Whether you are happily married or planning to get married soon, know all the rules of a happy and successful marriage or looking for some inspiration on how to build a strong, fulfilling, blissful and long-lasting marriage, you could benefit from an inspiring excerpt on marriage, authentic love and mutual growth from the bestselling book –The Road Less Travelled by American Psychiatrist and author M.Scott Peck.
“When dealing with couples my wife and I draw the analogy between marriage and a base camp for mountain climbing. If one wants to climb mountains one must have a good base camp, a place where there are shelters and provisions, where one may receive nurture and rest before one venture forth again to seek another summit. Successful mountain climbers know that they must spend at least as much time, if not more, intending to their base camp as they actually do in climbing mountains, for their survival is dependent upon their seeing to it that their base camp is sturdily constructed and well stocked.
A common and traditionally masculine marital problem is created by the husband who, once he is married, devotes all his energies to climbing mountains and none to tending to his marriage, or base camp, expecting it to be there in perfect order whenever he chooses to return to it for rest and recreation without his assuming any responsibility for its maintenance. Sooner or later this “capitalist” approach to the problem fails and he returns to find his untended base camp a shambles, his neglected wife having been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown, having run off with another man, or in some other way having renounced her job as camp caretaker.
An equally common and traditionally feminine marital problem is created by the wife who, once she is married, feels that the goal of her life has been achieved. To her, the base camp is the peak. She cannot understand or empathize with her husband’s need for achievements and experiences beyond the marriage and reacts to them with jealousy and never-ending demands that he devote increasingly more energy to the home. Like other “communist” resolutions of the problem, this one creates a relationship that is suffocating and stultifying, from which the husband, feeling trapped and limited, may likely flee in a moment of “mid-life crisis.” – The Road Less Travelled- M.Scott Peck
These are the common relationship problems that can spring up in any marriage or partnership.
I have compiled a list of four golden rules that can help you to avoid these stumble blocks and build a happy, successful, fulfilling and long-lasting relationship:
1) Pick your battles wisely
No two people can think alike or agree with each other on every point. If you are in a relationship with someone, there are bound to be the difference of opinion, disagreements, and conflicts.
One person may have different spending habits, others may have different, one person can have different sexual desires, others can have different desires, one can be an introvert and others can be an extrovert.
If you live with someone, there would be many instances that would lead to disagreements. But wisdom lies in picking your battles wisely.
Not everything requires your attention and is not worth fighting over. And even if you disagree, there is away to put your point across without getting personal or offending the other person.
It is always better to process your emotions and feelings objectively before going for a discussion with your partner. If you just vent out your feelings without any filter or objectivity to your partner, you may say or do things in the heat of the moment that you will regret later on and that can tarnish your relationship badly.
2) Learn the importance of acceptance and celebrating differences
Like we discussed, no two people are alike in their way of thinking or doing things. Accepting and celebrating the differences go a long way in maintaining peace and harmony.
Everyone has different love languages and way of doing things. For example, some people are expressive verbally and their love language is words of affirmation while some people like to do things and their love language is service.
You need to spend a little time to observe and understand your partner’s love language and accept and appreciate that, otherwise they will keep on expressing their love in their own way and you would totally miss out on it because it is different from your own love language.
For example, whenever I was upset I would expect my partner to provide verbal assurance to console me but he would just not talk and give me some time off.
It was really frustrating for me. It was only after I communicated with him and asked him his reason for doing the same that I understood that it was his way of expressing love by giving me time and space to process my emotions.
It is essential to communicate with your partner to understand why they do what they do. Sometimes we just misinterpret their intentions and fail to understand their love language and totally overlook the love they are trying to express.
Another example, my partner is a perfectionist and has a to-do list for everything and follows structure while I am more laid back and spontaneous and enjoy being in the flow being a creative person.
Initially, my partner would get really upset and think that I am being laid back only to annoy him but as he understood that it is just how I am wired and how I operate in life and it is nothing personal, he could understand and accept my way of doing things.
It is very important to understand and celebrate differences so that we can give each other the space to blossom into our highest potential without stifling each other’s freedom or creativity.