Does the Rain Drive the Mood or Does the Mood use the Rain

 In What is Marriage

Does the Rain Drive the Mood or Does the Mood use the Rain in Marriage Conversation:

Early rainy Monday morning: Does the rain drive the mood or does the mood use the rain? Going inward.


What marriage needs is a new big idea. We’ve tinkered with relationship competency for a long time now and that’s been helpful. We are increasingly focusing on marriage education as a much needed prophylactic arming couples with information and skill sets that increase their ability and capability in embracing their marriage. We’ve even conducted research that points to the positive consequences of good marriages – healthier finances, healthier people, better communities, safer children. (for more on this check out )

Divorce for the most part looks like exhaustion. Weary people traveling the same old paths tend to give up. I don’t blame them. It’s like having forty straight days of rain. This morning’s rain, however, has taken me towards spring – the rain is warm and gentle and, here in Southern California, we’re eager for its recuperative possibilities. This morning’s rain isn’t exhausting it’s regenerative.

Within marriage, whether we realize it or not, we work with ideas. What we expect, what we think of each other, what we dream of, what we want to see manifested in our lives – all these are idea based. We like to think that the next big idea in the marriage conversation will be this: marriage is based on a model of reality, a paradigm or idea structure which informs how you think about what you’re doing in your marriage.

The marriage paradigm most of us live within comes (unconsciously we think) from our culture (parents, educators, health professionals, religious leaders) and it’s an old one. It hasn’t really been challenged except by those who would discard it for something that looks a lot like chaos to me. More on that later.

Our marriage paradigm is cobbled together from 12th century ideas of romance, 16th century ideas of property protection – giving the church a voice in protecting women and children – and the all too familiar 20th century grand party called today a wedding.

A new paradigm is needed. One that wouldn’t discard protection of women and children and wouldn’t discount the deliciousness of romance but instead would offer a structure each of us could not only believe in, but also work over time to create the kind of relationship each of us hoped for when we said ‘I do.’ We introduce it in With These Rings (published last year) and amplify it in the soon to be released “From Marginal to Magnificent: How to make your Marriage Sing.”

You are invited to become part of this ongoing conversation by becoming part of a community of married, soon to be married, long term marrieds and anyone else interested in the primary lynch pin of a healthy world. Write and tell us what you think.

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