Thursday, 15 December 2016

Giving Love a Fighting Chance

Relationships and marriages are often expected to aspire to be havens of harmony and compatibility. Some long lasting couples talk with fierce pride of never having had a serious quarrel or serious disagreement in many years together. "Never go to bed angry" is recognised as sound relationship advice all over the world. In some cultures and religions the wife is expected to be docile and meek around the husband. This is meant to engender affection and appreciation in the reputedly dominant male. For many years this has been considered the key to a strong and lasting relationship. It is no surprise that across the world there has been a decline in formal marriages, and an increase in the rates of divorce.

Couples who believe that avoiding conflict is the path to a happy and thriving relationship are sorely mistaken. Truth be told, when you believe in something and want it to last you have to fight for it. In fact, the occasional dust up is one way to clear the cobwebs and knock some sense into some men and women in relationships. When a couple chooses to get married a fight gets underway to stay together and weather life's storms. Once the words, "till death do us part", are uttered, "thems are fighting words"; and a physical, psychological and social struggle to stay together commences.

The idea that a relationship or marriage between two very individual characters must necessarily always be peaceful and amicable assumes that all issues affecting it might have been worked out in advance. In truth, the pooling of opposing views has the potential to greatly improve the reservoir of  knowledge and quality of decision making in the relationship. This will very likely both enhance  understanding and the endurance of respect and affection in the relationship. Agreements reached by listening to each other and looking at the merits of all views are more legitimate than agreement where one party's consensus is assumed and taken for granted.

It is important that couples recognise when conflict is counterproductive and destructive. It is vital they both show compassion and patience towards each other. Trying to compete against, and beat each other while in a relationship only leads to two defeated people. The aim is to push each other hard while still holding each other close to each other's heart. Ultimately true love will choose honesty and tolerance in handling both conflict and agreement.