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My dear Jil, I’m going to talk to you about a virtue not in abundance in this world of ours – patience! Marriage requires patience. Couples have to be patient with each other. Very patient. If you keep flying off the handle, you’re not going to have a happy marriage. Will be full of tension. Besides, it’ll provoke an equal and opposite reaction in the counterparty, your spouse. Two can’t afford to be mad at the same time in a marriage. A wise party will defer even legitimate feelings in that situation. In a marriage, emotions have consequential value. We’re either building our marriage or tearing it down, daily. When in anger we say unconscionable things to our partner we forget we can’t take the words back. And words are powerful. Words can damage human psyche, words can eviscerate affection. If there’s something you should be mindful of in marriage, it’s words. Spouses are supposed to build each other up, not tear each other down. Spouses are meant to be supportive, not denigrative.

Words escalate in moments of anger. The more they escalate, the more damage caused the marriage. You don’t want to put your spouse in a permanent state of anger against you. When couples viciously turn against each other it becomes a blood fiesta. That’s because of the proximate emotionalism of marriage. It’s extreme. It hurts more because our spouse said it. Nothing can hurt deeper. Just as it is more meaningful and deeper because our partner said it. You’ve got to learn a new diet. You’ve got to learn to swallow words. Just a little bit of hesitation before the spilling of bile will save the fortune of a marriage. But when partners turn against each other, it becomes a close combat sport. Patience, I plead. Just be patient. You’ve got to learn patience. That it comes into your mind doesn’t mean you have to say it. If we keep gashing the fabric of a marriage with insults and abuses, someday it will become a rag.

You’ve got to try and see things from your partner’s perspective. Trying to understand the other person’s perspective helps. Even if it’s not understandable. But at least you’ll understand where your partner is coming from. Our reaction to provocation is the test of our nobility and virtue. When tempers calm we see how unnecessary anger is. You can always talk it over. Love smothers anger like a blanket fire. There are innocent mistakes in marriage. Motivation matters in judgment. A partner may do the wrong thing innocently, sometimes out of love. Willfulness corrupts motivation however. But the idea that we’ll seek to hurt our partner is a logic we need to reexamine. It’s not love. Which would you rather do – tear your marriage down or build it up?

You must have goodwill towards your partner. That’s your life mate, your soul mate. Your lives are in each other’s hands. It’s why it’s called marriage. You’re each other’s mechanic of destiny. The emotional density in marriage is much. It’s a lot of deposit of emotion, a lot of compression of emotion. The level of emotional exposure in marriage is high. The level of exposure determines trust. A marriage assumes trust. Which is why we feel betrayed and not just disappointed when things go wrong. And the level of commitment needed in marriage is high. Marriage demands commitment. If you can’t commit to someone don’t marry the someone. Marriage will demand commitment of you. When there’s no commitment in marriage we’ll treat our partners from an emotional arm’s length. There’ll be no identification with the other party. And that’s when partners start feeling cheated. That can lead to depression because we feel powerless. It can break the mind if we resort to willpower. Things ought to be simple in marriage. The less the convolutions in a marriage the more enjoyable it is. And things are simple in marriage when there’s love and trust, when there’s kind consideration.

Oh, how enjoyable a good marriage is! And what sadness the alternative is. It’s why you need to be patient with your spouse. Patience is a necessary virtue in marriage. It takes time for couples to gel, to find a good rhythm. Why you need to be patient. Desire to gel in marriage makes gelling faster and simpler. Love conquers all. That’s not saying one party should take the other party for granted. That in itself is anti marriage, and it’s selfishness. What marriage does is that it forces us to confront ourselves, to see our deficiencies, areas needing improvement. Some things we do as singles may not be agreeable to marriage. And so we need to adjust. We’re all learning. Even a 50th anniversary couple is still learning. Marriage is a life term school. The very act of being patient itself is a character building exercise. As you grow older, you’ll learn impatience can be so unnecessary in many situations. Be patient my young friend!

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Patience, Marriage

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