If you think getting married means you will live happily every after, guess again. Every  bed of roses has a few thorns. Nothing in life has only one side.

Life in its very nature is dualistic. A coin has a head and a tail. Day is followed by night and joy is followed by sorrow.

John Denver sang a song about the duality of life called All This Joy. The words remind me that all the things are both pain and pleasure. The chorus goes like this:

All this joy, all this sorrow
All this promise, all this pain
Such is life, such is being
Such is spirit, such is love

People are often drawn to relationship for all the goodies it brings. That initial rush of oxytocin is highly addictive as we fall in love with the person of our desires. Weddings are such wonderful celebrations.

When the rush starts to subside, that same relationship might not feel so good. People start asking if their mates are the right ones. Is this all? What happened to the romance? What happened to that loving feeling?

The relationship begins to look like a battleground, scrapping over “little things”, avoiding each other, needing a break. That’s when the real work begins.

The real work is about healing old wounds and guess what? Your significant other is the mirror that will show you where all the hurt is hidden.

The deeper you dive into relationships, the more scabs get ripped off  old wounds. Hurts long buried rise to the surface and  you get another chance to heal them. Sometimes you will scream, “OUCH!” (or cuss like a sailor depending on your style).

To know the joy, you must also experience the sorrow. If life is always  blissful, you might be missing opportunities for deeper love.

How would your experience of your partner change if you faced every problem as an opportunity to become more open and authentically you?

Jane Wolfe is an artist and an improviser guiding individuals and groups to find their own unique gifts and express their unique talents and wisdom. Life is not scripted. We live with the unplanned and unexpected. Jane discovered the art of improvisation as a metaphor for life. It teaches individuals how to react and respond to life’s opportunities and challenges in a way that invokes the best of their creativity, innovation, communication, teamwork and leadership.