Marriage – A Practical Approach

marriageDr Mansoor Ali
“Those out want to get in while those in want to get out
The most important thing in life is having a good marriage and family life; or in other words achieving an everlasting intimacy with someone of other sex remain a major life goal for most people.

Marriage. means sharing in many areas of life such as;

  • Economic. a sharing of the accumulation, use and distribution of money. 
  • Emotional. a sharing of emotional and fantasy levels of life. 
  • Geographical. sharing space time and geographical proximity. 
  • Legal. a couple’s involvement in the civil and legal process of a society
  • Recreational. a sharing of recreation and pleasure-involves not only a recreation together but sharing your spouse for recreation with his/her own set of companions
  • Religious. a sharing of beliefs ,values and traditions 
  • Sexual. a unique sharing of the physical, sensual and sexual aspects of two people 
  • Social a sharing of social and interpersonal activities 

Love can mean anything from the expression of tender affection for someone to a passionate attachment to another person. Love is usually equated with romantic love and means a strong emotional attachment to a person of the opposite sex, a tendency to idealize that person.

Usually we are not aware of this until we meet someone of the opposite sex who closely resembles it.
When this happens, especially in love at first sight, the psychic image may be projected on to someone of the opposite sex without sufficient regard for what other person is really like. Frequently the result is misunderstanding and bitter disappointment. For this reason psychologist warn of the dangers of romantic love.

In contrast mature love is based on self love and the ability to give as well as to receive love. Loving relationship are normally achieved only through personal maturity and considerable give and take in intimate relationship.

Intimacy refers to an informal warm relationship, a close personal attachment to another person in which the partners share their innermost thoughts and feelings which help both partners to grow fully as persons.

Similarity of social characteristics remain the most reliable predictors of attraction and a lasting marriage relationship. We tend to be most compatible with someone who comes from the same background as ourselves in terms of economic status, social class, educational level and religion.
Similarities of personal characteristics; Couples with high degree of similarity in physical attractiveness, attitudes and interests, self esteems drive and neurotic tendencies move towards marriage faster than do other couples.

Men are more attracted to women with similar attitudes on sex, while women are more attracted to men with similar attitudes on religon,on the basis of personal characteristics such as intelligence, self-confidence and successfulness.

Actually we had to use our heart as well as brain and to take both emotional and rational influences in to consideration in making a wise decision about marriage.

Reason for marriage
Pregnancy-Probably many of this marriage would not have occurred had the woman not being pregnant.
Rebellion-is a motivation for marriage and occur in many homes. This is a demonstration of one’s control over one’s own life, and possibly an attempt to demonstrate independence.

Escape-from an unhappy home environment.
Loneliness-the main reason people marry is to find companionship, which provide marriage partners with an emotional home base to see them through the ups and downs of life.

Physical appearance-is a factor that probably influences everyone to some degree or another. Our society is highly influenced by the cult of youth and beauty.

Social pressure-may be direct or indirect and can come from friends, parents, relatives etc; Engagement and marriage maybe a means of getting status.
Guilt and pity-marrying a person because one feels sorry for him/her because of physical deffect,illiness or having a poor lot in life doesn’t make a stable relationship.

Fulfillment of psychological needs-many individuals putting higher priority on the fulfillment of psychological needs, rather than on traditional needs of financial security or having children.

When you are happy in the marriage relationship, you are happy despite day to day disappointments in your surroundings.

But when you are not happy in your marriage relationship, then you tend to look for happiness more in your children job or material things. The greater investment of women in their marriage relationship leads married women to report higher happiness than single women, but they also complain of more marital unhappiness than their husbands.

Since  most people eventually get married, it is important to  be aware of the traits that make an individual a better partner  and give him/her more potential to make a marriage work. If  these elements are present, there is a greater likelihood of marital satisfaction and stability.

Adaptability and flexibility. are necessary ingredients. This means the person must be able to adjust to change with a minimum rigidity, he must be able to accept the differences in his partner.

