free.

Marie-Noël Florant

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