Ask Leslie: Is life partnership the key to a successful marriage? 

life_partnership_marriage_will_smith_jada_leslie_montanile

DEAR LESLIE, 

With the Smiths in the headlines recently, I’m wondering is a life partnership the key to a successful marriage, but most importantly, what does a life partnership look like to today’s couple?

–  Asking for a friend

Dear Asking for a Friend..,

Firstly, I want to applaud Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for their successful marriage, life partnership, and willingness to be brutally honest with each other as to what works and what does not. For those who speculate, talk, challenge, and cast doubts – it is time for you to take a step back. Clearly, whatever they are doing is working, and they are happier for it. It’s important to note that the Smith family lives in the public eye. Moreover, as a result, they have been and will continue to be scrutinized to a level that the rest of us are not. The critics should always remember that you are not just affecting a couple but an entire family unit.

My husband of 23 years, who is also my business partner, and I share a wonderful life partnership that is the recipe for our successful marriage. When couples are willing to evolve together, accepting each other as each partner grows into their own skin and matures – can be a challenge at times – let us face it change can be frightening, denying change is worse. The truth is fear of the unknown paralyzes most, while those who embrace change and understand it as a part of life – will inevitably grow with their spouse enjoying a deeper level of love and trust and lifelong bond.

I often say that we allow our BFFs to be who they are accepting them with all their imperfections as they grow and change while still loving them unconditionally. However, we do not allow our spouses also to be who they are – never wanting them to change from the day we met them; for some reason, we have a different expectation for the same humanness we all share. Isn’t our spouse supposed to be our number one best friend?

Trying to keep your spouse in the same light from the day you met can be suffocating to your partner and the beginning of the end of the beautiful relationship you began a long time ago. Taking self-inventory and digging deep into what moves you and sharing that with your significant other while they do the same can lead to a healthier, life-long bond that cannot be broken by outsiders. In turn, it provides the recipe for a life partnership that some call marriage – while others do not. Nevertheless, the sanctity of the relationship remains the same.

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