A New Vision for Partnering

There is a new archetype of partnership evolving in our culture. Marriage is alive and well, but the form of marriage is changing, as all forms do when they no longer fulfill their originating purpose. The personal marriage, which is dominant today, focuses on meeting personal needs at the expense of the relationship. This is the marriage that is being abandoned by more than 50 percent of couples every year. The lesson our culture is learning very painfully is that it does not work to be self-centered, to look out for only yourself…

The marriage of the future will become a partnership where the focus is no longer on the individuals involved, but on the relationship itself. For the first time in history, marriage will be healing, because it will restore wholeness and transform society. The partnership marriage will be characterized by commitment, dialogue, the absence of negativity, and the increase of appreciation, empathy, and kindness. Monologue will be replaced by dialogue, symbiosis with differentiation, and conflict with connection. The current question is, “How can this marriage meet my needs?” The new question will be, “What does our relationship need?”…

Don’t settle for the idea of healing through love. Don’t mistake the intellectualization for the experience. Take hold of love for yourself. Don’t rest until you experience in every cell of your being what it means to partake of the joy of a connected relationship and the generosity of life. Take in the breath, light, water, and earth that are your true inheritance. Be a receiver first and then be a giver. That’s the joy and the power of putting your relationship first.

–From Receiving Love, by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt

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