The Love Myth *Grammar Update*
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
Marriage is a partnership, and like any partnership, it's 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's contingent on 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's based on lust rather than a mutual bond. Time can show a couple what 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).
Living with a Stranger
Some will say they live happily with a partner who has an entirely different view. They don’t talk about the subjects they disagree with, letting them fester. These points of contention will ultimately become bullet points to the partnership. The little annoyances become giant chasms that eventually end the relationship. A partnership needs to be built on a connection. In a time of stress, people focus on what they do 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 with 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, marriage was built on the concept that the man has the head of the household. Then the idea 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 partner's role in the partnership. A person’s views on what a marriage is can determine the kind of partner they will be. This includes gender roles. 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, perceptions can change, including the role of the individual within a partnership. This can include the orthodox and progressive views on gender roles. 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 are a conflict. And if this division between the two can’t be resolved, the partnership will be unequal.
Be in Charge
The propose of this is to talk about how a partnership needs more than love to be successful. This is not to say that people can’t have a good relationship. 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.