The Brilliant Marriage

What is a brilliant marriage and how can you get one?
A brilliant marriage is one that works, first and foremost. It is a coupling of two people that is inspired, by virtue of the fact that they are so compatible, they are so in sync, they are the “best thing” that ever happened to the other and they bring out the best in each other.
A brilliant marriage may not necessarily be a marriage of equals, however. It is not so “equal” as you might expect. Equality, believe it or not, can doom a lot of unions. Because it fosters power struggle and score-keeping. “Equal” marriages are constantly in tension to make sure the balance of power stays fixed at par. That is not good for a marriage, necessarily; matter of fact, it can be very bad for it. A brilliant marriage is a lot more fluid than that. It does not keep score as much as other types of marriages. There are definitely roles. And the differences in gender or individuals are celebrated, not suppressed. But these marriages are fluid. They are elastic. They are flexible. It isn’t a question of equality that makes these marriages work. It is a question of contentment that comes from acceptance that comes from commitment that comes from trust that comes from knowing that comes from willingness to do the type of exploration that needs to be done, over the course of the relationship, to keep a certain equilibrium harmony to things. Yea, these marriages take work. But it is enjoyable work, never laborious.
Every brilliant marriage is racked with humor and tolerance, and very little ego between those two people. They don’t have to be “right” all the time; they can be wrong and they can admit it and they can manfully or womanfully atone for any wrongs they commit against the other (and being genuinely sorry means those mistakes or bad acts never occur again). Brilliantly married people listen to each other; they take action to correct stuff so that it doesn’t atrophy and rot and create unscrapable rust in their relationship.
I think a brilliant marriage is also one that harnesses its strength from within. It’s like this thing that evolves organically from within, like this magical flower; it is pollinated from within. In other words, they fix what’s wrong between them. They are the mechanics of that engine that drives that union and third parties are kept at a distance, except in very controlled circumstances.
Finally, the brilliant marriage knows that easy does it. They don’t try too hard. They just are. Like god. They just are. The marriage just, is. And they go with it; wherever it takes them.  They etch nothing in stone (except their commitment). Everything else gets written in pencil.
Originally published May 17, 2011