"I believe that love cannot be bought. Except with love."
- John Steinbeck
I once heard a friend describe marriage in one word: More. Marriage is more happiness and more hurt, they said. More joy and more pain. More ideas, more arguments. More laughter, more tears. Marriage is more of what we experience in life.
Joy and I became married in May 0f 2003. Two countries, four children, and 12+ years later, we agree with our friend: Marriage is more.
And for that, we are grateful. The more-ness has deepened both of us and our love richly; and it has helped us become better people. Most importantly, marriage means we experience life together. We would not trade that for anything.
Family counseling researchers suggest most couples in North America do not separate because they are too distant but because they are too close, too enmeshed. In premarital counseling, I explore with couples how marriage might be an interplay of oneness and separateness, a mixture of dependence and independence. Through that lens, we also discuss topics like communication, conflict resolution, finances, affection, and beliefs.
There are times in life when couples will be tempted to withdraw, to retreat, even to withhold their love. In premarital counseling, we explore how couples instead might lean in, and pursue one another...with the greatest degree of passion in life.