Empathy. is the ability to be sensitive to the needs, hurts and desires of others, feeling with them and experience their world from their prespective.If they hurt, we hurt. Empathy is a positive characteristic that necessary for all interpersonal relationship.

Ability to work through problems. Problems, conflicts and differences are part and parcel of marriage. couple who accept and properly dispel and control their emotional reactions, clarify and define their problems and work together towards solutions will in all likelihood remain married.

Ability to give and receive love. The giving of love involves more than just verbalizing it. It must also be evident in tangible ways that are identifiable and recognizable to both partners

Emotional stability. Accepting one’s emotions and controlling them -lend balance to a relationship. Extreme flair ups and decisions based upon emotional responses do not lend themselves to stable relationships.

The more similar the family backgrounds the more contributions each can make to the marriage relationship. Naturally the more mature the couple the more easily the adjustment can be made. The greater the differences – economic, cultural, religious etc; more adjustment must be made.

Similarity between the couples If a couple has similar interests, likes and dislikes, friends, educational level and religion, the marriage relationship is greatly enhanced.

Communication  is the ability to share in such a way that the other person can understand and accept what is being said
There are differences in ability, styles and beliefs about communication. Free interchange of ideas is essential.

One of the most important area in marital adjustment is learning to communicate effectively with the partner.

If a person has experienced warm and satisfying relationship with both his father and mother, his marriage will be influenced positively
If the parents were affectionate ,firm, consistent and fairly well adjusted in their own marriage, this contributes to the new marriage relationship. if each person has friends, and these become and remain mutual friends after marriage, the marriage will be enhanced.
Commitment. One final element that must be present for any possibility of success is commitment. Commitment should be not  simply to each other as we are but to the highest potentialities we can achieve together.

Sex is the high premium fuel that brings power and propulsion to a marriage. When sexual side of the marriage is satisfying to both parties, other problems can be worked out. When it is not satisfying to one or both, it is difficult and in many times impossible to workout other problems.

To say “I love you”
To relive tension
To fulfill the desire for sexual ecstasy
To conceive children 

1. To say I love “you”
It is often said that women proceed through love to sex where as men proceed from sex to love. Large number of husbands find both honeymoons and the early months of marriage sexually fustrating,while for many women this time is horrifying. They never really say “I love you” during this period.
The union of one body with another in sexual intercourse that is tender and considerate is the greatest expression of affection that two people can experience.

Sexual intercourse is women’s greatest offering. It is both an act of giving, the giving of herself, an act of accepting, the accepting of loved one, literally into herself.
Sexual intercourse, properly practiced is an act of      tenderness. The considerate husband will predetermine what the wife desires the act, that she is neither tired, upset nor angry that both are free from interruption by the children, in-laws, neighbors hat she feels secure and content, and that she desires more than anything in the world to be in her husband’s arm with her body close to his.

2.To relive tension
The proper role of sex is to achieve both for husband and wife the deep sense of physical and psychological relaxation.
The release of tension following the act of love is one of deep relaxation, a sinking in to unconsciousness of the world that support us in confidence and contentment. Without satisfying sexual relations marriage fails.

2.To fulfill the desire for sexual ecstasy.
Woman has greater capacity for sexual ecstasy than man   does. She can have multiple orgasm during one intercourse, where as man can have only one. She can have intercourse more frequently and the degree of her ecstasy is greater than man’s.
Love reaches its fulfillment in the sexual orgasm, the climax. It is the peak of giving and receiving’ the completion of victory and surrender. Marriage without sexual ecstasy for woman is unreal and unconvincing. Marriage for such woman is a life without living, despair without hope.
Woman goes through love to sexual ecstasy, men through sexual ecstasy to greater love. Within his body and glands there is pressure which can only be relived through orgasm.
Woman often get angry at men because of man’s attitude towards sex.Such anger is justified when men act irresponsibly often pressing their desire for sex when they have little or no affection for a woman.

