Marriage as a Safe Haven

Fawn Weaver is a believer in marriage and despite the recent media focus on marriage decline and daunting divorce statistics, has made it her mission to hear from and celebrate other happy wives worldwide via Happy Wives Club.

Happy Wives Club

I see and know firsthand that there are many people committed to their marriages.

As a couples therapist, people sit in front of me with sets of issues that run the gamut, from mild concern about unhealthy communication patterns possibly impacting the marriage in the future to the trauma of a relationship grenade exploding in the form of infidelity or other betrayals.  Not everyone comes in with the agenda of healing but rather hoping for a way out.  And that’s valid for them, I am not here to judge that.  Sometimes it’s simply time for a relationship to end.

But for the most part, I find that couples want to figure out how to go from disconnection to reconnection.

Couples are actually desperate to find a way to feel secure together again.  It may not initially look like that amidst the anger, blaming, stonewalling, defensiveness and hopelessness that can show up in counseling but when you peel back the layers, they actually long for a safe haven.  Perhaps they’ve never had this.  Or they had it and lost it.  A rupture or series of ruptures has likely compromised the emotional safety between them and they can’t find their way back on their own.

“We know that love makes us vulnerable, but also that we are never as safe and as strong as when we are sure we are loved.”  – Dr. Sue Johnson, PhD and author of Love Sense and Hold Me Tight

Any securely attached, emotionally safe intimate relationship can be one of the most rewarding experiences we can have in our lives.  We are born wired to connect from the start and the most important relationships initially are parental.  However in our adult lives our intimate primary relationship usually takes priority.  A loving secure marriage can not only be a safe haven but also be a road towards healing from a painful relationship past, if it was learned early on that relationships are not safe.

Happy marriages are alive and well.  I see them around me, I am in one and I work with many couples who are willing to fight to save theirs.  They slog through the pain and anger that a build-up of resentment brings.  They push through learning to meet each other’s deeper level needs in ways they may never have.  They scratch through serious relationship ruptures that some might easily flee from.  They persevere with the goal of being the port in each other’s storm.  Their marriages matter to them and it’s clear to me by life and professional experience that marriage matters to many.

Thank you to Fawn Weaver for the invitation to be involved in The Happy Wives Club Blog Tour.  Fawn has also written a book, Happy Wives Club:  One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage.  Check it out!