Marriage and Mutual growth
 Talk About Marriage
  The Marriage Advice and Relationship Help Forums
  right
Forums - For Therapists - Link to Us - Advertise  

    A Public Forum Provided by The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory
Register FAQ Community Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

Like Tree8Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-15-2013, 03:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Shadow_Nirvana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 689
Default Marriage and Mutual growth

So, I have finished reading Women's Infidelity 2 : Breaking Out of Limbo. A very well written, very informative book about not only today's relationships but today's way of life, political changes etc. within the western world.

But as always something has confused me deeply. I give you a passage from the book:

"Couples are continuing to get married without having a clear vision or purpose for their lives together; yet purpose is no longer built into marriage because people no longer need to stay together for survival. What this means is that many people have made, and are continuing to make, a commitment to stay together for no reason and to do nothing forever.

....

Today, many people are afraid to enter into a committed relationship because they donít know how to make a relationship last. But thatís the very problem. People focus their attention on staying together when they should focus their attention on creating a great relationship instead.

Great relationships foster mutual growth and fulfillment. Great relationships serve to inspire, help and support each partner in discovering and following their passions and in fulfilling both an individual and a shared purpose. This is the transition that relationships today are making. The purpose of relationships is changing from survival to mutual growth and fulfillment. Many couples have arrived, and will continue to arrive, at the same relationship crossroads that you now face. The degree of pain and suffering they experience will depend on whether they confront the situation head on or choose to avoid it. Unfortunately, many people are choosing the painful route of avoidance, which means they are choosing to live in limbo instead of moving forward into a more passionate and purposeful life."


So okay, sums up the change from marriage 1.0 to 2.0 very nicely. This is exactly what I constantly think about on the topic of marriage. Basically after a couple of years in the marriage, if you are a member of the middle class, you will probably be set financially. You won't be wealthy, but there won't be a problem of survival either. So if your only goals in marriage are getting married, having children and staying together, with no other reason whatsoever, you 'll be in for a rude awakening when you hit a very monotonous, unfulfilling marriage.

Okay, easy enough to understand up till here. But... what is exactly mutual growth and purposeful marriage? I have absolutely no idea of what a fulfilling, purposeful marriage can truly be. Is mutual growth taking cooking lessons together? Is it reading a book together? Wtf is it? I've been thinking about what it is, you know, in a non-abstract way, and I haven't come up with a solid answer.
Shadow_Nirvana is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-15-2013, 03:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,492
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

I guess it means both partners growing within the relationship. So not just in moving forward and growing as a person and partner, but both growing as people and partners together.

Many of the egs of relationships on this board do not display mutual growth and are unhealthy, unbalanced, toxic.
Holland is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 04:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Shadow_Nirvana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 689
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland View Post
I guess it means both partners growing within the relationship. So not just in moving forward and growing as a person and partner, but both growing as people and partners together.
Okay now, isn't that a bit too abstract? How can growing be done together? I mean, I guess interests change, hobbies change, friends change, pant sizes change. But what changes happen in both people that can be considered as mutual growth? I basically don't think I myself won't be growing too much any more, minor changes may happen in the personality, but it's not like I am in my teens.

And there is the part about "purposeful and passionate marriage". I think "if you're gonna have kids, get married. If not, then don't." What other purpose can a marriage have?(Notice the book says a marriage's purpose shouldn't be just about staying together and having kids.) Yes I know, to be with your loved one forever etc. But every day, it seems more and more that "marriage" doesn't have any effect on staying together.(which is basically what the book is saying.)

I was a pretty marriage-minded person(in my country it's a bit hard not to be), but that book challenged my thoughts in such a way that I don't think it's exactly the right path any more.
Shadow_Nirvana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 05:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,492
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_Nirvana View Post
Okay now, isn't that a bit too abstract? How can growing be done together? I mean, I guess interests change, hobbies change, friends change, pant sizes change. But what changes happen in both people that can be considered as mutual growth? I basically don't think I myself won't be growing too much any more, minor changes may happen in the personality, but it's not like I am in my teens.

And there is the part about "purposeful and passionate marriage". I think "if you're gonna have kids, get married. If not, then don't." What other purpose can a marriage have?(Notice the book says a marriage's purpose shouldn't be just about staying together and having kids.) Yes I know, to be with your loved one forever etc. But every day, it seems more and more that "marriage" doesn't have any effect on staying together.(which is basically what the book is saying.)

I was a pretty marriage-minded person(in my country it's a bit hard not to be), but that book challenged my thoughts in such a way that I don't think it's exactly the right path any more.
Growing can be done together by challenging each other, communicating, learning from and teaching each other.

"Mutual" means something that is shared by two or more people so to me "mutual growth" would be growth that is shared by the couple. Not necessarily growth in the same way as each other but growth in who each of them is becoming for the benefit of a positive union.

