The 7th and final step to creating the marriage you want is to have a "Sense of Shared Meaning." By this I mean you need to have "rituals, goals and roles" that you share.
Marriage isn't just about raising kids, splitting chores, and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together. Developing a culture together doesn't mean a couple sees eye to eye on every aspect of their life's philosophy.
Instead there is a meshing. You have to find ways to honor each other's dreams even when you don't share them. The culture that you develop together should incorporate both of your dreams, and be flexible enough to change as you both grow older.
When a marriage has this sense of shared meaning, conflict is much less intense and you'll find yourself being able to resolve issues without having to resort to gridlock.
Of course your marriage can be meaningful and happy even if your dreams aren't in sync but you must learn how to master conflict. It is important to accept that you each will probably have some dreams that the other doesn't share, but can respect.
A rewarding marriage is more than sidestepping conflict. The more you can agree about the fundamentals in life, the richer, more meaningful, and in a sense easier your marriage is likely to be. You certainly can't force yourselves to have the same deeply held views. But some coming together is likely to naturally if you are open to each other's perspectives.
A crucial goal of any marriage is to create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her convictions. The more you speak candidly and respectfully with each other, the more likely there is to be a blending of your sense of meaning.
Remember marriage counseling can help you not just avoid divorce, but have a happier marriage.