Sunday, February 26, 2017

One Popular Advice That Will Ruin Your Marriage Before It Even Takes Off

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There is a general impression out there that marriage is a lot ofwork; hence, many people approach it with the same level of preparedness with which they would approach any other herculean task. They go to all the pre-marital counselling classes, read all the books about relationships and marriage, observe what they perceive as successful marriages and of course, seek advice from those who have travelled far along the marriage path.

Through all of these preparations, many lessons and notions are internalised; some bad, some good, some downright ugly and dangerous. The most dangerous of all, which has come to my attention in the past couple of weeks is in the form of advice from peers, parents and even mentors who are expected to know better:
Don't love your spouse too much. He/she will take advantage.
I have heard this statement many times and I have heard countless justifications for it. But truth be told, none of these justifications are strong enough to hold water. 

Don't love your spouse too much? What exactly is too much love in a marriage? Can a man love his wife too much? or a wife love her husband too much? I ask these questions because the phrase too much love suggests that it will have a negative consequence, and it is indeed the most ludicrous and destructive advice you will be given regarding your marriage. My advice? Do not listen to such people no matter how important they are to you. 

The foundation of every successful marriage is not self-preservation. It is not opportunism or exploitation either. It is love based on giving the whole of oneself to the success of a relationship who is ALSO giving the whole of herself or himself to the success of the relationship.This dangerously common advice preaches self-preservation and exploitation, and take it from me, your marriage will never work with that kind of mindset. A marriage where you mistreat your partner, act like their feelings don't matter to you, exploit their weaknesses for your advantage and aim to exalt yourself as the queen on a chess board using your partner as a porn is not heading anywhere. Right from the moment you internalize this advice, your marriage becomes a broken wagon with no wheels, stuck in a jungle with all kinds of wild animals circling it, ready to attack. 

There is no such thing as too much love in a marriage where both individuals are committed to making things work. There is no joy in self-preservation (ask those who continually cheat on the spouses they have exploited and they will tell you how empty they feel inside). Give your marriage a fighting chance. Sieve the advice you get and understand that the fact that some people have been far along in the journey does not mean they know where they are headed or what they are doing. For all you know, they are sitting in broken  wagons in the jungle, hoping you will come and join them. Most importantly, when listening to advice, even from your parents, let God guide your heart. XOXO

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