Presumably an 'ideal marriage' is one where there is harmony, love and understanding between the couple. Yes, there may be friction, arguments and differences of opinion, but on the whole, an 'ideal marriage' is one where the union between the husband and wife there is generally a loving couple, who have mutual respect, understanding, compassion for each other.
Do such marriages exist?
Or, are we being over romantic here?
Now, yes, you will hear of couples who do declare themselves to be in a state of blissful marriage; but, can we believe them?
An ideal marriage presupposes relative harmony between man and wife. The question here is this: how can there that 'relative harmony' when in our world today we face so many distressing challenges, difficulties and seemingly endless problems? Furthermore, how can there be 'relative harmony' when, without knowing it, people themselves are in conflict against themselves? When people have insecurities, anxieties and difficulties in controlling their own emotions?
So, when you have all these factors between two people, how can one create love, peace and harmony?
I argue, that in our complicated and most difficult times of these days, an 'ideal marriage' is almost impossible to achieve.
Let me elaborate.
I will first of all discuss the turmoil that exists between Man and himself.
Today, we see people who are unsure of themselves. They have low self esteem, they have nagging insecurities; they have endless worries about 'who' they are; they have fears as to how they should behave in this or that social situation.
The fact is, that Man in this 21st century is an Anxious, Insecure Man.
When you are unsure of what or 'who' your identity is; when you are anxious about how to behave – then you create a conflict between your mind and yourself. This conflict, in turn, creates emotional turmoil and pain.
The opposite scenario would be: a person who is confident and utterly sure of him/herself, has serenity and peace of mind, precisely because, he/she have no doubts, fears and anxieties in the first place.
But the number of self-confident people are few and far between.
The majority of people, especially the young, are fundamentally unsure, anxious souls.
I will not go into the reason as to why we have this awful situation, whereby a majority of people are in this state that we've been discussing. That is not the subject of this article. (I do discuss the latter subject in other articles).
Secondly, Man is in constant stress due to his surroundings – and by that, I mean, his society, its economy, its traditions, values and its culture.
It is not difficult to fathom the reasons and the factors that cause so much stress and distress to ordinary people as they daily face their environment. Take economics. Obviously, in every country and in every society, a major stress creating factors are: poverty, low wages, stressful jobs, insecurity in one's job (ie. Not knowing if you are still going to be employed tomorrow or not), unemployment and so on.
Another source of stress, is a person's conflict with his society's culture, values traditions and so on.
So we see, thus far, how Man is stressed out from these factors, and it is this turbulent, unbalancing situation, that causes man and wife to feel so much pain, aggravation and anger, so that the latter negative emotions will inevitably interfere with one's marriage.
You cannot separate these conflicts from your marriage.
It would be either naïve, ignorant or stupid to imagine, that one can deny, that the emotional factors we've been discussing, can be safely isolated from one's married life.
Indeed, it is precisely the foolish 'romantics' who somehow believe that a married couple can ignore all these emotional factors!
That is why, they are 'foolish'; because, like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand, ignoring a storm, is not exactly going to immunize you from that very storm!
Unfortunately, there are other factors that can create a dysfunctional marriage.
The man discovers that there are habits and attitudes he does not like in his wife – and, the vice versa. This comes as a surprise for both partners to discover attributes that they do not like in each other. You argue and try to change each other's attitudes and habits.
But, alas, nothing changes.
So, what comes next?
Anger and resentment as both sides eye each other with a degree of dissatisfaction – but, what on earth can you actually do?
No change, as both sides stick to their guns.
Next, you may discover that your spouse has changed as a personality. This may come suddenly or it may evolve over the years.
Suddenly, to your horror, you discover that, 'This isn't the same person I married!'
But, again here, what can you do about it?
You obviously do not – and cannot – love this 'different' spouse you are living with, precisely because of the changes that has occurred in their personalities.
And then, there is that biggest marriage-killer of them all: boredom!
Yes, you knew it, boredom!
How can you 'love' anyone when you see them day in, day out, seven days a week, 365 days in a year?!
It becomes almost inevitable and inexorable that you get bored!
What, then, is 'Love'? 'Infatuation'? 'Romance'?
To me, these emotions are when a person is exceptionally excited about another person without actually knowing who that person is.
In other words, these emotions are based on a fantasy, and not quite on the more mundane reality.
Quite often, love is based on a person's weakness and insecurity, and that is precisely why love is doomed to failure.
What do I mean by 'weakness'?
For example, a person may feel his/her life is dull, boring and empty; suddenly they see an exciting, glamorous person and that creates in their heart a swelling of excitement. This momentary excitement can be 'defined', or interpreted by the person, as a state of being in love.
A person may feel insecure about themselves. Suddenly they meet a person who is very sure of himself; a strong character. Not surprisingly, you find that the weak person falls in love with this strong minded person, because the latter satisfies his need for a stronger person, who will cover for his own weakness.
All these reasons why a person 'falls in love', are based on false premises and they will mostly wither away in time.