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Industry Expert: Cross and Crown Counseling
By Kate Walpole, Cross and Crown Counseling

Most marriages start out with the excitement of swimming in a sea of love with all the hopes, dreams, and possibilities seemingly infinite. Individual strengths are attractive and weaknesses are often overlooked. Oxytocin being released promotes the excitement of bonding and positive feelings. With the best foot forward and the confidence of an emotional security blanket that they are loved, a young couple launches into the covenant of marriage. It is an exciting time of life, yet most individuals are not prepared for the future that is ahead of them. Often within the first year of marriage couples begin to realize that their personal view of love and certain perceptions of life determined by their own self-focused insight about themselves does not line up with their spouses and expectations unmet become disappointments. Our emotional capacity is realized, fears and insecurities may rise to the surface and for some the joy of marriage becomes confusing and painful. This very point in a marriage can become the turning point for each person to grow into the best version of themselves. It will take commitment and perseverance.

To build a relationship that will last, couples must realize the importance of understanding the family of origin dynamics, how they felt about those years and what “self-boundaries” were established. Each person must move from a love that feeds their own needs to one that exists to meet the needs of the other person. This type of love finds joy and fulfillment in watching their spouse grow and become a better person, understanding that there may be a cost to self at times. This love will recognize their own need to grow and will be committed to ensure it happens. Compassion, humility and understanding are vital for developing a marriage that is fulfilling and will last for a lifetime. Be willing to seek help to understand each other. A teachable heart is a changeable heart.