Any ideas on rules we can all follow?
Beyond the initial sexual attraction, there’s a world of potential for misunderstanding between couples. There’s practically no end to the reasons cited for what divides us – while the list of what unites us is far smaller.
I don’t know if there’s a “formula” for a happy marriage. It depends on the individual maturity of the couple and what they’re looking for in life. It’s also a question of the values they hold as individuals and the mutual compatibility of those values. It is also a question of the “correct fit”, i.e. how complementary they are to each other. Ultimately, however, it’s all in the head.
Most marriages that are entered into in our Western world are, I dare say, irrational. By this I mean that only the “heart” (emotions, lust, fleeting love, unrealistic dreams) have been involved at the inception. But once the original rush passes, they suddenly discover “incompatibilities”. This may take a month or a year or 20 years. In those longer cases, it’s usually a case of something simmering quietly (consciously or subconsciously), for too long being suppressed by either party.
There’s also the PURPOSE of marriage to consider. WHY do people form lasting bonds? It’s not JUST for the sake of procreation, but also for companionship. Other reasons, spiritual, social or economical also enter the picture. But all of that is NOT what ultimately makes a marriage WORK.
The one key ingredient without which a marriage simply cannot work WELL is… respect.
- Respect for your partner is THE cornerstone of a relationship. If you don’t have it, then before you know it “she’s just a dumb blonde” or “he’s just a bully”.
- Respect, at the lowest level, means “appreciation”. But it’s much more than that. It is the ability to perceive that which is inviolable and unique in your partner.
- Disagreements, differences of opinion are perfectly fine – as long as they’re respectful. But there also needs to be a common path. If the pair don’t follow the same philosophical road, a split further down that road is much more likely.
Far from being a marriage expert, these are my initial thoughts when asked a question like that. Feel free to add your own!
- The Philosophy of Marriage, by Stefan Molyneux
- How to Meet a Nice Girl, by Stefan Molyneux
- The Marriage Certificate, by Stefan Molyneux