What Are The Stages Of Marriage?
How do you avoid marriages where two people separate lives under the same roof instead of merging together as one? In other words how do we build a durable marriage?
To understand this we have to define the goals of marriage.
In the lowest form marriage means absence of conflict whereby couples maintain contact because it serves their common interests and no more. Here each marriage partner is prepared to fulfil his duties to his spouse. But each partner remains a separate and distinct identity. They live in peace by avoiding quarrels but there is little emotional attachment.
The next level of marriage is when people join together to reach a common goal which neither can achieve by themselves. However, once the goal is reached then the marriage falls apart.
A typical example is "empty nest" divorces of middle aged couples. Physical attraction has weakened, children have left home and the wife is now financially independent. Mutual goals have now disappeared and so has the marriage. Goal orientated love dissolves when the goals are gone.
The highest and most enduring of level of marriage is when a couple exists together as one. They have a shared identity which is embodied in their marriage. Husband and wife are no longer a separate entity but are keenly aware of each otherís needs as if they are their own. The relationship has gone beyond mutual dependency and the benefits which each receive. There is no "I"; only "We". The sum of their parts equals one. They are incomplete without each other.
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