Meet somebody, fall in love, get married. That’s how it goes, right? Then what? We hear of astronomical divorce rates, couple therapy, and extramarital affairs, but we also hear of the picture-perfect fifty-year happy marriages. What is this need to get married, and why do we think it will fulfill us?
If I were going to be cynical, I might say that the institution of marriage stems from people’s insecurity and their resulting need to create a feeling of safety with contracts and promises; I might say that marriage is a man-made constraint that comes from fear and thus is fragile. We feel the need to make the other commit so we can control them, so we can be sure they will stay by our side and make us feel safe. Often marriage also stems from a need to receive public approval or to fulfill a childhood fairy-tale fantasy that we have had pushed down our throats, like the chicken soup we were told could cure a cold.
A Great Marriage: Loving Each Other Unconditionally
Yet I don’t wish to make it all appear so bleak. In a marriage between two people who love each other unconditionally, there is no need to tie the other person down or try to control them in any way; unconditional love gives the other the freedom of expression that we all wish for — the freedom to be ourselves. What greater love is there than that?
If you really love someone, how could you want them to be anyone else? This type of marriage flourishes and blossoms into two individuals supporting each other in realizing their own potential.
Honesty with Ourselves Leads to Honesty in Relationships
When we start being honest with ourselves, honesty begins to grow in our relationships. This is when the bond between us and our partners is truly tested. I have been visited by many couples who have been married for decades and want to experience the process of inner growth together. When they visit my center, they learn to express themselves and often end up sharing things that they have avoided saying for years.
It is wonderful to see how this honesty breathes new life and intimacy into relationships that have become strained and distant. By confronting the fear of harming each other, they return home rejuvenated, more united and loving than ever.
Challenges in Couple's Communication?
But for some couples this process proves more challenging. For example, a married couple, both experienced psychologists who were deeply committed to the Isha System and their own healing, recently came to participate in a long-term deep-healing program in my center. When the wife began to grow and to express the things she had not dared to say
before, when she stopped treating her husband like a child and started voicing her own needs, her husband immediately wanted to leave and terminate the program. His wife was no longer falling for the same manipulative games, and he suddenly felt insecure.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
When this happens we have the choice to go inward and find true security or to continue avoiding ourselves and find a new external crutch. Some days passed, and he went deeper, ultimately deciding to stay on and to confront his fears and let go of the abandonment that had crippled him for so long.
Being a Slave of Outside Approval?
Our need to make our partner vow to love us eternally comes from our own desperate need to be loved. This need will continue unsated until we come to love ourselves. The impulse to control others comes from our lack of self-love. We have learned to reject ourselves so much that we have become slaves of outside approval; our sense of worth depends almost entirely on the opinions of those around us. This is so even for seemingly successful, powerful people; if their confidence lies in their success or public standing, where will it go if those things are taken away?
Marriage isn’t a remedy for insecurity. The only true remedy for insecurity is self-love — going beyond the fears and doubts of the mind and developing an awareness of the underlying security that is our very being. True love, unconditional love, breaks all boundaries, boxes, and ideas. It is the unlimited nature of being; it is life itself.
Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.
©2012 by Isha Judd. All Rights Reserved.
www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
This article was excerpted with permission from the book:
Love Has Wings: Free Yourself from Limiting Beliefs and Fall in Love with Life
by Isha Judd.
Isha Judd has taught thousands of people a simple system that shows how every moment of life — even the most challenging and frustrating — can be filled with love, peace, and self-acceptance. In these pages, Isha will teach you to: * Free yourself from the most common fear-based illusions we cling to out of habit; * Empower yourself to permeate all your roles and responsibilities with love-consciousness; * Soar above fear, boredom, impatience, jealousy, insecurity, loneliness, and the uncertainty of a world in crisis.
About the Author
Isha Judd is the founder of Isha Educating for Peace and the author of Why Walk When You Can Fly? Born in Australia, Isha has lived since 2000 in South America. She is the founder of Isha Educating for Peace, a self-funded NGO that provides thousands throughout the continent with free access to her teachings. Working with children, politicians, prisoners, and people with disabilities, the organization aims to support the underprivileged in all areas of society. She was recently named Ambassador for Peace by the Argentinean Senate, and Citizen of the World by the International University of Cuernavaca, Mexico. Visit her website at www.IshaJudd.com