Oneof the biggest decisions I’ve made in my life was give to myself tothe most beautiful woman in the world. After knowing her for the lasteight years I knew what I wanted and decided to ask for her hand inmarriage. Sometimes she asks me why she is the one and what makes herdifferent from any other woman. I think it is very weird for anyoneto ask that question but it is a typical women’s question. Ilet her know without a doubt that she is the one for me and whatmakes her and not any other woman.I always wanted to get married but never fathomed the ups and downspartners go though together in a marriage. It is like being a kid andyour dad takes the training wheels off the bike. Of course you aregoing to fall here and there but you have to learn how to keep yourbalance in order to control the bike. You never know how hard it isto ride it without training wheels but you just want to go fasterlike the bigger kids. Today my marriage consists of the same things.I am too riding with training wheels in my marriage and wonder when Iwill be able to balance this motorcycle through life. This paper willexamine marriage and how it proceeds in today’s world. The focuswill be on love, trust, and the responsibility of a relationship in amarriage.
Marriageshould be based on love alone. I would have married my wife becauseshe is the most beautiful person in this world, but that was notenough. I wanted a person who I can feel at peace with and whom Ifeel we can connect on an emotional and spiritual level. However,there is his age old question of ‘what is love?’ Althoughphilosophers, cosmologist, religion and sociologists have madeattempts to define love, the definition to remains a mystery. For onephilosophy classifies love according to motivations (Oord 15). Thedifferent forms of love also compound the problem in that thestatement “I love you” carries a lot of weight and differentcombinations of love that the perceivably heavier expression “I amin love.” Today, I can declare to the world that I am in love withmy wife and I have been from the moment I set my eyes on her. Giventhat I also say that I love her, I must clarify that it is indifferent ways as expressed by the various types of love.
Onetype of love is affection. With origins in Greek where it is referredto as Storge, this is natural love borne of familiarity and fondness.This is the kind of love that happens naturally to be people worthyof being loved without coercion or without necessarily looking at thecharacter of a person. This is the kind of love that overlooks allthe shortcomings of a person and even their bad side (Oord, 15). Asfor me, I know I have my bad side but I believe my wife does not getbothered about this. Similarly, I have chosen to overlook a few ofthe things that I might not have expected from her but still continueto love her affectionately.
Marriagepartners should be friends first. As for me, my wife is my bestfriend. This has created an additional bond of love called philiathat binds us together out of our common interests. This is also thelove that is found between family members. As a key partner is myfamily, I love her. I also love her as my best friend. We share a lotof common interests such as hiking, watching movies and even cooking.These are the things that bring us closer as friends in marriage. Itis for this purpose that couples are expected to court before theymarry. In this period, they to get to learn more about one anotherbeyond what the partners tell them about them and what they learnfrom their friends. Most relationship and marriage experts indicatethat the most successful couples are the ones that are able toestablish friendship before moving on to intimacy love as discussednext (Sternberg and Weis 19).
Iam in love with my wife. This expresses the romantic love that I feelfor her. It starts from the way she smiles at me to the twinkle inher eyes. It is something that I fall short of words to explain. Formost people, the feeling of romantic love can be best experienced.Any Attempt to put it into words dilutes this mystery. Nonetheless,when one talks of butterflies in the stomach or goose bumps, then onewho have experienced understand what is being discussed.
Marriageshould be guided by unconditional love. This is referred to as Agapein Greek and it is the unconditional love synonymous with theChristian virtue of god’s love for His people and the Church. Thisis viewed as natural and naturally occurring. It is not restricted tofriends, family members or partners but to all. According toChristian teachings, loving one another is a God given commandmentthat should be fulfilled by all who know God. For marriage partnerstherefore, their love should never end in its entirety even whereother forms of love fail. One should love his/her partner at alltimes in keeping to God’s commandments for the believers (Sri 24).
Marriageshould be based on trust. Trust is a very important virtue in anygiven society, culture and religion. Love and trust are closelyrelated and key ingredients in marriage. From a psychologicalperspective, trust in human relations context is the belief that theperson being trusted will do as expected. A trustworthy person isthus someone who can be relied upon to do whatever is expected of himor her at all times with consistency (Lamanna, etal.74). Therefore, one should be trustworthy and also be able to trustothers. In marriages, the element of trust and faithfulness isconstantly addressed with cases of infidelity being the leadingcauses of divorce and separation. For trust to thrive, partnersshould avoid lying, cheating and deception. One should be able to beopen and expose their vulnerabilities trusting that their partnerswill understand them. Where trust is breached, forgiveness should besought. For the offended partners, they should be ready to give theother partner a second chance trusting that they will change.
Appreciationin marriage is also very critical. As is started from the verybeginning, marriages are characterized by ups and downs. The factthat partners need to be beacons of hope in another person life,source of support and number one fan should never be overlooked(Sternberg and Weis 29). As human beings, individuals need to beencouraged and appreciated for their efforts. Sacrifices made to makethe relationship and marriage work should be appreciated by bothparties. Appreciating and commending good actions motivates theactors to continue doing so and even put in more effort inanticipation of more appreciation (Leiderman and Davitz 39).Appreciation should however not be in words alone. Actions such astreats, gifts and rewards go a long way in strengthening marriage
Responsibilityin marriage is mandatory. It is the responsibility of each partner tomake the marriage work and also be a good partner. I personallyrecognize that I owe my wife to be good husband, friend and partner.I must be willing and capable of fulfilling the expectations ofmarriage. This means that before two partners exchange vows andcommit to marriage, they must first agree on what each expects from amarriage (Gottman, 55/56). It is common knowledge that many peoplemarry for different reasons. For some, they are guided by wealthothers are guided by culture and other factors. Different culturesand religions specify the role of marriage to both parties and tosociety. These are the expectations that will guide the parties tomarriage on what to expect from each other. Sri (67) cites Pope JohnPaul II who says “There exists in love a particular responsibilitythe responsibility for a person who is drawn into the closestpossible partnership in the life and activity of another, and becomesin a sense the property of whoever benefits from this gift of self."Therefore, partners in marriage have the responsibility ofsafeguarding the love given to them and making the marriage work.
Inthe discussion above, it is clear marriage is a complex institution.As a married person, I am quite aware of the complexity of marriage.I have experienced both the joy and challenges of being in marriage.I know for a fact that marriage requires hard work and commitmentfrom both parties. Love is also an integral part that is in mostcases the core factor that leads to marriage. For issues such astrust and appreciation, they have to be cultivated over time andearned. Trust is the most critical virtue that must be earned throughdisplaying consistent behavior. As for responsibility, this largelyinvolves commitment and the willingness to be in marriage. Where allthis factors are well balanced, a marriage is bound to be successful.
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