Friday, June 23, 2017

The art of marriage

We live in a world of convenience, more now than ever before. Nearly everything can be had with minimal to no effort, which has only spoiled mankind in such a way that we don't even try anymore. Consider this... you can get gas, get coffee, pick up your prescription, grab a movie, grab dinner, get your oil changed and your car washed, all without getting out of your car! What does this mean? It means that we have separated ourselves from each other and have sought conveniences for the sake of so called self-preservation.

In a nutshell, we're lazy.

When it comes to relationships, our laziness is even more pronounced. The reason we seek conveniences is supposedly based on being more efficient with our time but it has turned into a way to get what we want, when we want it, with minimal effort on our part. How many times have you watched the marriage of someone you know fall apart? Maybe a few times? We often hear the stories of fall-out from infidelity, abuse, addiction, etc. But we never get clear answers on what led to the fall-out. We speculate, but truthfully people don't sit down and lay out the events that led to the demise of a relationship. Instead, they pick up pieces, pluck out chunks of shrapnel and move on, often times while lobbing verbal grenades for years to come. So what happened?

To be sure, we're needy.

We all like a little affirmation from time to time. Some of us might need it a little more than others but it doesn't change the fact that we all want to know how we're doing from time to time. That's not what I'm talking about. It really comes down to feelings. At our core, we want to feel good. This can be feeling loved and appreciated, feeling victorious and confident, feeling accomplished and successful, feeling wanted and desired, feeling significant and necessary, feeling useful and helpful and feeling honored and respected. These are legitimate feelings that each of us has periodically throughout each day. There is nothing wrong with any of them, until we reach a point where we can no longer function unless our needs are being met. This is where we get to the art of marriage, because trust me, it's an art, among other things. And in determining our needs, we recognize that we might not function very well if our needs aren't met regularly. Frankly, that truism is not pretty.

I'm not going to lie, we're greedy.

When we meet someone special who makes us feel all those wonderful feelings I mentioned above (and more), we stop at nothing to love on and dote on that other person. What's interesting is that a relationship starts with our own needs being met, which in turn makes us want to take care of (meet the needs of) someone else. This is good. In fact, this is AWESOME! But let's back up a second. We're needy, remember? It doesn't take long for our innate needs to creep back to the surface and before long, we go in search of the meeting of our own needs, especially when they are no longer being met by our significant other. We get greedy. We start seeking ways to please ourselves because we no longer find contentment in our mate. And maybe there was something missing from the beginning... have we considered that? Maybe we're a little more messed up than we would like to admit.

The truth is, we're broken.
(To be continued)