4.To conceive children
When a man and women deeply love each other, they desire to realize the sharing of this love in the birth of a child to their union. Children properly conceived are the blessings of a shared love.

Role of husband and wife
The role of husband and wife in a marriage can be symmetrical or complimentary. This part is based on sound psychological principles of behavior for husbands and wives in Indian traditional marriage

The Husbands Responsibilities

The husband has certain responsibilities in a   traditional marriage

The husband should know and understand his role.
The husband is to realize that he and his wife are equal in the sight of God but they have different roles.
A husband traditionally has been expected to provide for the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of his wife. Husband is regarded has the final human authority in the home, even though he consults his wife before making decisions. Such an arrangement can provide a sense of security to the wife, especially if the husband is wise, strong loving and sensitive to her needs.

The husband is to love his wife.
Love is more than a romantic feeling, it is also a commitment. A husband’s commitment gives stability to the marriage and security to his wife.

Small expressions of affections.
A husband should also remember small expressions of affection such as flowers, phone calls or compliments.

The husband is to be an example.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Often a wife is a reflection of her husband’s attitudes. One person can sharpen and build the character of another person, particularly a mate.

A husband should be polite and considerate.
A man should be considerate of his wife and treat her with respect

He should tell his wife that he loves her.
Many wives complain that their husbands seldom or never do so. It is important for a husband to show his wife that he loves  her, but he should also tell her so verbally, his facial expression should convey the same message. He also need to tell her why he loves her the most important reason being because she is who she is.

Husband need to give his wife” strokes”.
Wives need to hear genuine compliments for things thy do well and for the love they demonstrate.

He should observe 4 cautions
1. A husband should not publicly criticize his wife, nor should be privately criticize her about inferior qualities that are unchangeable. Nothing is more detrimental to a relationship than criticizing another person in public.
2. He should avoid comparing his wife to another woman.
3. He should avoid going to bed angry. Anger should be dealt with immediately by sharing it with ones spouse. Both should forgive each other, whether they agree on an issue or not, by bed time.
4.A  husband should not expect more from his wife than other people.

The Wife’s Responsibilities
A wife who recognises, accepts and fulfills her basic responsibilities will be rewarded with a much more stable marriage.

1. A wife should know her role.
Husband and wife are equal but they have different roles and different functions. However wives needs to submit to their  husbands.
To be subjective or submissive does not mean being a slave or a brainless speechless dormant. It is basically an attitude of respect for him and recognition of his leadership in the home.

2. She should show respect.
A wife can help her husband by giving him appropriate recognition and praise. She should avoid exposing her husband’s faults in public.

3. She should be a good manager.
A good wife should be a woman with keen business sense, perhaps even more important in the economic circumstances of our country today.

3. A wife should know the difference between the sexual needs of the male and female.
Husband is more physical in his needs and response, whereas wife more emotional in his needs and response. Man can become sexually aroused quickly and tend to be more sexually assertive, sometimes desiring sexual intercourse more frequently than his wife. Many women become unresponsive because their husbands inconsiderately run through the sexual act. Many husbands need to develop the capacity of lengthening sexual engagement to their wives to derive more enjoyment.

5. She should avoid 3 negatives vanity, gossip and laziness.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, inner beauty that supplements outward attractiveness is the best preventative of vanity. As for gossiping, it is listed as one of the most deadly violation of moral principles.

 6.She should display certain +ve attitudes and qualities.
She should recognize the importance of quietness, being sensible and exercising self-control wife who know the importance of being kind and using wise words has an appealing dignity.

7.A wife should know how to love her husband.
She must understand the importance of romantic gestures, what please him ,what encourages and admires her husband.

8.She should observe 4 don’ts
Don’t nag_ A quarrelsome wife will create irresolvable problems.
Don’t become overly involved in outside activities so that house responsibilities are shrunken.
Don’t continually question your husband’s decisions.
Don’t be un-attractive in bed. Wives and husbands should look their best at night for each other.

