Two young people anxious to consummate their love are conditioned to believe that love is real only when bound by the contract of marriage. They are more than willing to sign on to the social contract hoping to solidify their love. However luring love can be, when it comes to the concept of marriage, the more we are told we have to do something, the less we innately enjoy it and anything not difficult to attain is always less exciting. Marriage, by its very nature, eliminates novelty and surprise that the couple enjoyed before they signed the dotted lines. Studies have shown that without the specific challenges that a new relationship brings, our arousal fades and we become increasingly complacent in our affairs. This alone can turn a happy relationship into tedious monotony.
As a married couple, we seem to attempt to always “make the marriage work” to fulfill the demands and expectations this institute of marriage bares. While it sounds appealing, this idea of “making it work” is perhaps the root of all evils. Each attempt builds hostility, creating distance within the couple. Through this constant effort, you’ll slowly recognize that you’re being untrue to your emotions. Constantly controlling your vulnerability for the sake of your family, you attempt to convince yourself that you are still in love. You hypnotize yourself with loving language and grand gestures of affection – scheduling a habitual routine of love. The more it becomes work, the more you are setting unrealistic expectations – deep down, knowing you’re really not convinced of these convictions.
Worst of all, your partner is not blind to your predicament, though they may find your efforts charming. Your life becomes a constant cycle of self-deception. All the while, the deepest core of your being is seeking a way out. The social safety net of marriage keeps you trapped, working harder to rekindle what you once thought to be never-ending love. You refuse to disturb the social order.
What starts off as a loving utopian experience usually concludes in the mindless agreement to embark on the socially accepted routine of marriage. While this is the dismal reality for many marriages, unhappiness does not have to be the conclusion to these once beautiful love stories.
For a social partnership to be successful (defining success as the emotional satisfaction of both parties involved), a nurturing atmosphere must be established in which the couple feels free expressing themselves. When the couple feels absolutely safe to simply be, then you are not running after a pseudo love affair, but creating an environment for love to flourish. Only in this open environment can love sustain.
Marriage is merely a support system for social order, not a requirement for love to thrive. The idea of marriage lends itself to contradiction as simply by promising to love someone forever, we restrict the freedom of love. The promise to create an environment that allows love to flow freely, never restricted to the confines of the “norms,” is the real recipe for success. With this, the couple eliminates expectations and unnecessary conditions that disrupt happy relationships.
The couple never needs to break up, because within the relationship, they are already free
Coupled with an accepting environment, spontaneity and newness is key. Studies prove that when curiosity is stimulated, our brain centers related to rewards are triggered, producing a response identical to when we receive tangible rewards. Wake up and see the reality of what marriage it – an attempt to organize society in a way that benefits all members involved. We need to surrender our ego to create an environment that allows unrestricted expression – and in this environment, spontaneity will happen naturally. This is a two-way street. Both partners have to commit fully to this act of faith for love to sustain.