At some point in your ceremony you may have heard something to the effect of "two becomes one," that your hearts and souls are joined together for all eternity, and perhaps that you're now joined in the eyes of God. There couldn't be any stronger bond, right? You're joined in God's eyes! While this sounds blissful, it's not entirely true, and that paradigm can be the source of many challenges.
You'll live together. Go places together. Dream together. You may have children you raise together. But you are still individuals, with different experiences and ways you perceive information. You come from different backgrounds. You work in different jobs. You have different relationships with friends, coworkers and others in social media. All that means that the two of you are growing and changing all the time, and perhaps not at the same time, pace or way.
There may be times in your relationship where you feel out of sync because of this, thinking your partner just doesn't "get" you anymore. There may be times when something that never affected your spouse now seems to be a sensitive subject. How did that happen? You thought the two of you were so compatible when you got married, and now you're not sure who they are anymore. These differences can be as small as what type of cereal they prefer now, or as large as whether they still agree on having children, for instance.
Don't fret! There's probably just some growing going on, and that's ok. Sometimes you're the one who's growing and your partner is the one who needs to catch up, and sometimes it's the reverse. Sometimes you grow in different directions, and that's ok too.
Being married is a lifetime commitment in which a couple promises to witness the other's journey through life, and to acknowledge it and accept each other as each is, not as we expect them to be. There's an old saying that a man marries a woman hoping she never changes and a woman marries a man hoping to change him. That never works.
Challenges often occur in relationships when we have expectations that are not communicated ahead of time, are not agreed upon, or someone fails to live up to them in our eyes.
What's the answer? Stay connected! Communicate. Don't attempt to change the other back, as you can't. The only person you can change is yourself, and how you respond in situations.
Finding that sweet spot of where two becomes One while maintaining their individuality and their own life journeys is part of the good stuff we call marriage. Give each other permission to experience life in your own way and share that with each other, and you'll find much more satisfaction in your relationship.
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.