How Can We Rebuild Our Relationship?

How Can We Rebuild Our Relationship?

by Debbie Laaser

How Can We Rebuild Our Relationship? 

 Creating a Shared Vision for a Passionate Alliance
 by Debbie Laaser
Two are better than one, beccause they have a good return for their labor; If they fall down, they can help each other up. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Recently I woke up surprised by a dream I'd had; I dreamed I was alone. After more than thirty years of choosing to stay in my marriage and recover from sexual betrayal, I couldn't figure out what would prompt me to have such a dream.
I've been writing for months now about my healing journey - from shattered dreams to renewed vision. Chapter after chapter, I've discussed my need to focus on me, the changes I wanted to make, an the lessons God was teaching me through my pain. These chapters have been about letting go of thinking that someone else was responsible to provide me with safety, passion, and worth.
I think my dream was a reminder that I needed to be all right alone, even if I was in a loving relationship. I was not to lose myself by failing to take the time to know myself, to grow, and to create a vision for my life. Even if my husband and I created a shared vision, I was not to let go of my pesonal vision. Prior to my healing journey, I expected that my marriage would provide me with everything I needed to be completely satisfied and happy in life. In essence, I had divorced myself by giving Mark all of the power to my make my life happy.
Now my vision for our relationship is built on my desires, not on my needs. I don't need to build a vision with my husband; I want to. This kind of loving alliance should be the aim of any mature relationship: "I don't need you; I want you." When you can think about your marriage in this way, you're ready to design an authentic vision for you and your husband as a couple.
Mark and I began creating a new vision together by symbolically starting again - renewing our marriage vows. We chose a new date to celebrate our new beginning. Like a newly engaged couple, we shopped together for righs and then invited several recovery friends to share in our ceremony. Exchanging personally written vows and new rings, we rededicated ourselves to God's purpose, plan, and vision for our marriage - our one-flesh union.
We had passed through a stage of trying to be everything to each other. We thought that agreeing on everything was a vision. And then we'd entered a stage of living two very separate lives, creating a personal vision but not a shared vision. Some husbands and wives are guided by personal visions but fail to work on a shared vision, thus creating di-vision. Having both a  personal vision and a couple's vision is vital to a healthy relationship.
To work on a vision as a couple, we need to be on the same side - allies, so to speak. We need to let go of the temptation to think, "I'm right and you're wrong," "My ideas are better than yours," "I'm more important than you are," "My talents are more valuable than yours," and so on. As allies, we are interested in combining our strengths and weaknesses. We accept that together we are much more than either of us is alone. If my vision is to be like my spouse or to make my spouse be like me, then one of us would be irrelevant! God brought two people together with two very different sets of skills and temperaments so that together they would be greater than either one alone. 

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