It is often said that courtship period is “falling in love” stage as marriage is “falling out of love” stage. There may be truth to that. Perhaps, love maybe forever, but life comes in the way.
That is just it. The days of courtship the emphasis is on each other. You long for each other. You want each other. But once you get married, often, it becomes a life. That is where love takes backseat as you focus on “life” together. Yes indeed, you may repeat “I love you” but over the time that is just routine or necessary ritual that you have got accustomed to.
Prior to marriage there is an anticipation that marriage ensures blissful butterflies and rainbows. Surely, that is an exaggeration, but you are likely to embark the brutal reality that life after marriage to be as hard as it really is. There may be many reasons why that might happen. But major contributing factor is that marriage is being part of a team and you must learn to work together. In nutshell, love is being together whereas marriage is working together. Who really likes work?
The current contract – ‘until death’ – might have worked when people didn’t live all that long; or when many women died in childbirth, freeing men to marry multiple times (which they did); and when men of means needed women to cook, clean and take care, and women needed men for financial security. Many long-term marriages are loveless and sexless, and sometimes full of anger and resentments. But if they make it until a spouse dies – success!
So, what will work, you ask.
Perhaps the concept of temporary marriage may be the way to go. American paleontologist E D Cope wrote in his book, The Marriage Problem (1888), that marriages should start with a five-year contract that either spouse could end or renew with a further 10- or 15-year contract and, if all still went well after that, a permanent contract.
In recent time the concept of “beta marriage” is floating around. In such a type of marriage, couples would commit to each other for a certain number of years after which they could renew or just walk out. Reportedly, 10 per cent of first marriages don’t even make it past five years, marriage contract with renewable clause maybe the way to go. Some say, it may be better than current divorce system.
The essence of being together is love and that is what gets lost in the marriage system as the “being together” is guaranteed. That is when the “falling” out of love stage sets in. It happens over the course of painful trials and tribulations. It happens as lies, disappointments, failures emerge in “marriage” life. In time, couples lose communication and intimacy only to discover that they are strangers leaving together.
Ironic as it may be, in marriage you may have signed up for working through anything. However, what you didn’t sign up for was working through anything without love.
Love needs to be powerful element in a relationship. You choose to love your partner. Since you chose to love, you chose to stay. True indeed that marriage is not easy. Giving yourself to someone is not easy. But when there is love for one another, life (marriage) is series of happenings.