Most important life experiences are rooted in paradox. They have the quality of giving and taking simultaneously. Having children, for example, gives great pleasure and meaning while, at the same time, reducing familiar pleasures and generating routines that are often difficult to find meaningful. Marriage limits freedom while creating a depth of freedom that can't be found anywhere else.
Paradox offers a wonderful opportunity for personal growth provided we are willing to hold both sides of the paradox equally. In other words, if I devote all of my attention to the limitations that marriage brings and none to the freedom it offers, I will develop a skewed sense of the experience of marriage. I have to hold limitation and freedom in the same space and time in order to deepen my understanding of marriage.
Genuine growth, particularly in the realm of relationships, requires an ability to embrace the intricacies and complexities of an experience. Paradox is, necessarily, characterized by intricacy and complexity. It is, therefore, an ideal environment within which personal growth can take root. To avoid the experience of paradox in favor of the illusion of clarity is to avoid an opportunity to deepen one's life.
Jake Thiessen, PhD
I've been working with couples for a very long time. And, I love it! This blog is my attempt to communicate some of the things I've learned over the past 40 years.