Marriage: Having the Fairytale
Most Unexpected Views in Three Parts: PART THREE
By: J. Marlando
Metaphysics & Marriage
By now you have read part one and two of this series—I imagine that you have had at least some of your views changed about marriage and so about your own marital relationship. If this is the case you now stand at the “starting gate” of the rest of your (married) life. And, you are sincere in wanting your marriage to last in a happy, contented and loving state…or, in other words you want the fairy tale. I am here to tell you that yes you can have it if you truly want it.
We will begin with the more metaphysical aspects of creating a wonderful marriage…don’t worry we’ll get into the practical aspects before this article ends.
If you now have a problem marriage with a mate who is without serious problems of his or her own—that is, who isn’t a drunk or serious doper and is average good mental health, you can begin getting the marriage back on track to happiness and contentment…right now!
I will use my old standby for the example. If you call the rose bush a thorn bush this is what it will become for you. In the same way if you call your marriage “in trouble,” “unhappy,” “failing,” or your mate “impossible to get along with,” “selfish,” “too demanding” that is what your marriage and mate will become for you.
Your first step toward a happy, lasting and loving marriage is to project it as being in the least positive. In fact, it is how you project your marriage is what it will be and how you project your mate is how he or she will be.
Really, every time you see your wife or husband, say silently to yourself, I love you and we have a wonderful togetherness. I truly care about you and our lives together.
If you have the courage and are willing to project this kind of love and caring onto your mate and relationship for only a week, you will begin to see positive changes occur. I don’t know how this works but I can tell you that it does when you simply do this much…sincerely. And please, do not use the excuse that your mate only sees the negative or keeps you too upset to follow up on this easy directive. This has nothing to do with your mate, this has only to do with you. Recall what Doctors Kinder and Cowan teach:
Change in marriage is possible, but it will
never happen so long as you make it something
your mate should be doing. The other directed
approach, employing communication and negotiation
based on blame and the shifting of responsibility
creates even more conflict rather than solving it.
This is perhaps the greatest of all secrets to know when it comes to healing your marriage and reconstructing it to last…forever.
Like most everyone else you may have a few misconceptions about the marital institution itself. Many people do and this is why so many people are disappointed with their mates and/or their marriage.
First of all know this: Marriage is not nor has it ever been about love, joy and happiness. That is a mere myth of marriage. Now pay attention: Your marital relationship is about loving each other, being intimate lovers and sharing your joys and sorrows as you travel down life’s path together. Your marriage on the other hand has NOTHING to do with your relationship. Your marriage is about your partnership. Your Partnership is about acquisition and can be thought of as a kind of “holding company” for your marital relationship. In other words, your marriage is about the business of your partnership and should NEVER be confused with your martial relationship.
There has probably been more fighting, more frustrations and more divorces because couples have traditionally been taught that marriage is the ultimate statement of love and togetherness. Marriage has never been this in all the history of the world. It is your marital relationship that is about love and happiness.
In this view note that countless couples have split up and divorced because they have a POOR marital partnership and did not separate it from their marital relationship. And just to give these thoughts clarity, think of two best friends that open a hotdog stand and end up struggling or even failing. While they have proven to be poor business partners they remain good friends as they should. Couples too often tend to believe that when their marriages fail, their relationship has failed. This is because they have been indoctrinated with the WRONG concepts about what marriage is and is about.
Another way to put this is to say that you are NOT your bills, your leaky sink; your old junker of a car or…your limo. You are not the shack or mansion you live in or the diamonds or paste jewlery that you wear—all these things belong to your marriage—how well or poorly your marriage is doing has to do with how good or bad you are as partners running the business of your marriage which should have NOTHING to do with your marital relationship. In other words it is vital for married couples to separate themselves from their marriage and give it an objective life of itself.
Indeed, a major reason that so many marriages fail is simply because the married couple do not understand that they are NOT their marriages, that they are the partners running the business of their lives—There are a great many couples who have wonderful relationships but are terrible partners and yet end up fighting each other as opposed to the problems on running their legal institution called “Marriage.”
Realizing only this much is a vital cornerstone to a lasting, content and loving married life.
Marriage & Happiness
Another myth that should be left by the wayside is that marriage is supposed to deliver happy lives to us. I cannot tell you how many—especially very young people—saying things like, I just can’t wait to be married…I’m going to be so happy.
Like any other business, Marriage takes planning, hard work and dedication to make it successful. Married partners cannot splurge and baby their relationship while building the wealth and stability of their marriage. And, when it comes to being married the couple must be aware of three major expenditures:
- How much money do we need as individuals?
