So what is this thing called love? A vast library of music and prose has been written about it, yet it seems so elusive for so many.
Numerous magazine articles, Internet posts and TV hours place great emphasis on people coupling? Marriage is big business, and so is dissolution. We have huge expensive ceremonies for couples beginning this journey together but it seems such a wasted effort for so many. Many businesses exist to support it, caterers, wedding consultants, clothiers, various beauty suppliers (hair, makeup), photographers, favors/bridesmaids gifts, music, honeymoon getaways, etc. The divorce lawyers and courts also make a bundle off dissolving marriages. It’s said to be over $50 Billion annually.
According to definition, marriage is a social institution uniting men and women. That has evolved recently to include same gender marriage, too. Although marriage customs vary greatly from one culture to another, the importance of the institution is universally acknowledged.
I’ve been married for long periods (all relative, but over 30 years combined), and yet the results were the same, it ended. Now they say you can learn from your mistakes and I believe that’s true, but there’s a lot of learning required for a great number of people.
Why do some couples hang in there for each other, until one or the other dies? That’s supposedly the agreement with each other at the altar, but those words aren’t worth much to over 50% of the people who enter marriage through traditional ceremony. Marriage for some people has been tainted so badly by the experience of others, many people are saying it’s not worth trying, just live with each other. All in all, how’s that better for any serious relationship?
I have some ideas on the topic. I think I can condense it into a few basics. Sure, there are other descriptive words one can use, but I think these are the fundamentals.
Both people need to bring these characteristics into the equation. If one or the other is waiting on or expecting the other person to bring it, then they shouldn’t bother to enter into a relationship, because despite all of the desire and whimsical ideas you have about love, you’re deceiving yourself. In the end, without both people struggling together to keep it real, it’s going to end.
Here’s my list:
- Adoration – deep love, esteem, paying honor, worshipful love.
- Devotion – consecration, profound dedication of one’s wealth and time to each other’s advancement.
- Respect – an outward demonstration of the worth or excellence of a person; showing regard, consideration and esteem; admiration, approbation; proper acceptance or courtesy; empathy; acknowledgment and deference to the other person.
- Forgiveness – the act of letting go of another person’s past transgressions, compassion for their mistakes; reprieve; letting go of the memory of the mistake, not bringing it up in conversation even if angry; extending grace to the person who has wronged us, rather than demanding compensation.
In short, when you wake up in the morning, do you plan and put into action, something that enhances, helps, respects and brings joy to the person you married? If not, why not? That responsibility is yours and isn’t based on conditions or expectations of the other person.
That’s my current understanding and list. What’s yours?
A humorous song about those who are takers, not givers.