How much freedom there is in a marriage?

Love isn’t compatible with dependence and restricting freedom, but some people can’t understand how can freedom exist in a marriage. They behave as if their partner is their private property which they have to guard from “intruders”, they turn into guards for each other and they imagine that once they get married, the freedom to be yourself, to follow your dreams, to have time and personal space ends.

Therefore, the only responsibility is for the family (even when there are no children) - that is to work for the family’s wellbeing and to care for your partner’s happiness. If the husband isn’t happy when his wife has hobbies that don’t include him, she has to give them up. If the wife doesn’t agree that her husband has other interests besides his job and their home, the husband has to give them up.

Any hobby, interest, desire would have a partner, if it doesn’t include the other one, it must be discouraged and forgotten because it represents a danger to the family. We do everything together or we don’t do anything at all. Everyone feels entitled to control their partner, to have absolute authority, to manifest their possessiveness. They time each other how long it takes to get from work home, and if they come back later, they start a fight and accuse each other of betrayal.

We believe that only by a strict control we can make sure that our partner will stay with us. Such relationships are built on a lack of trust and fear and not on love. In such relationships the feeling of being a prisoner is more and more present. Such couples don’t evolve, and sadness, depression, anxiety, mental suffering and physical illness often occur. Not to mention drinking problems or other addictions.

True love means freedom. True love means trusting your partner because when you trust a person you demonstrate two essential things:

- that whatever they decide to do with their life and any choice they will make, you love them enough to give them freedom and respect the path they choose to take.

- you love and enjoy giving love, without being dependent, without being selfish, without trying to limit their freedom, their being and their life just to please you and meet your needs.

True love also means trusting yourself and trusting that every day your partner will continue to choose only you to be by their side. That they come back home because they want so and not because you're stressing them with phones, messages, threats and other forms of emotional blackmail and manipulation.

Without trust there is no love, but there is something else - dependence, selfishness, egocentrism, a need for control, a lack of self-confidence, fear of abandonment and so on.

Most couple relationships based on symbiosis, dependence, fear, possessiveness don’t rely on trust. Nor on love because love needs freedom to flourish.

In such situations, the partners remain caught in the "security" of a relationship they are dependent on, refusing to follow their dreams or experiencing life with everything it has to offer. Not because they don’t want it, but because they are afraid of what they might lose.

They develop a rich inner world, they spend a lot of time daydreaming, but in their everyday lives they just do what is right. They are unadventurous and lead a regular life, but they have unsatisfied desires within. Over time they become more and more sad, depressed, frustrated, emotionally unstable. They even start to feel resentment or hatred towards the partner they are dependent on. They see him/her as their prison guard. But even though they feel what they feel, they have no courage to follow their inner voice.

Caught between the need for safety and their unfulfilled inner dreams, they live their life in a blase way, compromising and sacrificing. They would like to fly, but they are afraid of the uncertainty of the unknown, so they tie their wings and continue to exist, not to really live.

How would it change the reality of most couple relationships if we understood that a relationship in which there is no freedom is a prison where we hold each other prisoners and for which we pay all this time at the cost of our lives?

If we understood that no one leaves a partner who respects them, who understands that the freedom to be yourself is the most important one in a relationship, who encourages you to follow your dreams and feel fulfilled on all levels of your existence .

From a prison, sooner or later,  we are always tempted to escape. And in a prison love fades away and dies or turns into resentment and hate. And when a person has enough they leave anyway - they get a divorce or they emotionally distance themselves and a sad shared loneliness is being born.

How do you choose to relate to the idea of a relationship?

Dr. Ursula Sandner

 

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