Posts Tagged ‘Respect’

Marriage (102)

May 6, 2011

 It’s amazing to me, that in most of the Western Civilized world, we predominantly marry for love(not that it’s a bad thing).  In the past and in certain geographical areas of the world that has not always been the case.  It’s amazing because its something that should really be taken with very much more consideration. 

Have you ever gone to the casino and bet the family business?  Me neither.  However a fair amount of us fall in love, decide this is “the one” and get married.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  We actually make the biggest decision of our lives based on an immediate emotional state.  Why is that important? Because essentially a lot of marriage is a business.  If you don’t believe me just ask the lawyers. They’re the ones that negotiate the fate of the company when it breaks up. Marriage is a legal obligation. This is why pre-nups were invented. Marriage is usually recognized by the church or the state or both. While the institutions have to deal with the custody, financial, and property rights it’s usually the individuals that have to bear the burden of the breakup. You don’t want to be in that spot.

In the prior centuries and in other countries people have also married for Royalty reasons, security reasons, status reasons, family loyalty obligation, and money reasons.  Examples: A Prince to a Princess(for the continued illusion of Blue Blood), a marriage between Royalty for the binding of two previous warring countries, the marriage to the CEO and in turn the Trophy Wife, an arranged marriage as done in Asian countries such as China until 1950, and the taking of a wife with the biggest dowry.

If you’re idealistic(naive) like me, you may think that Love conquers all……..well, sometimes it does, but not always.   There are other facets of love beyond mere attraction and likability. Things like respect, patience, understanding, tolerance, and even being blind at the appropriate moment.    

If I had my way( and I usually don’t), it would be mandatory that everyone would have about six months of therapy before they got married.

If I had my way( and I usually don’t),  it would be mandatory that everyone would have to take a marriage test. A written test; with multiple choice, true and false, and essay(although the test would not be a pass/fail determiner qualification).  I myself may not have passed the test, but the point being that people should think about their decision in an adult and mature fashion(is that naive or idealistic!!!).

Things to think about before marriage:

Will there be a Honey-Do list?   A reciprocal Honey-Do list(can they handle each other’s list)?  What is a Honey-Do list?

Are Spiritual/Religious Values important?  Is it necessary to be absolutely alike, or is each finding their own path.  For sure to have a succesful union to work it will have to at least have both people sharing the same Values and Ideals but maybe not necessarily the same institution.  

Sexual/Emotional compatibility is important also.  Sexual incompatibility can destroy a marriage.  If sexual abstinence is observed before marriage then it might be a good idea to obtain a Sex Manual and review and discuss EVERY page together. Sure we want discovery on the honeymoon but not unwarranted rejection or ignorance.  Sexual compatibility should not be presumed. Again another issue that can just be blindly misunderstood.

Emotional compatibility is important to compare and share very simple things.  Can he listen? Can she listen?  Is he morose and she upbeat?  Is she sullen and he anxious?  Emotional outlook is very important. Is he/she happy in other situations besides just being with you.  See how they are in the supermarket, the restaurant, long trips, short trips, and every other situation without them tailoring their needs to yours.   What you may find may shock you.   If they’re only nice in your presence then eventually they may be unnice to you.   If they’re not courteous to the help, waiters, attendants,and service people then they eventually may not be nice to you.

More stuff: In-laws, parents, children, discipline, household/yard/car chores, shared interests, vacations, travel, friends, food & cooking, politics, House & Home. Everything is on the table.

Beginnings:  It’s a very good idea to disclose ALL of your BAGGAGE if you can, ask them for their own. It’s a very good idea to declare absolute DEAL BREAKERS early in the relationship(but maybe not to early), request their own. It’s a very good idea to declare ABSOLUTE MUSTS early in the relationship(but maybe not to early), request their own. The very reason to declare this stuff is it won’t be nice and it won’t be settled later.  Address it now.

Last words almost: Men, marriage requires maintenance just like other things in your life, Ladies, don’t expect to change him after the marriage, it’s too late then.

None of these things need complete agreement from both parties, however, there should be a majority of agreement or at least understandings of the differences with future noted expectations.

With all that is said it should still be noted that even smart people get divorced, mature people get divorced, religious people get divorced, it’s not the end of the world.

I do believe that marriage for love is very, very good. But…I also believe that it’s OK to be smart.  The two are not incompatible.

