Is a Stable Marriage Really Settling for Safe?
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a status from a guy about what makes a man propose to a woman. The post stated that a man will date, love, and have sex with a woman for years without marrying her if the relationship lacks stability.
In the post, he defined the word stability to mean having a peace of mind and to be able to build a family or establish success with a life partner. What was interesting is that a lot of people, men and women alike, associated the word stability as meaning boring, safe, lacking passion, or stagnant. As a married man, I can assure you that we don't associate stability with any of those definitions.
A quick Google search shows that the literal definitions for "stable" are:
not likely to give way or overturn; firmly fixed.
not deteriorating in health after an injury or operation.
sane and sensible; not easily upset or disturbed.
While the second definition clearly doesn't apply (or at least it shouldn't ) in the context of a healthy relationship, the first and last definitions resonate. When a man decides to ask a woman to marry him, its because he feels respected, he has peace, and a firm foundation has been established. In other words, the relationship is stable.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help shift the narrative from an unhealthy view to a flourishing perspective.
1. What a man needs to feel stable can vary.
Everyone, men and women, should have healthy non-negotiables. For example, my non-negotiables in my marriage are faith and a committed relationship. For me, as long as those two things are intact we can learn, grow, and build a healthy, loving marriage.
2. Stability doesn't mean boring or stagnant.
No one is looking for the Coming to America wife (if you haven't seen it, check out the clip below) who agrees with everything we say and do. At the same time, we also don't want the 180, either. A stable relationship involves honest communication in which even disagreements are handled with an open mind, open heart, and the willingness to listen to understand.
(This is safe! This is not what we want!)
3. A stable marriage doesn't mean you're settling for safe.
A stable wife can still be fun, adventurous, and outgoing. In fact, we dig that. She compliments our weaknesses and helps us become the best version of ourselves. In all honesty, there's nothing safe about letting our guards down and being vulnerable. However, knowing that we are safe to be ourselves and to approach our wives without being judged as she also challenges us to grow is an invaluable trait.
In a nutshell, having stability in your marriage is a good thing. It reflects mutual respect, unconditional love, and healthy communication habits. Stability also reflects a marriage in which self-care is at the core. Without making your own mental and emotional stability a priority, there's no way you can create it with someone else.