Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Love and Marriage

My latest read has, indeed, changed the way I have always looked at marriage. I, so, agree that most people spend far more time in preparing for their vocation than they do in preparation for marriage. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are more successful in vocational pursuits than in reaching the goal of marital happiness. Most couples give far more attention to making plans for the wedding than making plans for the marriage. Nobody ever prepares for marriage as though it were the most important human relationship he/she will ever have.
Being in Love Is Not an Adequate Foundation for Building a Successful Marriage
We all carry limited perspective about being in love. For almost all of us, the biggest reason why we want to get married to another person is ‘because we love each other’. Often, we fail to consider the fact that our social, spiritual and intellectual interests are miles apart. We fail to acknowledge that ‘love’ is not the basis for a satisfactory marriage. Being in love is an emotional and obsessive experience. However, emotions change and obsessions fade.
Doing a compatibility check on five important grounds – intellectual dialogue, emotional control, social interests, spiritual unity and common values would take a marriage way more far than these ‘tingles’ we call love.
Romantic Love Has Two Stages
The first stage, obviously, requires little effort because it is pushed along by euphoric feelings. Nobody has to really work on the relationship at this stage. The average life span of this initial stage of romantic love is two years. Coming down off of the emotional high leaves one nothing but disillusioned. The second stage is way more intentional. Those who make the effort to transition from Stage One to Stage Two, the rewards are astounding. Everyone has a primary love language. Learning how to express love effectively is the key. Five languages of love are – Words of affirmation (verbally expressing your admiration), acts of service (discovering what things they would life for you to do and then doing them consistently), receiving gifts, quality time (looking at each other, talking, listening), physical touch.
a.    Observe your own behavior – how you express love.
b.    Note what you complain about.
c.    What do you request most often
The Saying “Like Mother Like Daughter” and “Like Father, Like Son” is NOT a Myth
We all are greatly influenced by our parents. Identifying their negative traits and making sure that they do not repeat in us in a learned and conscious method could help us do wonders.
Learning How to Solve Disagreements without Arguing
All marriages have conflicts. Some couples learn how to resolve the conflicts in a friendly manner while others resort to heated arguments. Large or small, all conflicts have the potential of destroying an evening, a week, a month or a lifetime. On the other hand, conflicts have the potential of teaching us how to love, support and encourage each other. It’s all how one processes the conflicts. The real need is the need to listen. In marriages, it is never ‘having my way’. It is rather discovering ‘our’ way. Three strategies – meeting in the middle, meeting on your side and meeting later might help. 
Apologizing is a Sign of Strength
Learning the five languages of apology – expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely expressing your desire to change your behavior, requesting forgiveness. 
Forgiveness Is Not a Feeling
It is a decision to restore love and faith in the relationship.
Toilets Are Not Self-Cleaning
Confusion over roles is one of the most stressful aspects of contemporary marriages.
We Need a Plan for Handling Our Money
You don’t have any money problems when you have no money. After marriage, it is no longer ‘my money’ but ‘our money’, ‘our debts’, ‘our savings’. Second, agreeing on a percentage to save, give away and spend is necessary. 10:10:80 plan works most of the time – 10 for savings, 10 for giving away and rest 80 could be spent in medicine, transportation, utilities, insurance, clothes, recreation, etc. Housing and utilities should not exceed 40%.
Mutual Sexual Fulfillment is Not Automatic
While men focus on intercourse, women focus on relationships. For most women, sex begins in the kitchen, not in the bedroom. For her, foreplay is more important than actual act of love itself. Sex is a bonding experience. It is the union of male and female in the most intimate way. It is not joining of two bodies, but union of body, soul and spirit. Today, divorce rate among those who have had previous sexual experience before marriage is twice as high as those who had no sexual experience before marriage.
You Marry Into a Family
Spirituality is Not to Be Equated with ‘Going to Church’
Talking about our basic beliefs about God helps release a lot of tension.
Personality Profoundly Influences Behavior
Identifying yourself and the spouse as morning person or night person, as pessimist or optimist, as neatnik or a slob, Dead Sea or Babbling Brook, pointer or painter, passive or aggressive, professor or dancer, organizer or free spirit/spontaneous and logical or intuitive, helps dealing with the issues that might occur because of the difference. 


Me Mumbaikar said...

Great post, with a touch of maturity that is missing in many youth today.
love your writing style.

Cheena Chopra said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments, Anu! Do keep visiting :)

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