Significant Other

S

Happy Fourth of July!!
Folks in the US celebrate Independence Day today. This has me thinking about the phrase “significant other.” Give me a moment to make the connection.
Independence is a big deal here, and we’re well into yet another upswing in its importance. Americans do not like to be told what to do.
In World War II, most folks gave up a whole bunch of personal independence to secure their collective independence. Today, though, personal independence is on an upswing. The internet (an incredibly interdependent bit of infrastructure) has given us all more opportunities to assert our independence.
Managers are advised to give a lot more autonomy to their employees or lose the best ones. People in droves are seeking self-employment, risking (and in most cases losing) large chunks of their previous incomes. And it is not just the ones made suddenly independent by an employer who could no longer afford their services.
The more we seek independence, the more we resent obligation. Even our commitments chafe against our independent streaks and threaten our ability to do as we please.
And this is how we arrive at significant others: our husbands, wives, and life partners. What makes them significant? Is it what they can do for us? Or is it what we are willing to obligate or commit ourselves to do for them, harnessing our independence in service to something bigger than ourselves to create soul-satisfying meaning?

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

Read About

Recent Comments

Popular Posts

Visit Patty’s Other Site

Enjoy Being Married logo

Archives

Social Media