I found this excellent quote(with no last name given):

It’s not who you are to the world, it’s who you are to me. It’s not how many times I say I love you… it’s how much I really do.
                                                            – Mary Ann


April 21, 2011

Today’s post is practical reality, after all what good is Spirituality if it can’t also be practical?  I may pray, and meditate, and fast but if I can’t get along with my own wife what good is it all?   Marriage should seemingly be easy, natural, the right relationship, but sometimes it’s not and we need help.    Bette Midler said it best, and I’m paraphrasing here, “If sex and relationships are so natural and easy why are there so many books written about them?”    Because people are complicated and unique.

First let me talk to the men. Why would I read marriage manuals?   So I can fix things, I am a man after all.  I read my router’s manual, I read my welding book, I did my psychology homework and I can read my tax forms.  I can read. I can fix things.  My life is better.

  I’m listing these in MY order but as usual anyone can read them anyway they like,….as the spirit moves us.

The first book to read is “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.”  A great beginning foundational book.  When I first  started to read it and I was all smug  I’d be reading the man’s part and I’m thinking “That’s exactly like I think, that’s just how I feel,…..everyone knows that.”  I actually yawned through the man’s part.  Then I came to the women’s part.  I read that thinking, “No, she doesn’t actually think that does she, how can she feel that?  Oh, I guess that makes sense, I never thought about it like that before.  So that’s why she does that, no wonder!!!”  We are different;……very, very different. This book explains how.

One of my female friends was surprised that I had read it. She said that among her female friends the running joke was “it’s a great book. Just try to get a man to read it though.” Once I read one manual I had to read more.  I had to be expert then and I was torn between being a great husband/humanitarian or being a great welder. I finally realized  that putting two people together was a lot more rewarding then putting two pieces of metal together. I’m kind of joking here but even I can’t tell if I am or not.

The next book to read is “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerich. A great book advancing the ideas of the first book, slightly more sophisticated, very slightly. This is my personal favorite. This is another great book that actually tweaks the message of the first book.  It shines just ever so subtly a light that further illuminates relationships. This book is Christian based so if that offends, read it any way.  It may even come across that he is playing stereotypes, that is NOT what he is saying. Get the message anyway. While it’s a lot like the other book, his examples are different and he places a lot of emphasis on the man’s need for “RESPECT”.  That’s why this book is different.  In the polling for his conferences it was shown to the author that the reason the men even attended the  conference was because “RESPECT” was in the title.  Message to Women:  EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ THIS BOOK.   If every time a woman wanted to tell her man that “she loves him”, she could stop and sometimes substitute the words, “I RESPECT YOU” then the world would be a much better place.  

A third great book is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.  Another classic. His book explains the way people(regardless of gender) actually express love. There are five ways that people usually express their love.  Why this is a problem is because if you, the man, are using one way and she prefers another expression than it doesn’t work well. I’ll cite three examples.  Some people like to give gifts, some people like quality time with one another, some people do things for the other person. There’s five but you’ll have to read the book to know the other two.  If she wants quality time with her spouse and he thinks to get her chocolates and flowers then the love is being thrust past each other.  Neither party gets it.  If she thinks to do things for him(like cleaning his golf clubs)  and he wants gifts, like basketball tickets or new garden tools then the love is being thrust past each other. Neither side gets it.  This book helps each party figure out their own preferences and needs and then teaches each person how to love in the manner that the other person understands.   Again it’s simple but complicated. 

The last great book is Steve Harvey’s “Act like a Lady, Think Like A Man”.  Mr. Harvey cites three “P’s” that are the obligation of every man.  I’ll cite two of those. You’ll have to buy the book to find out the other “P” in addition to the woman’s own understandings.   A man is supposed to Profess, Protect, & P______.   How he Professes?   He tells you that he loves you.  He tells your parents and his parents that he loves you.  He’s able to tell the whole world that he loves you.  If he can’t then he’s just gaming you.    How he Protects?  If the lady gets insulted, or treated rudely or badly IT IS the man’s job to step up to the plate and protect her.  Unless she wants to do it herself.   He also protects with his castle. 

Some of this may seem stereotypical.  Some of it is.  Your Husband/Wife may be different.  Maybe the roles are even reversed.  Humanity can’t be pigeon-holed and boxed in, but we can still read the signs to find our way and if we can find a better way than so be it.

For easy access I’ve listed these books on the right under Marriage Manuals.  Enjoy.

 A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

              ~Mignon McLaughlin