From the beginning of time, man has been preoccupied with the pursuit of happiness in life, from the cradle to the grave. He works and struggles very hard to attain happiness, very often without knowing exactly what happiness means because of his ignorance of the nature of life. I have done several interviews and will share my unbiased truth of the only way to have a happy marriage.
Although all denominations and religious sect provide advice and guidelines for their adherents to practice in order to attain happiness in life, more often than not, these advice and guidelines are ignored owing to man’s craving, hatred and illusion, then again I should add persons have come to mistrust these avenues of advice because even with religion they too have their agendas.
Many people who experienced frustrations and sufferings hope and pray to find happiness for present life and here after; others, though enjoying a large measure of happiness on earth, are still not contented and crave for eternal bliss in heaven after leaving this world. For the ordinary man, as for the child, it is difficult to make a distinction between happiness and pleasure. To him, that which gives pleasure give happiness, and to be happy is to experience pleasure.
Very often, we consider childhood days to be a period of happiness, not for all of us because for me it was just this numb feeling of searching for something that was difficult to find. I wanted what the neighbours had, I wanted to be like that guy over there and so my days were spent dreaming of happiness. In reality, as children we do not understand what happiness is. Under the protection of our parents, we pass our days in a perpetual round of enjoyment which undoubtedly gives us pleasure. As we enter adolescence, changes take place in the mind and physical body causing us to become aware of the existence of the opposite sex and we begin to experience a new kind of attraction giving rise to disturbing emotions. At the same time, curiosity drives us to find out about the facts of life, through peer discussion and book reading. Before long, we find ourselves on the threshold of adulthood, the crucial time in our life when we look for a suitable life-partner to begin a relationship that will put to the test all the qualities that we have acquired earlier in life. Love, sex, and marriage then become matters of great importance that will determine the quality of the married life we will have. The happy marriage we call it and we seek it as if it was life itself.
Here we go:
There are different kinds of love, and these are variously expressed as motherly love, brotherly love, sensual love, emotional love, sexual love, selfish love, selfless love, and universal love.
If people develop only their carnal or selfish love towards each other, that type of love cannot last long. In a true love relationship, one should not ask how much one can get, but how much one can give.
When beauty, complexion and youth start to fade away, a husband who considers only the physical aspects of love may think of acquiring another young one. That type of love is animal love or lust. If a man really develops love as an expression of human concern for another being, he will not lay emphasis only on the external beauty and physical attractiveness of his partner. The beauty and attractiveness of his partner should be in his heart and mind, not in what he sees. Likewise, the wife who follows the love that God expressed through his son Jesus then those teachings will not allow her to neglect her husband even though he has become old, poor or sick.
Gandhi said and I quote, “I have a fear that the modern girl loves to be Juliet, to have a dozen Romeos. She loves adventure . . . The modern girl dresses not to protect herself from wind, rain and sun, but to attract attention. She improves upon nature by painting herself and looking extraordinary.” I wonder if Gandhi has a point, I will not elaborate on it.
Sharing and Trust
One of the major causes of marital problems is suspicion and mistrust. Marriage is a blessing but many people make it a curse due to lack of understanding.
Both husband and wife should show implicit trust for one another and try not to have secrets between them. Secrets create suspicion, suspicion leads to jealously, jealousy generates anger, anger causes enmity and enmity may result in separation, suicide or even murder.
If a couple can share pain and pleasure in their day-to-day life, they can console each other and minimize their grievances. Thus, the wife or husband should not expect to experience only pleasure. There will be a lot of painful, miserable experiences that they will have to face. They must have the strong will power to reduce their burdens and misunderstandings. Discussing mutual problems will give them confidence to live together with better understanding.
Man and woman need the comfort of each other when facing problems and difficulties. The feelings of insecurity and unrest will disappear and life will be more meaningful, happy and interesting if there is someone who is willing to share another’s burden. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it and it is, however we feed our minds with doubts on a subliminal level with Soap Operas, Mills & Boon, Movies, Negative Friends etc., and then we expect to feed our minds with garbage and be happy in our marriages.
Blinded by Emotions
When two people are in love, they tend to show only the best aspects of their nature and character to each other in order to project a good impression of themselves. Love is said to be blind and hence people in love tend to become completely oblivious of the darker side of each other’s natures.
In practice, each will try to highlight his or her sterling qualities to the other, and being so engrossed in love, they tend to accept each other at “face value” only. Each lover will not disclose the darker side of his or her nature for fear of losing the other. Any personal shortcomings are discreetly swept under the carpet, so to speak, so as not to jeopardize their chances of winning each other. People in love also tend to ignore their partner’s faults thinking that they will be able to correct them after marriage, or that they can live with these faults, that “love will conquer all.”
However, after marriage, as the initial romantic mood wears off, the true nature of each other’s character will be revealed. Then, much to the disappointment of both parties, the proverbial veil that had so far been concealing the innermost feelings of each partner is removed to expose the true nature of both partners. It is then that disillusion sets in. That was not the partner that I married, if I knew half of what I know now, I would not be married to this individual! You hear the cry every day.
A Happy Marriage
Marriage is a partnership of two individuals and this partnership is enriched and enhanced when it allows the personalities involved to grow. Many marriages fail because one partner tries to “swallow” another or when one demands total freedom. A happy marriage means understanding and respecting each other’s belief and privacy. A successful marriage is always a two-way path: “humpy, bumpy” — it is difficult but it is always a mutual path.
Young people in this country and elsewhere sometimes think that “old fashioned ideas” are not relevant to modern society. They should be reminded that there are some eternal truths which can never become out-of-date. What was true during the days of Adam and Eve are still relevant today.
The so-called modern ideas we receive through the highly glamourous television programs do not represent the way most decent people in the west think or behave. There is a vast “silent majority” of decent couples who are as deeply religious and “conservative” about marriage as any couple. They do not behave in the manner that the mass media has portrayed them. Not all the people in the west run off to get a divorce or abortion after their first quarrel or dispute, and whether we believe it or not, there are great marriages that exist today, just like the media, good marriages do not get people buying papers and watching the news.
Decent people all over the world are the same; they are unselfish and care deeply about those whom they love. They make enormous sacrifices and develop love and understanding to ensure happy and stable marriages. So, if you want to ape the west ape the “silent majority”: they are no different from your decent neighbour who lives next door to you.
Young people must also listen to their elders because their own understanding about married life is not mature. They should not make hasty conclusions regarding, marriages and divorces. They must have a lot of patience, tolerance and mutual understanding. Otherwise, their life can become very miserable and problematic. Patience, tolerance and understanding are important disciplines to be observed and practiced by all people in marriage.
A feeling of security and contentment comes from mutual understanding which is the SECRET of a HAPPY MARRIED LIFE. (Inspired by my friend Opal Barnes 2/6/2016)