© 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 find a traditional partner in the modern times? To find an answer to these questions, read further:
Why does the ‘wrong person’ happen to us?
Marrying the wrong person has become a high possibility, and most of us in modern society are seriously afraid of it. It has made us cautious, but we are still confused about what we should do. So, we try to know the other person more; but that doesn’t help since we come to know BOTH their good and their bad side.
Then we try to improve our odds of success by setting off the bad points against the good points and see if it is a bargain. However, after all this the chances are that we still land up marrying the wrong person!
This happens because we think from one side. We overrate our ability to choose and underrate the value of trust in relationships. We have unrealistic expectations from marriage and are unable to anticipate the issues that arise only after we marry and have to live close to another person.
Is there a flaw in how we choose our partner?
When we are youthful, we tend to choose our partner on the basis of sexual attraction or ‘chemistry’. We get infatuated with physical beauty and underrate all the other qualities of the partner. However, as we mature (and women mature faster) the issues that guide our decisions change. Women particularly give more value to the status that is attached with having a partner (financial security, reputation, etc.). Later on, as wisdom begins to arise, we value the marriage more for the companionship it offers. Then having a partner who has ‘similar goals’ and ‘common interests’ or who ‘complements our needs’ becomes more important.
The flaw in our choice of marriage partner arises because we select a person with our ‘youthful criteria’, which does not serve us when our preferences change. The modern society has solved this problem with divorce! But that still leaves us without a partner and wanting happiness through marriage, family and a lasting relationship.
Have we gone wrong somewhere?
Perhaps we have lost our way. Marriage is basically a traditional concept and certainly not a modern concept. It has served the fabric of society for thousands of years; although the movies are made these days try to show it never really worked out. What the movies say is more like the story of the fox who cannot reach the grapes, and so he says the grapes are sour.
Many of us recall the lasting relationship our grandparents enjoyed and ask: What was the traditional glue that kept these people together? The glue or the binding force was, in traditional terms, a COMMITMENT that each partner made before a HIGHER authority. The commitment transforms the ‘issue of choice’ into an ‘issue of duty and acceptance’. It does not overcome the differences in opinion that arise naturally between the partners, but it conveys the message that the partner is given to you and now it is for you to adjust, accommodate, and get it to work. And you do it as a part of your duty to yourself and to a higher authority that has granted you the partner.
The modern mind can interpret the commitment as creating a ‘lose-lose’ situation, but on the contrary it creates a ‘win-win’ situation that provides for us and also matures us. The stability that the traditional marriage offers is also good for the children, for the larger family; and it provides the foundation on which we can serve deeper purposes in our life.
The traditional idea is to consider our partner as ‘God given’ (even when we got the partner through our personal choice); and to believe that natural justice rules so that ‘everyone gets just what they deserve’. When we can adopt this wisdom, it changes our attitude to the issue of marriage: we do not overrate our individual ability to choose correctly; we can graciously accept when we have to lose something or adjust; and we can feel secure knowing that there is a higher authority is overseeing all our situations. The important point to note is that when there is acceptance, the issue of ‘wrong person’ doesn’t exist. We simply accept the marriage as something that is given to us to serve our needs in the school of life.
How can we find a traditional partner 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: “To be trusted, first you have to be trustworthy.” In the same way, your focus should not be on finding the right person, but on being the right person. You have to do the first things first. Then you will 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 to your partner. Then talk with the image daily and become fond of it. The image will lead you the partner. However, when you meet the eligible partner, don’t spoil it with your ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Just remember that you are committed to the marriage, and so it will work for both of you.
To add to your wisdom we recommend you to read the book: Solving the Problems of Life; click here: http://a.co/fDEjbYR
Some Comments & Replies
Comment: The article is very appealing. Partner and all other relationships are ‘God given’. However, for every relation, commitment is a must. SWATI
Reply: Thanks for your remark. However, to regard relationships as “God given” and to make “commitments to each other” are different considerations. Agreements are mutual, but commitment is one-sided. It is like saying: “I’ll look after her interest no matter what!” And this is a commitment you make to yourself or to your inner Lord. It is unconditional.
Comment: In modern society the purpose of living is lost; and instead physical comforts and sensual pleasures have taken their place. With this criterion everyone wants to become independent. As a result the joy of interdependence is lost. The critical issues have been discussed in the article very nicely. SANJEEV
Reply: Yes, the article could be titled as “Finding joy in interdependence”. But it may be too conceptual for many people who are actually looking for a sex-mate.