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Read Letter

This Thing Called Marriage

My dear Jack, you probably feel this way because you’ve not known the dedicated love of a woman. It’s a love so sweet it has saccharine delight. When that love is coupled with simplicity and faith it develops a sucrose quality – like an over-sweetened tea. That kind of love requires total identification, total conviction, and total faith. It is a woman placing her entire faith in your relationship, knowing and believing it will work out.
It is a quest for permanence in the state of affairs, a belief things won’t change, shouldn’t change, and can’t change. That kind of love comes to be when you have met your soul mate – someone you absolutely trust, someone you trust your life to. There’s the quiet request for faithfulness in such a love, a plea not to spoil what seems so perfect. Not that there won’t be forgiveness, but just a plea. If you get such love you’re lucky. If you get such woman you’re lucky. It’s a love with the quality of religious belief. A love entirely based on faith. It is a love of beliefs – belief in you, belief in the permanent future of the relationship, belief in love itself.
Given some of the difficulties and case studies of relationships it’s easy to imagine this kind of love cannot exist. And yet it does. You can’t use bad marriages as your life model. You can’t and shouldn’t draw your life conclusions from bad marriages. Why not the good marriages? Why not indeed! If you build your belief on bad marriages, the pain, the sorrow, well, that’s what you’ll know. But if you ground your marital philosophy on good marriages chances are that’s what you’ll get. You’ve got to believe you will have a good marriage if you want a good marriage. Or what are you searching for? If you take a sceptical approach to marriage you won’t be able to commit. There’ll be most of you missing. You won’t give yourself. You can’t afford to give your all. You’ll be holding back. And so by yourself you’re eroding what will produce the kind of result you desire in a relationship. You can’t hold back in a relationship and expect the results of total commitment. Life won’t deliver what you desire. It can’t work that way. A lack of commitment erodes trust in a partner. It’s worse when you expect full commitment from the other side but are unwilling to give same commitment.
When it comes to the issue of commitment the quality of heart matters. It’s the quality of heart that should dictate commitment.  I’m just saying don’t let negative outlook shape your philosophy of marriage. There are many beautiful marriages. Aim for yours to be one of them. But a beautiful marriage is not automatic. Yes, there’s the need for choice of a right partner. But you also have to work at it. You must both be committed to the idea of a good marriage. You must want to have a good marriage if you want a good marriage. You have to have faith you will meet the right person, and that when you meet the person you’ll just know.
There are all those parameters we use in choosing a partner but the most important factor is the quality of the heart. You ignore that to your peril. There are those who are good-hearted. And there are those who are mean-hearted. Discern the difference. Don’t let physique rob you of wisdom. A mean heart can’t be masked for ever. It soon feels comfortable enough and lets things slip; or it feels irritated at something and shows true colour. You must ask yourself who this person I want to date is. Who is she really? Is she a loving person? Is she mean spirited? Is she a good person? Is she evil? It’s the real person you’re going to live with in marriage. After the wedding the need for appearances disappears. You’re confronted with the real person.
It’s important to know who you’re dating therefore – know the essential nature of the person. Some people do everything to mask their true nature but if you’re observant the mask will slip at some point and you’ll see the true person. Life does us such kindness. Beware of deceit. Be aware of deceit. That’s not saying you should go into a relationship suspicious of your girlfriend. But you should nonetheless recognize the opposite of authenticity is deceit. And when you’re considering a relationship just don’t think of the now. You’ve got to ask yourself what would happen five, ten, twenty years down the line. Do you see yourself happy with this person five years from now? How about ten years from now? How about twenty years from now?
Happiness is a very valid issue in marriage. If you’re not going to be happy don’t go into it. That’s joking with depression. Depression is indescribably horrible. But what you want in marriage is not just happiness. You want joy as well. In a relationship joy is the fructose of the heart. You should aspire for joy. You want it that when you look at your wife you’re grateful and thankful. Thankful for her heart, thankful for her nature, thankful you have her, that she’s yours. There are those who’ll tell you these things are unobtainable. But that’s their belief. They soon get what they believe. Which of course produces false conclusions which are then sold as life philosophy.
Sort out your finance before you go into marriage. Have an income. Finance is major, major in marriage. A lack of it produces enormous stress in a young marriage. Disappointments will come. Expectations will be dashed. Parties will become agitated and apprehensive when there’s no finance. Starting a family without regular income is even more difficult. You now have an extra mouth to feed. There’ll be extra requirements. That’s not saying you have to be a millionaire before you marry. But there has to be a commitment to taking care of responsibilities in marriage. When only one party is carrying the load of responsibility in a marriage it can be discouraging. Especially when the end is not in sight. You don’t want your wife to be solely responsible for bills in your marriage. If you believe that should be the case it will create irresponsibility in you. You’ll keep borrowing from her. You won’t step up to the plate, because you know she’ll always come up to the plate. What you don’t realise however is that at some point she’ll become tired of carrying all that load. It’s a huge emotional burden it’s not just a financial load. She begins to wonder if she’s made a mistake. And when she’s tired either of two things can happen: she can become angry, very angry; or she can slip into depression.
It’s important you have drive as a man. Whatever the negotiation of responsibilities in your marriage you must have drive. There has to be inner impetus in you to want to succeed. You must have an inner combustion engine. Without drive you’ll be lackadaisical about life. You won’t take things seriously, to the irritation of your spouse. You can’t be relied on. You’ll let things slip. You won’t work as per schedule. You won’t see the urgency in anything. Once it proves difficult you’ll just let it slip, somehow believing things will work themselves out. Without drive you’ll be unreliable. Your partner will never be sure anything will get done. It will take extra emphasis to get things going. No one can give you drive. Only you can. It’s entirely based on your belief about life, your vision of yourself. Your parents can inculcate it in you but ultimately it’s your decision. There’s a reason it’s called drive.
I’m trying to show you the slippery slopes in marriage, what produces all those statistics on divorce. It’s majorly about fundamentals.
Don’t put yourself under undue pressure about marriage. Marry when you’re ready. You must be psychologically ready for marriage. And please don’t stay in your family house after marriage. Whatever you imagine you’re saving in rent is not worth the quality of your marriage. Your wife must feel free, in her own home.
You can see there are too many variables that can erode the quality of a marriage. The good news is, it’s adherence to a few principles that produce extra sweet marriages.
And please don’t let your mum destroy your marriage. You’re the casualty. Don’t let your mum oppress your wife. Some mothers-in-law are tough! Pray YOU get a good father-in-law. You have an extra dad. A good mother-in-law as well. These external familial supports augment the stability of a marriage. A good family infrastructure helps.
Please take these things to heart.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder |
You've got to believe you will have a good marriage if you want a good marriage. Click To Tweet
You can't hold back in a relationship and expect the results of total commitment. Click To Tweet
Happiness is a very valid issue in marriage. If you're not going to be happy, don't go into it. Click To Tweet
Tags : good marriage, Commitment, Choosing a partner

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