Love and Marriage in the Decade of Uncertainty
On Love and Marriage
Scenario 1: First came attraction, then love. And if the couple is lucky enough, marriage follows. Then a deeper bond of friendship. Then mid-life crisis (which can hit you between 30s to late 40s). Then if you are blessed by the stars: remorse, resolution, and transformation follows. When this happens, you are pretty sure that you will indeed have a friend, companion, and lover till the end of your days.
And your children who are your constant witnesses will be able to deal with life better, and perhaps have as good as, if not better luck, in finding their own partners for life.
Scenario 2: First came attraction, then love, or whatever passes for love for people who, at whatever age, are immature and “need” to have somebody to love them. And if one or both of the couples didn’t learn from their lessons as man and woman of the house, then bitterness follows. Blaming becomes the norm.
And the couple? With no remorse, no real effort to make things better, and with the presence of contempt shown by either or both – the marriage is most likely ended.
The children definitely will be psychologically affected – some of whom will make this experience their armor that pushes them to be better than their elders; while some, with weak psychological make-up, will be damaged for a long time, maybe for life.
How then can we have a happy marriage?
1. Learn to bring your Ego six feet below the ground.
2. Show appreciation to your spouse most often. Even bullies love to be appreciated. How much more your loving partner?
3. And husbands are exhorted to remember these two adages:
- Men should always - or more often - have the last two words in any argument: Yes Dear! :)
- Happy wife = happy life!
4. Women should, ideally, remember to do what they used to be for their man. Remember when you were just starting out? Yes, those little things, the words, the gestures. These are still within you, and him too. Somebody only needs to re-ignite these years later.
5. Ah. Remember too that most men are still boys at heart. And most women are still teenagers in theirs. Remember this, and act on it appropriately.
On Children and Parenthood
Children, know and realize that:
1. Parents don’t really know how to raise kids at the start. When you were born, there was no operating manual that came along with you. All your parents had was love for you, hope for the future, and the personal resolve to create a better world for you.
2. How your grandparents raised your parents, that’s how your parents will most likely raise you up. Unless of course your parents became wise enough from their childhood experiences early on, and realized that some of what their parents did to them are not really appropriate to be done to their own children.
If they did – like they don’t spank you as they were so often did by their own parents, or they allow you more latitude in decision-making than they ever had at the same age – then consider yourself lucky!
If they are still unaware of the psychological damage done to you (much more than the physical one), then know that as long as you’re still alive, you have the power to be able to change your life and your destiny. So study hard if you’re at school, or work hard to earn if you’re an out of school, because most often, good things happen to young people who are determined and never surrender to life’s seeming unfairness.
Stop blaming your parents and everybody else. Take control and accountability of your own life. Your "liberation" will come the moment you resolve to do so.
3. Most parents attain the level of happiness simply by looking at their children, regardless of their children’s ages. This is the third level of happiness and is called “meaning and purpose.” As children, you provide the meaning for your parents’ lives, whether they realize it or not – a lot really depends on the person’s level of self-awareness and introspection.
4. The scary part? Many parents don’t really have a “master plan” in raising their children. Most often, they take after their own parents and/or proceed in a “hit-and-miss” process. You think parents know what they are doing? Just like you, they are still figuring out how to live life; and how to be great parents, spouses, grandparents. All they have going for them are the desire to make things better and HOPE. For many of them, by the time many of them figure things out, their children are already all grown up and have their own families.
5. The best part? Most parents really love their children, though some of them don’t know how to express it positively. Even those who seemingly are very demanding and unappreciative have love in their hearts for their kids. They just express it differently.
6. With melancholic hearts, even parents still long for their mothers most often; and for their dads too if their fathers were responsible enough to be called as such - and there are still many of them in this world.
For parents and children:
Whatever difficult situations("hugot") moments you are in right now, the best cure that will greatly reduce your stress and heartaches are as follows:
1. Lower your ego. You don’t need to be always right. And your ego is not you. It is just a part of your public persona.
2. Learn to Love yourself more. Nobody can put you down unless you allow them to do so. You are a child of God and you have capabilities beyond your current imagination. Look within; that is the bright spark in your heart. Nurture it, even if others don’t, or can't, do it for you.
3. Give each other "Unconditional Positive Regard." This really works! from the time of Carl Rogers until now. Focus on the best aspects of each other, rather than the worst. You will then find that there is always something good with each other. And that is the framework for understanding and the bridge for a better relationship.
Good luck everybody. Hugs all around!
(And contact us should you still feel in distress. We will do our best to help you deal with your "inner demons." Together, we will also help you call your "angels"for support.)
These concepts are distilled from the colorful experiences of the author. He is a Corporate Trainer and Consultant, a Life Coach, School Administrator, Former High School Principal, an Ultra-Marathoner, an ex-Triathlete, a Bookworm, an NLP Instructor, a Father of four wonderful children and a lucky husband of a great woman.
Part 2 will follow soon: School and the Ten Commandments for Parents and Teachers
Part 3 follows: NLP @ Work: Leadership Transformation and Organization Development
About the author
Emmanuel F. Silan, PhD
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