A few days ago, Amy unveiled a very conscientious entry in her blog, about disintegration of marriages. After posting my comments on that article, I gladly retired to the more dependable precincts of my bachelorhood. However, the rabid neural network in my skull continued pondering, as it always does when confronted by such grave issues, over the questions that she had raised. There was, in her composition, something that ought not to be ignored by anybody, in general. Yet again, there was just a hint of something that stimulated me to compose a supplement herein.
NOTE: At the very outset, I must remind the readers that the complexity and gravity of this subject do not permit one to exhaustively deal with it in a few paragraphs. Even as I write these lines, a plethora of unstructured thoughts and concepts overwhelm my mind. But, owing to several limitations, and also hoping to maintain reasonable clarity of thought, I am bound to present my case succinctly. The views expressed below are my own, and I remain open to any criticism from my readers.
Are marriages made in Heaven? Are they, without exceptions, disposed by an omnipotent entity? If so, why do so many of them fail?
Consider any two people who, apparently destined to do so, come together and bind each other into a relationship, each uttering the key words, “I do”. The colorful hallmark on the partnership deed boldly declares: “Predestined Pair; Made in Heaven”. The only trouble is that the fine print, as it always happens, is overlooked. Partnerships thus formed, are often inclined to be a burden on both partners. The reasons should become quite obvious as you read on.
A relationship is naturally only as strong as the similarity in temperament of the partners. But, no two people can be perfectly alike in their disposition; there are bound to be differences. In order to maintain harmony in the relationship when challenged by the differences, charming concepts such as love, understanding, caring and sharing are packed with it.
In several cases, these concepts are held on to just as long as the couple has to move around in their little social circles. Outside the public perimeters, the colorful masks are peeled off, and the true, disparate faces come to light. When reality starts biting, issues such as compatibility, negotiation and compromise raise their demanding hood.
Whoever believes that marriages are predestined, advocates the absence of free will, and therefore, may not suggest compromises. Asking one or both partners to compromise on any of their personal philosophy, inherent attitude, or instinctive behavior - human attempts at making them compatible with each other – would be a clear indication that the relationship was not preordained, unless one confidently believes that God, as well, is not perfect.
Whoever believes, moreover, that marriages are predestined, should have no reservations in believing that its consequences – whether happy or sad, including any subsequent breakups in the relationship - are also fated. Therefore, it would seem that the outcome of a marriage made in Heaven is not predictable, with any certainty, by humans. But this apparent uncertainty would last only until one cares to read the fine print that was initially ignored.
If you are still wondering what the fine print is, here it is:
“Relationship subject to mutual acceptance.”
I have grown to believe, personally, that compromises afflict relationships, that they create an artificial sense of compatibility, which lasts just as long as the partners honor their compromises, and that the relationship itself becomes weaker with each bargain between the partners.
My personal line of reasoning is, therefore, that the key to an unbreakable relationship is “mutual acceptance”. It is neither about expecting the other half to change to suit ones needs, nor about finding middle ground suitable for both. It is, with all certainty and without any qualifications, about accepting the partner for who she/he is. A marriage would survive the test of time only as long as the partners accept each other thus. Acceptance also happens to be the key feature of true friendship. No doubt, wonderful partners are also the best of friends.
It is not as easy as it sounds, of course. It requires a great attitude to accept people for who they are, with all their strengths and weaknesses, with all their little idiosyncrasies and values. It takes more than love. Repeat: it takes more than love! It takes respect; it takes devotion. While we can only fall in love, we can certainly rise in devotion.
When the to-be partners say, “I do”, they essentially mean, “I accept”. In doing so, they bind themselves not only by the bold declaration of the colorful hallmark, but also, whether they like it or not, by the message in the fine print. Those who ignore it at the time of uttering the two decisive words are truly unfortunate.
But those who realize the value of the message are indeed blessed by Heaven, and an omnipotent force secures their bond with the wedlock; and nothing, not even death, can do them apart!
P.S.: The views expressed above are my own, and I remain open to any criticism from my readers.