Is Marriage Obsolete?
I was directed to an article on the subject last week. While the piece talks about the legal entity of marriage, I was more interested to discuss the symbolic rite of marriage: a commitment to life with another person.
Any business partnership outlines terms of the relationship: who is responsible for what, a division of labor based on strengths and weaknesses, a business plan which outlines a course for the future and an exit strategy. Any business without such navigation in place would be doomed.
Yet, this is how most people approach marriage.
One of the most important “deals” that we’ll ever make, and rarely do people give any thought to what that adventure will look like. We know from the laws of manifestation and creation, that anything we don’t put conscious direction and focus in, is subject both to our unconscious beliefs and patterns, and is likely to be effect of many other factors, rather than cause.
I’m an advocate for “conscious marriage.” This means defining what marriage is to you and your partner, and not simply accepting centuries-old ideas of what marriage is. For example, an outdated idea of marriage is to stick it out to the end, no matter what. I would rather see the relationship as a vessel for growth and development with both people committing to its constant evolution.
Here are a few points to ponder:
1) Honesty. I’m into radical honesty and transparency. You’d think that would be a given in a relationship, but it’s not. I cannot tell you how many marriages are based on the tacit agreement of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Are you truly ready to expose the deepest parts of yourself for healing and transformation? To see the same in your partner and hold them without judgment? When you do, the impact on your lives is massive. You allow each other to self-actualize.
2) Monogamy. Again, most people assume this is a default setting. It isn’t. I see the best use of monogamy as a desire to shut out distractions so that two people can go really deep with each other–this is approaching it consciously and as a choice. The wrong reason to choose it is simply because everyone else does or because the thought of your partner with someone else scares you.
I have seen open relationships that function better than most monogamous ones because the primary tenets are: 1) honesty and 2) a desire for the growth of the other person that transcends the desire to possess him or her. This is divine love in action.
3) Growth. I see three entities in a relationship: you, me and the relationship. I like to think of committing to the development of all three. What happens if one person drops the ball? He or she hits an internal wall and gets stuck and is unwilling to work through it? In essence, that person is now violating the terms of the marriage.
4) Sex. How important is it to each of you? If one of you has a once-a-day libido, and the other once-a-week, eventually you’ll outpace each other. I recommend once a day for everyone–it’s a fantastic way to connect and keep your bond strong.
I know several couples with marriage contracts. They serve to remind them that their marriage is a living, breathing thing that needs love, attention and direction. Like a business, you can hold quarterly reviews and I highly recommend giving out bonuses!!
You can design your relationship to be whatever you want. The important thing is to create it consciously so that it functions for the growth and well-being of you both.
Image: William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 8.