When individuals get together, start families and create traditions, sometimes we often think about how we pass down recipes or keep family heirlooms manage properties and want them to be cherished, protected and preserved. The same should be said about how we find ways to stay in our relationships.
Maybe you haven’t had that conversation yet. Usually, when you plan a wedding, it’s often expected that you’d seek the guidance of your pastor for counseling about what’s expected of you and your partner and discuss how you deal with issues that come with being married. Is this the absolute blueprint for a perfect marriage? That would be a high definition no!
We’re certainly living in a more accepting time, depending on what circles you run in. Folks aren’t pressed about getting married when you can simply take up residence with one another. The family dynamic has changed considerably as well. More and more homes are without fathers and grandparents are now the acting parents either by choice or by way of the courts because the birth parents aren’t always responsible enough to be guardians.
So why is this relevant? How does this affect you? Well how we’re raised and the environment we are brought up in has a large effect on how we process and act and or for that matter, react to everything around us. This is even more prevalent in how we communicate with those we meet, love and engage with and ultimately find ourselves ready to find a comfortable place of commitment. These days that form of commitment can be anything and everything and nothing at all. Confusing right?
Imagine being in a relationship and it’s assumed that you’re together because you’re spending a lot of time doing the things that make you, as an assumed couple, happy. Yet, the conversation wasn’t really clear about what you as an assumed couple, are. Now one of you might feel some kind of way and want clarification. The other may assume it was already clear and isn’t quite comfortable enough to put a label on it just yet. So what is this? Most would ask that question and believe or not most wouldn’t, because they’re scared they may not hear what they want and worst yet, they’re ok with whatever. Yeah, that’s messed up!
A lot of assumed couples are living this every day and to be clear some are married. You’re shaking your head and asking, wait did I miss something? Nope, you didn’t. Assumed couples apply to married couples too. Why, because they’re married, but living separate lives like they’re not. Cheating and fighting for control and understanding, creating complete chaos, but they love one another and come together at times like everything is ok. Yeah, that would all kinds of crazy, right?! Trust folks relate.
So folks are bringing these issues into their assumed relationships and all the while not paying attention to what mixes well and not. You need to get an “Understanding of the Marinade”. This marinade is everything you’ve experienced in your lifetime. Things like your environment, how you were raised and disciplined. Where you went to school and how you interacted with your classmates. How you were exposed to the first women and men in your life and how they acted and or behaved around you. These experiences shaped you, your opinions, how you think, how you communicate and right or wrong, this is the marinade you’ve been in your entire life and you bring this to your assumed relationships and so does your partner.
Sounds like the counseling should start before you even get into a relationship, right? Well, you could, or you could do the real work for yourself and really ask those serious and informative questions early on while entertaining the idea of being with that potential partner. I mean the thought of seeing someone you don’t really know is scary, but folks do it all the time.
In some cultures, your families did the work for you. Finding a worthy family with a seemingly stable background and hopefully, that meant emotionally and financially, but ultimately we have to learn to look for more than just the surface in people and recognize how important it is to understand the marinade of that potential human being you might want to spend the rest of your life and raise a family with.
Just take a long look at your past relationships, be it with family or socially and ask yourself what was gained and lost and did it change you or your outlook on anything or everything as a result of the experience (s). You will now get a better understanding of the marinade that is you. You will also begin a pattern of knowing what to ask, what to look for and most importantly, you will want to be informed rather than ignore everything around you and those you’d like to know better.