The attitude for a good marriage

THE Relationship Blog


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There are a million different things to judge in your life. Is my house nice or not? Are my friends good or not? Is my job satisfying or not? Is my life what I want it to be or not? The bottom line with all of our judgments is our attitude. Attitude is the foundation to everything we do, feel, and stand for. In psychology, there are a multitude of explanations of how attitude plays into our daily life from the basic understanding of attitudes to Jungian theory which discusses personality types. One thing is for sure, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING, especially when it comes to marriage.

If you are of the belief and understanding that marriage is an archaic institution that cages people into an impossible monogamous situation then you probably should steer clear of the chapel. Unfortunately, many of the people who harbor these beliefs get married. Attitudes are based on our beliefs and understanding of the world. They can be positive, negative or ambivalent. Our attitude towards a person, place, thing and state of being defines how we react, act and interact with these things. So, if you think that marriage is doomed, it is!

We receive a million messages a day regarding relationships. When we see a couple holding hands or fighting or hear of a friend breaking up or getting married, all of these pieces of information funnel down into our understanding of life. We judge each piece of information as it coalesces into a solid attitude about something. So, judging a couple that is holding hands as sappy or immediately thinking, ‘oh they must be newlyweds’, is a serious judgment. The basic underlying belief to that is that only newlyweds show public displays of affection or that only a young couple would hold onto each other. That is really sad.

Recently, an elderly couple who had been married for 72 years died holding hands. This very sad story went viral. Why? If societal attitudes towards marriage border on the dismissive, why would we care about a couple of old people who held hands after so many years of married hell? It is simple. Beneath our cavalier facades of complacency and understanding that half of all marriages fail is a spark of hope. Hope that a loving, happy, respectful and fulfilling relationship is possible. We look at these two individuals and surmise that their love transcended even death and that gives us the ultimate hope.

Our attitude on marriage is based on so many factors. Specifically, we look at the state of marriage and see that statistically a marriage is no better than a coin toss. We look at our experiences or that of those close to us and see that marriage is unstable and fraught with stress. We look at media portrayals and concentrate only on the negative issues of violence, divorce and infidelity. But, we truly fear the most about being completely vulnerable to another person is the very real possibility that they may die. Death is the most thought about and least spoken of fear and our understanding and beliefs about death shape all of our attitudes.

If death is the great equalizer, then attitude is the edge to success. Judging marriage or your partner to be the best thing since sliced sourdough bread is the first step to a successful relationship. Believing in that love and commitment are more powerful than the temptations of the world is like putting a force-field on your marriage. Attitude is everything and in marriage a positive attitude is the difference between divorce and dying together holding hands. Wherever Norma and Gordon Yeager are, you know they are together and having a wonderful time.

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