the we factor

hey here's a question? to we or not to we?
I've noticed myself saying "we" a lot lately even when I'm referring to something not necessarily jordan related. someone even asked me the other day when I happened to we, we, we-ing all who was the  "we" was I referring to. then, aftering I read this funny glamour article and I really got thinking about my identity. (as me and as part of a we)

I've always been part of a big team. I have a big family and lived with multiple roommates prior to marriage. I guess I've always in some way identified myself as part of a group. so we just comes naturally. but, I also really value independence and individuality.

as I was pondering my thoughts and questions about all that identity stuff I started clicking through some of my favorite blogs for insight. I'm a pretty regular reader of blog about love. most of the time I find it to be a great resource. I loved this post about how to make your marriage its best. so I wrote down all my feelings and sent the kofoeds a lengthy email (excerpts below):

as I've reflected on marriage I've often struggled with the balance of one particular issue. I battle with myself over my tendency to link my feelings of happiness, worth, and adequacy to others (especially my husband). I absolutely recognize those things should be greatly determined by myself and God rather than my other relationships and I'm mindful of my need to work on that. so while I understand that what I make of my life is entirely up to me I also know that I am sealed to my husband for this life and the next which makes everything I do more than just an individual action. it's been hard for me to reconcile, because in someways it seems contradictory to be bound to another on an individual journey, but I obviously understand the reasoning and I'm glad to have a partner in life. i feel blessed and undeserving to call him mine.

trying to navigate the balance between being forgiving, loving, and flexible while feeling that I am maintaining my independence, individuality and identity has been a bumpy road. how do you navigate/maintain balancing your identity and independence with your loving bond to your spouse? 

a few weeks later I got some insights back (excerpts below)
Hello Kaitlyn, 

This is a really great question, that perhaps deserves diving into a little bit more in a post at some time.  I suppose there's quite a bit that I could write, or that Mara could write, but perhaps much of it has already been written before, as you've already stated.

It's true, we not only focus on this principle in the blog, but truly believe it is important to LIVE it each day - that our happiness and well being needs to be independent of our spouse.  If it isn't, then perhaps to a certain degree our happiness doesn't actually exist.  That's stating it a little strongly, but I think it makes a valid point. 

One insight - Mara and I have found that this focus on independence and personal strength actually increases the bond we feel for each other.  Primarily because it no longer becomes a bond of neediness, it is no longer a bond based on being fulfilled by the other person.  You're almost saying to the other person....I love you enough to not be offended by your sharpness when you have a bad day.  

So...pretend your husband has a stressful day or is just a little off on a particular night.  He says something that could easily be interpreted as unkind (and perhaps it truly is)...but when your wellness isn't based on him and how he treats you that day....instead of getting defensive or being sharp or unkind right back...you can be still...you realize this may not have anything to do with you at all, the thought comes to your mind that if he was currently at his best, he probably wouldn't say something like that.  You have compassion for him and wonder what you can do for him.  

So...that's why you need to be whole all on your own...because otherwise you'll never be able to truly offer your spouse the love they actually need on a bad day...you'll be too busy defending yourself regarding something that was never about you to begin with...it was the stress of the day.  

One thing that I live by - I cannot always control my circumstances (nor what others say to me), but I can control my reactions.  That is my one great freedom, the one thing that is 100% mine.  Choosing stillness, forgiveness, patience, compassion, etc...gives me unbelievable freedom. 

One thing I promise...individual wholeness only creates MORE love, not less.  

so let's talk about it. how do you choose stillness, navigate independence, and find ways to strengthen your marriage?

and while we are on the topic of marriage, this is FANTASTIC advice. some of the best.


  1. This was a great post. thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh I loved this! Said so perfectly!!

  3. I whole-heartedly agree with Danny. I once attended an EFY lesson where the teacher taught about relationships and types of relationships, co-dependent, inter-depedent, etc. And the teacher said the same thing - that two whole, healthy people have the best, healthiest relationship. that being said, i think it is and always will be, at least for me, a work in progress to become a whole, healthy person. i struggle to define my happiness solely on myself and God. BUT when I am in a good place, my marriage is in the best place. So, you know, i'm basically just repeating all that you already know in a really, ridiculously long comment. Sorry!

  4. I sincerely enjoyed this post and the reflection it allowed me. Also, the link to article at the end was brilliant and offered some great advice that I've received before but definitely needed reminding of.


thx a mill


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