My Philosophy on Marriage Series #1 of 5

Mikaela Portraits Series, originally uploaded by Mervin Chiang.

The first of the 5 guiding principles, I believe, is the topic of unconditional love. That is easily said but not often easily done! And this is important because I believe it forms the basic foundation of a relationship. Remember, you got married because you chose this partner, no one else forced you. You chose to love and get married to your partner. And this commitment, when elevated to marriage, means unconditional love!

Unconditional – This means “no matter what”. Learning from “the Love Dare” book, as long as you start saying “I love my spouse because…”, you are placing a condition on your love. Saying that he or she is handsome, cute, loving, kind, etc.. are all conditions. So does that mean that when they are no longer these things, you stop loving them? Unconditional love means literally – NO MATTER WHAT.

How do we do this practically? I read somewhere (can’t remember where), that the “honeymoon” period is literally a chemical thing in our brain. When we first fall in love, for the first few months our body is riding on this “fuel” of chemicals that make us “think” we love our partner. Once this “fuel” runs out, we have to WORK (yes, work), to love that same person and its no longer a chemical “morphine” that keeps us going, but hard effort. Now realising that I have to work to love Kat makes a whole mind shift on how I learn to love her in our marriage. Love is not a feeling anymore, but an action!

“The good, the bad and the ugly” of “working on” love means you need to change your mindset on how to love your spouse in a marriage. Its an inward change and not a reciprocal one. You cannot be thinking, “I need to change him/her on how to love ME”, but be thinking “what can I do differently to love him/her unconditionally”. Coming to the challenge of the word unconditional. This means no-matter-what! Even if he leaves his socks lying around. Even if she doesn’t pick up the mobile when you call her. Even if he is insensitive to your feelings on certain things. Even if she doesn’t understand your need to be with your mates to do something. Even if… [fill in blanks here, you get the pattern?]

Also, to practice unconditional love your natural “side effect” should be trust. And I don’t mean, “I trust that he/she won’t cheat on me”, type of trust in this case. Or even “I trust that he/she will do the right thing when told” kind of trust. What I mean is, because of the unconditional love attitude I am placing on my spouse, I trust that whatever he/she says or do has never any ill intent, is malicious or is purposefully done to cause hurt or harm physically or mentally to me.

This type of what I call “heightened” trust is quite different to what we normally understand as trust. How does this look like in practice? To trust in this case then means you must and should never be looking for any “hidden meaning” in your spouse for the things he/she do, say or writes. In other words, trusting that he/she are always doing things with neutral or good intent. Even if it is so apparent that it is not so! This is where “unconditional love” comes in. Even when wrong is done to you, you must love unconditionally!

No one says working to love someone is easy… Remember, we’re in for the long haul and not chasing that morphine chemical called “feeling of love”. It may sound hard, but this first “layer” of foundation sets a firm one for the next 4 sections.

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