- Gender and Relationships»
The Love Myth
There is a myth built around the concept of love. This myth states that anything can be overcome as long as people love each other. The reality is that when people use love in place of another reason(respect, trust, or a mutual bond) the result is what we have today an over 50% divorce rate. Love cannot conquer all. You need more than just love, you need respect, understanding, commitment, and respect (yes I said respect twice).
Marriage is a partnership and like any partnership it is built on need and want. People look at what they want and think that is what they need. People want to feel loved and they want to love, but love is a conditional thing. It is conditional to trust, time, and respect (sort of). The loss of trust whether to a lie or some other act such as cheating can cloud or end love.
Time can change feelings especially if it is based on lust rather than a mutual bound. Time can show a couple all the places they do and do not have in common. Despite the idea of opposites attracting the reality is that the more different people are the less they have in common the less likely they will develop a long term bond (a person with conservative/orthodox views will inevitably have less of a connection with a person with a liberal/progressive view).
Some will say they live happily with a partner who have a completely different view. They just don’t talk about the subjects they disagree on. These points of contention will ultimately become bullet points to the partnership. The little annoyances becomes giant chasms that eventually end the relationship. A partnership needs to be built on a connection. In a time of stress people focuses on what they don not like rather than what brings them together. When you are angry with a person all those little things that annoy you become more pronounced. People who separate will (usually) describe their relationship on what annoyed them about the other. In the end the differences are all that are left.
Above all respect is the most important. Back in the day a marriage was built on the concept of the man has the head of the household with the wife subject to him. Then the concept of respect was not mutual. As roles changed the bases of marriage changed from male dominated hierarchy to a partnership. But not all partners are equal. Inequality can come from the individual’s views, gender roles, income (who brings home the most money), and the perceptions of the partners role. A person’s views on what a marriage is can determine the kind of partner they will be. This includes the gender role (the outdated role with the man as the head of the household or the pop culture concept with the wife as the sole parent and the husband as one of the kids). We also view the partner who makes the most money as the person who gets the most say. This goes against the idea of a partnership or equality. Inevitably the division of power will lead to a split. In an ever changing culture the perceptions of each other can change, including the role of the individual within a partnership. This can include the orthodox and progressive views on gender roles. Going back to the concept on different views if each partner has a different view of their and the others role within the partnership then the partnership is not built on mutual understanding or possibly respect. If a man marries a woman and expects her to act like his mother (cooking, cleaning, etc.) and the woman expects more of a 50/50 split the expectations of the individuals within the partnership will not be met. And if this division between the two can’t be resolved the partnership will be unequal.
The propose of this is to talk about the how a partnership needs more than love to be successful. This is not to say that people can’t have a good relationships. Nor does it have all the answers. What I am suggesting is that as roles change in society so do the roles change in a relationship. Without all three (Love, Respect, and Trust) a true partnership is impossible. People in the past would take smaller roles within the relationship to allow the other to “be in charge”, but today people are less likely to give in to the others will. The head of the household model is (for the most part) outdated.
Do you respect the one you love?
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