One day before I was married, my soon to be wife, Carla, asked me what I expected/wanted in a marriage.  I told her togetherness and understanding.  Of the two, togetherness was and still is the most important thing to me.  To be understanding means that you have to get out of yourself and consider the other person.  You have to try to comprehend or even empathize with their perspective on things…even on you. We’ll talk about understanding in another post.  Right now let’s talk about togetherness.

That word “togetherness” can mean different things to different people.  This is where understanding comes into play, i.e., being aware of your spouse’s perspective. When I use the word togetherness in a marriage relationship, I am referring to an intimate union of the husband and the wife at a level much deeper than function or spatial.  It is more than doing things together or being in the same place.  Togetherness means that the couple is on a life journey intimately bound together as one in soul and spirit.  They are experiencing life together as one.  Even here the term can still be ambiguous.  I have found that people tend not to think in terms of intimacy, but functionality.  For example, we use the term “dysfunctional family” to mean that they outwardly do not get along or there are issues with them.  We tend to assume that if a family can work well together that they are indeed together.  That is not necessarily true based on what I mean by “togetherness.”

Someone posted an article on Facebook several years ago with a title, “Cell Mates or Soul Mates” (or something like that. It’s been a while).  That title reveals the concept of togetherness that I am trying to explain.  A person who is a cellmate with their spouse is just someone who participates in the daily grind of responsibilities in the household.  They go to work, clean the house, wash dishes, plan a vacation, etc.  That is no different than people working together on a job.  Fellow employees are not necessarily intimate with you in the sense that they are really involved with you on a soul or spiritual level.  They just function like machines to get the job done. That’s how a lot of marriages are from my observations.

Togetherness is manifested when the couple talks to each other about each other, their plans, passions, feelings, etc.  They are involved with each other and not merely “where will we go on vacation.”  We might use the phrase, “They are into each other.”  Their love is manifested by the fact that they are digging deeper into each other in their soul, body, and spirit.  They are truly one.  However, this oneness is challenged when children are on the scene.  Lots of time is spent with the children and not with the spouse.  A bond is being developed with the child at the expense of the marriage bond.  This, in my opinion, weakens the marriage relationship as friendships are weakened by long distances over a period of time.  Just listen to what couples talk about and notice what you and your spouse talk about.  More than likely your spouse talks more about the children or the job than he or she talks about things pertaining to the relationship.  or you.  True togetherness will give the relationship priority because the spouse is a priority.  You will share your life with each other and not merely life activities.  You will be one with each other as you travel deeper and deeper each day, month, and year into each other’s soul.

Togetherness is a force to be reckoned with when trouble or disagreement comes.  Togetherness if fueled by commitment so when trouble does come, and it will, the relationship is so strong because they are so much together, that they will naturally work things out.  If they are not together then challenges that have a separating effect will begin to do that to the relationship, namely separate. There is little resistance to keep it from affecting the marriage.  Togehternss opposes those negative, i.e., separating forces that come up from time to time.

So I believe that a major component of a healthy marriage is togetherness.  If a couple is not going to be together, then why get married.  If you are not going to commit to the relationship and be one as the bible says, then why marry.  Marriage demands togetherness.  However, it is rare to observe it.  Jesus said that the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches come in and choke the word.  The same things happen in a marriage.  The cares of the world, the responsibilities and duties of life, and the daily grind come in and chip away at the relationship until they are no longer one, but mere coworkers in what I call, Household, Incorporated.

Seek to be together with your spouse.  Talk to him.  Don’t talk to him about the job or a responsibility. Talk to him about…him, his plans and dreams.  Talk to her about her.  Get to know her passions and fears.  Get to know one another. Be intimate.  Have a great time together.  Have great sex together.  Have great love together.  Really have a life TOGETHER.

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