Marriage was once considered a sacred institution. However, in today’s American society it is not always held up to the same thought process and commitment as it once did. That might partly be to the lack of seeing marriage as a relationship, a long-term commitment and the basis of a wholesome family structure. Society overall has extended its ideology to include nuclear families, same-sex partners and other various means of creating a structure to raise children.
Once a couple has decided to commit to one another and have set a time frame for their impending marriage; many forget the relationship and focus on the wedding. Based on individual desires and financial means, an affair is planned from either the most lavish party or to a simple ceremony in front of the justice of the peace. It’s all about one’s preference and or bank account. However, the reality is that more often than not most couples seem to forget about developing a wholesome relationship. This is apparent by the high divorce rate within our country.
Many do not consider cultural differences, socio-economic status and or previous family structure. The thought process of liking one’s mate as a person, enjoying their company, the agreement of the vision/goals for the family and a sense of true commitment is not realized. Many times relationships are established purely on bliss, a high, an emotional attachment. When these feelings wear off and when each partner has gotten sufficiently on each other’s nerves, the couple calls it quits. If children are involved, they are the ones that more than likely will suffer.
Our court system is filled with cases that have continual issues concerning child support, alimony, abuse and other family-related issues. The couple that initially was “so in love” have irritated each other adequately; and each one is referring to the other as “selfish”. Neither party has related their personal problem to their lack of planning in regards to their relationship. This is not the case of all couples, but many do fall into this category.
If one were to do a true assessment prior to the commitment of the wedding day, one wonders if the couple discussed the following areas:
Commitment – the concept of working through all problems and or issues until all is resolved – this is necessary, even if the couple must revisit the drawing board several times. If there are children within the family, the thought process must be they (the children) need a support system of a mother and father.
Communication – all families must talk and convey thoughts and feelings surrounding certain priorities that pertain to the family. The key component in communication is learning to listen, convey disappointment and also appreciation.
Conflict – can the couple work through the present issue? Will grudges be held against either partner for an extended period of time? Does one party yell and scream to make their point? Both parties must learn to communicate effectively. Words that come out of one’s mouth when not thought through properly tend to tear down the other partner.
The art of being skillful is a necessity. Skills apply to conflict, understanding one’s self, their partner, financial planning, decision-making and any other skills that pertain to that particular family. Skills should then be taught to the children.
Love is an underrated thought process among most marriages. Love is selfless and puts the other partner’s feelings and thoughts above one’s one. It should be a mandate in all marriages that each party cares for the other and their needs and places the relationship in the forefront and upholds affection through demonstration. Affection might be shown has hugging, kissing, sexual relations and other expressions of love.
There are always expectations in any relationship and they should be realistically based on where the couple is within the present and where they expect to be in the future. No one person can pull all the weight in a relationship and along with that comes priorities and how they must be set for the good of the relationship.
In conclusion these are just a few highlighted components that are needed for a healthy marriage. As society changes; it impacts families, relationships, marriages and the overall hierarchy of the family structure. Children need a safe sense of security; and the home front which is the family should be their main support. Healthy marriages, lead to healthy families which leads to well-balanced children who are emotionally and mentally balanced. Research shows that no matter how healthy some families might be, they may still produce problem children; yet statistics are higher for the well-balanced than the problem spectrum. Hence, healthy marriages are a start to producing a healthy family structure.
♥ Love changes everything.