I don't think MG means hobbies etc but more the learning of life's lessons and growing as a person.

SO and I are different in many ways, similar in many ways. We teach each other and learn from each other continually. We challenge each others thinking in a way that is beneficial to our relationship. To me this is "mutual growth".

ETA I am mid 40's, he is in his 50's, growing as a person never stops. I look at my parents in their 70's and they are still learning and growing.
Holland is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 06:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Homemaker_Numero_Uno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Henniker, the only one on Earth
Posts: 3,756
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Nirvana, where are you from?

I feel as though you might be making the answer to your question bigger than it needs to be. Even what you are doing now, reading a book and seeking for answers, is personal growth. Growth is what happens to you as you move through life. It's a 'tiny' process. It can have big effects, or not.

Do you have any activity, hobby or vocation that you feel compelled to do? That is your growth path.

If you follow the pull towards that activity or set of activities, you'll be moving towards your life purpose, fulfilling it by living it. I think a good marriage is one that respects that there are two individuals in a marriage, and when they put their life purposes together, the result is more than the sum of the parts, a symbiosis. These couples, when they are seen together, have that certain 'shine.'

It's tricky I think to find your path if you have been devoting all of your time to your marriage. But if you go back to your childhood and think about what it is you used to do if left to your own devices, you can get some idea of what it might be.
Homemaker_Numero_Uno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 06:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Shadow_Nirvana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 689
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Turkey. In here, it is deemed appropriate for people to go through their education(higher education isn't common unless middle or high class), get drafted(if the person is male), get a job(optionary for women), get married, have kids, visit your inlaws, have grandkids, die. Sort of a marriage 1.0.

Okay maybe I am putting a bit of a bad emphasis on it, it definitely works for a lot of people. But I am thinking of moving to USA or someplace else after I get my medical specialty training here. So it won't work for me. I always thought I wasn't the guy who wanted that kind of marriage, but turns out I was pretty undeviated from it.(as in I wanted kids and staying together etc, but I hadn't given much thought about the other aspects.)

And tbh the divorce and infidelity rates in western countries scare me a bit, I'd hate to live a life like "Alan" from "Two and a Half Men". So I decided to be informed about what I will be getting myself into before I actually go there, so as not to get into a culture shock.

Okay I see what you are getting at, basically what you're like before marriage, you shouldn't give up for the image of a husband. You should be adding new aspects to yourself, and trimming in places you feel unnecessary, and letting your spouse do the same and not let her get caught in an image of a wife, instead what she wants to be. Whether it be life experiences, hobbies, activities etc.
(the image stuff I got from the book, if we try to convey ourselves in the marriage as something we are not only to satisfy our partner and the societal norms, it will be draining and detoriorating to the marriage.)

Last edited by Shadow_Nirvana; 02-15-2013 at 06:40 AM.
Shadow_Nirvana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 06:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Homemaker_Numero_Uno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Henniker, the only one on Earth
Posts: 3,756
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Yes. Be yourself, and don't try to force growth. Allow it to happen, as it will.

I don't think you're dealing with the effect of culture.
It's an age/time of life issue more than anything else.

All youth (loosely defined) feel oppressed by the choices available to them to 'fit in' to their communities. At some point, when you decide to honor yourself, you see that you are free to find your own fit in society and to help shape the future of it. That is, you come to the realization that you are an important and integral part of a dynamic, living, culture.
Homemaker_Numero_Uno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 07:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 473
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

I disagree with the premise. I think men and women are designed to be together.

'It is not good for man (& therefore by definition, woman) to be alone' - dress it up in whatever sociological/religious/whatever frippery you like - men and women seek eachother's company for long term relationships, and it is better for society when they do so.
Rags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 07:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6,178
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_Nirvana View Post
Okay, easy enough to understand up till here. But... what is exactly mutual growth and purposeful marriage? I have absolutely no idea of what a fulfilling, purposeful marriage can truly be. Is mutual growth taking cooking lessons together? Is it reading a book together? Wtf is it? I've been thinking about what it is, you know, in a non-abstract way, and I haven't come up with a solid answer.
My husband and I are mutually growing together and it has NOTHING to do with hobbies. It has to do with inner growth being balanced, happier, centered, maturing, etc. That in turn leads us to look to each other as to the dynamic we have together aka are we recreating our parents unhealthy ways. If so we change it. It's looking at various aspects of our individuality and as a couple finding ways to improve.

And this isn't something we do daily it's just been a natural progression over our 21 years together. I've been the leader in this respect because I'm the one most interested in growth. My husband is happy to listen to my point of view because he knows I want to make things better and he's seen me improve myself. He doesn't want to be left behind.
Mavash. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 07:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Shoto1984's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fla
Posts: 1,622
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Nirvana you're growing by reading a book that is challenging you to think and evolve as a person. This conversation you're having could be an example of growing together. It seems the trick is to find someone who understands this and wants to be on the journey with you. So many people are basically the same people they were when they got out of high school or worse....but I digress.
Shoto1984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 09:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
Cletus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,394
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

I too disagree with the premise.

