- Gender and Relationships»
What about Marriage
Let's see now, you are either married, unmarried, considering marriage, or what my husband describes in bewtix, not sure about going into the 'unknown' with someone. If you are single, practicing celibacy, a skeptic and think marriage sucks, this may not be your cup of tea.
Now, is there truth to what someone observed, "I don´t see much of "us" in relationships today. I see more "me", and this is the reason why marriage is dying as an institution." We no longer believe that a relationship encompasses a certain sacrifice of itself if it is going to work and thrive. That, when we marry, we are there through it all. That when we become parents, we are responsible for the safety and security of our children.
It cannot be said enough, the effects of divorce transcend generations and contribute to the all-too-evident cycle of social decay. It weakens relationships, communities, and nations. The increases in the rates of child abuse and neglect, crime, behavioral and emotional problems, health problems, cohabitation, future divorce, and out-of-wedlock births as well as the decrease in religious worship, educational attainment, and income potential. There is cause for alarm to us citizen, policymakers and community leaders.
How true is it that Americans have grown comfortable with divorce as a natural part of life? There is no longer care, nor dreaded stigma attached to divorce. It is now an acceptable norm, or as someone described, an 'unavoidable rite of passage'. Based on studies made with young adults suggest, that they still want to marry and make it work. Yet, in the same breath, they are more skeptical about that possibility. Can we blame them? What is most disturbing is despite studies, preparing for marriage is being ignored. By all counts, America has become an experimental, experience-driven culture. "Rather than learn from objective information and teaching based on that information, people prefer to follow their instincts and let the chips fall where they may", as expressed by George Barna. With this trend, America will continue to regress in this aspect, and hold the highest divorce rate among all developed nations of the world.
I'm a 'product' of divorce. It's still hard to fathom how two people who you thought were 'infallible' quit on each other after over 20 years of marriage. It was ugly and painful. This is why i advocate good strong marriages, and hate the whims of divorce. I say whim because we are seeing more couples drop out of their sacred vows for the flimsiest of reasons.
Having suffered from divorce in the family, i had to overcome becoming cynical about marriage. I'm a traditionalist who believe that marriage is vital to building healthy societies. I'm not a theologian, nor an expert on such a broad and complicated subject. I do adhere to sound biblical teachings which i have followed since i was a child. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not against single hood. I know, and in fact, admire those who have found bliss in being single. I think they are in a better place than many married couples who are unhappy being together. I take my hats off to my beautiful single friends and family, who, like Simon Cowell, recently admitted, "I wouldn't marry me". I especially have great esteem for those who are married to their mission in life, like priests and nuns, evangelists who go into the ends of the world to bring the love of God. There is no greater calling and sacrifice. God bless them!
In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage- Robert Anderson
So, what about your marriage and mine? What about our children and the next generation? Is marriage, the way we are seeing it today, a dying God ordained plan for mankind? I pray not. I remember hearing my daughter, while studying in New York, say she wasn't going to marry and that she preferred to stay a bachelorette. I wasn't all that surprised that she had come to such a decision. Clearly, i was seeing divorce's affect on my own child's way of thinking. Experts say, 'the severing of the relationship between mother and father rends the hearts of most children, making their own capacity to have deep and trusting relationships more tenuous'.For many children, the divorce of their parents is the beginning of an intergenerational cycle of family fracturing that is passed on to their children and grandchildren. Thankfully, my daughter is now happily married, deservedly so after several mishaps in her relationships. Here maybe it's safe to conclude, the mind may think, but can't dictate when the heart beats.
Henny Youngman said, "The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret".
If it's not working for whatever reason, where do couples go for answers? Relationship experts say "old-fashioned" practices offer greater longevity, stability, and pleasure to marriage.
Two books originally published in 1913 entitled,Don'ts for Husbands and Don'ts for Wives, are said to contain hundreds of tried-and-true tips for a happy marriage. Advice for wives include "don't let him have to search the house for you after his day's work. Listen for his latch-key and meet him on the threshold," and "don't bother your husband with chatter if he is tired." For husbands, "don't hesitate to mention the fact when you think that your wife looks exceptionally nice," and "don't scowl or look severe; cultivate a pleasant expression."
Good HouseKeeping published "Go Retro:12 TIPS FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE", which i thought was a great list of sound advise. Here are samples...
Retro Relationship Tip No. 1: Reinstate Civility
"Please," "thank you," "pardon me" and "may I" are phrases that seemed to have all but disappeared from present-day vocabularies, especially with our loved ones.
After spending time with Wonderful Marriage co-authors Lilo and Gerard Leeds, married for more than 50 years, Real believes you should extend your partner the same courtesy you would a stranger. "When speaking to your spouse, don't be rude, be respectful. Use a combination of old-school civility and modern frankness." Additionally, he suggests trying more sweetness and tenderness by saying things more lovingly.
Psychotherapist and author Tina Tessina, PhD, concurs. "Politeness is like a lubricant for your daily interactions; it makes everything go more smoothly."
Joyce Morley-Ball, EdD, a counselor in Decatur, Ga., adds some specifics. "Show her that chivalry is not dead: Pull out her chair, open the door for her, help her over a puddle, give her your coat when it is cold outside, help her to put on her coat. This act of affection shows that she is important and there is a level of respect for her."
Retro Relationship Tip No. 2: Put Pen to Paper
Back before cell phones and instant messaging, people wrote letters of affection to each other, often waiting weeks to receive them.
Lilia Fallgatter, author of The Most Important Letter You Will Ever Write: How to Tell Loved Ones How You Feel Before It's Too Late, advocates reviving the lost art of letter-writing to increase intimacy in a relationship.
"Love letters exchanged between a couple can strengthen their relationship by helping them to connect to one another on a deeper level," she says via email. "These letters may also become treasured keepsakes that can be revisited and experienced anew each time they are read." You'll reap bonus points if you hand write it on beautiful paper and enclose a cherished memento such as a photograph or ticket stub from a movie you saw together.
For full context on the above article, pls go to:
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil .- Eccl 9:9
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered-.1 Peter 2:25-3:2,3:7
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.-Proverbs 18:22