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What role does marriage play in your vision?

Whether married, single, divorced, partnered for life, what role do you feel marriage plays in today's society? Do you think that will change or maybe even is changing, and if so how?

Is marriage an archaic institution built upon a man trading his desire to know his progeny are really his for food and security in a violent world? Does it hold fast the moral fabric of our society? Is it a place where one can find deep spiritual growth? Is it all of these, none of these?

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Lee wrote:
"Whether married, single, divorced, partnered for life, what role do you feel marriage plays in today's society? Do you think that will change or maybe even is changing, and if so how?

Is marriage an archaic institution built upon a man trading his desire to know his progeny are really his for food and security in a violent world? Does it hold fast the moral fabric of our society? Is it a place where one can find deep spiritual growth? Is it all of these, none of these?"


Interesting topic, Lee.

My dad used to say, it should be much harder to get married and easier to get divorced.

I'm not sure what role marriage plays in society today---I do believe it's highly important for children to be anchored within safe, loving, nurturing and inspiring households. Many good marriages provide that rock solid foundation. Looking back over my own marriage, and understanding now what was at play when he and I met, and grew to know each other, I see more of the energy that brought us together. We did things right, I know that---and I KNOW that the children we birthed are the souls we were meant to nurture and help to bring out the beauty of their gifts.

I believe marriage does hold fast the moral fabric of society, but care must so be taken before that big step happens. Far too many people don't take that care, perhaps they feel the pull of societal imperatives to partner, to do the wedding thing---the glitz and glamor of the big day. And, then the reality sets in, masks begin to crumble, new masks replace those...

In a roundabout way, I did find deep spiritual growth as a result of my marriage, and, even yet more growth as the marriage ended.

Spiritual growth---I believe so. I have been blessed to have been privy to witnessing what I perceive to be the amazing joining of spirits, and what had to be the result of spiritual growth.

I work on the phone, doing customer service for a large retailer. My second week doing this work, I received a call from an elderly woman. She had gift cards she wanted to check the balance on. We shared maybe a 5 minute or less snippet of time. In that time, she told me she had lost her husband about 4 or 5 months before that, and then she suffered a stroke shortly thereafter...and she was in a sort of assisted living center. She shared with me, both her grief and her loving memories of her husband, and brought to me a timeless tale of love....and it was spiritual for her, I know that.

Then just the other day, I received a call from a man, searching for a special Tommy Bahama shirt for his wife. He told me that he had made a big mistake...his wife had a surgical procedure and the shirt needed to be washed after that, it was stained. He had asked his wife if he could use the Clorox stain stick on it, and she had said yes. He followed her instructions because he knew it was her favorite shirt...but the inevitable had happened, I knew that was why he was calling...the bleach had removed the color. I began to chuckle a bit, and then stopped---he began to cry. He told me that he was going to lose her, that she was going to be dying...and could I help him to do this? Long story short, he was able to find the receipt and I was able to obtain a SKU number and I called two of our store locations. I told them why I was calling and every person I spoke to, of course wanted to help.

I came up empty handed---I've not been able to locate the shirt...

But I was privy to something that went beyond what marriage might mean to many people...and I know that I answered that call for a reason....
Thank you AK, it is heartening to hear of growth from a connection with another. I am very interested in this subject, as a way to determine what my next significant relationship might look like, or if I will even partake in one. I feel a healthy realtionship is one way to expereince great spiritual growth, but I am exploring other options as well. Thank you for your thoughts.
I don't know. I have been married for 5 years, and there is something uniquely ours. My wife is the only person that I have ever been committed to, and it has not been hard to do so. We have our argumentative moments, but it's like she says, "No matter what is wrong, we are family, and we work through it." It took me 24 years to find her, and then we met. It was as if some inigmatic force brought us together.
I was married and divorced while quite young... and was a single mother for many years. I observed others getting remarried time and time again, so determined I would not marry again without feeling really sure that my motives and his were pure and sustainable.
I remarried 20 years later, to someone who had been married most of his adult life. He was not long out of his past marriage and I was hesitant... not to mention, scared. But he made it clear that he did not intend to do alot of dating and was not interested in being a bachelor for long. I also realized that even though I thought I was non-committal... the truth was, I had been committed to my son. ...and I never met anyone I believed was a good match for all of us.

Ours is a meeting of the minds. Though my husband and I are from vastly different socioeconomic worlds, we share an authentic drive for truth and quickly discovered that we had read the same books, pursued similar disciplines and had both had spent our lonely childhoods close to nature, raised in the country, without television.
We are more than husband and wife, we are best friends. We value one anothers opinions and seek the other's insights before making important decisions... and even some not-so-important decisions.

