Saturday, August 20, 2016

Of Marriage

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



A Questionable Commitment

Two people decide to get married, to say, “I do,” forever and ever and ever.

Okay, well, at least until one of them dies. Or gets too wrinkly. Or gets really unhappy. Or doesn’t feel like folding the clean laundry anymore.

But it’s still a pretty big commitment. Especially since most people aren’t doing it for true love (as they confidently believe) but instead, subconsciously, wanting their significant other to fill in the voids in their life… something for which the divorce rate implicitly shows there’s a lot of shattered expectations and disappointment in the area of.

Affirmation

There’s the idea that marriage is important because it affirms loyalty, honesty, trust, and so on.

Uhhh… Does it really?

The last time I checked, nothing integrally experienced needs to be affirmed because it already fully is.

To suggest that expected interrelationship qualities need to be affirmed is actually to insinuate that the qualities are not of a satisfactory nature to begin with and so they must be sworn to, to God and in law, to prevent deviation from expectation.

Some might label this with words such as control and fear. I do, anyway.

Seems more sensible to simply choose trust and honesty. For if we can’t fully trust the one we call “significant other,” “partner,” “lover,” “second half,” “twin flame,” or whatever else without “bounding” him or her to us, there have to be some underlying issues begging to be addressed.

For instance: If you’re afraid “your” woman is going to run away, you need to be far less concerned with “eternal bondage” than with ironing out your personal abandonment fears and insecurities. Locking her in a box so she can’t run away is nothing but force and resistance, both of which only ever cause more friction and more hurt.

You might also consider that you’re attaching to the woman for the wrong reasons: Like maybe you know she’s a sleeper-arounder who’ll probably leave you for the next hot guy she passes, but due to your own unresolved childhood beliefs of your mom behaving the same way, you’ve come to believe that sleeping-arounding is what “unconditional love in relationships looks like.”

And there’s the key: (…not sleeping-arounding, but…) What does unconditional love look like to me but I know clearly, when I’m really brutally honest with myself, is not? What is the mother/father reflection I am seeing in this person and clinging to in fear and/or desire?

Religion’s Marriage

If needing to get married is a religious thing, I still don’t get it.

Do you really—reallyreally, truly—believe that if you’re 100% honest, loyal, etc. but have a family out of wedlock, God is going to smite you? I’m pretty sure it’s never happened.

And this marriage rite, is it right? I mean, it’s a man-made ritual enforced by a man-made institution. But it’s not the man-made ritual enforced by the man-made institution that the guy down the street swears by as true. It’s also different still from the man-made ritual enforced by some other man-made institution adhered to by the woman up the street.

Is his God your God or her God? Different ritual, different religion, perhaps a different God? I don’t know… So many religions proffering so many separate “One Right Ways,” I have to wonder if God, himself, doesn’t get confused!

Dogma

Our many diverse cultures and religions carry quite a wide variety of ideas as to what exactly the implications of marriage are. No matter, they’re all basically saying the same thing of long-term and sexual relationships themselves: If you’re going to be in a relationship, you damn well better get married… or else…

Or else, what?

Or else you might be happy. Or else you might be a free mover and thinker. You might be more creative and focus more on the positive in life than the negative that triggers you every time you look at your wife of 36 years who you keep telling you “love” because that’s what your religion and society have told you to do since Day 1. You fear doing anything different because of all the threat of punishment and ostracism and judgment and criticism and shame and blame and guilt.

Folks, these are all ideas. Not facts or necessities but ideas. And very painful ones, at that. And you uphold these painful ideas by putting your active energy and belief into them as if they are some “Absolute Truth of Creation.”

They’re just ideas. Ideas that have been taken way too far.

Flow

Which brings us to the point of freedom and well-being.

Shouldn’t there be freedom to move in and out of relationships as one feels appropriate, assuming the I-love you-forever-and-ever blind infatuation has passed or one or both partners aren’t working cohesively anymore and have no interest in seeking counseling? Or maybe because they have worked cohesively, with each partner learning the life lessons their other partner provided them, at which point they may no longer be attracted to each other?

