Most little girls grow up focused on finding the perfect white dress, a gorgeous location and venue, and a beautiful color scheme that everyone will remember. It has always been a joke that all little girls start planning their weddings from the moment they gain an understanding of what marriage is. Oddly enough, marriage was not something I thought about very often growing up. If I ever do end up getting married, I will be starting from scratch completely. Sure makes the idea of a no fuss elopement to Vegas sound very appealing.
Cultural Pressure on Marriage
Recent statistics of the divorce rate in the United States show that the divorce trend is closing in on the 50% mark. It is a curious idea that these little girls’ dreams could be detrimental to the actual institution of marriage. So much cultural demand, even in these modern times, is put on women to get married and start a family. Personally, I experience it all the time when I am dating someone; people are always asking when I think we are going to get married. I just want to look at them and shout, “Is it such a crime to just want to have fun and experience the relationship without having to have an ultimate goal in sight of where it is going to end up?”
Could this cultural pressure that is being ingrained in little girls’ minds be largely responsible for the increasing divorce rate? Since little girls grow up so focused on this idea, they feel as if they have to get married at some point in their lives, and many are willing to settle for someone even if it does not feel completely right. This is obviously not the right way to approach a marriage, but with it being abnormal not to get married, women get scared that if they do not take the offer on this one, they may never get another.
Changing the Social Stigma
People need to become more conscious when addressing their friends and family about their current relationships. The act of pressuring women into getting married by a certain point in their lives only leads to the potential of not marrying for love, but just for the sake of being married. If everyone stops putting all of the emphasis on heading for marriage in every relationship, there is a good chance that relationships will get healthier all around since they will not be under so much pressure.
It would be incredibly interesting to see whether the divorce rate would go down if there is no stigma attached to not being married. Obviously, fewer marriages would lead to a lower divorce rate, so it would be necessary to study the comparison relative to the number of actual marriages at that time. I guess the question everyone really needs to ask themselves is whether or not it is worth going into a marriage just for the sake of keeping up the social need for marriage and risk being unhappy and having it lead to divorce down the road.
Starting With the Children
Maybe parents could work to focus their kids’ goals in life more on success and education rather than on finding a marriage partner. It never hurts to teach your kids that they will not be failures if they never get married. Since the fairy tale idea of marriage begins at such an early age, parents should start teaching their children that there is more to life that getting married and that they will not be looked down on if they never decide to get married. Hopefully, one day marriage will not be a necessity in society.
Soulmates and Intimacy in Marriage
In her book, The Soulmate Secret (HarperCollins, 2009), Arielle Ford describes the meaning of the word soulmate. She defines it as “Someone who completes you.” Marriage is the best place for people to become soulmates as living together exposes people to the good and bad and allows for true intimacy.
Intimacy Between Soulmates in Marriage
Everyone needs someone to be close to. Marriage by necessity creates closeness as couples share a home, a bed and expenses. However, intimacy is much more than physical closeness. It develops as spouses open their emotional sides to each other. It is the assurance that you can share deep feelings, great ecstasy and immense sorrow with each other. Soulmates grow together and reach a place where they can almost sense what their partner is thinking and feeling.
How to Develop the Intimacy Between Soulmates
While soulmates often find they have an instant attraction to each other, they often have to work on maintaining intimacy after marriage. The early stages of a relationship are often characterized by romance, heightened feelings and emotion but these do not last forever.
As the responsibilities of marriage hit home, spouses may find intimacy giving way to piles of bills and arguments over housework. Power struggles are common and friction can damage communication channels. It is important to take time to rekindle the spark in marriage by making time and space to talk to each other. This should be about personal things such as hopes and dreams.
Soulmates Understand Their Spouses
The word soulmate implies the connection between two people that allows them to be deeply in touch with each other. It is often seen in older people who have been married for many years. It manifests as a glance, a knowing look, or a gesture and their partner knows exactly what it happening inside their heart.
This type of intimacy comes from years of open sharing and communication. The couple have learnt to share the good times and the bad and genuinely enjoy being with each other. They have talked about life and death, pain and sorrow and have mastered the art of forgiveness. People yearn for this level of intimacy and a caring soulmate is to be greatly valued.
Marriage is the ideal setting for intimacy to develop between soulmates. While open communication may be easy in the early days of a relationship, it often needs attention and work after marriage. With perseverance and effort, couples can become open and honest with each other and learn to understand each other’s feelings. This is the basis for a sound marriage with deep emotional satisfaction.
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