Over the last few weeks I have found myself reading this passage out loud in premarital counseling to several different couples. This passage has always resonated with me as I think this struggle between dependence and independence is at the core of many marital difficulties…and is central to the possibility of major growth in the marriage as well.

“It seems to me that the conflict which marriage uncovers is always essentially this same one: it is always some version of this tension between the needs for dependence and for independence, between the urge toward loving cooperation and the opposite urge toward detachment, privacy, self-sufficiency. Even to people who have dreamed for years about getting married and who think of themselves as hating to be alone, marriage still cannot help but come as an invasion of privacy. No one has ever been married without being surprised, and usually alarmed, at the sheer intensity of this invasion.” (Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage: Reflections on the Miracle, pp. 20-21)