The word “stable” reeks of cable knit sweaters and calling each other “Dear.” It sounds, well, dusty. I don’t want to be dusty or dull. Far from it! I want to be sexy, fun, risk-taking, flirty, even dangerous…in my own way. I want to run down the pier screaming for joy and cannonball into the lake.

But the more I thought about it, I realized that a “stable” relationship is actually a pretty worthy goal. Stable does have an appeal, at least to me. Here’s how I see it: 

Less fighting. More laughter
Less walking away. More hugging. 
Less “OMG!” More “Oo la la.” 

In other words, I think there would be a lot more of one special thing in a stable relationship: happiness. Why? Because the very definition of stable is less easily upset or disturbed. That sounds fabulous to me. Let’s talk about it.

You: I want an exciting relationship. Stable sounds really boring.

Me: I guess it could be dull if you let it be. But like I said, that’s certainly not what I want, need or desire. The opposite of stable is unstable, which means “prone to change, fail, or give way.” If my marriage falls apart, that is the definition of NOT boring. It also sounds painful, and that’s not what I want. 

You: We’re pretty emotional people, but I do get tired of these constant “discussions.”

Me: The enemy of stable is emotional reactions. Emotions aren’t bad. It’s excellent to be aware of your feelings and talk about them honestly. When we get really emotional, sometimes we don’t want to listen and we get centered in “me” rather than “we.” That’s an uncomfortable place to be. For me, that’s when I end up feeling distant from DH. Alone in a marriage. A calmer discussion benefits both of us and makes emotional progress. 

You: But you’re always going to argue with your spouse.

Me: Yes, there are going to be things that you disagree on in your relationship, and some of these things will persist throughout your entire marriage. You are two different people and you have different backgrounds, values and opinions. For instance, the main area where DH and I disagree is about the kids, and some of those disagreements are not going to go away. Ever. We both understand that we are different people and that we can only go so far with some arguments because there is no solution. So we wave the white flag until next time.

Other areas in our life lend themselves to compromise, like money. This is one area that we can find areas to agree on, listen to a different point of view, and come to a resolution. This is when I lift my arms and sing in my wobbly angel voice — ”Aaahhhhhhhhhh!”– and say, “Hallelujah! We actually agreed on something or came to a conclusion!” 

Can you argue and still have a stable marriage? Of course. It’s just the way that you argue that makes the difference. If you have a base of trust and respect, along with emotional maturity and wanting the best for your partner, you’re on the right track. Although at the moment, you may think they are the biggest idiot on the planet. 

Is a stable marriage perfect? No
Is a stable marriage conflict-free? No
Is a stable marriage roses and violins every day? Hell no. 

Let’s be realistic here. A stable marriage is a daily chore (yes, I said chore) and it’s more about giving than receiving some days. But if it’s a two-way street, the stability will be an underlying bedrock you can’t shake.

So, is a stable marriage boring? Mine isn’t going to be!