My dear Jil, one of the critical mechanics of a good marriage is agreement. And I’m not just talking situational agreement on specific issues. I’m talking about agreement on life philosophy, values, doctrine and concept of family. These are things that produce harmony.
Personalities may differ, but values must not differ. When values differ that’s fundamental disharmony. Couples do better when they’re agreed on values. Take something as simple as approach to work. If a man has a laissez faire attitude towards work it will affect his sense of responsibility. The wife soon becomes tired. Agreement on religious doctrine also matters. There’ll be clashes otherwise, especially if religion permeates the life of the couple. That virtually means they’ll fight over everything, including the name for the baby. But situational agreement also matters. You can’t be divided over issues. Always work your way through and reach an agreement. In marriage the important thing is not to try to be right or have your way. It’s what’s good for the marriage that matters. You can’t win an argument and lose your marriage. Then what have you gained? Some issues will not even arise if you carry each other along. Communication matters. The more you share the greater the bond. Information gaps create room for speculation and fantastic use of imagination.
You have to understand men love to do macho stuff to impress women. Which is how some guys end up in senseless debt. The woman makes a demand based on the impression given, and instead of the guy to say he’s down financially he seeks to please her by taking on debt. There are senseless debts. That debt would have been unnecessary if the parties were open, honest, real and sincere with each other. Where values kick in is that the woman would not expect her man to go and borrow money to buy her jewellery for example. He’ll soon learn jewellery goes with bags and shoes. And a new dress. More debt coming.
The other reason you need to be in agreement is because of interlopers. You must be in agreement of heart concerning your marriage if you want to beat them off. There’s a way men think. If there’s agreement on your primacy and importance it makes things more straightforward for him. It turns the effort of the interloper into an uphill task. You can’t stop the interloper from trying. The constitution guarantees such rights. Freedom of association. But if a man makes it obvious his marriage is off limits she soon gets the message. The sad thing about it though is that it will make your husband more desirable. The interloper will want a man with such level of commitment. Which is why she’ll keep trying for some time, looking for cracks.
You and your spouse MUST be one if you want to enjoy marriage. There’s an enjoyment resident in harmony. What fundamental agreement does is that it gives each party confidence to invest in the relationship. And the more committed the investment the more emotional investment is elicited. The very idea you and your husband are in agreement is something exciting. There’s a secret joy to that. Makes you feel you’re making your spouse happy. Agreement brings peace of mind in marriage. When the parties are in oneness there will be peace in the relationship. When there’s fundamental agreement between a man and a woman it checkmates third party forces. There are mothers-in-law trying to destroy their son’s marriage and this can be for a number of reasons including witchcraft. Some mothers-in-law are controlling. They want to be local government chairmen in their son’s home. And when the wife resists civil war is declared. Then the man gets torn in two, the mother asserting legacy rights and cultural precedence, the wife citing matrimonial rights. That situation will never arise if the parties had been in agreement, the agreement being, nothing and nobody will ever come between us, not even our parents. There are selfish parents. There are mothers-in-law who see their daughter-in-law as enemy combatant. They feel she came to snatch their son away. They forgot they snatched someone’s son away. Their selfishness blinds them to that truth. If you’re not in agreement in your marriage the forces of life will tear it apart. Be in agreement. Agreement is powerful.
There are differences that shouldn’t stand in the way of harmony in marriage. I don’t know if you watch Grand Design. It’s an architectural show on self-build in Great Britain. Beautiful houses. In one episode there was a couple. Both are medical doctors but they couldn’t be more different in personality. He’s British and as conservative as they come; she’s Greek and as exotic as they come. He loves traditional style in architecture, she’s modern in taste. How are they ever going to build a house together? But they did. They built this beautiful house, half modern, half conservative. They found symmetry in a beautiful yellow metal staircase. It was wedged down the middle of the two parts of the house. That house reflects their marriage. At the centre of it all you can see the love between the two, the harmony of the marriage, the play off of strengths, the conceding of weaknesses. That’s how it should be.
There should be agreement on divergence in personality, and that ought to be celebrated. It’s what makes a marriage tick. But there should be love and care. When a couple loves each other you can tell. When a woman feels secure in a marriage you can tell. The signs are obvious. You’ll see a confident disposition. It’s nice for a woman to know she means so much to her man, that he loves her so much and would do everything to protect her. And it’s nice for a man to know his woman loves him, that she’ll always be there for him; that she’s put all her eggs in the basket of their relationship. There’s just something most reassuring about that level of commitment.
You must get these things sorted out at the very start of your marriage. Understand how your spouse takes your marriage, how he views it, how he sees you. Such understanding helps couples avoid disappointment. It’s an understanding you both must have. If you don’t sort these things out, as the years grow the marriage will grow apart instead of closer.
As the years grow you’re supposed to be tighter and closer. That’s because there’ll be more maturity, more understanding, more commitment, more emotional investment, more love. You must be in agreement as a couple. When people know you’re that committed to your marriage they’ll see you as a hopeless case and leave you alone. Even your friends will see you different. They know how it is between you and your husband. They know you’re secure, that nothing can come between you. Not even them.
Friends do try to come between spouses. Some do it by planting ideas, some with innuendos, and some monger fear. Some are plain jealous and some are evil. A good friend won’t try to sabotage your marriage. If a so called friend is trying to sabotage your marriage you better run. That’s not a friend.
And please perish the thought couples are SUPPOSED to fight. Says who? That doesn’t mean you avoid discussing difficult subjects, just that wisdom prevails. You start with the fundamental fact nothing will separate both of you, that you’ll always be in agreement and trust each other. You trust in his love, he trusts in your love.
You can’t have a frustrated altercation in your marriage. It’s how couples end up becoming physical. That’s a dangerous line to cross in marriage. It can’t be uncrossed. Don’t go there. Don’t smash things up.
You need to be wise in your marriage. Your number one objective is the preservation of the cohesive whole. Both of you will lose when a beautiful marriage falls apart. That can prove very difficult to recover from. It’s why some ex couples can’t move on. There’s immobilising regret. They can be in that state of regret for a long time. It’s a state of emotional impasse. None can cross the bridge of emotional divide. Emotion will refuse to venture to the other side. It’s afraid.
The agreement of the heart is the most fundamental of all agreements. In a marriage there will be innocent mistakes. No one is perfect. A fundamental agreement concerning the marriage makes such non issues.
Please consider all I’ve said. In fact I think both of you should read this letter together. It will create a basis for agreement going forward.
Write me if there’s still an issue.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.Couples do better when they’re agreed on values Click To Tweet The agreement of the heart is the most fundamental of all agreements. Click To Tweet