Shouldn’t there be freedom to move in and out of relationships as one feels appropriate, without all the dramatic hoopla of absurd legal work and sanctified-by-God(-or-maybe-not) religious annulments with all their added guilt, shame, blame, and financial and material goods who-gets-what-and-how-much insanity?

Divorce and Children

“So you’re okay with divorce, then? What about the kids?”

What about ‘em?

By all means, sure, if parents get divorced then the kids are going to go through a lot of profound hurt. But do you not think that if those same parents stayed together but at constant odds, in resentment of each other, at a cold yet “friendly” distance, that all the stress and negativity and unhappiness wouldn’t traumatize them for life and warp their minds as to what “love” is, anyway?

Which should tell a lot to you folks who’re experiencing a rocky relationship and thinking that maybe having a kid will improve it. If you’re unsatisfied with your partner now, you’re going to be unsatisfied with your partner later… Only on top of all the relationship drama, you’ll have a kid between you to share it with.

Non-Marital Sex

“I suppose you must be okay with sex outside of marriage, too…”

There’s also the argument—at least from many religionists and other you-damn-well-better-abstain-from-sexual-activity-because-I-was-denied-it-and-don’t-want-to-face-and-resolve-my-inner-hurt-and-thus-blame-and-resent-those-who-experience-free-sexuality-type people—that no one should ever have sex (or sexual experiences beyond kissing) outside of marriage. If you’re one who believes this, do you really know this to be so? Or do you just believe whatever your religion (or conservative politicians or the like) or suffering-inducing beliefs tell you to?

Fact of the matter is: sexual expression—while, yes, it has the potential to create babies and so care must be taken—is as natural and nearly as necessary as eating and sleeping. It has to be done for survival of the species, and it plays a vital role in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being—a well-being for which the requirements do not magically accommodate based on who's married or as yet unwed.

The sex center is also the center for emotion and the source of one’s non-sexual creativity.

To thus deny one’s sexual nature is to deny an enormous aspect of what makes us whole, integrated human beings.

There sometimes arises the argument that people are more likely to break up when they have sex outside of marriage.

This argument is garbage. People in general are simply becoming more and more dissatisfied with life yet aren’t willing to make the effort to do the inner work necessary to improve. What this means is that they’re more and more likely to act on inner imbalances “out there” in an attempt to find fulfillment “in here.”

“Love” relationships and sex both then become selfish endeavors. People want to have the “greatest high” in life but without feeling the lows. Because it’s all for egotistical gain, the inner world suffers and external disappointment ensues… Just like it does with the majority of people who do get married, only those who get married are more likely (though this percentage is decreasing) to stay together simply because they’ve got the marriage contract and very possibly the weight of repressive religious and cultural beliefs and associated threats of punishment, shame, and so on.

In Closing

Individuals need to work to clean up their own inner imbalances so they’re neither getting into relationships for egotistically blind reasons nor blaming their imbalances on their partner and thus creating separation. So, too, do couples need to work together in relationship development so as to more easily smooth out the sore spots.

If marriage feels right to you, by all means, do it. As far as this writer is concerned, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the rite in and of itself.

But if you should take the time to do the necessary self-inquiry of the as-yet-unquestioned beliefs you’ve been accumulating since you popped out of the womb, you will come to see that not every relationship is meant to last forever. Indeed, most are not. They’re temporal learning experiences, only most people have forgotten and been unwilling to change so they’ve ended up pigeon-holing themselves in them for “forever” anyway.

Attaching chains, literally or figuratively, to human beings is and has always been a surefire way to manifest unhappiness and slavery.

Yes, slavery. Just because something is “normal” or “acceptable” doesn’t mean it’s just or rational.

Remember that love is only love when it’s free. When love is bound and gagged, that’s called… Well, quite often it’s called marriage.

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