Marriage – There’s Two Of Us?

by Sherry Riter in Marriage,Marriage series,Relationship

The essence of the word marriage has to be the beginning of this conversation. A few definitions of “marriage” is as follows:

Wikipedia states that “Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found.” It also goes on to state that “every known society has had some form of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Edvard Westermarck defined marriage in his book The History of Human Marriage (1921), as “a more or less durable connection between male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of the offspring.”

Whether we use those definitions or not, I’m quite sure that all definitions have a key component which is that marriage is a union of two separate people.


Not one.


The significance of “two” carries with it an unspoken language of the uniting with unselfish equality to create “one” strong bond. Notice that I did not say it created “one” strong person. The oneness is in the bond of two people that are united in purpose.

One “overall” purpose.

Let that soak into your gray matter for a second.

The second is up! It soaked long enough. Let’s move on because we still have the main subject to discuss.

A couple gets married and the fairy tale is still in full swing when suddenly a problem arises. Not just any problem, but a huge mountain in the middle of the bicycle trail. Then it starts snowing on the mountain and before long, there is an avalanche. That is how it feels when one problem after the next seems to come between the marriage partnership and communication. If a mutually satisfying solution can not be obtained, a sense of hopelessness pervades and that leads to feeling trapped.

Image: Source

Not only is your mind stuck in the jaws of unhappiness, so is your body and soul. Life continues, but the relationship is on continual pause because there is not a resolution to the problem. It is not impossible to reach a mutual decision, however, it takes two working through the muck.

Not just one.


I can hear you now…”Yeah, but…”


There is no “buts” because if you want the marriage to be a partnership, it begins with two people willing to communicate.

Here are a few pointers to help in overcoming the trapped feelings through conflict resolution.

  1. Approach – This is not a war. Remember that you joined the marriage with excitement, anticipation and joy at the prospect of sharing your lives.
  2. Distraction – Keep the location for the discussion private and in a peaceful atmosphere. The center of an amusement park would definitely be a poor location.
  3. Respect – Always speak to one another with respect not only in words, but also body language. Also, respect your partner’s point of view.
  4. Take turns speaking – If necessary, use the spoon method. Don’t interrupt.
  5. Perspective – Recognize that the hopelessness comes from unresolved problems and hurt feelings. Try walking in their shoes to see life with you from your spouse’s point of view.
  6. Ensure understanding – Restate what the other person says in different words and ask for clarification if anything remains fuzzy. Alternately, willingly clarify the thoughts you are trying to convey. Keep in mind that you are trying to dispel the feelings of being trapped in the marriage, so helping the other person understand your intentions and motivations is mandatory if saving the marriage is really your goal.
  7. State the conflict – Be direct and clear with the explanation of the reasons you feel trapped and/or unhappy in the marriage. Write them down in bullet form so that your spouse can read the list. Short, sweet Berger dots on an index card will dispel the wordiness.
  8. Accountability – Take accountability for your part in the problem. Ask and give forgiveness. Unwillingness to do either is simply stating without words that the marriage does not hold value to you.
  9. Solutions with options – Brainstorm for solutions to the problems.
  10. Mutual agreement – Agree on trying a few of the options for resolution. Be willing to bend and compromise in order to find a solution. It’s not a perfect world and neither are you, so don’t expect a perfect solution.

Marriage is not a trap. Unselfishly solving your problems will lead to the happiness you both sought by entering into the union.

Only Cinderella had a perfect marriage.

Getting back to scrubbing the floors now,

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jackie August 20, 2010 at 2:49 am

Good reminders…it's easy to go through the motions & not work at marriage. 🙂


2 Holly August 20, 2010 at 3:22 am

These are GREAT points!!
I have to add something about Cinderella/Fairy Tales, though.
Do you notice how these end with Happily Ever After when they marry? That's a huge problem now days!! People have grown up with that in mind. You find the ONE, you get THE DRESS, you say the "I DO"s and think the hard part is over; it's time for "Happily Ever After"… REALITY is that it has just begun! There ARE bills to pay, home to clean, kids to raise, etc… Neither of you was raised ROYAL with family jewels and inheritance that will pay the way for eternity so you can devote every moment to fawning over each other with music playing in the back ground. OH!! And don't forget the birds singing!! Add a rainbow and some glitter to top it all off! HAH!!

Love your post!! Wish it was in contract form that had to be signed before being issued a marriage license!! Wouldn't THAT be something? <3


3 Iosif August 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

Interesting publication! Very interesting! Unfortunately, in many families this is a classical theory!
It would be we are all just like the book ….
Congratulations on the subject and would welcome everyone with respect!


4 Summer Ross August 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

This is a great post- I wish there would have been some realities people told me about when i first got married, but sadly it ended in divorce but probably for the better too. Stop by my blog I have an award for you 🙂


5 eof777 August 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Marriage is part work, part accommodation and all parts
the other important items you noted.
You did an excellent job of pulling together points to keep in mind as one builds a lasting relationship. Great job!


6 artistcsi August 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

I love the tips, so on point. Especially the "Two" not "One" thought. Its so hard for people to understand that neither of you are a clone of the other and that you both came together because you saw something in the other one that made you whole. I always think of that when we come to a dividing spot in the relationship. It helps us to come back together in the end.


7 Sharon August 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I love your post! Very good points. There's a quote that I can't remember the source nor verbatim, but will paraphrase. It has something to do with a group (or couple) being stronger because they are the sum of their parts. Think of it as a rope. Rarely is a rope ever a single strand, but a group of individual strands that all together create a strong rope.

In our marriages/partnerships we often unravel that series of threads and go our individual ways, but when we come together there's no breaking us apart!


8 Jerry August 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I am just beginning to catch up on your posts…and this one has given me reason to pause. One thing that I think is most difficult is trying to understand what the problem really is. The vagaries of life can at times bombard a marriage, but the reaction to that bombardment can be the source of the problem. Why is he or she reacting that way? What is the root of the fear, the stubbornness, the lashing out, the numbness?

This has so much to do with trust. Can I really verbally dig into my reaction without fear of recrimination from the other, or fear of shame? It is hard to share inner stuff. It is hard to say that you're wrong or that as a child something happened to you, or that you fear to be seen as weak, or that confrontation terrifies you.

This is hard stuff. It takes a lot of calm understanding and an honest expression of honest love of the other no matter who they may think they are.

Listen to me blab. I just wanted to introduce a notion or two.


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