Community//

Becoming a “We”

How getting married changed everything

I was 29 years old when I married my wife Erin.  This meant that I had 28 years to become accustomed to me being the center of my universe.  Now, this is not to say that I had rejected altruism and the awareness that the most important thing in life was not myself.  Yet, the luxury of singleness is being single.  I could come and go as I pleased, I could make decisions that were predominately centered around my own desires, and at the end of the day, my own counsel was king.  

Then, in my 29th year I met Erin and I slowly began to experience the revolutionary process of moving from solely being a “me” to also being a “we.”  The Italian neuroscientist Ammaniti and Gallese talk about this process in their book The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neuroscience, and Self.  They describe how the process of building loving bonds of attachment take two individuals from a “me to a we.”  What this means is a human relationship is joined in such a way that the two persons involved feel a deep biopsychosocial-spiritual connection that causes them to feel a profound sense of belonging with one another.  

Over the last 11 years with Erin I have found that my world does not just include my desires, thoughts, and intentions to act.  Rather, when I think about what I want, I also think about how this blends with what Erin wants.  When I make decisions I do not just consider my own voice but I take stock of what Erins’ voice may add to the process (This happens even if I am not with Erin talking about the impending decision.  I just have the conversation in my mind), and when I take action I do so in ways that reflect “what Erin would do too.”  

In all of this I have been brought into a new community of couplehood that I did not previously know.  I belong to, and with, someone else in a mystical manner that has altered how I desire, think, and act.  My whole life has been changed.  This change has allowed me to access new depths within myself and in discovering hidden truths about me, I am able to become a richer we with Erin.  Singer and Skerrett, in their book Positive Couple’s Therapy, call this process of dyadic joining, the development of a We-story.  I like this imagery.  Erin and I are creating something new, a story to be told about us.  I hope that as the years pass by we look back and have a sense that we have written a best seller.   

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.