© 2016, By Prashant S. Shah, http://spiritual-living.in
What are the chances that you will marry the wrong person? It’s certainly a high possibility; and most of us in modern society are seriously afraid of it.
But, why does the ‘wrong person’ happen to us? Is there a flaw in how we choose our partner? Have we gone wrong somewhere? Many of us recall the lasting relationship our grandparents enjoyed. So what was the traditional glue that kept them together? Can we have a traditional marriage relationship in the modern times? To find answers to these questions, read further:
- Why does the ‘wrong person’ happen to us?
- Is there a flaw in how we choose our partner?
- Where exactly have we gone wrong?
- Aren’t we supposed to marry for Love?
- Can I have a traditional marriage relationship in modern times?
Why does the ‘wrong person’ happen to us?
Marrying the wrong person has become a high possibility, and today most of us have become afraid of it. It has made us very cautious, and we feel the need to take time to know our partner. Unfortunately, that exercise doesn’t help us because we come to know BOTH the good and bad side. Hence, we remain confused, and so we are unable to decide.
Some of us try to improve the odds of success by setting off the undesirable points against the desirable points. In this way we try to see if the marriage is still a bargain. However, the uncertainty remains; and most of us will still land up marrying the wrong person!
The wrong person happens to us because we do our thinking from one side; from our side. We overrate the issue of choice and underrate the need for trust in the relationship. Our expectations are unrealistic and we easily fool ourselves in believing that we are getting a good deal. In either case we are unable to anticipate the issues that can arise only after our relationship has been fixed.
Is there a flaw in how we choose our partner?
When we are youthful, we pick our partner on the basis of sexual attraction or ‘chemistry’. We get infatuated with physical beauty, and so we underrate all the other qualities in the partner. However, our criterion changes as we mature (and women mature much faster). Women usually give more value to the status attached to having the partner (financial security, reputation, etc.). But men still remain obsessed with looks – as though a pretty face is the trophy. Later on, as wisdom arises, both sides begin to value the marriage more for the companionship it offers. Then the most important factors are having ‘similar goals’, ‘common interests’ and a partner who ‘complements our abilities’.
The flaw usually arises because we select a person with our ‘youthful criteria’; and this criterion does not serve when we mature and our preferences change. The modern society has remedied this problem with DIVORCE. But that leaves us without a partner! We still want happiness through marriage; we want to live a family life (with children); and we want lifetime relationships (relatives).
Where exactly have we gone wrong?
By now some of us understand that marriage is basically a traditional concept, and that it not fit easily into the fabric of modern society. Marriage has served the human society since thousands of years, even before the organised religions took shape. However, the modern trend, as expressed through social media and movies, is to sell us a different story. They tell us the traditional stories interpreted with the modern values. And in this way they imply that marriages in the past also didn’t work out. However, if you are not easily deceived by these suggestions, you can see that they speak like the FOX who says: “The grapes are sour”; whereas the truth is that he just cannot reach them!
Many of us can still recall the lasting relationship that was enjoyed by our grandparents. We ask: “What was the traditional glue that kept these people together?” The glue or the binding force in traditional society was the COMMITMENT that partners made BEFORE A HIGHER AUTHORITY. The commitment transformed the ‘issue of choice and pleasure’ into the ‘issue of acceptance and duty’. It did not overcome the differences in opinion that usually arise between the partners of the opposite sex. However, it only changes how you regard your partner.
In traditional society considers the partner as ‘God given’. Hence, you accept the other person just as you accept your own children. Differences arise, but it is for you as individuals to the partnership, to make the necessary adjustments and accommodate each other’s feelings and work as a unity. It is admitted that in traditional society the women had to do most of the adjusting; and they had to hold the family together. However, they did not grudge it. They did it as a part of their duty to their own welfare and their commitment before a higher authority.
The modern times have discarded this traditional model. Its ‘women’s era’ they say. The women must assert their rights and claim their entitlements! They hold that being committed to the partner’s and family’s welfare makes it a ‘lose-win’ situation for them. So, now they want to reverse the position to ensure that their male partner gets his share of the suffering. However, they do it without compromising their share of the entitlements. Hence, the setting is wrong and the relationship gets unbalanced. Gradually it deteriorates into a truly lose-lose situation.
Without commitment there is no foundation on which you can build a win-win relationship. To make this commitment one you have to not look to what you lose, but to see what you make possible. The stability in marriage would make it good for the partner, for the children, for the larger family, and it will return as blessings to the home maker and the head of the family. It will provide the network of support structures that both the partners need to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. And such a relationship will also endure the difficult times.
The next question is: “Why not ask men to do the adjusting?” Nature, both human and animal, has worked differently in the past; and the traditional model has accepted it as ‘God given’. So, the question is: “Is it really God-given or something that can be re-set by adjusting the social conventions in a balanced way?” In such matters motivated arguments lead nowhere. It is certainly a possibility that the modern society is going to try out. Whether it succeeds or fails is still to be seen. In any case, the traditional wisdom remains.
The traditional model says the following:
Consider your partner as ‘GOD GIVEN’ (even if you got your partner through personal choice);
believe that natural justice always prevails (and so everyone gets just what they deserve);
ACCEPT what you get graciously (when there is acceptance, the issue of getting the ‘wrong person’ doesn’t exist); and
trust that a HIGHER AUTHORITY IS OVERSEEING your life-situations (and, if you are receptive, it will guide you in doing the right things).
In short, accept your marriage as a duty and carefully maintain a balance between your rights, obligations and responsibilities.
Aren’t we supposed to marry for Love?
Everyone wants to have some affinity or chemistry with their partner. It is more enjoyable. However, passion can only sustain the marriage for a few years. Sooner or later the relationship will come down to ‘need-fulfilment’ equation – to how well the relationship satisfies your social, emotional or sensual needs. This is the territory of the EGO: You take on the role of a POSSESSOR and or claim ENTITLEMENTS. Then the win-lose situation creeps in. You feel that if you grant the partner freedom, you will get deprived. Then gradually the relationship becomes destructive.
The traditional idea of love in marriage is different. It is never a search for ‘need-based love’. There is no fighting over what you possess or what you are entitled to. The aim was to simply get into a STATE of love and share what you have willingly. You are supposed to take your happiness from serving your duty and not from satisfying your ego or desires. You hold the belief that sooner or later your love or happiness will be reciprocated.
Can I have a traditional marriage relationship in modern times?
People keep looking for the right husband or right wife, the right employer or right employee, the right parent or right child, etc. But they forget that they also have to be the right person! The saying is: “If you want to be trusted, first you have to become trustworthy.” Hence, your focus should not be on finding the right person, but on being the right person. You have to do the first things first. After you do this ‘inner work’ you will easily find what has already been provided for you.
The FORMULA is simple:
First, accept the traditional idea of marriage. Do it sincerely.
Next, make a mental image of your partner and commit your unconditional support. Make your commitment in the same way as parents are committed to their children.
Then, talk with the image daily and become fond of it. The image will show you what changes in your attitude you have to make; and as you make those changes the image of your partner will become clear.
Then you will meet your partner (to be); however, don’t spoil it with your ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Just remember that it is your commitment to the marriage that will make it work for both of you.
To know more read Understand your Men and Women Relationships; click here:
To read How to Experience Freedom & Contentment; click here: