salome labeh © IamBenue 2017

Who Is An Ideal Marital Partner

Relationship, Stories 28/08/2017 by Salome Labeh

Didn’t know how to cut it short as every line is important. My thoughts.

We are naturally attracted to flashy things, anything that makes a lot of noise has a certain appeal to our minds. We follow a reigning trend without even considering the implications of our choices, insofar as many other people take the same way, we feel secure. However, if we are to think our ways through, we begin to see the error of those popular traditions we believe and follow. Simply because many people follow a tradition does not make it right or make it the best way to follow. Many of us are just too scared to stand out, while some are too lazy to think of doing anything better.

Many of us get to paint beautiful images of our prospective marital partners. Those mental-images are usually akin to unreality especially when painted by someone who thinks he/she still has a lot of options, deserves the best, and has a lot of time to wait around. We seek the “perfect” tall, gentle, funny, rich, good-looking, intelligent, romantic, understanding, from so and so country/state, religious/God-fearing, etc.

“The rightness of what you want in a partner depends on where those expectations are founded.

That these mental images are akin to unreality does not mean there is no reality in them at all. Of course everyone wants someone perfect, problem is we never find any. However, in the absence of the perfect, is there a place of convergence between our high ideals and the reality before us? A middle ground to marry what we want with what is available without actually feeling we have way less than we desire? I think this is possible.

Relationship to some people is a matter of contribution and building, to others its a matter of looking for something a little more ready-made. Marriage, an elevated and life-long relationship should indeed be a little more serious. We strike a balance between the “building”, “sharing” and the “ready-made”. By “ready-made” here I mean what we should expect to meet in our partner, “stuff” that do not need our “contributions” and “building” to be there. These include but not limited to, Love, tolerance, patience, truthfulness and other essential virtues. I think its an illusion to think we can either get everything good in our prospective partners, or think we can build everything with/into our partners. We cannot expect an absolutely perfect person, and we cannot also be right in presuming someone can change because of us.

The things we should overlook in our prospective partners are things we can live with, and so is anything we can hope to change in them. If for instance we absolutely cannot live with a particular habit of said partner, and such habit seems deep-seated, we have no future with such a person. Only by a miracle will such deep-seated habit be broken, and those miracles rarely come. If you want to hope for a change, just don’t hurry into wedding, let the change come before you tie the knot since after then, the intensity of the passion ensuing from the love reduces, and habits become a little harder to work on.

The rightness of what you want in a partner depends on where those expectations are founded. You could expect someone to worship you based on your pride, or someone to pay absolute attention to you based on your selfishness.

What do we give in return for what we have received?

Being real

It is easy to drift from reality, but hard to bear the impact of a reawakening. We can fancy having some power over the forces of nature, however we break when nature mercilessly wields her power over us. Whenever we consciously run from what is real to a self-created haven, we face the consequences sooner or later; we witness our world crumble before us.

“When we meet someone who has a lot of flaws, flaws which will definitely affect our love life with them, it is in our best interest to “let go”.

In picking whom to spend the rest our lives with, we cannot be too careful and we should not be too liberal. However, if care is not taken, our carefulness becomes crass rigidity, and our avoidance of liberalism becomes a hindrance as well. We always need to stir a middle course; we need a point of agreement between what we want and what reality presents to us. We need to know what the basics are below which we cannot go, without suffering gravely.

Everyone needs a companion, but not everyone is fit for its responsibilities. Some crave to be loved, cared for, pampered, but yet cannot be any of these to others. Marital responsibility presupposes basic virtue of love which precludes faithfulness, truthfulness, and others. We are to expect at least the basic forms of these necessary virtues from our prospective marital partner.

Presumption follows infatuation, we are unable to separate what is real from what has been deposited into our minds by novels and love-plays. We think he’s going to quit smoking because of us, become religious overnight, quit tons of other habits and so on. Without prejudice to the fact that people can change, I however count such expectations as presumptuous. We cannot always be able to change people. When we meet someone who has a lot of flaws, flaws which will definitely affect our love life with them, it is in our best interest to “let go”. Depending on what those flaws are, letting go only applies to deep-seated habits we cannot put up with. Do not enter with the presumption that things will work itself out, because nothing will change. He might have promised he’ll quit so so and so, he does not necessarily say so with deceptive intent, he only believes he is capable of change; he is being driven by that intense passion experienced at the beginning, passions which wear off as time passes. When the intensity of such passion reduces, fulfilling those promises become harder for him.

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