I originally wrote this post after I completed my Prepare/Enrich training. I have reworked the article and still stand by the premise. Striving to be the right person is more important than finding the right person.
I just completed my training in the Prepare/Enrich counselor (they have changed it facilitation instead of counseling) training this weekend. It was part of my coursework at Dallas Seminary but it means that I am certified to facilitate couples in premarital and marriage counseling using the Prepare/Enrich program. I’m not a counselor or anything but this is a great tool if you are planning to get married or are married and think your marriage could be better. It simply helps you and your mate examine your relationship and gives you a practical approach to developing weak areas.
Anyway, to my point, I am more and more convinced that our outlook on relationships is absolutely WRONG! The e(vil)Harmony lie that affirms our view of sucessful relationships is this: “If I only find the right person then the relationship will be GREAT, always.” Being married for almost 12 years I see that view is fatally flawed. I see from the Bible that view is fatally flawed. I also see from psychological research that view is completely wrong.
It is not about finding the right person, it is about being the right person. Scientific research has shown that there is no pre-marriage match that guarantees (barely even favors) longevity in the marriage. What does this mean? No matter how “right” for one another the couple is or how perfect the chemistry is between the two that does not determine if the relationship will last. In fact, pre-marriage matching do not even predict how happy the marriage is. Pre-marriage matching strongly indicates how happy the couple will be before marriage and how happy the couple will be during the beginning of marriage. There is little correlation for pre-matching and long-term marriage happiness or longevity.
Why is this? B/c when people start in a relationship they are changed biochemically. When you are in love your body releases a chemical that puts on a “love high.” This chemical is the main reason you overlook little things (and big things) while you are dating and newly married. This change can last for over two years. Unfortunately, this does wear off and that is when each person in the couple has strive to be the right person, not just expect the other to be the right person.
This means a conscious effort must be made for ANY relationship to work. You have to choose to be the right person.
Next time I’ll take a look the Biblical reasons of how this matches up.
Have a great week.