The Marriage Bill of Rights
Many people have told us their marriages no longer feel alive. We call these marriages “zombie marriages.” No matter how many stakes are driven through its heart, it will continue to stumble forward. No matter how strong a union was when it was formed, many begin to take on an almost zombie-like quality. People just get in a routine. They go on automatic.
That sounds to us like settling for far too little. You can’t let your mate use excuses like the demands of children, or work, or both as a complete cop-out in your marriage. You have the right to expect some things from your marriage that you cannot get, or should not seek, outside of it. We propose that you measure your marriage against our Marriage Bill of Rights. We believe that if your marriage is failing in even one or two of the areas listed in this chapter, you have serious problems. If your marriage is failing in four or more of the ten areas, you may even have irreparable marital problems.
Below are the first three of the ten Marriage Bill of Rights:
1. You have a right to expect loyalty from your mate. Your partner should not put loyalty to family or friends ahead of his loyalty to you, just as you can’t expect a neighbor or friend to put loyalty to you before loyalty to his own partner and family. You need to get loyalty from your mate.
2. You have a right to expect your mate to be your protector, to serve as a buffer between you and the difficulties of life. Who else is there to do this for you if not your mate? If you’re still relying on your parents to protect you from life’s hardships and vicissitudes, you are forced into remaining in a childlike roll
3. You have a right to expect affection from your mate. Everyone needs some degree of affection. If you don’t get it from your mate, where should it come from?
Excerpted from Chapter 2