What is a Normal Marriage, and Is That Good or Bad?

What is a Normal Marriage, and Is That Good or Bad?

Poorly dressed older couple joking with cigarsWhen I started this blog, I didn’t really explain what I meant by the term “normal marriage.”  I just jumped right into talking about marriage and never really addressed it.  In this post, let me correct that oversight and talk about what it means to have a “normal marriage.”

When you say the words “normal marriage” to people, you’re bound to get a reaction.  Initially, people laugh at the idea that there is such a thing as a “normal marriage.”  But after laughing, most people are curious and they want to know more.  People ask the same three questions…

  • “What is normal?” – Merriam-Webster.com defines “normal” as “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.”  Every marriage has it’s own regular patterns of thinking and behaving.  These patterns are shaped by our expectations, experiences, and influences, and these patterns become the norm for our marriage.
  • “Is there really such a thing as a normal marriage?” – There is not one “normal” that fits every marriage.  There are many versions of “normal.”  Because each marriage has it’s own repeating patterns of thinking and behaving, each marriage has its own version of normal.
  • “Is a normal marriage a good thing or a bad thing?” – When you ask if “normal” is good or bad, the answer depends on what you’re talking about.  If you’re talking about your blood pressure, “normal” is good.  If you’re talking about how good of a lover you are, then “normal” is not as good.  When it comes to marriage, whether you perceive “normal” as good or bad depends on your standard of comparison.  If you’re the victim of an abusive marriage, “normal” could sound good to you.  If you’re an extreme sport, adrenaline junkie, “normal” may not sound good to you.

The bottom line is that everyone has a “normal marriage.”  That’s right.  You can relax.  You have a normal marriage!  Every marriage has its own patterns of thinking and behaving that are the norm for that marriage.  The big question is not whether your marriage is “normal,” but rather is your brand of “normal” working for the two of you.

If your brand of “normal” is working for the two of you, then celebrate it.  Don’t become dissatisfied because you’re not like some other couple.

If your brand of “normal” is not working for the two of you, then…

  • Find out which parts are working and keep them.
  • Find out which parts are not working and tweak them.

Check out next week’s post to find out what you need to keep and what you need to tweak in order to have the best “normal marriage” you can have.

Leave a comment and tell us what having a “normal marriage” mean to you?

Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg

3 thoughts on “What is a Normal Marriage, and Is That Good or Bad?

  1. Hi,
    For me a marriage only becomes normal if both doesn’t stop understanding, forgiving and caring for each other. That’s what I call normal in a married life. Because we are only human beings that is why we constant change, but if you always fall in love with the same person that is a normal marriage.

    • These are great thoughts and targets. Your description of a “normal” marriage is what most people long for. But this doesn’t come naturally for most people. We often underestimate our own selfishness and the work it takes to get to this level of “normal.” That’s why (as your email address says) we must be mindful of our marriage and not let down our guard. Thanks for the comments. I always enjoy getting them.

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