- How much money does our relationship need?
- How much money does our partnership need?
Most couples throw these three separate necessities into the blender which is exactly why so many marriages fail financially or end up in serious/destructive debt. It is most typically poor martial partners who decide on spending money on themselves that is needed for the business of the marriage. The ultimate goals of marrying after all are to build a future (together) that is content, happy and…financially secure.
Happiness is the second biggest challenge because it has NOTHING to do with one’s mate. While it is possible for our mates to be the source of discontent and frustration, they have nothing to do with our personal happiness.
Husband and wife are responsible for their own worldviews and the moment one believes that the other “should deliver happiness to them or even into their lives” they will only experience more of a disappointing factor than anything else. And returning to Kinder and Cowan again. They clearly state:
Marriage was never meant to be the antidote
to personal difficulties or dissatisfactions, yet
for most of us it assumes that position in
If every married person would engrave this in their minds, the divorce rate would no doubt drop immediately. *It is simply up to each one of us to find our own happiness and to decide how we are going to love the world today. When both husband and wife are aware of this, the marital relationship naturally becomes sweeter and far more compatible with everyday life.
In light of the above we reach another vital observation of married life: There are three components in all working, lasting marriages.
- An US
- A ME
- A You
This tends to sound apparent but for countless couples it isn’t—The “US” factor becomes paramount in the marital relationship and quite suddenly a great many husbands and wives feel as if they have lost themselves in the process.
It is essential to support and encourage our mates to have interests that are all theirs—this can range from gardening to painting, golf to tennis, reading to well, you name it. Marriage, especially marriage with children, usurps a great deal of time and energy. I fact, so much so that one can actually feel more condemned to their married lives than anything else. There are three things we need to know as married individuals to help avoid this:
- What we enjoy doing
- What I enjoy doing
- What you enjoy doing
Interestingly enough I have known couples, married for years, who could not answer the question that asked, what activity does your mate truly enjoy? (In my own unofficial survey wives were better at answering this question than husbands were).
One of the most unhappy-makers for a great count of married couples is that one or both attempt to create Siamese Relationships. This usually occurs from petty jealousies, fears of infidelity or simply losing “control” of the marriage—all harmful to living the fairy tale!
Every adult human being needs time for the self. No one can be truly “happy” without it and yet I have met husbands and wives who have said that they “feel guilty” for indulging themselves in some way or, at the other end of this absurdity, admit that their mates would “never put up with their enjoying something on their own.”
It is simply essential for husbands and wives to relearn to enjoy life and enjoy themselves as individuals. Certainly this doesn’t mean going to parties or to any other unhealthy environments such as bars but this does mean to be able to enjoy yourself, by and for yourself—lunch with same-gender friends is okay as playing golf, tennis, painting pictures going to the museum—is. For only one thing separate activities opens the doors for greater conversations and sharing. One part of the basic fun of dating was asking the other what they’ve been doing.
Happy married couples never create a ball and chain relationship. Invariably such marriages end in tragedy and heartbreak.
As long as husband and wife support each other in being all they want to be, in having a full and happy life of their own within the marriage structure and finally to be fully and wholly themselves and loved anyway, the marriage can and most commonly will have the fairytale.
Having the fairytale begins with wanting to have the fairytale!
The quick response is something like, of course I want the fairytale, don’t we all. But the truth is, far too many couples want the fairytale as something that naturally or simply unfolds. This does not happen—the marriage , the marital partnership and the marital relationship must all be worked at. As for the marital relationship a husband and wife must be conscientious to the feelings and thinking of the other; this means consciously being tolerant, understanding, supportive, caring and loving. This begins with the simple task of really listening to what your mate is saying; to be interested in his or her concerns, fears, ideas, doubts and dreams as, first of all, a friend and secondly an ally.
You will probably only now and then share the same thoughts and feelings but this is NOT necessary. What is necessary is to have empathy for one another. After all husbands and wives live in the same world of uncertainty.
With this in mind, we turn to Karl Menninger who tells us:
It is part of the function of marriage for
the partners to supply each other that
amount of support and encouragement
which is necessary to assuage the wounds
and frustrations encountered in the daily
lives of both.
When this alone becomes the aim of married couples, the fairytale comes true!
*During an interview with world renowned surgeon and writer, Bernie Siegel said to me—we all must decide how to love the world.
Kinder, Dr. Melvyn and Dr. Connell Cowan * Husbands and Wives * Signet
Menninger, Carl * Love Against Hate * A Harvest Book