Once you imbue a marriage with purpose, staying in the marriage becomes an act of fulfilling a contract. Either you're moving towards the purpose, or you're failing in the marriage.

Real life doesn't work that way, at least not for most of us. Life happens in unpredictable spurts and starts that can derail the most carefully laid plans for its future. The key to marriage, from my view, is to realize that it's a roller coaster. There will be glorious ups followed by gut-wrenching downs, but this is all an expected part of the ride. If you're not happy, is it really your spouse's fault? If the answer is yes, then perhaps you shouldn't be in your marriage. Most likely that answer is something else. A loving, growing marriage will help you find your path in life that is satisfying, allowing you to ride the peaks and valleys with the knowledge that it's better to be with someone you love than alone.

If a marriage has a purpose at all, it's that you give up a part of yourself to gain a greater life through your partnership. If you can put that on a scrap of paper, tape it to the refrigerator, and call it a goal, then have at it.

Modern western concepts of marriage have made it easy to forget that you signed up for good times and bad, so people bail during the bad. Then they marry again, and bail faster and in even greater numbers, without taking the time for the introspection that would tell them why they are 1) choosing bad spouses or 2) remain unwilling to do the heavy lifting of maintaining a multi-decade relationship with another human.

You'll see it play out on this board - someone comes in, writes three paragraphs about the purported sociopath to whom they are married, and the first response is "find a lawyer and dump him. I wouldn't put up with this".

So marry a good person who believes not just in the hot, steamy, infatuation brand of pair-bonding, but the type with good integrity and a moral grounding who wants to grow with you in whatever form that takes. Then do your part and work on keeping it alive and vibrant - a task you seem to be well qualified for just by virtue of asking the question.

Last edited by Cletus; 02-15-2013 at 09:49 AM.
Cletus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
SimplyAmorous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 10,092
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_Nirvana View Post

But as always something has confused me deeply. I give you a passage from the book:

"Couples are continuing to get married without having a clear vision or purpose for their lives together; yet purpose is no longer built into marriage because people no longer need to stay together for survival. What this means is that many people have made, and are continuing to make, a commitment to stay together for no reason and to do nothing forever.
This was never never never me or my husband's attitude when we planned & looked forward to marriage... It was forever , us together, we waited a long time & we had a perfect "peace" going in. Compatibility was on our side.

Quote:
Shadow_Nirvana said : Great relationships foster mutual growth and fulfillment. Great relationships serve to inspire, help and support each partner in discovering and following their passions and in fulfilling both an individual and a shared purpose.
You just described what I would call "INTERdependence" ....

Explained like this >>
Quote:
Interdependence is being mutually dependent, or simply being dependent on each other . Two people in a healthy relationship are said to be interdependent. In contrast to existing alone, it is a voluntary recognition that “no man is an island,” and that we must co-inhabit the space in which we live.

Being an adult requires compromise, sacrifice, acceptance, forgiveness, and honesty.

Lets face it we all make mistakes and choose to be child-like or parent-like at times in our marriage, but we can achieve love and connection through healthy choices. The specific behaviors tied to an adult-adult marriage are assertiveness, validation, apologizing, active listening, responsibility, and the ability to resolve conflict. Healthy couples are respectful, complimentary, supportive, secure, and flexible. Healthy marriages focus more on the present rather than the past or the future and are able to let issues go. Adult partners accept when their partners assert “no,” allow each other individuality, and lead balanced lives.

In other words, healthy couples are not consumed in each other’s world nor are they totally separate, but have a good amount of both connectedness and independence; they are interdependent. As I’ve said before, marriage takes work and is probably the most challenging relationship since you’re around your spouse 24/7. Marriage also can be the most rewarding and fulfilling relationship you’ll ever experience in life. Most things in life that are valuable require time, effort, and energy, and marriage is no different. Decide to be an adult, improve your marriage, and focus on changing yourself, not others. The benefits of a healthy marriage are priceless. Interdependence In Marriage ... Interdependent Communication
Quote:
Shadow_Nirvana said :This is the transition that relationships today are making. The purpose of relationships is changing from survival to mutual growth and fulfillment. Many couples have arrived, and will continue to arrive, at the same relationship crossroads that you now face. The degree of pain and suffering they experience will depend on whether they confront the situation head on or choose to avoid it. Unfortunately, many people are choosing the painful route of avoidance, which means they are choosing to live in limbo instead of moving forward into a more passionate and purposeful life."
"Passive aggressiveness" destroys everything once beautiful & builds a slow growing resentment wall in addition. .. We all need to be on guard against Apathy as well >>

A is for Apathy: What Happens when You Don't Care Anymore?

