Hello Lovely People
I recently wrote an article in which I explained that any relationship has a natural duration, after which it ends – unless the people in the relationship hold on to the relationship for dear life.
This raised a question about marriage vows. Divorce statistics prove to us time and again that despite the religious and legal pressure on us, marriages do not last for ever – they do not even last for a lifetime.
And even where a marriage lasts for a lifetime, people often tell me that they have been desperately unhappy in their “long and happy” marriage because they were forced to stay in it for health or financial reasons or because of social pressure. In these situations, even though the marriage certificate is there, the marriage did not last for a lifetime. Who are we trying to fool?
Why do we have marriage vows?
The earliest marriage vows were not between two people. The vows were between a person and the village that this person joined by means of a ceremony. The person undertook to help watch over and protect the tribe and the village, in exchange for their protection.
During the Middle Ages marriage vows became a legal contract between families, and it was meant to protect the interests of the two families that were tied together by the union between a man and a woman. There was not necessarily a religious aspect to this.
Later on the church got involved and insisted on having a public ceremony where a couple made promises to each other “until death do us part”. Sadly there is so much religious pressure on many marriages that those words become the sentence people have to live with – mostly emotional death, sometimes physical death. If you are still trapped in a marriage that has technically ended long ago, you will know what I am talking about.
Someone said to me the other day that even though he is divorced, he still believes that a marriage should last “for ever”. He said that when you get married, you do not decide whether you take the 10-year or the 15-year deal.
Of course you don’t, and even if you could, it would not make sense to choose any duration for the marriage in terms of time. The marriage – that is the relationship, regardless of its legal status – will endure for as long as the couple teach each other what they undertook in their soul contracts which they entered before they were born.
The religious view on marriage vows has caused a lot of heart-ache, violence and emotional damage. People are expected to buy into the fantasy that a relationship will last “for ever”. When reality destroys the fantasy, the church and society heaps guilt onto the “guilty” parties for failing to live up to the fantasy. When the relationship eventually ends – legally – too often the partners walk away with a sense of failure, rather than with a sense of achievement. This sense of failure in fact keeps them in the relationship well past its sell-by date.
Do we achieve anything from a broken relationship? Of course we do. We just do not acknowledge our achievements.
To be continued
Love and Light
PS: I am a professional transition coach. I help individuals and businesses to achieve their personal and commercial objectives.
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