With all of the distractions, obligations, and personal pursuits in life, it can seem difficult to prioritize your partner. In fact, some believe it is downright impossible.
Huh? How can I possibly choose my partner first? What about my kids? What about my faith? What about my interests? What about ME?
In Chapter Two of Radical Marriage published by Relationship Coaching Institute, it highlight the Five Promises of Radical Commitment. In our view, this forms the cornerstone of any couple seeking to go beyond happily ever after. While each of the promises must be taken together, here we focus on The Second Promise: I promise to choose you first.
Come Sail Away with Me
David loves boats, sailboats in particular. He loves the water. He is most happy being on, in, under, or near the water. It’s part of who he is.
Darlene gets violently seasick. She is uneasy in the water. The thought of even stepping foot on a boat can elicit motion sickness. She naturally gravitates away from water.
What to do? Choose Your Partner First. A Radical Marriage means you are committed to each other, not to your own self-interests. It means you put your partner first.
Darlene, despite her feeling about the water, encouraged David to get a boat and made it her mission to conquer her fears. David, in turn, does everything in his power to make being on the boat comfortable for Darlene. There’s even talk about living on a houseboat someday, though David has made it clear that he chooses Darlene, with or without the boat.
We all have concessions to make. We all make sacrifices. We all need to let go of some things that we might want in order to be with a particular person. We need to put partner before pursuits. And we can consciously be happy with that or we can unconsciously never let go of that. We can decide to be happy and stay in the moment, or we can tolerate our situation day to day, staying in touch with how we are being denied what we really want, always slightly aware of how our life is not the way we want it to be.
On the other hand, you just might be surprised how happy you can be and where your relationship can go when you elevate your marriage above all else.
Staying Strong Together
Choosing your partner first doesn’t mean you are not prioritizing yourself, your family, or anyone or anything else. It’s NOT either/or, it’s both/and. This simply means you recognize that you, your family, and your kids will be much happier and better off if you and your partner are a solid, unbeatable team and have a strong couple partnership IF you both prioritize each other’s happiness and you each choose the other first.
If, for example, you put your kids first, you have a kid-centered household and that tends to not work very well for anyone. The kids get spoiled and the partner gets resentful because they end up living parallel lives. Choosing your partner first, always, above everything, is a form of radical commitment, which benefits all who are under its influence.
Still, this concept can be especially tough for women, who may feel they are choosing the man over the child. This is not the case. It’s a matter of prioritizing the relationship and the partner. Do you want your partner to choose YOU first? Most would say “YES!” True partners must be a team, which ultimately results in more empowered children.
Choose Your Partner First, Always
Radical Marriage starts with making your partner the most important person in your life and not taking him or her for granted. You don’t put anything else above your partner—not work, not home, not family, friends, kids, hobbies, boats—nothing. You choose your partner first, always.
2015 Relationship Coaching Institute, LLC, , adapted with permission.
I am a certified relationship coach with Relationship Coaching Institute. Find out how I can support you and your partner in strengthening your relationship here.
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and has most recently completed her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, Orgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.