I believe the value of all relationships is to see yourself and life through other's eyes, to create a balance between me and we. Marriage is a commitment to the 'we' and is intended to insure that the me is only a third of the relationship.
HI Lee,

I spent many years as a single person, long enough to feel urged from the depths of my heart that it had something to share that relationships could not bring. And I did set intentions to know this gift more.And I do.

I feel that marriage of self to source is the true marraige for me. Yes, I am in a relationship that we describe as divine mission mates. ...meaning our interactions assist each other to have the realizations we require to manifest within and on the ground.

I see that our relationship improves as we integrate more of our true identities.

Thanks for asking,
Linda
Lee said: "I am very interested in this subject, as a way to determine what my next significant relationship might look like, or if I will even partake in one. I feel a healthy realtionship is one way to expereince great spiritual growth, but I am exploring other options as well."

I had a whole thing written when I responded to your topic, about the "if" I will partake in another relationship, but I deleted it!
Hey Lee,

Thanks for the topic. I'm still musing on it. Really I am still getting in touch with me, which has been a fulltime endeavor for the last 2.5 years. My son is 5.25 years, and he is growing up relatively healthy knowing that mommy and daddy will not be together in the tradtional sense. Like one of the writers have put it simply, my son is a commited relationship of 100% love--so it's not like I lose out in that sense.

In many ways, I view that marriage in the the current American paradigm, is just outdated. It just a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo codified by the courts to screw over a guy making a decent living. I can recall a buddy, who is exemplary of the problem of materialism, who was building up a nest egg and practice and buying a solo home on the beach, only to be with a girl for 1 1/2 years then she wants to file divorce and get half his stuff! California is especially ridiculous!

Obviously, that's a two way street and each had problems, but I reflect on the fact that what I have done is not working. I've been hardened by experiences of disregard and dishonesty--just like many women speak of. So I'm not up for putting myself in a position where I am taken advantage of either. I am making efforts to resolve the justifiable resentments generated by my past, by seeing my role, and moving on.


That said, I continue to have to work on my spritual growth to regain my freedom, and get to a place in life where I am not thinking someone else will "complete me." My father and mother failed horribly at this, and all the generations before them.

That said, unfortunately I do believe that I am a romantic and still have the desire to "find" that one woman. Thus I evolve. A work in progress...

Don't know if this helps.

I would like your comments.

Thanks,
Mike
Thank you everyone who has replied so far to this query. All of these perspectives are helpful and heartening. In some cases I sense a connection to what I think I want, and in others I sense a connection through a similar loss, and pursuant struggle. The one thing I have had reinforced by reading these responses, is to not look too hard at this question, but to live my life, and what will be will be.

Dr. Mike, you asked for comments, so here it goes.

Your post helped me to remember my position upon the dissolution of my marriage, and that was a position of determination to grow from that experience. I have grown more than I knew I could since then, and it is now clear to me that there is no limit to this growth. In the moment it feels slow, and sometimes even non-existent, but when I really look at my relationships with people now compared to the relationships I had up until I was thrust into making that choice, I know my growth has been immense. At some point in this growth my marriage became a perfect mirror of my failure to grow. I felt the marriage was void of mature communication, warmth, and teamwork. Of course I used to attribute these lacks to my partner at the time, and when I look back, it is really of no consequence. What I know for sure is that whether these qualities were something I substantially lacked or not, these qualities were of the highest importance to me. I had always viewed myself as a mature, communicative, warm, team player. Because of this self-image I needed a kick in the butt to see that my self-image was defining what was important to me, not necessarily who I was, but who I wanted to become. So that is what I do now. I work on communicating ever more maturely from a place of truth, I work on being a warmer person by really extending myself when appropriate as opposed to voicing compassion at every opportunity, and I seek out likeminded people with whom I can feel a desire to be on the same team with.

In the end it is about my daughters. What I teach them they will teach their children, and they will teach their children, and on and on for the entire future of humanity. Either that or the line will stop. Either way, their life is being improved greatly by the growth thrust upon me during my darkest moment to date.

Thank you Mike for sharing your commitment to your son, and reminding me there are others out there trying to use their own dark moments as a springboard for growth.

Thank you again to everyone else that has shared a piece of the role your most important relationships play in your life.
Hello again Lee,

I just felt to add some wisdom passed on to me.

Some wise one shared that we marry or partner our unconscious mind. ...probably Freud.
The purpose of the partnership being to see in them,up close and personal, 24/7, what we avoid and deny in ourselves. Moving on to a new partner without bringing the unconscious to a conscious level and clearing it simply means we attract the same kind of person in a different body. The lessons with this new person will be a bit harder to see . ( It is repeat learning so it must have more challenge built in.) And if we are able to see what their mirror reflects , our lives can dramatically change.

This does bear out for me I love to admit.It took me a while to get it . I had made denial and a protector, I suppose.

