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Read Letter

Do I fall in love first, or after marriage?

Dear Jil, thank you for your mail. The issue you presented is one of the big questions in relationship. This gentleman has solid character, obviously. And he wants to marry you. But you’re not in love with him. Do you marry him and trust the love will come; or do you give up the relationship and forfeit his solidity? In other words, love before marriage or the possibility of love after marriage?

Love after marriage works for some. They grow to love their husband. It’s worked for some. The women grew to appreciate their husbands’ virtues in close proximity. That is usually based on consistency of character. In some societies it’s even cultural. It works in those societies because everyone is so conditioned. The repute of families is what counts in such circumstances. It’s believed that a good family will produce a good man. That assumption is not without risk, for the simple reason that a plurality always presents an anomaly. Lawyers call anomaly exception to the rule. Society calls it black sheep. Religious orders call it Judas. But history has notable instances of people risking love after marriage. Royal families in particular. Didn’t work for Diana though. What a tragedy that was. But it worked for Beautiful Rebecca. She relied on the pedigree of cousin Isaac. She was procured for him. Before marriage they hadn’t met. It must be noted however that neither of her sons chose to marry that way.

Now, let me say something that some people repudiate and some ignore about marriage: Love matters! A marriage without love is a trap of dutifulness and unhappiness. Man, woman, we all want love. We all want to experience the feeling, the emotion, and demonstrations of love. As a woman you want a worthy man to have proprietary claim over your affection. It’s a legitimate desire. Yes, there’s the dutifulness of love as distinct from the emotion, but the emotion matters. It’s a reflection of desire. That giz giz of the heart – induced tachycardia; of butterfly rhythms of within… It has its role. If the emotion of love were a redundancy God would not have programmed it in us. Adam waxed lyrical at the sighting of Eve. Became a rapper… bone of ma bones, flesh of ma flesh. Emotive love!

Now you know why men write poetry. But there are what I call the “isms” of love… the dutifulness of love. Love IS patient, Love IS kind, Love IS not irritable, Love IS not selfish… These are dutifulnesses. And so we have the emotion of love and, the ideals and dutifulness of love. Both are important. Spiritual initiates know that human history is bracketised by both. The first Adam exemplified the emotion of love; the Last Adam exemplified the dutifulness of love. Indeed, the man we ordinarily know as Adam (the first Adam) demonstrated the excess of emotional love. He was so smitten with Eve he was sometimes dumb at wrong moments. He didn’t say a word throughout the temptation. Eve got away with too much! And look at where we are now! She must have been an incredibly beautiful woman. (She’s the genetic stock of all beautiful women). Oh Adam, Adam…We have a lot to talk about when we meet in Heaven! But let’s leave Adam alone!

Should you fall in love first, or should you go with dutifulness and trust the love will come after marriage? There are obvious risks in seeking for love AFTER solemnisation. What if it doesn’t come? And what if HE doesn’t love you? Wasn’t that the Diana issue? And look at how that ended. The POSSIBILITY of unhappiness is high in such scenarios. For both parties. Unmitigated, the unhappiness can lead to depression. At that stage, may God help both parties.

Depression is the original black hole. It spaghettifies the human soul. It’s a voracious darkness that sucks in all life light. The other party is held responsible for the unhappiness, inexplicably. And the self punishment to punish the other party begins. The night descends. It’s safer to love the person you want to marry. But, will emotional love suffice? The answer is no. And it never has. It’s just a FEELING, albeit an important feeling. It’s actually an impulsive phenom. It’s also a thermometer of sorts. Can help us gauge fervency of desire. Gives us critical feedback. But it’s volatile and convertible. Can turn to hatred without virtue regulation, fast! [By the way, one of the dangers of absence of love before marriage is the possibility of falling for someone else. Please wipe that religious smirk off your face. That’s how you land in trouble!].

How we fall in love is a mystery. Solomon said as much. It’s one of the four Solomonic amazements. Feelings are powerful! They are incubated in the medium of imagination. Imagination heightens sensitivity. 4D. Makes the unreal real and the real unreal. It’s a realistic rendering of the unseen. All that you can’t sleep, can’t eat… Means imagination is flooding your system with chemicals. But true love is virtue based not emotion based though it can be emotion laden. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, or boastful, or proud, or rude. It does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Would be nice for you to fall in love with a solid guy. Someone with character, who’s caring and responsible. Then your feelings have a solid anchor. Don’t rely on emotions only.

And you must differentiate love from foolishness. If you do decide to marry a guy you don’t love, note the inherent dangers. They’re significant as you see. I hope my analysis helps.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder 2014

Tags : Love, Emotion, Dutifulness

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