“Marriage is not suitable for everyone” is a common phrase these days, yet we seem to be blind to the several ways to maintain a happy marriage in the present. One could ask how many people truly believe that phrase, considering that most people say it because they are single and want to meet their ideal partner. The keyword is “partner,” a natural phrase that looks to be rather ambiguous in our day and age but has long been the contract established between man and woman.
“Marriage is the legally or formally acknowledged union of two persons as “partners” in a personal relationship (historically and in certain jurisdictions particularly a marriage between a man and a woman),” according to the Oxford Dictionary. The term “partners” is referenced in the description above, which lends credence to the idea that early men and women formed a partnership to establish how they would work together for the remainder of their life long before marriage became a legal or formal institution. It is vital to remember, however, that marriage is predicated on some sort of agreement between two or more individuals.
These thoughts run through my head when I try to analyze what I got myself into when I made up my mind to marry my wife the first day I met her. As a man, you tend to honestly look through where it started, what it had been, where it is, and most importantly, its true value to self, partner, family, and society. But how can a modern man and woman maintain a healthy marital relationship while keeping their legal and religious vows?
1. Know Yourself and Your Partner
KYC (Know Your Customer) banks and other financial institutions depend on customer identity verification; so think of yourself as your first customer and get to know yourself. This is one of the most difficult things in life, yet it is the most glaring thing we are blind to see. It is easier to know yourself when you have come to accept everything in your past as all you needed to be the version of who you want to become. It is only when you accept the good and bad times that shaped you, that you will be attentive enough to love and accept yourself for who you are. Once you get to that point, you will know who and what you need in a partner that compliments you.
Knowing your partner works best when you understand yourself enough, your good, bad, and ugly sides, and you have communicated that with your potential partner with the open-mindedness to let them share theirs, knowing fully well that if they are willing to accept you and your baggage, you should at least consider accepting theirs too.
Please know that if there are deal breakers you can’t deal with, the beginning of the relationship is the best time to express your concerns and leave if you must. Most relationships that have these kinds of difficult conversations at the beginning still have the likelihood to fall apart over time if one or both parties didn’t express their concerns early enough. Be sure you both are compatible enough to deal with your imperfections because once you have accepted to be in a committed relationship certain frictions will occur when you haven’t fully accepted who your partner is.
2. Communication is Key
As cliché as it may seem, it is the most crucial of all. It trumps love for me when we get things muddled up. It is preferable to be open enough to view things from your partner’s perspective.
Communication is so important that it must be at the foundation of your relationship. The best time to build your relationship on communication is at the beginning stage. At this point, it is best to get all your weird traits and baggage on the table. This way you are completely who you are if the person is crazy enough to accept your shitty ass. Bearing in mind that switching back to your real self after the relationship has been on for a while becomes more difficult as time passes on.
It is important to highlight that communication is cliché since it is the most challenging component of a relationship. People find it difficult to explain themselves because they are afraid of how their spouses will respond. They allow deeper talks to drag on longer than they should. Deep dialogues with an open mind in order to learn from your spouse pave the way for a deeper understanding and a more productive partnership.
It is highly advised to start having these unpleasant talks as soon as you sense a connection with someone. Also, you don’t just toss out your baggage until the other person is open enough to throw out theirs. Relationships are a give-and-take partnership. A relationship where both parties put in as much as they want to get out; not a one-sided situation-ship.
3. Forgiveness is Non-negotiable
Forgiveness after communication is probably the most difficult aspect of relationships. To err is human and to forgive is divine. We all fall short in one area of life or another. Most times we try to hide the animal that lies within us so we don’t hurt our significant others. However, they often feel hurt by these imperfections even when they do not show it.
The most damaging component in relationships is not speaking about issues that upset us. This ends up erupting or collapsing the relationship one way or another. We must realize that our spouses cannot be better if we don’t inform or show them how to be better. Early communication minimizes the degree of hurt experienced by partners who do not talk about what hurts them.
Nursing pain makes it more difficult for the aggrieved spouse to forgive his/her partner. It leads to the “I’m okay, we’re okay” zone, where nothing is alright but everyone appears to be superb; actors pretending to be in a love relationship that doesn’t exist. There is no good that can emerge from a relationship that lacks forgiveness. Choose yourself and get out if it isn’t delivering you the success you deserve.
4. Drown the Noise Outside
There are a lot of talks in a world of self-taught relationship gurus and experts, “like me,” that may lead us to think and act in ways that aren’t good for ourselves or our relationships. Everyone is concerned with their well-being. People project their failures and fears onto you and attempt to persuade you on subjects they have no knowledge of.
As modern men and women, we constantly hear concepts like toxic masculinity, patriarchy, equality, and so on.
Delving deeper into the current state of modern society, we see an increase in selfishness among spouses as a result of ideals such as feminism, women’s liberation, and other movements.
These new ideas are wholly meant to demolish the conventional understanding of the family; emasculating men on a daily basis by instilling more feminine habits in men while instilling more manly behaviors in women.
As a result, we see couples marrying themselves while being more concerned with self-interest. Men feel the need to safeguard their assets from their wives. Wives, on the other hand, have the desire to break away from marital duties by earning more money for themselves. This they do as a display of independence from their husbands and their marriage. An important alliance is now under threat.
However, the unconscious thinking that underlies this, is quite dangerous, since it usually leads to strife. The negative impression of men as providers is largely based on their ability to dominate their wives in marriage. This causes the overall population of men to be judged based on the actions of a few, causing even the most well-intentioned men to be perceived as the same.
The Way Forward…
This myth called marriage is not for everyone. In a world like ours, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be in or maintain a good relationship with our partners, because the period we live in is unlike any other in recorded human history.
The internet and other elements that make it easier to find love and happiness also make it more difficult.
We must choose between the traditional way of marriage or redefining the contract between man and woman; return to our primitive nature of a society that starts from the individual to the family to society or rather from the individual to society by completely eliminating the family system.
The choice is ours to make. Drop a comment on your thoughts about this piece.