So according to this annual study in the UK, priorities have shifted. Being in love is now the #1 requirement for staying happily married. No feelings – no marriage. Just a few generations back it wasn’t that simple to walk away from one’s matrimony. Financial obligations, ‘raising good children’ concern and the reaction of the society were key factors that glued spouses together and made them if not deal, then at least adept to the marital issues, lack of passion being one of them. These days we have enough freedom and personal independence not to put up with things we no longer like or want.
I think the concept of a Better Alternative (I made that up) is to blame. We can have a better anything more and more easily and frequently. Better cell phones and laptops due to never-ending improvements and additional features, better, more reliable cars, home appliances that simplify our already simplified lives even more. You can get an upgrade in virtually every aspect of life, so why not apply it to your marriage. Yes, the union worked well before but now there are wears and tears: why settle for this diminishing value if it’s easier to shop for a new advanced version of Marriage 5.
Well, technology does progress at ridiculous speed: new improved features are added, flaws fixed… But we don’t change like that, we remain human and our flaws stay with us. So if you think that you are heading for a better deal because of all the excitement that a new relationship promises, you want to look back and see how it all started a number of years ago. And where you are now. Because chances are you will be at this point again. And again. As long as you stay on this roller-coaster: fall in love, get married, fall out of love, leave, fall in love again…
Not many people want to work on their marriage any more. We got lazy and spoiled. And discarding old things and replacing them with new, improved ones has never been easier. But in most cases a new relationship means old problems: misunderstanding, under-appreciation, little annoying things we inevitably have to put up with, possibly new bruises and scars in unexplored before areas… It’s impossible to stay madly in love for life, it’s been proven time and again. But working on your relationship is very doable, building it into a strong fort, a solid union which, though it demands certain sacrifices, never fails to give back – that should be the alternative to giving up and moving forward.
May your marriage flourish in 2012!