Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marriage Is A Complex Subject

Recently the subject of marriage has come up on a forum I belong to. All the women have their own perspective on marriage and what it takes to have a good marriage. I have been married twice before. One of the women made a statement that "there is no 50/50 in a marriage. That someone has to wear the pants." I cannot agree with that statement at all......... that there is no 50/50. I think that IS the problem in most marriages! I had a marriage like that. I know it doesn't work. My parents had an equal partnership......neither was over the other one. My marriage now, is wonderful and we are equal partners. I would hate it if I had to ask my husband's permission to do anything, and he would equally hate it if it was the other way around. Once a woman hands over her 50%.........then she is resentful of her spouse, and puts herself in the same boat as her children. Except they grow up and leave home, she doesn't, unless they split up.

One key in marriage that I learned many years ago from Marlo Thomas of all people, is that she told Phil Donahue before they got married, that she wants the same for him as she wants for herself. Meaning that she doesn't put him or his career behind her's or in front of her's. They are the same. Equal. She wanted him to do good and have the best, and wanted him to feel the same about her. I can't remember her exact quote, but it was in his book when he wrote about their relationship. 

Not long ago on that same forum we discussed the incidence of women withholding sex from their spouses for reasons like wanting him to do something for them, having an argument or buy them something or any such reason. Well, if you hand him over your part of the partnership, in your marriage, then that is when sex does become the bargaining chip for the wife, who has given up her rights in the marriage. 

My parents and my in-laws were both married in 1942 and I know both of our mothers were equal partners in their marriages. My mother worked and managed the money in our house, but there were never issues over money in our house. We always had nice homes, nice cars and did a lot of fun things as a family. I never ever heard my parents have a cross word with each other. I had friends who's parents fought and I remember getting really scared if I was at their house when they fought because I was not familiar with that. My family was full of humor, jokes and laughter. To this day, my father at 91, can't wait to tell you a joke or share something funny someone said or did. 

So what happens when two people meet? They feel that spark of attraction and want to get to know each other better. Is that the time to sit down and make up the rules of their relationship? Or do you just kind of slide into some sort of routine and then too late you realize that you have stopped being yourself to accommodate this new person in your life? Many times that is what happens. The reason is that discussing it may ruin the spontaneity of the new relationship. If you don't stop the relationship when you start losing control of your own self, when you allow someone else to set your permissions, then you will have no one to blame but yourself. You have to stand up for yourself right from the start. 

In my own relationship with my husband I did not have this obstacle because he is not that kind of man. He treats me with much respect and yes, as his equal partner. He is not the type of man who hangs with a bunch of guys talking about women or whatever they talk about. He is the kind of man who knows how to make a woman feel like a valued treasure, as well as his best friend for life. I know.....I am very lucky indeed!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

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