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  • Writer's pictureFriedhelm (Counsellor)


Our choice of whom we marry is very seldom based on an informed decision. The choice of life partner is often solely made based on two considerations:

a) A romantic feeling (triggered by looks and self-projection).

b) The belief that the person we love, will fill our needs (because you have this feeling).

You have to admit that none of these considerations have anything to do with the real personality of a future spouse. Seldom do couples know who the person really is whom they marry. They certainly are not aware what he or she expects of you in the marriage. Above all, there is no commitment that he or she will supply in your needs. In fact this is commonly not even discussed let alone negotiated before the wedding.

Furthermore, the uneasy feeling about a certain aspect of the other’s personality that is sometimes felt as a warning, is mostly ignored and banned out of consciousness. It gets in the way of the most romantic occasions of all, the wedding ceremony. People get caught up in the excitement and an overriding romantic feeling when in love. So they marry their sweetheart. Even in light of the serious implications of choosing a partner for life, they convince themselves it must be the right person because they feel love. Clearly the wrong question regarding the reason for our choice plays a role here. How often do we hear someone asking confidentially: “But do you really love him / her?” We all take that as the qualifying question. We believe that love should result in a happy marriage.

So we all tend to marry our Valentine.

The premise that love is the only qualifier for a happy marriage proves to be a serious blunder. Many couples start a pattern of constant fighting and arguing not long after the honeymoon. The appropriate other qualifying question actually is: “Are you sure you two are compatible?” For if you love someone, it does not automatically follow that you will be happy together in marriage. (The profile of Valentine is not of a happy married man but rather that of a romantic lover who seduces woman).

With the responsibilities and pressures of life, romantic feelings have the tendency to vanish. It only (may be) reappears at certain occasions like Valentine’s day when people make a special effort to create those romantic feeling. If you are unable to comprehend the personality of your spouse, you cannot fulfill his or her needs. If you do not fulfill his or her needs your spouse will be unhappy. If we are unhappy we tend to become grumpy or nasty and then disgusting. Later on we don’t even care that we do.

Are you sure you know the person with whom you are married? You probably know your spouse’s weaknesses by now, but do you know why? If you don’t know why, you are probably not part of any healing, or growth or partaking in any solution. Your ignorance will make things worse by saying and doing the wrong things.

There is a correlation between what happened with us in the years personality was formed (up till age 18) and the behavior as adults in marriage. Certain childhood experiences are the cause of related problems in adulthood. The other way round is also true. Non desirable behavior as an adult spouse, may refer back to what happened in childhood. This means that present behavior can only be changed if we deal with past experiences. When we deal and heal the emotions now still acting as drivers of behavior. When we update the incorrect premises accepted as a defense mechanism in childhood. The unresolved pain and related false supposition accepted as necessary for survival should be the real targets for healing and reform in a marriage . Not what happened yesterday.

Did you know?

- Neglected children are later on in life prone to getting involved in an extra marital affair?

- Abused children are prone to have serious anger and control issues as adults?

- Children with an alcoholic parent may decide to rather lie and cover up the truth or to exaggerate in order not to feel shame? And they may have trouble saying "No."

Isn’t it time to learn who you and your spouse really are? What are realistic expectations for your marriage? Or do you insist on doing nothing and just hoping everything will miraculously come right one day? Isn't that magical thinking? Dreaming of your sweet Valentine is exactly that. Just a dream. When you open your eyes one day, you have to face reality.


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