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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Marriage

Now and then the subject of marriage pops up in conversations. In my case it would be remarriage. People claim you should never say never. Okay. It's highly unlikely that I would marry again. There's a list of reasons, many are practical, and some are emotional. My soul still carries its scars as a witness. Only one is important, although not even a matter of principle.

After ample consideration, I believe that a relationship needs frequent maintenance. This may seem obvious and I wish it was but it's not. Each day people change and relationships adjust. Following such changes, people grow apart. A relationship binds people and especially when there are children. It's like a rubber band that stretches and stretches until it snaps.

A relationship is often taken for granted, if only because of the implicit or explicit promise: till death do us part. Songs like Single Ladies don't really help: “Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it” (lyrics, video). It all suggests that the job is over and done when you're married. More often it's a new beginning.

With the knowledge of hindsight, it's crucial finding a balance in Time & Space between you, your partner, and the both of you. Being together 24/7 is not healthy and work easily becomes an escape. Everyone needs me-time and everyone needs being alone. This is why more experienced people are eager for wanting a Living-Apart-Together (LAT) relationship.

The problem and solution are often rooted in (mutual) expectations, which are different before and after marriage. Having (many) expectations is likely to cause negative surprises or disappointments. The latter brings unhappiness. Lack of expectations will prevent disappointment and is also more likely to bring happiness through positive surprises.

Several of the 7 criteria for a unique relationship are challenging: communication, intimacy, respect, trust, and especially forgiveness, togetherness and vulnerability. The key issue is whether it's easier to work on these 7 inside or outside a marriage. I've come to the conclusion that you work harder on these 7 criteria outside a marriage.

When you're not married to someone, each day becomes an implicit choice and decision to renew the relationship. Essentially, a marriage that renews its vows does the same thing but explicitly. A conscious decision to renew a marriage will benefit the relationship.

To a large extent, the concept of Freedom is similar. Freedom outside a relationship is clear: you do whatever and whenever you want, and with whomever you want. You think, feel and believe that you are the one making all of the choices and decisions each day.

Freedom inside a relationship is less clear. Sometimes, a relationship can feel like a prison and escape becomes the sole desire of the prisoner. However, any prison also offers safety and security and may even create a Stockholm syndrome.

Freedom is a state of mind [], not a state of being. Adapted quote by Walter Mosley.

Love and Marriage (1955) by Frank Sinatra - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
This I tell ya, brother, you can't have one without the other.