by Zoe Mendez, Guest Contributor for Woman to Woman
Marriage vs. Love vs. Happiness, which do you prefer? This was the question asked by a close friend of mine on his Facebook status. I was stunned to discover that there was one person who chose one, and when I said all three she implored me that I needed to choose one (all in good faith I presumed). It’s ludicrous to even consider that we should really have to choose one, when the three are interrelated.
Why on earth would anyone want to be in a marriage where love and or happiness is absent? What would have been the motivation that lead to marriage in the first place? Let us put aside the fact that I am a die hard romantic, it saddens me to even entertain the thought of having to choose. No one should have to. This thing about being with the one who loves you sounds more like a life sentence to me. It can’t be easy being loved by someone who you have no feelings for or you can barely tolerate. I imagine resentment stepping in and all the other issues that comes with such a complicated situation – spelt D-R-A-M-A!
What is really missing when it comes to relationships that cause so many people to believe that if there is love and happiness, marriage should stay out of the picture as it changes everything? If I had a dollar to pay myself for every time I heard someone say that marriage changes everything, I would be a millionaire. The interesting thing is that this particular comment is made by both men and women. I always question the statement but no one has given me an explanation that makes any sense. Come to think of it, it’s mostly the men who complain that the women changes, which makes it seem as though marriage is the ultimate accomplishment. Once that is achieved, it’s like,”YES!” “I have arrived; I f-i-n-a-l-ly got what I always wanted.” And the things you used to do before you were married you do them no more. The control game comes into play, forgetting that it is a relationship with two adults who are unique in their own individual ways, and each entitled to their own opinions and preferences. Both parties seem to suddenly take each other for granted.
Let’s look at some of the important reasons why I would get married, not the superficial ones. Yes, “looks” are important but I learnt that not all that glitters is gold. Or maybe I need to get my head checked or moved out of “La La Land” and head back to planet earth. With all my heart I do believe it is possible to have a relationship that is based on love, and both parties can be happily married to each other.
Love is the ultimate reason why I would want to get married, granted that not every love relationship could/should result in marriage as there are so many other factors to take into consideration. Love would be on top of my list of requirements.
Having things in common and being able to have fun together are other criteria. It doesn’t matter what we are doing. I have to be able to first totally be myself in my relationship. I am good by myself but I am better when I am with someone in a good solid relationship. We should be able to enjoy each other’s company to the max, even the times when we piss each other off. If there is respect for each other, then together the issues and challenges we face on a day- to-day basis we should be able to work it out through mature communication. This is where maturity and understanding should step in allowing ego to take a back seat. We should be able to acknowledge and respect each other’s strong and weak points.
There is someone I owe a lot to for bringing this level of consciousness to my being. I would rant and rave about whatever and he would always remain calm, and soft spoken, he never let’s me dismiss an issue without us agreeing to disagree. I make my point and he makes his and we move on. And the one time that he had to put me in my place about an issue I was busting his chops about it. I was humble enough to listen and see the situation from his point of view. Understanding each other’s personality and being able to communicate well about the uncomfortable issues is very significant to every relationship working, this should never be taken for granted.
Having common goals, and sharing in and enjoying each other’s hobbies is of utmost importance. If you enjoy dancing together, for example, and your relationship is being challenged, hit the dance floor. This simple act can get you back to a comfortable zone with each other. Don’t under-estimate the power of music. Dancing makes me feel on top of the world. (I broke up with someone I thought I would never speak to again. We got to talking after sometime had passed. On our first date we ended up on the dance floor, we had a blast and now he is still a part of my life) Try it! Both parties of course have be willing to do their part.
Spirituality is also a very important element I would take into consideration. This very important social factor is often taken for granted. The person does not have to be a die-hard-going-to-church-every-Sunday-Christian, but he should believe in the same God that I serve. Ask yourself this question: “Does your partner believe in God?” “Are we able to fellowship together?” Marrying someone whose way of worship is different from yours is a subtle disaster waiting to happen. At the head of your marriage should be the same God. When the challenges come both of you should be able to kneel and pray together.
Sex… The man I will marry have to have that on lock down, when it comes to getting it on between the sheets… and this has nothing to do with multiple orgasms. Sex is more than just a physical act, there would be times when I am sure it would be just physical, but this is where we should be able to really touch and keep each other happy, mind, body and spirit. It is in the sex arena that true intimacy is tested. It is believed that making love has healing qualities. Going to bed together should be the best part and best way to end your day. And this should have nothing to do with sex.
Being with someone who makes me feel secure is important to me. I am not particularly referring to financial security, though it is important. As a woman I love being independent but being with someone who can take care of us has its advantages. However, do not take it for granted when you meet some one that their present position is their final destination. Often times, when two people connect, one, or the other, or both parties might be in transition. What needs to be taken into consideration is how ambitious the person is and whether or not they are pursuing the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals.
Honesty, with self and the other person is of utmost importance; one should be able to acknowledge the things that causes discomfort. Going along in a relationship thinking that you would be able to change the other person is a big courting an inevitable break-up. Be true to yourself and acknowledge what you feel along the way, and remember, no one is perfect.
Now with all of those significant qualities in place, the ultimate of all is having someone who is dependable, someone that would have your back when the tough times hit, when illness steps in, someone who gives you the confidence that no matter what, when, where or why, they would be there for you. Speaking of which, I read something that said “love is what is left over when falling in love no longer makes you tingle”.
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