The Green Marriage

For many couples their idea of marriage can be summarized by the following analogy.

“I am a blue crayon and my partner-to-be is a yellow crayon and when we get married we’ll be thrown into a melting pot where all our differences will disappear. We’ll merge into one nice, warm, cozy, green blob.”
Here are some comments that indicate an individual wants a green marriage:
  • I want my partner to think of me 24/7. If they think of anything but me he/she doesn’t love me.
  • I can’t stand being away from my partner. Even when they go to the bathroom I feel abandoned.
  • If my partner doesn’t return my hug, glance, longing look, wink, or kiss in the grocery store they don’t love me.
  • My partner is my soul mate, my oxygen, my all in all.
  • My partner dreamed of someone else last night and I’m devastated.
  • I can’t stand it when we don’t share everything.
  • My partner wouldn’t talk to me; they’re so mean!
  • There’s no more “I.” We are now a “We” and that’s that.
  • I can’t live without my partner.
  • To eradicate any differences between us I’ll sacrifice my preferences so we’re “one.”
  • To eradicate any differences between us I’ll make my partner sacrifice their preferences so we’re “one.”
  • My yellow partner doesn’t want a green relationship. They just want us both to be yellow.
  • Of course we’re green: the Bible says “two become one.”
If you’re asking yourself, “What’s wrong with these comments?” it’s likely you love green relationships. I don’t get to dictate what color anyone’s marriage is, so if green works, fine. However, here are some comments that indicate the green marriage isn’t working.
  • I dare not tell my partner I had a good day at work least they get jealous, fly into a rage, or get depressed.
  • I can’t even go to the bathroom without a fight, for crying out loud.
  • Of course I didn’t return their knowing glance in the grocery store. I was pricing eggplants.
  • My partner’s moods depend on me and I feel trapped, smothered, manipulated, or guilted into keeping them happy.
  • I was asleep, for Pete’s sake. I can’t control what I dream about.
  • We don’t share DNA, fingerprints, gender, histories, preferences, or eye color but I dare not remind them of this.
  • Of course I didn’t talk to my partner; I was knocked out during surgery.
  • I don’t get to be me anymore? Have I been swallowed up in a cosmic ether of “oneness” (reminding me of the Buddhist who said to the hot dog vender, “Make me one with everything”).
  • I seriously fear that if anything happened to me my partner would off themselves.
  • I wish to goodness my partner would make an independent decision, have a unique thought, or show some personality.
  • I live with a control freak who dictates my diet, schedule, religion, politics, taste in clothes, hair style, and tunes on my iPod.
  • My partner says they aren’t co-dependent, controlling, or “green,” but they go nuts if I make an independent decision.
  • Yeah, the Bible says “two become one,” but it doesn’t say we merge souls and become one soul in two bodies.
The state of being green is called being codependent, having blurred emotional boundaries, being emotionally fused, lacking ego strength, and having a dependent personality disorder. The process of getting out of a green marriage is called individuation, differentiation, growing up, and reaching emotional maturity. Helping green marriages return to a healthy blue and yellow relationship is one of the funnest things I do as a marriage counselor. I coach the smothered partner learn independence, and I coach the smothering partner to deal with fear of abandonment. It’s a difficult process but one that reaps huge rewards.
NOTE: I apologize if you were hoping this blog post was about recycling.
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