What Does Freedom, or Independence, Mean For Your Relationship?
Here are the TOP 3 Reason that Freedom is BETTER than Independence in a couple relationship.
1. Freedom allows you to be your own ‘best self’ and the relationship is still protected whereas Independence in relationship often requires a ‘one up, I am better than you’ mindset.
While a sense of who you are as your own man/woman is important that sense of oneself has often been the hook that gives a person a reason to put one step out of the “door.” Independence in this case is not relational, but discriminating. Even our own Declaration of Independence in 1776, though a good thing, was about walking away. Most of the fractured relationships that enter our doors can be mended, and free to be them.
Freedom is the freedom to be yourself within your relationship. Freedom allows you to be an equal contributor to the wonder of your relationship. Freedom allows one to ask, “I have both feet in the door, now what can we do together?” That’s who we are supposed to be as citizens in the United States. That’s who we are supposed to be as couples. Monique and I know hardship, but also knowing that we have each other has allowed hope to grow through hardship. Imagine being free to hope.
2. Freedom allows for growth, changes, differences of opinion, and personal choices WITHIN the relationship which builds healthy, distinct individuals, whereas Independence may allow for those changes but often at the expense of the relationship (challenging the other person’s decisions).
Independence says, “I can do what I want, when I want.” In a sense, that’s what our Declaration stated we are worthy of … a pursuit of happiness. Our Constitution provides the framework for independence and says that our rights cannot overwhelm or steal rights from others. Freedom gives us power to pursue together as United States.
Freedom says that your rights do not need to overwhelm or overtake the rights of another person … in other words freedom within your relationship allows you to be who you are with all your smarts, creativity, beliefs, hopes, and dreams while still building a mutual dream together with all your smarts, creativity, beliefs, hopes and dreams. Freedom allows you to be an individual, and support the the individuality of your partner while also building something together, for each other, and the world around you. You can support the relational health and quality of your community if you strive for the health and quality of your relationship.
3. Freedom allows for boundaries to help PROTECT the relationship and the couple or family within, whereas Independence views ‘boundaries’ of the couplehood as rules or walls which can destroy the bonds of relationship which can be costly.
Independence views boundaries as rules – and as something to be challenged – rather than as something designed to protect those within. Our Declaration of Independence separated us from the rules of England because we found them restrictive, unfair, and wrecked the reasons we came to America – to have the freedom to be different. That independence cost us greatly in lives lost, money, and starting over. Independence in relationship also runs the risk of being much more emotionally, as well as financially, costly. Research shows that a couple often spends more money on their wedding event, and even more money at their split than they ever do during and for their relationship in process. Remember what it felt like to hope? When a person decides to split a relationship the amount of work, time, and finances involved can, and has broken many people, including many children of the divorcing couple. The emotional and financial costs of building a new life can be even more taxing on every front. How much is hope allowed to flicker if given to selfish ambition, or if you believe you, and only you are the center of the universe?
Relational freedom, on the other hand, protects the relationship with healthy boundaries which gives you the opportunity to tend to each other during hard times and build a dream in the good times. Monique and I have been building our dream over our more than 25 years together. Even now, building a business takes guts and often inspires worry, and creates exhaustion. If we didn’t have boundaries to make sure to tend to each other, it’d be easier to burn out. But we do have boundaries to protect our relationship, our business, and each other. I have my part to play and she has hers, but we strive with our hearts firmly attached to each other, and our hands clasped together. We’re free to dream, and free to live strong. But even when one of us is weak, the other is there to tend to me or her.
Freedom is … liberating! Learn to be who you are with your partner and you’ll be free to pursue happiness. Think only of independence, and you stand a great chance of fracturing happiness, and breaking your spirit.