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In in the last installment, I discussed with my client, Tara, how dynamics from childhood set the template for how we relate to others. This can be good and bad.

I also asked a series of questions:

1. Why is it important to know yourself before choosing a marital partner?


Emotional maturity means understanding your values, desires, and non-negotiables in a relationship. 

Dating is a process of experimentation and growth. Through trial and error, you learn what you want and need from a partner. Far too many people erroneously believe that a relationship’s success is defined by longevity. On the contrary, it may be healthier for a relationship to end—once both people learn that they are ill-suited for one another. 

This “failure” provides important information—that brings you one step closer to finding the right partner.  

2. What does this statement mean: “It’s each generation’s obligation to do better than the one that came before.

Each generation has a moral imperative--to carry forward positive traits and shed negative ones. Positive traits may include: kindness, honesty, hard work and trustworthiness. Negative traits include: addiction, untreated mental health issues, co-dependency, dishonesty, laziness or infidelity.

All families have both good and bad traits. As you engage in rigorous self-examination, your partnership has a better chance at prospering. You stop replaying familiar scripts. You can choose a different and healthier path—for the love of your partner and children.
 
3. How do traditional gender roles cause problems within a marriage?

In many relationships, the "feminine-energy" partner is often overwhelmingly responsible for childcare and domestic duties (i.e., cooking, cleaning, care-taking, errand-running, and shopping). This person may work full-time, while also balancing the lion’s share of domestic duties. 

The feminine partner is left tired, depleted and resentful. 

Masculine-energy partners may similarly feel overburdened by the responsibilities of providing for a family. They often feel at a loss as to how to “succeed" as leaders, parents and partners, especially if they never had role models growing up.

Common dynamics left unexamined often translate into emotional estrangement within a marriage. 

Relationships take work—including learning how to meet the needs of your partner. 

This generation has the opportunity to forge a new path—shedding outdated notions of “gender” roles. Women and men can work side-by-side together, especially as all work is valued equally.

The relationship prospers and children are given a model for healthy love.

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