Marriage used to be necessary for survival, maintaining the bloodline, and conforming to society’s expectations. With all the changes that have happened in the 20th century, the purpose of marriage in western culture has shifted to primarily become a pursuit of happiness and fulfillment.
On one hand, this evolution gives relationships the potential to be much happier than when they were a matter of mere survival. We no longer have to rush into marriage and fit into strictly defined gender roles; we can now take our time to find out who we are and choose a truly compatible partner with whom to grow old.
On the other hand, asking marriage to deliver happiness puts an incredible amount of pressure on a relationship. Working hard and bringing a reliable income to the table or taking diligent care of the household and raising children with patience are not enough anymore; we are now also required to inspire, support, and love our partner unconditionally.
What a tall order!
Without the pressure of staying together out of necessity, and under relentless tests by the fires of self-centeredness and the grass-is-greener syndrome, only the fittest marriages will survive. Fit marriages will be made of spouses who are of service to their partner and their relationship. Rather than demanding their relationship to serve their needs, they will devote themselves to making their partner feel happy and loved first.
Such marriages will require partners who are extremely compatible and have developed excellent relationship skills; therefore both spouses will need to have reached a certain level of personal development before saying I Do.
Happy and healthy marriages need partners who invest in themselves. Not for personal gain, but for the sake of the wonderful relationship they want to create together and nurture for years to come.
Invest in Yourself. Flourish in Love.