Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Marry The One Who Loves You, Not The One Whom You Love?
Experienced people always make a million dollars statement of “Marry the one who loves you, not the one whom you love”. It does not mean that the person whom you love does not love and the other way round but, a dominating side is always there. If we think logically, this statement proves very true in the long run. If you marry the person whom you love, your expectations dominate and in the other way, the other’s feelings dominate. It pinches a lot when the person whom you love hurts you and the person who loved you is ditched by you.
The above discussion is not to confuse anyone but to advise everyone to move ahead in life with a wise discretion. One single decision can ruin the life forever. Yes, you can leave the person anytime and try to move ahead but, the thorn always remains. The mere suggestion here is to understand the relations and make decision with patience and after listening to both the heart and the mind. Love is blind, it is true but, do not get swayed by this blind emotion to the extent that it makes your whole life blind.
I was thinking deeply about the statement, and I would like to say that it is not a quandary about love anymore. This is a decision-making case, and in order to solve it, use all the wisdom at your disposal, and then make a decision. Here are some points to consider in order to examine your potential spouse and see if you should marry him/ her.
1. How is your prospective spouse’s faith? Do you lead each other to God? Is your relationship centered on God? Do the two of you have different faiths? Does he or she have a faith at all? The Bible advises against marrying a nonbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14) because marriage is difficult enough without having differences on an issue that should be the foundation of your life together. The Church does allow mixed marriages, but advises against them because of the difficulties they present within marriage.
A husband and wife should be able to do more for God together than they can do apart. They should form a team, and to be effective they need to have the same goal in mind. So take this all to prayer, and trust that God will guide you. Some couples make the mistake of failing to ask for the Lord’s guidance, while others overspiritualize the matter and will not move forward unless they receive numerous signs from heaven.
2. How is your friendship? It is easy to feel close to a person if you have been physically intimate, but how well can you honestly say you know this person? The more physically involved you have been, the more you will need to step back to evaluate the relationship. This is because physical intimacy clouds our judgment—which it should. One of the benefits of total physical intimacy for married couples is that it renders them less critical of each other. However, this clouding of your thinking belongs in marriage, not before.
Be honest in examining what truly unites the two of you. Is it a desire for pleasure or emotional gain? Is there an unhealthy dependency, where one or both of you has made an idol out of the other, expecting that it will solve loneliness? How do the two of you deal with differences? Can you disagree lovingly, or are there some issues of manipulation, anger, or guilt that need to be sorted out first? Lastly, is there a real romantic interest? This is not to say that you must feel constantly madly in love with each other. Those feelings have to be present, however we must discern feelings with infatuation.
3. Are the two of you on the same vision when it comes to family? Does one of you expect one child, while the other envisions two minivans full of kids? Does one of you want kids right away while the other wants to wait ten years before having any children? If you have different dreams, then now is the time to be honest about your differences. More importantly, do you think that your prospective spouse would be a good parent? Or does he or she have habits that are destructive to a marriage and family, such as drug use, excessive drinking, pornography, sarcasm, anger, self-centeredness, or infidelity?
4. Are you financially ready for a family? The book of Proverbs advises, “Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house” (Prov. 24:27). We should not jump into marriage before we are able to care for a family financially. You do not need to have college money set aside for your kids before you get married, but you should be stable enough with your career that you will be able to carry the great responsibilities that come with the blessings of parenthood.
5. What do your friends and families say? It is easy for a couple to become isolated and fail to consult the friends and families. They know your habits, your emotional health, your dreams, and plenty of things you probably wish nobody knew. But they love you nonetheless and can give some of the best guidance.
Finally, weigh all the above considerations and more, pray about them, and make a decision. You can only know a person so well before you marry. This is because coming to know another person is not so much a destination as it is a lifelong process. Within marriage you will see strengths and weaknesses more clearly than ever before. Because of this, disappointments are inevitable.
When difficulties arise—and they will come—they will test and affirm your love. Marriage is not an endless whirling romance, and there are times when the marriage will suffer. When the infatuation fades, some imagine that they must not have married Mr. or Miss Right. This is partly why so many divorces happen within the first few years of marriage.
Successful marriage is not the result of finding the perfect person but of loving the imperfect person you have chosen to marry. Therefore, do not allow yourself to be discouraged when you discover faults and annoyances that you never recognized before. It is said that after marriage, the man gets upset because the woman changes, and the woman gets upset because the man will not change. But when faults do come to the surface, we should not be set on “fixing” our spouse. We marry a human being, not an idealized image. Only when we let go of the idealized image and begin to accept and love our spouse will the deepest and most fulfilling kind of love appear. As a friend of mine once said, “I married her because I loved her. Now I love her because I married her.”
When a couple understand these principles, they are mature enough to think about marriage. We are not eleven years old anymore, fluttering from one crush to another according to how fun the feelings are. When a relationship is based on an infatuation instead of a decision, it will last only as long as the infatuation does. We must be careful about what we base our relationships on, because finding the love that everyone longs for is a serious endeavor.
Inspired by Mom's counsel, life experiences and collective wisdom.
Posted by Kezia Gusmawan