The reason I can say that is that I’ve had three – and they couldn’t be more different:
Husband Wife Relationship #1
We were 18 when we met, 22 when we married and we didn’t have a clue who we were or how to have a functional relationship – with ourselves or each other. I came from what is politely called a dysfunctional family and I wore all the hallmarks – low self esteem, poor self image on a physical and personality level. I thought I was defective and not good at anything and so would never find another partner. That’s why I married who I did. By the time we were dating for 6 months I already experienced his mean and controlling ways. He experienced my victimy and wimpy emotional untruth. I never stood up for what I thought or felt. I was too damaged and immature. This mess that we created together lasted for a total of 19 years. We split a couple of months before our 15th anniversary.
Husband Wife Relationship #2
By this time, a short 2 ½ years a nice man who I had been dating asked me to marry him. He was nice; not scary in any way and had built in grandparents and family for my four children. I can’t say I particularly cared about being married but he was nice…..
I had had a couple of years of 12-Step programs and had figured out that I could at least support me and my family and there was no longer abuse in my life so why not?
Six months later I ended it. I had become bitten by the personal growth bug and was choosing to live a very different way then I had ever before – one with me telling myself the emotional truth – stepping out of denial and finding that I couldn’t give another chunk of my life to another albeit milder form of dysfunction in a husband wife relationship.
Husband Wife Relationship #3
We met in a personal growth workshop where we learned and practiced emotional healing and telling the emotional truth. We were friends for two and half years and knew each other very well before we began our relationship. We had relationship tools that I never knew existed and that worked to keep us from ever harboring resentments and being inauthentic or dragging our past into our present relationship. For 25 years and counting we have a wildly successful and happy husband wife relationship.