We choose our cars, we choose places to live in, we choose our jobs and our leisure but when it comes to choosing partners people often fall into relationships thoughtlessly ending up living with someone who was never a good match for them. Let’s look through some aspects of lasting relationships that are worth consideration.
Marriage is a perennial institution and has multiple psychological, economic and juridical nuances related to it many of which might be seen by young people as obsolete. My objective is not to discuss these nuances. My interest lies exclusively in the deep meaning we endow marriage with — a meaning which I believe will never be outdated. Now, what makes me think so?
My parents are married for more than 33 years. When I asked my father, what is the secret behind a strong long-lasting marriage he said: “Son, back in our days we didn’t throw out broken things. We fixed them.”
The formulation so simple yet so profound struck me with an insight. Their marriage was a silent declaration of commitment: “I am with you. No matter what is going to happen, I am not going anywhere.” It has nothing to do with a contract on the paper. It is an internal resolve.
Building a healthy working relationship is a herculean task. There will be days of furious fights when you will be dangerously close to quitting. But is on these days when your resolve reveals itself in the form of a personal statement: “You can either behave the way you do, shut yourself down and carry on like this for another 50 years or we both cooperate and fix our relationship together because no matter what you choose, I am not leaving.”
By putting things that way you create boundaries within which both of you are constrained to operate. Boundaries are good. Rules are good. Because as these boundaries are accepted by both partners, it creates confidence in each other. This confidence serves as the backbone of the marriage. You know that there will always be someone who will catch you if you fall, someone who when life gets rough will say: “Don’t worry, babe. I got your back.” Faithfulness, safety, and trust derive its origin from this confidence. This is what makes a family family.
Know what you are looking for.
Visualize. If you don’t have a significant other and you are actively searching for one, create a mental image of a person you want to see by your side. Picture the setting where you are together. What does your partner look like? Try to put as many details as possible. Visualization works not only with the manifestation of physical objects but also with the attraction of the right person.
List the qualities you look for in a spouse. We get attracted to a physical shell — a face, a voice, a body. But we live with a person — a soul that dwells within the shell. Ask yourself what characteristics of an ideal partner are you looking for? Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down all your requirements and standards. Be realistic.
For illustration purposes, here is my list I wrote years ago. I was looking for a woman who is:
- Responsible. My woman must have a sense of ultimate responsibility for her life, her actions, and her choices. She must undertake responsibility for her health as she will become the mother of my children. She must also bear her responsibilities as a guardian of the hearth.
- Independent. My woman should know how to earn money. By all means, as a man, I will provide for my family but it is important for me that my partner understands what it takes to make a living. She should have her own endeavor — her personal Mission that would give her a compelling sense of purpose.
- Respectful. My woman must have a sense of respect. She must understand and respect my needs primarily a need to focus on my work. She must be punctual and respect my time.
- Appreciative. I will do everything in my power to make my woman happy but I will do it only for a woman who can appreciate it.
- Living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve seen how bad habits destroyed families. I won’t marry a woman who deliberately destroys her health.
- Striving for growth. Couples break up because they do not pay enough attention to building up common interests by doing new things together. My woman must be always hungry for self-development and growing her skills.
- Educable. I didn’t completely figure out life but I definitely have some knowledge to share. My woman must be receptive to the new knowledge as well as be able to self-educate.
- Joyous. Sometimes I take life too seriously. I would highly appreciate a woman who knows how to keep it light and bring a party to my life. A good sense of humor is a must.
- English. She must speak English as a first or second language. This is a requirement.
- Adventurous. I plan to live in different places and have diverse experiences throughout my life. My woman must be able to follow me and share my path.
Someone would say that my standards were too high yet I succeeded and met who I sought. Describe the qualities you are seeking in a partner in great detail. You can find what you want only when you know what it is.
Find a friend.
One of my spiritual teachers once said: “Do not seek for a great love in life. Great love is what comes after many years spent together. Seek for a friend. Consider it big luck, if you found a friend in your partner. It is a rare gift. Treasure it.” I will never forget his words. As a man with a lot of life wisdom, he was able to see that a relationship between two lovers who share infatuation is not a match for the relationship between two friends who share a romance. Friends do not betray.
He taught me another thing you won’t find in books. He said: “When a man is choosing a wife, above all other things in her, he should find a helper. If a woman is not aiding the man in fulfilling his mission, he will never be happy with her, and hence will never make her happy too.” A man needs a woman who would be his accomplice. She should instill calmness so that the man knows that whenever he deploys for his Man’s Mission his homefront is secure and his children are safe. A man needs a wife who would stand by his side passing the ammo while he is shooting the enemies.
When a woman is choosing a husband, above all other things in him, she should find a leader. Her husband must be a man she could follow. He should be reliable, highly adaptable, and be able to provide for the family fighting off external threats.
The truth about marriage is that a married couple doesn’t go through life hand in hand. In reality, one partner is securing the front taking the brunt of the world while the other one is backing him up. That is the union. That is how both spouses advance in the same direction.
Thank you for reading my book “Meditations of the Millennial”.
If you want to support me on my mission, please, share this book with someone you love. Maybe they will find what they seek on its pages.