As a little girl, you probably dreamt of your wedding day: How will the dress look? Where will the ceremony take place? Who will be the lucky man to sweep me off my feet? Many women dream of their perfect wedding from a very early age.
And this is a dream which, unlike the many other dreams we cherish as children, we don't give up on so easily. Maybe as a kid you wanted to be a police officer but you changed your mind about your career as you got older. But your dream of your wedding day never died; the flowers and the hundreds of guests and the beachside ceremony stayed with you until this day.
Maybe you did experience the perfect wedding day, just the way you've been imagining in your mind for years. But what happened after that day? One day cannot be an indication of an entire lifetime together with a person.
Your wedding sets you up for a marriage which you hope will be everlasting and ever-secure. Marriage is a vast and complex subject, and like all other elements of life, it can't be stagnant. A marriage changes over time and fluctuates through both positive and negative phases, and this is all normal. What is not normal, however, is that a marriage ends for reasons which could have been prevented.
Let me start by saying that the old way of doing things was better than the way we do things today. It's a known fact that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. And although this is the sad reality of modern relationships, this didn't hold true a few generations ago. Think back to your grandparents: their marriage did stand the test of time, yet yours can't. Why? What changed in a matter of decades? Simply put, our mentality changed.
Nowadays, we place the ego before the "I do." We place ourselves, our needs, wants, and desires, way before the needs of the partner we call our "other half." Yet we still expect our marriage to work!
The stability of marriage is comprised of three C's: compatibility, commitment, and compromise. First, compatibility. We hear of many people marrying for interest and not for love. A woman might marry a man for his money or status, and vice versa. But when two people aren't compatible, and they marry for the wrong reasons, the marriage is almost guaranteed to end in divorce.
Next, commitment. Marriage is no walk in the park. You're becoming responsible for someone else's life and you're welcoming that person into your greatest intimacy. You have to prepare to commit to this person in the same way you commit to yourself - unconditionally.
Last, compromise: Marriage means you will have to let someone else be right half of the time. Not many people are prepared to be wrong, ever.
Without compatibility, commitment, and compromise, the bond of any marriage is all too easily broken. But there is one final factor which, when lacking, can lead any couple down the path of divorce: endurance. We've forgotten the meaning of "through thick and thin." In our modern society we regard people as interchangeable. We don't embrace our partner for their strengths and weaknesses, we only embrace what our partner can do for us. And when they make one mistake (as everyone will make mistakes sooner or later), we think "Plenty of fish in the sea. Time to move onto the next!" This becomes a recurring issue, and before we know if we find ourselves in a time crisis. I see many people in their 40's, without a partner, without a family, and they're desperate to fulfill their need for stability.
Some people don't understand that their partner isn't always to blame. Sometimes, they are to blame. When I see someone who can't get along with their significant other, someone who constantly fights with their best friend, who bickers every day with their family, I conclude that the people around them are not the ones at fault. There may be an imbalance within them that they have to deal with before they can have healthy relationships.
Freud hit it on the head when he said that it all goes back to your youth. What we experienced as children and young adults shapes the very course of our lives. If, as a child, you watched your parents fighting every day, and later divorcing, you're going to be affected by their behavior whether you acknowledge it or not. Then, later on in life you'll be given a choice, because everything in life is repetition and synchronicity: divorce like your parents did or do the opposite and work through your marriage. The choice becomes yours.
We may be born alone, but as soon as we enter this world we begin to develop relationships with everyone around us: from day one we are nurtured by our parents, taken care of by other family members, and once we grow a conscious mind we begin to pick and choose the relationships we want, like friends and acquaintances and even enemies. The relationships we decide to bring into our lives and how we decide to handle them say everything about us.
Perhaps our most important relationship in life becomes our marriage, because our marriage is our first real foundation for evolution: when we are married, we begin to build. We build a family, financial stability, our own identity, material possessions, etc. But what good does it to do build an empire if its foundations are shaky? It will only fall apart in time.
What we need to remember is that marriage takes work and we can't be lazy. We have to learn to compromise with our partner when they make a mistake, and not run away because we have no tolerance for error. No one is interchangeable, and when we realize this we can begin to make our marriages everlasting.
HOW TO CREATE AN EVERLASTING MARRIAGE
Creating a lasting, stable marriage is just that: a creation. So what's the secret to making sure that what you've created stands the test of time? The secret is that there is no secret. Every couple's situation is unique, but you can choose to adopt the right mentality to ensure you're doing your part to make it work.
THE TEN LAWS OF MARRIAGE
As Excerpted from my Book, Everyday Karma
Wishing you eternal love,
Dr. Carmen Harra