Successful Marriages Essay

1731 words - 7 pages

Successful MarriagesEach day millions of individuals are searching for a partner to experience that special loving feeling. But each year, millions of couples join together in love and then painfully separate because they have lost that loving feeling. From those who are able to sustain love long enough to get married, less than 50 percent stay married. Out of those who stay together, less than 50 percent are fulfilled. They stay together out of loyalty and obligation and the fear of starting over. Very few people, indeed, are able to grow in love. Yet it does happen. When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom.Falling in love is always "magical." It feels eternal, as if love will last forever. We naively believe that somehow we are exempt from the problems our parents had, free from the odds that love will die, assured that it is meant to be and that we are destined to live happily ever after. But as the magic recedes and daily life takes over, it emerges that women continue to expect men to feel and behave like women, and men expect women to think and react like men. Without a clear awareness of our differences, we do not take the time to understand and respect each other. We become demanding, resentful, judgmental, and intolerant. Despite the best and most loving intentions, love continues to die. Somehow the problems creep in. The resentments build. Communication breaks down. Mistrust increases. Rejection and repression become a result. The magic of love is lost. Love dies. It happens to almost everyone.The most frequently expressed complaint women have about men is that men don't listen. Either a man completely ignores a woman when she speaks to him, or he listens for a few beats, assesses what is bothering her, and then proudly puts on his Mr. Fix-it cap and offers her a solution to make her feel better. He is confused when she doesn't appreciate this gesture of love. No matter how many times she tells him that he's not listening, he doesn't get it and keeps doing the same thing. She wants empathy, but he thinks she wants solutions.The most frequently expressed complaint men have about women is that women are always trying to change them. When a woman loves a man, she feels responsible to assist him in growing and tries to help him improve the way he does things. This is where a woman can become extremely annoying, when she makes the man her primary focus. No matter how much he resists her help, she persists, waiting for any opportunity to help him or tell him what to do. She thinks she's nurturing him, while he feels he's being controlled. Instead, he wants her acceptance.Understanding why men offer women solutions and why women seek to improve men can solve these problems.Men value power, competency, efficiency, and achievement. They are always doing things to prove themselves and develop their power and skills. Their sense of self is defined though their ability to achieve...

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