Quote:
Apathy, unconcern, indifference, lack of interest, lack of emotion. It's what creeps into the marriage when one or both spouses aren't watchful.

ß It happens when they allow the fire for each other to go out.

ß It happens when couples fill their individual lives with other people, events and interests to the point that the otherness is preferred over togetherness.

ß It's when your husband stops chasing after you.

ß It's when a couple shares a bed and not much else.

ß It's when you look at him and wonder where your husband went.

ß It's when he looks at you, and he is too exhausted to try anymore.

ß It's when you no longer grieve when you hear about someone else's divorce, because you personally know how it can happen.
Quote:
Shadow_Nirvana said:
Okay, easy enough to understand up till here. But... what is exactly mutual growth and purposeful marriage? I have absolutely no idea of what a fulfilling, purposeful marriage can truly be. Is mutual growth taking cooking lessons together? Is it reading a book together? Wtf is it? I've been thinking about what it is, you know, in a non-abstract way, and I haven't come up with a solid answer.
I just feel it is sharing the same dreams, goals, it helps to have the same beliefs, VISION for the future..... do you both want to parent... or have a shared passion for another cause that children would hamper your lifestyle... is not 2 better than 1 in this life - no matter what it is? To have a helpmate by our side, cheering us on, holding our hand.. .I look at my husband as the "Wind beneath my Wings"... I have no desire to be alone in this world.. every good thing that has ever come into my life has been through this Union.

SimplyAmorous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 128
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Sorry, there is no any basis for permanent relations nowadays. There is no mutual growth. Nobody knows what he would be interested in few years. Now it could be a PhD thesis in Physics few years later you could be interested in Biology and in a few decades your main interest would be wine producing. You canít project your interests for a long term period. And any conversation with your partner about his/her long term interest would be basically wasted time. I believe that the best you can do as a partner is to provide an environment for your partnerís personal growth and grow yourself as you can, parallel or perpendicular it really doesnít matter. Donít chock your partnerís growth with a commitment to only certain number of things.
But that is the same you are doing for friends.
Note that you need many people around you, not just your spouse, for personal growth.
That is why I donít really see any basis for marriage except a good sex. The quote what you just cited leads to the same conclusion, but it looks like the author is afraid of it and desperately tries to find any, other than surviving, purpose. But itís pathetic Ė come on, in your personal growth you canít limit yourself with just one person. You always will share your interests with many others and the more you achieve the bigger the circle of the people that share your interests. The circle should be also open Ė some new people would come in, some would go out.
hekati is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 128
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland View Post
Growing can be done together by challenging each other, communicating, learning from and teaching each other.

"Mutual" means something that is shared by two or more people so to me "mutual growth" would be growth that is shared by the couple. Not necessarily growth in the same way as each other but growth in who each of them is becoming for the benefit of a positive union.

I don't think MG means hobbies etc but more the learning of life's lessons and growing as a person.

SO and I are different in many ways, similar in many ways. We teach each other and learn from each other continually. We challenge each others thinking in a way that is beneficial to our relationship. To me this is "mutual growth".

ETA I am mid 40's, he is in his 50's, growing as a person never stops. I look at my parents in their 70's and they are still learning and growing.
Come on! What you are saying is not exclusive for a couple. We grow with our teachers, colleagues, friends. We challenge them. Why would I need a husband to challenge? - Doesnít make sense to me. There were teaches at University that I wanted to learn from and challenge, there were colleagues in my field I would like to challenge and learn from, but I donít want sex with these people. LOL The only exclusive thing in marriage is - SEX.
hekati is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 12:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 128
Default Re: Marriage and Mutual growth

Cletus, you slowly get back to surviving issue. Yes, you could for a couple to raise kids together if the environment is hostile enough for a single parent. But it is not about mutual growth then. The question is what If there is no goal that you couldn’t accomplish alone?
hekati is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Attraction or growth NaturalHeart General Relationship Discussion 3 07-26-2012 04:29 PM
Married 28 Plus but far apart and no growth 2betex Considering Divorce or Separation 9 06-09-2012 10:47 AM
Considering marriage as a tool for educational/career growth - thoughts? captn General Relationship Discussion 5 05-06-2012 08:50 AM
Spiritual growth and marriage conflict pa321 Relationships and Spirituality 2 05-03-2012 05:40 PM
Personal growth RDJ General Relationship Discussion 31 12-07-2011 10:26 AM

Member Area

Find a Therapist:


Sponsor Ads


Sponsor Ads




Get The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory Help Guide via Email:
Name:
Email:




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:03 AM.



Copyright 2007 - 2013 © Talk About Marriage