“What is your deal breaker?” the speaker at the conference asked. I was taken a back; and this hooked me I had never imagined that this would ever be a point of discussion.
She (the facilitator) continued to share her story. She and her hubby, married just over 15 years with three kids. They looked like the perfect couple. I wanted that. I wanted a marriage that would make sense like theirs. They kept it simple. They stood up there and took us through their session, my mind wandered.
I had never thought of my deal-breaker. I had never told my wife “If you ever did X I will leave you”. The more this mulled in my mind I could see the sense in it. It is important to have your head on your shoulders in the relationship. What deal breaker could ever make me call it quits? I was scared, I had never thought of it, and I am already in it. See, I am a planner; I am that guy who in most cases gets into the nitty-gritty details of most things. I had considered everything by the time we were getting married, but I always assumed that when I asked and she said yes, that she will never hurt me or do anything that will make me leave her.
We all have expectations of each other that we need to communicate to our partners. Unexpectedly we have all placed our expectations of each other very high, hence the reason why we get hurt so quickly. Our expectations have not been met. I thought I had communicated everything to my wife, but here, we had never talked about this. The deal breaker. Then I asked myself, is it even right to think about a deal breaker?
Just then the facilitators began sharing their deal breakers. Not only did they share this they went ahead to talk about how they had both dishonoured the deal breaker. I was intrigued, because they were still together. So then I asked myself, what’s the point of the deal breaker?
You see, a relationship, marriage is a commitment. Nobody is perfect. The moment we realise that fact that the commitment is between you and your spouse, and that it requires work, then there is no need for the prenup/deal breaker. I concluded that deal-breakers are silly. This couple talked through their troubles and were willing to work on their weaknesses, where he was not meeting her needs and where she was not meeting his needs. And this is when it made total sense.
I did a post about understanding each other and another post about friendship. This is foundational. The next thing in a relationship that make things work, communication. Communication is key. Listening, keeping an open mind, responding (in that order). It sounds trivial, but I saw a couple 15 yrs married having gone through “hell and back” twice, but they looked stronger than ever.