The Thing About Love and Marriage

Once the couple agree that they have the person they want, and their relationship can withstand the hardballs of life, they can plan a future more easily and succeed in their plans.

The Thing About Love and Marriage

Given the statistics of the divorce rates in the U.S., which “has the sixth highest divorce rate in the world, with 40% to 50% of married couples filing for a divorce,” one would wonder if anyone has considered the reason behind the rates and work to remedy the problem before they get married.

According to more in-depth stats, most marriages end because of lack of commitment, next is infidelity, and the third most caused reason for divorce is conflict and arguing, i.e., too many differences. This means that before two people get married, they should first consider if they would like to live with this person every day for the rest of their lives. Otherwise, relationships are nothing more than living arrangements.

First, one vital fact beforehand of getting married is that a person must know themselves and what they want in life, or they will most definitely lose track of themselves once they enter into a commitment with someone else. This rule, however, is only for those seeking marriage. There are rare times when two people enter marriage based on pure instinct and it last forever. And they grow to know themselves and the other over time. These are the strongest kind of marriages.

But fate is not always kind and people find themselves seeking someone to love. However, not knowing who you are before marriage can lead to unexpected truths about the other and down the road to divorce. A person must first understand what makes them happy and not what suppose to make them happy. What type of people they want to associate with, and how they want to end up in life. They must also understand that the streets hold nothing else for them and they are done with the field and need companionship with someone who they know will take good care of them.

Next, both must have self-control and understand that cheating is off-limits, not only because it is the wrong thing to do, but because they would never want to hurt the spouse, and would not want to be cheated on. So-called tolerance of open relationships are not only immoral, but goes against the human nature of jealousy, and brings generational curses like illness and poverty to families. Lastly, both have to have common beliefs and ideologies, very similar likes and dislikes, and common standards and views of life and the world.

Not to say that two people with different backgrounds cannot succeed in love, but they have to have the same goals, plans, and ethics. If they cannot completely agree, they must at least be flexible and willing to compromise. For instance, if one spouse longs to live in the countryside and the other feels more comfortable in the city, or a different state, both have to tolerate the other and come to an agreement to maybe live in the suburbs. Any resistance can cause arguments and stress on the relationship.

The ability for one spouse to compromise is important because it shows respect for the other and a willingness to make the other happy, and to sacrifice their own happiness to a comfortable extent. Another example is having the same ideas of a standard of living? Can both agree that there is a such thing as too much of something? And can they both agree that there is a bottom to their standard of living?

For instance, how much money is enough? This can lead to a selfish, workaholic mindset causing stress in one spouse and restlessness in the other. At what point does the couple refuse to live in a situation of poverty before they decide to move up the latter. Most important, in either situation, can both spouses handle a certain level of poverty and a certain level of wealth reasonably and with contentment? This is where through richer or poorer comes into play. Can the relationship withstand the financial stressors of life?

Once the couple agree that they have the person they want, and their relationship can withstand the hardballs of life, they can plan a future more easily and succeed in their plans. After they move past the initial stages of the first years, they move on to debunking the urban legends that seem to be a threat to many relationships and marriages once established.

The first myth is that of money. If one spouse makes less money than the other, does it matter? No. The problem comes in when one spouse has set an unrealistic standard for themselves, and their spouse, when choosing a mate. Such as they have to make a certain amount of money. The materialism expectation will certainly leave that person on the lonely road because the economy has no respect of persons, and the love of money is usually the root of all things bad.

First, do away with the financial standard. A woman or man should be able to accept the person they feel an attraction to even if they were flat broke on the corner with no where to lay their head that night. The only exception to this rule is if the person can see no potential in the one who is content in poverty. This means they have incompatible goals.

Another urban myth is the fifty-fifty financial responsibility rule and who’s going to pay what. Neither is there a certain gender criterion as to who will maintain the finances. If one is better with money than the other, then that person should handle the money. Fifty-fifty is bogus and sure to lead to money conflicts. Neither should have individual bank accounts but should pool the household finances together. This is what makes a home.

Individual finances are a sure sign of incompatible goals, plus, it shows a sense of insecurity because one spouse has a desire to remain unfettered and not fully responsible to the other. It may work in some situations if the couple have the same outlook on life, but when there is a miscommunication or gap in either account, the problems will start. It is simply more feasible that both keep an eye on one account than having to worry about or be hit with any surprises of the other’s financial entanglements; and surprises are sure to happen.

Addressing another urban myth is the seven-year-itch; when one spouse decides to look over the fence to see if the grass is greener. “The average length of a marriage prior to divorce is eight years.” This happens because one of the spouses feel a sense of lost independence after the routine of marriage sets in. They get bored and take stock of their marriage and begin to compare family or friends’ marriages and ponder if they made the right decision. Some evaluate their lives after they have matured a few years or they have discovered some uncomfortable truth about their spouse, or even themselves. Time has a way of revealing what a person is really all about.

This is the reason being upfront about who you are and knowing who you are, is important in a relationship from the beginning, because no one person can put up a front or live a lie but for only so long until real life circumstance reveals who they truly are. Fakeness is a red flag in the beginning stages of a relationship. The ability to discover those flags rely on whether a person knows who they are and what they really want out of a lifelong spouse. It also depends on whether or not a person understands what contentment means. Some people expect too much from life and set unrealistic goals for themselves and their marriage.

Love also, has no respect of persons, meaning, it does not matter from what race or class someone comes from, love overpowers that aspect. A person in love will change themselves to meet the desires and expectations of the other, yet will humbly bow out from someone who insist they change, because the self-esteem of a person requires love and respect from their spouse. If the other cannot give that care to the self-esteem of the other, they are not worthy of that person.

As far as infidelity goes, any real man or woman has to maintain the basic ethical rule of thumb, which is self-control. If they flirt, that’s one thing, but if the flirtation leads to an invitation, that’s another. If they take the invitation, they are nothing more than a whore or a whoremonger. They will not remain faithful throughout their marriage and was never serious to their commitment. And unless they can actually see the consequences of their actions, they will cheat again. Here is a nugget of knowledge not taught to young people, in school, or on the streets.

On a scale of one to 10, one being the most important, sex should come in at least sixth in a marriage. Number one is love, two is trust, and then faithfulness, honesty, care, and then sex, followed by communication, respect, compromise, and contentment. Not necessarily in that order but sex definitely should never top the list. Otherwise, that will be the leading cause of a divorce. Without self-control, a marriage is already defiled. Making love empowers the relationship, sex cheapens it.