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Marriage, Morals,Methods and Madness

14 Oct '23
5 min read

"Marriage, Morals, Madness, and Methods"

                                                                                                             L . P Rajan


Bertrand Russell's "Marriage and Morals" provided some  inspiration for this article. He noticed that while some societies glorified sex and sexual behavior, others were prudish and held rigid ideas about sex, its expression, and associated rules and regulations. Societies prescribed strict rules, particularly for women. When rigid dictates govern, love ceases to develop. Love, the primary ingredient in marriage, can flourish only when it is free and spontaneous. 

 Ever since mankind began living in communities, the concept of pairing a man and a woman for a lifelong association has been prevalent and is an integral part of our society and civilization. Besides providing a healthy outlet for primal human satisfaction, it serves as a means of procreation for the continuation of the human-race. Preserving social order and nurturing young children are secondary objectives of marriages solemnized through social and religious rituals. This not only prevents social chaos but also provides people with a means to achieve happiness in a relationship, perhaps in its purest and unadulterated form. Emotional security, social status, acceptance, and a journey toward spiritual growth are perceived benefits of marriage. 

As societies evolved over centuries and the world slowly integrated into a globalized one, the institution of marriage faced numerous challenges.



While marriage provides an avenue for fulfilling one's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, it also spawns many issues and challenges. Humans have an inherent quality: a need to conform and a need to rebel—whether one gets actualized depends on the context in which they find themselves. Essentially, people view marriage as a means of power and an extension of their lives, which is confirmed with the birth of a child.  

With distractions caused by increased interactions between the sexes, marriage as an institution has come under threat. Rising divorce and separation rates have caused agony for many. Infidelity and seeking love outside of marriage have threatened the emotional security of many couples. Sexual attraction is a strong force not easily resisted by everyone, and infidelity can wreak havoc on the wronged spouse. The sense of self is destroyed, and the capacity to trust is lost—a veritable disaster! Some psychologists and counselors argue that a little infidelity can be beneficial. They rush to assuage the perpetrator, the chief architect of the infidelity. Look at it this way: an opportunity to develop better self-awareness. While infidelity-induced guilt cannot guarantee a genuine turnaround to one's spouse with more affection, remorse can be cathartic. It has the potential to enable the person to look inward if the pain of guilt can be endured.


Madness and Methods

All individuals experience fluctuations in their emotional, physical, and intellectual states, known as biorhythms. Psychologists and astrologers both emphasize the importance of aligning these biorhythms for a successful marriage. It's ideal when spouses are in sync emotionally, physically, and intellectually. However, discrepancies in biorhythms can lead to conflicts and prolonged emotional turmoil.

To address these challenges, couples can employ practical methods. Establishing clear policies and responsibilities can guide them towards happiness and success. While togetherness can strengthen bonds, it can also generate friction, highlighting the need for personal space. Managing domestic responsibilities equally is vital; for example, sharing chores like cooking and cleaning can foster a unique bond. As the saying goes, "the family that dines together, stays together." This notion of equal exchange extends beyond household tasks; it is fundamental in all aspects of married life.

Even in the best of marriages, individuals tend to keep score, a habit that might persist until the emotional bond deepens. However, keeping score alone does not guarantee a prosperous marriage. John Gray, in his book "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," sheds light on the differing needs and perspectives of men and women. Women often seek emotional validation before solutions, while men may desire acceptance and belonging. Men sometimes withdraw into their own space when faced with excessive criticism or fault-finding.

All conflicts, however  can be resolved through negotiation skills, which are essential in managing relationships. Some basic tenets of negotiation include:

I) Separate the person from the problem. Be firm on addressing the problem but gentle with the person.

II) Arguments may arise, and disagreements are common. It is best to disagree without being disagreeable.

III) Conflicts need resolution. Confrontation is sometimes necessary but should be a "loving confrontation."

Both philosophy and mundane mindfulness must merge to create a happy marriage.  It might help to have a mission statement such as “ We are a happy family striving for emotional and spiritual growth , accepting each other in toto and supporting each other.

Couples need to complement each other, form emotional intimacy, and set goals for life. Without a goal orientation, couples cannot direct their energies toward a future outcome. Balancing togetherness, and personal space, sharing responsibilities, and embracing equal exchange contribute to lasting happiness and success in relationships.

Of course , the common thread that connects is, each person’s capacity for emotional intimacy, which is still a work in process for many.


Category : Relationships


Written by Lakshmanan Rajan