When a conjoined twin dies, their attached sibling usually dies soon after.
In most cases, one can’t live without the other.
Occasionally, surgeons can separate the deceased twin from the other before the dead infects the living.
Maybe life goes on.
But things will never be the same.
When you exchange wedding vows, your soul becomes conjoined with your spouse’s. Every second after, your life is no longer just your own. A part of you is imprinted on her, and her, on you.
Your life just became infinitely more important than it used to be because now someone else’s life is in your hands.
Don’t Try to Fix Your Marriage
Before every flight, the attendant giving the safety spiel always reminds you that in the event of an emergency in which the plane’s oxygen masks deploy from the ceiling, parents flying with children are strongly encouraged to put on their own masks first before helping the child with his or hers.
It goes against our caretaker and unselfish instincts.
As a parent, we always put our children first.
As friends and family and co-workers, and in many other walks of life, we learn to put others’ needs before our own and are taught that this is virtuous and makes us good people.
We are sometimes taught that it’s selfish to do what we want or need to do for ourselves.
But the truth is, if you aren’t right, you can’t be good to anyone else.
If you don’t have your oxygen mask on and you pass out, you can’t save your child.
If you can’t be your true, authentic, best self in your marriage, then the union is already doomed.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
We’ve been collectively rolling our eyes at that bullshit break-up excuse for eons. But I think in the context of mending a broken marriage, the idea has a lot of merit.
Maybe two sad and angry people who feel trapped, disrespected and unloved, shouldn’t necessarily be trying to work cooperatively all the time.
I believe the right way to attack marriage problems starts with NOT trying to work together.
I’ve sat in front of marriage counselors with an angry spouse. When couples disagree, they spend the entire session telling the therapist what it is their partner does to make them feel sad, angry and miserable in front of the person they’re supposed to love the most.
Maybe if we took all the finger-pointing out of the equation, we’d see real results.
Not: She makes me feel like this! She does this to me and it isn’t fair!
And more this: What is it that I need to do to make my partner feel safe, and content, and loved, and happy?
And if your spouse is doing that same thing to you in reverse? And attempting to make internal and external changes on your behalf?
I think everyone who wants to make it, will.
I think we just have to choose it.
Rethinking the Problem
Politically conservative people are furious with the number of illegal immigrants flooding into the United States via the southern border. It’s because the undocumented people don’t contribute to the tax system but provide an economic burden on the health care, criminal justice and education systems.
Politically progressive people want to make the path to legal citizenship easier, and in the meantime, appreciate the fact that immigrants most often are performing jobs that help the U.S. economy that most Americans are unwilling to do themselves—namely low-paying agricultural jobs and others in the service industry. They believe innocent children should not be punished or denied access to health care and education because they believe in compassion and helping others and believe the government is in the best position to do it (whether or not that’s true).
Then there are people like me. I agree and disagree with both sides.
I agree that the financial strain on the system is unsustainable, and that our country is a business and should be treated like one. If you can’t pay for anything, you’re screwed.
But I also (mostly) love human beings and believe the value of a human life can’t be measured in dollars and cents.
What’s a political moderate to do on the subject of immigration?
Choose Option C. The road less travelled.
I think you solve the immigration problems in the United States by creating more economic opportunity for people in places like Mexico. I think if Mexico’s economy and health care and education systems improve, Mexicans will want to stay in Mexico, because there’s no place like home.
I vote we make Mexico so awesome that WE want to go there.
Don’t sit around thinking about how your spouse makes your life miserable every day.
Think about how you can actively change yourself in an effort to bridge the divide between you and her.
Be selfish about making yourself the best you can be so that you’re strong enough to actually be unselfish when the situation calls for it.
Another Definition of Love
“I moved a step farther toward accepting my complete inability to change another person and my inability to change myself. Love has been called many things, but maybe one definition would be the utterly unbridgeable gap between any two humans and the attempt to bridge it anyway.” — from Stumble, by Heather King
It doesn’t start with her.
It doesn’t start with “us.”
It starts with you.
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