In order to save your marriage, you have to reconnect with your spouse. But what do you connect? Do you connect your characters or your souls (see last post for definitions)?
If you try to connect your characters, you’re “looking for love in all the wrong places.” You may have the best intentions. You and your spouse may put forth a valiant effort. You may learn to get along better and fight less. But connecting your characters so they are compatible will not result in a great marriage or fulfillment in your life. Love is a result of a core connection. That’s what it means to be soul mates. That’s how to reconnect with your spouse.
Compatibility is a worthy objective for friends, acquaintances, and business associates. It’s important to learn how to get along with people. It’s even important to extend a special effort to improve your compatibility with certain people such as your family, your boss, or your office colleagues. But compatibility is not the objective of marriage, and it certainly doesn’t lead to profound love.
Imagine walking in New York City and someone in their car rolls down their window and asks, “Excuse me, but could you tell me how to get to the London Bridge?”
Sometimes we’re in the wrong place asking the wrong question. If you’re in a car in New York City, you can’t get to the London Bridge. And if you’re focused on compatibility, you can’t get to transformative love.
Most of us were raised with a Calvinist work ethic and taught that we can accomplish anything if we try hard enough. But success in some things is not a function of effort. Sometimes it’s a matter of wisdom. If you’re driving in New York City, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to get to the London Bridge, you won’t get there. But with a little wisdom, you could make your way to the airport and be at the London Bridge within twenty-four hours.
Everyone wants to make their marriage work . But most couple’s efforts for love are actually efforts for greater compatibility. But improving compatibility to find love is like driving in New York City looking for the London Bridge. You won’t find it. You’re in the wrong place.
I remember trying desperately to solve our marriage problems. My wife and I were very frustrated with each other. The harder we tried, the more stressed-out we felt. Every time we talked about a problem, not only did we fail to resolve it, but we ended up fighting too. Our efforts to make things better kept making matters worse.
The turning point for us was when we shifted our focus from improving compatibility to connecting at our cores. When we stopped dealing with our problems and started becoming soul mates, that’s when we found solutions.
Success in love takes more than work—it takes wisdom. You have to know where to direct your efforts. Transformative love occurs at your core. Direct your efforts there.