Married to the Enemy: A Guide to Overcoming the Obstacles to Intimacy When We Are Raised in a Culture that Uses Sexism and Stereotyping to Divide Us
Much of “Married to the Enemy” is about the authors individual and couple journey. By sharing their personal enlightenment on how our culture and family impacts our attitude with the opposite sex, we learn how to go from devaluing each other to a more respectful and honoring relationship. Throughout the book, the authors ask questions for you to reflect on to see how you may have developed a gender filter that keeps you from creating the intimacy that you would like to have with your partner. Good relationships are reciprocal, so the authors also provide an inventory that looks at how healthy the reciprocity is in your relationship. Ultimately, by accepting yourself and your partner as you really are, not as the gender culture says you should be, you are guided towards loving authentically. In loving genuinely, you can now experience the rewards of a love-based relationship, not a power-based one.
Meeting someone is a start; continuing a relationship with that person is progress; working together to create a positive and loving atmosphere is success. We come into this world with as much as half of our personality and inclinations present at birth. When we grow up with strong and excessive gender lines, these natural inclinations and personality tendencies tend to get blurred with what our interests should be and the type of personality we should have, whether it is true to our nature or not. For example: “I’m tough and can handle anything” image for a boy, and “I’m sexy, sweet, and submissive” image for a girl. These gender lines often leave us feeling like we are married to an opponent instead of a friend. Many couples may inadvertently begin playing a game of chess... looking to get the upper hand over the other. Imagine loving authentically, positively, and with acceptance. Imagine seeing the individual in front of you without the limitation of contrived gender expectations. How might you connect? What might you discover about your human commonality?