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The Recipe for a Happy Marriage

The English expression, “falling in love,” is significant because you don’t rise in love, you don’t fly in love, you don’t walk in love, you don’t stand in love. You fall in love, because something of who you are has to go. It essentially means someone else has become far more important than yourself. Only if you don’t think too much of yourself, you can be in love. When what you consider as “me” falls, a deep experience of love can happen within you. If your marriage is just a bundle of expectations about how to extract happiness out of someone who should make heaven for you, you will be disappointed. They say marriages are made in heaven. They say that because most people created a hell out of their marriage! If your relationship is about extracting something out of someone, it does not matter how much you manage, there will be constant trouble. But if your relationship was an offering to the other person, then everything would be fantastic.

The closer the relationship with someone is, the more effort you should make to understand them. Someone becomes closer and dearer to you only as you understand them better. If they understand you, they enjoy the closeness of the relationship. If you understand them better, then you enjoy the closeness. If you are expecting the other to understand and comply with you all the time while you don’t understand the limitations, possibilities, needs and capabilities of that person, then conflict is all that will happen. In everyone, there are some positive and some negative aspects. If you embrace all this in your understanding, you can make the relationship the way you want it. If you leave it to their understanding, it will become accidental. If they are very magnanimous, things will happen well for you. If not, the relationship will break up. It is not that the other person is totally bereft of understanding. With your understanding you can create situations where the other person would be able to understand you better.

A marriage is not an absolute thing that you can do once and forget. It is an active partnership. Two separate people have chosen to come together for a common purpose and build a life together, live joyfully and multiply their wellbeing. Two human beings weaving their lives into one has a certain beauty. If relationships have to be really beautiful, it is very important that a human being turns inward and looks at himself in a very deep way before he looks at someone else. If you become a source of joy by yourself and your relationships are about sharing your joy, you would have wonderful relationships with anyone. Is there anyone in the world who would have any problem with you if you are going there to share your joy with them? No. If you want to experience the profoundness of being with another human being, your marriage should never be about you – it should always be about the other person. If both of you think like this, your marriage will not be an arrangement, it will be a union.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is the recipe for a happy marriage? What are the ingredients necessary for a happy marriage?
  2. Do you think maintaining a healthy marital relationship can be a challenge for many couples?
  3. Do you agree that happy marriage is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner?
  4. Do you agree that sometimes wrong choices bring us to the right places?
  5. What have you learned to appreciate about him/her that you didn’t know when he/she first married?
  6. Are you satisfied with the amount of time you spend together with your spouse? The amount of time you spend separately?
  7. How have you learned to cope with the normal, day-to-day irritations of married life? How could you handle them even better?
  8. If you have children, have you explained to them about sex, death, God? Are you comfortable with how you have dealt with these topics? 
  9. How would you define love now? How does it compare with what you thought love was when you were newly married?
  10. Do you feel more emotionally connected than you did early in your relationship?

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