The divorce rate has risen dramatically in the past few years. The divorce rate tend to be higher among people who marry in their teens, after only a courtship and who come from an unhappy or broken home. Divorce rates are also higher among those from lower educational and socioeconomic backgrounds and those don’t have religious affiliation.

Many separations come only after along, anguished process of mental alienation, sometimes after the children have grown up and left home.

Divorce has helped the women to develop the feeling of independence in them and make them feel equal partner, yet it must be advocated that divorce should not be easily granted by the courts.

In view of its serious repercussion of family life ,divorce should not be within easy reach of partners. Divorce should be granted only when it has become unavoidable and is in the interests of both the husband and wife and the society at a large.

Causes of divorce
Couples today expect more from their marriage than couples in the past. This is especially true for highly educated and professional couples, who are more inclined to expect psychological fulfillment in their marriage and to seek a divorce when it is missing. Those with less education and blue collar jobs are more likely to remain in an unhappy marriage.
Wives are more likely to mention physical and mental cruelty and problems of money or drinking, while husbands more frequently mentioned cruelty, neglect of the   home and children, infidelity and sexual incompatibility.
Many emotional problems such as uncontrolled anger, depression, worry, lack of empathy or low self-image are the heart of numerous marital problems.

The divorce experience.
Getting a divorce is usually a complex process because several things are happening at once.

The Emotional divorce
is most likely to occur first. The partners tend to withdraw emotionally from each other or to co_ exist with a great deal of mutual antagonism. This cold war atmosphere does more damage to the children’s.

The Legal divorce
is necessary if the individuals ever want to remarry. The law allows for divorce a specified period of physical separation. The legal aspect of divorce are not only expensive but emotionally exhausting as well.

The economic divorce
deals with the settlement of property and money. Fathers are generally responsible for child support payment until their children become of legal age.

The co-parental divorce
deals with the custody of the children and visitation rights. The partner who is not granted physical and legal custody of the children is usually granted certain visitation rights.

The community divorce
means disapproval and rejection by friends and acquaintances.

The psychic divorce
is the last and most difficult part of divorce. It consist of separating one’s self from the influence of one’s partner and becoming an autonomous social being again. It is one of the most constructive aspects of divorce in which the individual may experience much personal growth.

More men than women remarry and usually with in a short period of time. In most instances a divorced person marry another divorced person, probably because they shared similar experiences and motivations.

Second marriage is usually satisfactory, because they had a greater experience of living with another person. However greater personal maturity also plays a significant part with successfully re married persons often saying “I had learned a lot about myself too “.

Marital adjustments.
It is usually easier to adjust to someone who comes from a similar background. Individual who marry from  mixed backgrounds whether in social class, religion or even intact or broken homes face greater risk in their marriage, many of which they may become aware of only after they have began living together.

A couple who have everything going for them may fail disastrously in their marriage, while another couple with everything against them may achieve a highly satisfactory relationship.

To achieve satisfaction in marriage, both partners re adjusting their understanding of what they can reasonably expect of each other in their respective roles. Decision making has also become democratic.

One of the most important areas of marital adjustment is learning to communicate effectively with the partner. The most common conflict involves a breakdown in communication, loss of shared goals or sexual incompatibility.

Over the course of time the average marriage in our society tends to become devitalized, partners usually speak to each other less often, exchange less information, provide less self disclosure, engage in more fault finding and having less accurate understanding of each other. In short the partners tend to grow apart.

Couples sharing power more or less equally experience fewer conflicts and greater satisfaction in marriage. The least satisfying to both partners is the female dominated relationship.

Some degree of conflict is inevitable in such an intimate relationship but how they handle them that make the difference in marriage. Most satisfied women readily admitted having disagreements and conflicts but felt they had learned how to handle these in an agreeable manner.

Wish you a happy and prosperous married life

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