The Three I’s of Marriage

by Dr. Alma Elizabeth de Torres y Sandoval

The foundation of a great marriage is to love G0d more than you love your spouse and he or she do the same. According to Mark Twain we should heed this statement, “When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” With G0d first in your heart, He will lead you to your soulmate.  The three I’s of marriage are individuality, interdependence, and intimacy

Individuality

Individuality is vital to a marriage because you must love yourself to know how to love your spouse. Another quote from Mark Twain reads as follows. “Men and women — even man and wife are foreigners. Each has reserves that the other cannot enter into, nor understand. These have the effect of frontiers.”  As is well known, men and women are different. I once heard it said that marriage can be viewed as 70% -30%.  Seventy per cent of what I know and understand about my husband, I cherish.  Thirty per cent I am still figuring out or have accepted as his ways.  This also works in reverse.

My husband may find 70% of my characteristics are acceptable and 30% are still in process in his brain. For example: my husband’s 70% to me is touch and words of affirmation, and his 30% includes leaving the cabinet doors open. Additionally, as the wife I perceive that my 70% to my husband includes words of affirmation, touch and acts of kindness, and my 30% involves times when I ask questions to his questions for clarity.  (He sometimes prefers that I just answer the question.)

Interdependence

Conversely, interdependence can and should coexist with individuality. Franz Schubert once wrote “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife (spouse).”  Friendship is a great part of the marriage relationship. Think of your spouse as your best friend and treat him or her accordingly.

Intimacy

When there are times of feeling disconnected in the marriage, intimacy may be the root cause. Physical and recreational intimacy are important aspects of marriage. Intimacy may be seen from various perspectives: Spiritual, intellectual, and emotional. Touch is vital in my marriage.  Holding hands and showing other forms of affection brings me closer to my husband.  Spending time together recreationally (ex. riding bikes) brings out another aspect of who we are in a different setting.  Growing spiritually intimate requires reading the Bible and praying together habitually. Knowing that when you learn something new and you can share it with your spouse, you can both show validation and interest in each other’s ideas. Emotional intimacy requires sensitivity and loving responses.  “… (caring for) our spouse (in the areas noted), even when we ourselves feel out of touch, is the key to feeling this sort of genuine, robust connection. This type of connection does more than give us warm and fuzzy feelings for a moment. It helps ground us in the intimate love of the one in whom our connection is eternal and unfailing: G0d himself (Josh Squire).”

Unity

Mark Twain pointed out that “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” Love is shared and brings about unity to the marriage.  As stated above the three I’s of marriage include individuality, interdependence, and intimacy.  Marriage is a work in progress and requires incessant vigilance.

Dr. Alma Elizabeth de Torres y Sandoval

Resources

Quotes from the literature written by Mark Twain were retrieved from https://www.azquotes.com/author/14883-Mark_Twain/tag/marriage

The quote from Franz Schubert was retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/franz_schubert_325151

The article written by Josh Squires was retrieved from https://www.desiringG0d.org/articles/marital-intimacy-is-more-than-sex

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