“Experience shows us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction.”–Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We’ve been married for a little over six years, and one thing that we made sure during all these years is “Never walk in front of or behind each other. Always walk side by side.” There are moments when I want to rush ahead, when we’ve had a fight and I get out of the car and walk into the store without waiting for him. When my pride or my hurt is so great that I’d rather speed ahead of him to get where we’re going. Sometimes I also feel like sheathing behind him, being grumpy or just too lazy to cope up. But often we work out swiftly on such infantile issues and keep walking alongside each other. How valuable this togetherness is, we are gradually ruling out as our life keeps taking different twists and turns. And the only meaning of walking side by side is not just to walk beside one another, but also to approach life together. This all sounds easy to do but can be hard-hitting as well at times.

This all gets to the heart of some key realities of marriage, and I hope through elucidating how it specifically applies to us you will find how these truths apply to your own marriage. There are few questions we should ask ourselves frequently to ensure that we are keeping pace with each other in this walk through life.

Are you holding your partner back?

It’s quite normal to be entirely different from each other. Different choices, different dreams, different ambitions. We ourselves are quite opposite to each other in many aspects. Our brains operate very differently at times which causes us to butt heads on many occasions. This is quite common in a marriage and might leave us feeling left behind, upset or insecure sometimes. But what matters here is that we should find a way how to appropriately communicate our feelings, rather than let them color how we treat our spouses or lives together. We can’t dig in our heels, become aloof, or hold it all inside until we explode. When we behave in those selfish ways, we are only making it about ourselves and holding back our better halves. When it comes to ensuing your dreams, it is best to surround yourself with people who are uplifting and encouraging. We should try being that motivating person for each other. Don’t be the one holding him or her back, because more than anyone else, you recognize the potential inside your partner. Don’t be the reason he’s or she is not chasing their dreams. It’s important that we learn how to support each other in the best possible way.

Are you speeding ahead?

One of the hardest aspects of marriage, in my humble opinion, is dealing with change. The person you marry is not going to stay same for the entire course of your life together. People grow, change and that’s what life is all about. What creates tension in a marriage is when one person changes at a rate the other person either can’t keep up with or is resistant to. When we become clueless about those changes and refuse to accept them as part of our lives. Transformations keep taking place when we are moving forward in life, but what matters is the togetherness. We should make sure that our partners should be told and made comfortable about what’s happening around rather than leaving them in the dust. It’s important to make each other feel that we are together in everything, especially when approaching big changes in life like, changing careers, relocating, having kids, buying first home, or chasing dreams. It’s important to remember you’re in this together, just like when you are taking your kid on a hike up a mountain. They’re not at the same level as you, so obviously you aren’t just going to rum ahead and assume they’ll be right behind you. You got to check in on them from time to time and make sure they aren’t burnt out.

If your spouse is being your support system, giving wings to your dreams, letting you be what you want to and making sacrifices of their own to support you, be cognizant of all those sacrifices, love and support. Be respectful of whatever time they are spending to make your dreams come true. And amongst all this never forget to check on them as well. What are your partner’s dreams? Do they still have time and opportunity of their own to pursue their passions? If all of their energy is put into making your dreams come true, you could be leaving them behind. It might feel like you’re in this together, but on the other hand your partner might not be progressing the same way you are. He or she might be trying hard to run alongside you, potentially losing bits of him or her self in the process. If they are struggling to keep up with you, they can’t feel like a true partner and I am sure each one of us want to be standing together when we reach the top of the mountain, right?

Are you walking together?

What does this look like in a marriage? What does walking together really means?  Well, according to me and my husband, it means having that united front in the journey of life, it means looking in the same direction, being there for each other at every step. Walking together is not always being on same page or agreeing on same things. Often our biggest disagreements in marriage come from a difference in how we value certain things in life. But even when you can’t get on the same page, get on the same chapter. Walking side-by-side in marriage means that you’re making sure the dream you have for your life together aligns, so that you are walking in the same direction. In case you’re having same kind of disagreements over and over, it might be a vision issue where you both need to stop and assess your respective outlooks, come on a common ground, smile, grab your partner’s hand and keep walking.

For my hubby, and me it’s always been about being together when it comes to growth, change, dream chasing and marriage. We really think it is not that complicated, but remember simple isn’t always easy. But a little effort goes a long way. Just don’t hold each other back, and don’t drag each other along. Love each other, care for each other, and support each other. Feel lucky to be a part of someone’s precious life. Walk side-by-side. Hold hands. Face the world together and stay married happily.

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