How to do Relationship Repair for this “Marriage Contract” ?

relationship repair


Sharing what Mark Waller, The Dance of the Lion and the Unicorn, says in page 111, we have:

“The subconscious agenda behind the wedding is that this other person will finally heal our pain. Of course, we are completely unaware of our pain and how it drove us to the altar. But we expect our partner “to get it” and heal us nonetheless. They both have the same hidden agenda.

“Okay, Sally. I take you to be my lawfully wedded bride, to have and to hold, as long as you prove to be safe and never make any emotional demands on me.”

“Ralph, I take you as my husband so that you can give me what my mother never gave me: approval, acceptance and a sense of importance. Recognition wouldn’t be bad either. By the way, I promise never to tell you what I want since I don’t know that myself. Your job will be to give me what I want without knowing what it is. If you don’t give it to me I will become overwhelmed with pain and blame your ass, scream at you, and eventually divorce you.”

“Sounds good to me, Sally, as long as you meet my unmet emotional needs. And by the way, even knowing what they are is far too threatening for me so I won’t go there. And if you go there, I’ll call you a prying, nagging bitch and run like hell.  And they both say: “Til death do us part.”

The minister smiles and says: “Let the game begin!”

This is a new, fresh view of marriage as upholding the needs and expectation of each partner about a reciprocal commitment to each other´s growth and development, including overcoming childhood traumas.  In Mark’s view, we fall in love and choose to move forward in a close, intimate partnership with that loved one with the purpose of experiencing the support and appreciation we so much need and cherish because they were lacking in the past, as well as working together to heal other hurts suffered in our pasts. After that choice, then the real challenges begin…

In the usual perspective about marital conflict, people are people and often, when in the middle of a battle for getting their own needs met, they forget to connect with their spouse’s needs, and reciprocal trust gets destroyed. Fights occur when we fail to make someone “see our side” without really sharing our hidden or unconscious needs always active.

The real needs underneath the current argument, the need to be accepted and understood, not humiliated or put down by the other, get lost in the heat of the moment. When in a fight, if you can remember to make a positive comment, an appreciative comment on some true aspect of the other person, you could be meeting some of the unwritten needs of the marriage contract in a quiet but significant way.

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