Didn’t we all fantasize about the kind of love that is true, selfless, kind, sacrificial, and genuine? With everyone actively looking to experience their own love story, it begs the question of why divorce is at an exponential all-time high.
A major reason why divorce cases are on the rise is that a lot of people marry for the wrong reasons. Some people marry for validation, out of desperation, or need for procreation, and others simply because they are in love. There is a high chance that if you marry for love, the probability of ending up divorced or already divorced is high.
The Story of Jim
Jim was in his high school library when a lady, Rachel walked in to study. He was instantly smitten by her glamorous angelic looks. She had a height, and figure that even appealed to her own gender.
The young man found a way to exchange pleasantries with her. The fact that he made her smile and laugh tickled her fancy and they became very close friends. Rachel discovered that they had so many things in common and they became lovers.
But they grew apart after graduation and went their separate ways to chase their destinies. After 10 years, somehow, Jim found her on social media and they started communicating. It was at that point that she realized she still had feelings for her high school sweetheart – they reconnected and got married.
For Rachel, the decision to marry Jim came naturally. Over the years they had nurtured friendship, common grounds and suitable conflict resolution mechanisms, between themselves. Other guys that had an interest in Rachel did not make her feel at home like the way Jim made her feel.
Looks fade, money goes but loving for the right reasons keeps the fire of a relationship burning. Again, there’s no formula for a successful marriage or relationship but it is more beneficial when you get married for reasons other than just being in love.
Let’s take a swipe at why you shouldn’t marry for love alone.
Fight/understand emotional needs
Every love story is different but even the best love affair is not without disagreements. Do you quit a relationship because of a misunderstanding that can be resolved? This is why forgiveness is a major component of every thriving relationship but beyond forgiveness, the willingness to understand and meet the emotional needs of your partner is the foundation for a solid comeback.
My friend Rodney started hanging out with his friends after his wife gave birth to their twin girls. He loved his daughters but he never liked tending to them whenever they started to throw tantrums, so an escape route for him was to hangouts with friends.
Rodney’s lack of support birthed a bad atmosphere in the house. His wife started to develop postpartum depression all because of his lacklustre behaviour. They sort of help to fix their family by starting therapy.
It was clear she needed support, not neglect, she and the babies needed attention, not abandonment, and all her other emotional needs like words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, and others needed to be met to make her the best mother.
Nurturing a relationship involves a deliberate commitment by two partners who are willing and ready to make it work. If a relationship is built on the feeling of affection (love) alone, the fact that this affection can wane with time means there has to be more than love for a relationship to work. So, beyond reconciling after a fight, you must do well to understand the emotional needs of your partner and set out to satisfy those needs.
Tolerance Is Key to A Successful Marriage
Tolerance is the ability to respect, understand, and accept a person for who they are not what you want them to be. For emphasis, tolerance is different from yielding to pain or any form of abuse (verbal or physical). So, you must be able to distinguish between the two in order to know where to draw the line between bad and good behaviour. Being tolerant does not mean you should allow an abusive partner to continue to abuse you. No.
An underlying makeup of humanity is imperfection which is why tolerance must be the crux of all marriages. Criticizing your partner for being an indoor person or for being a foodie is utterly baseless because nobody should strive to be who they are not simply because they are married.
..In essence, your partner may have different needs from yours but so many relationships have thrived with individuals being themselves. So, you must accept people for who they are.
Also, tolerance breeds understanding – so the more you accommodate the differences that you have with someone, the better understanding you have with them. So, if you’re getting married because of the feeling of affection alone, you may not be able to tolerate the excesses presented by your partner.
Shared Vision and Values
Sharing the same vision and values with your partner means you guys are headed in the same direction in terms of career, finance, academics, and so on. It makes it easier to plan and support each other. Now, if you marry someone whose vision is starkly different from yours, you’ll constantly have disagreements between you.
Before tying the knot, you must establish a vision of the kind of life and future that you want, and find someone whose vision aligns with your own. During my days in high school, I drifted into a few relationships because I was often available within that period and I didn’t really know what I wanted out of life. The only vision on my mind at that time was graduating from school, nothing else.
There are instances where partners share very different visions and values. That’s very okay, provided both parties are willing and ready to make the relationship work. When the love in a relationship starts to fade, those who share a similar vision are likely going to stay together.
Love is never enough
It takes more than love to keep the wheels of a relationship going. As you know, love is a feeling of affection but with constant disagreements, altercations, abuse and disrespect, that feeling might fade away.
So, if you are in love and do not share the same vision with your partner or fail to treat him/her with human dignity and respect, chances are that the relationship is going to break at some point.
For a relationship to be long-lasting and enduring, it has to have elements like mutual respect, compatibility, attraction, and love of course. The bottom line is, if you marry for love alone, the relationship will suffer on other fronts.
Relationships have imploded on the altar of incompatibility in spite of love. Compatibility means there’s hardly a clash in personality.
Another definition of compatibility is having the same life philosophy that you both embrace, understand, and value. It can also imply that you enjoy each other’s company and don’t feel pressured to do anything special when they’re there.
The lack of conflict does not necessarily indicate compatibility, but rather the ease with which you two can control the vices that cause conflict.
In the instance where there’s a depreciation in your feelings for your partner, compatibility is one sure ingredient that can keep the relationship alive. So, it is a tad risky to marry for love alone.