I don't see it translate straight across ,meaning my partner can be acting selfish ,for example. so, everytime I get upset about that , I let feelings roll about it.From a self transformation perspective, this is an opportunity for me to say "Ok, Linda , where are u doing this in your life?" Its the reaction , the getting upset that is the big clue here.
I could be being selfish by keeping some information to myself that others could benefit by.Or, perhaps, my soul is wanting me to let go of possessive love so I can experience uncondtional love .I do have free will and I can choose to stay in a smaller ,more familiar place if I want. It will mean I share with those I want to share with when they act as I want them to rather than sharign with all life , all the time.

Hopefully, sooner , not later I clear that reaction , essentially by allowing myself to feel and transform those feelings into more resourceful ones.I find this whole idea of transforming feelings fascinating as it literally changes who comes into our lives and how our lives unfold.

We have much more ability to co-create than we actually use. I feel fortuatne that I could follow my heart f inally. (After much, much, much outer searching. ) By the time I connected with true love within I had done a lot of inner growth work. The beauty of that is...... I could attract someone who also had done so. Someone with similar goals in life.
So, my recommendatin to anyone, out of my experience, is work on yourself , follow your bliss and have a clear idea what you 'd like in a partner. You get what u focus on.

I hope this helps. It helped me to write about it. I see where I am being selfish!

Linda Lawson
Thanks to both Lee and Linda! I really got a lot of what you both had to share. Though I was never married, the dissolution of the relationship has been really no different.

I've often heard it said that whenever there is a problem with relationships you really have to check one basic ingredient: i.e., EXPECTATIONS. If there is a problem it is usually in the Venn diagram of my expectation are too high to be met by others. Thus, I found it stimulating to hear the same words coming from Lee in:

"I had always viewed myself as a mature, communicative, warm, team player. Because of this self-image I needed a kick in the butt to see that my self-image was defining what was important to me, not necessarily who I was, but who I wanted to become. So that is what I do now. I work on communicating ever more maturely from a place of truth, I work on being a warmer person by really extending myself when appropriate as opposed to voicing compassion at every opportunity, and I seek out likeminded people with whom I can feel a desire to be on the same team with."


Linda, your comments are spot on--as I am having to revisit Freudian theory for a paper due soon. My problem with this concept of the unconscious is the same as with spiritual practice--how can you see it or tap into it, or really know what is "unconscious" if it is unconscious. Certainly the tools are there--namely, prayer and meditation to get that to the conscious and for seeking out the Higher Will for us. I'm getting better at that, and have returned to a formal setting to be better guided.


The other concept was having a partner be your second set of eyes, or being a mirror to defects. My contention with this is a notion that someone was trying to "control" me. The reality is that if there is mutual trust and understanding, then the control issue won't feel as such.


I hate to present as this injured, confused, person--but that is what it is for now. I can only ask that God help me, even if it is to find people like yourselves and others to share their path of experience to the light and truth. And that is what I signed up for in AoaND, so thank you all!


Best Wishes,
Mike
Dr. Mike said: My problem with this concept of the unconscious is the same as with spiritual practice--how can you see it or tap into it, or really know what is "unconscious" if it is unconscious. Certainly the tools are there--namely, prayer and meditation to get that to the conscious and for seeking out the Higher Will for us. I'm getting better at that, and have returned to a formal setting to be better guided."

Amazing thoughts being shared here...
I found Caroline Myss' book, Sacred Contracts, to be an incredible tool as I began to explore the "contracts" that were at play in my life, and the ones that had been in play at various times in my life. Her book basically "fell" into my life at a time when I really had the will and time to explore some of that uncharted unconsciousness I was dealing with. I was still married at the time and knew that the marriage was probably going to end, I just didn't want to, or couldn't, see how the end was going to play out. Learning to figure out how to detach from the ego and chip away at the story that was my life, I believe, enabled me to look objectively at myself to see my willing part in all the dramas.


The other concept was having a partner be your second set of eyes, or being a mirror to defects. My contention with this is a notion that someone was trying to "control" me. The reality is that if there is mutual trust and understanding, then the control issue won't feel as such.

I can see this and I also felt it too---the control---but eventually learned (and continue to learn) that the control (even when it appeared to be a mirror being held for my eyes to see) was a part of the various archetypes and energies that were in their comfort areas. The part of me that was a coward, afraid to rock the boat, was also quite fearful of being the bully, flip sides of the same coin....allowing the coward to be in control also allowed the victim to sit back and gather great material for my story of my pooooooor marriage, and the other poor me dramas...

I hate to present as this injured, confused, person--but that is what it is for now. I can only ask that God help me, even if it is to find people like yourselves and others to share their path of experience to the light and truth. And that is what I signed up for in AoaND, so thank you all!

I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't have some wound that they are working on healing. With the ability and willingness to share our experiences on this path, God's help of course included, there is hope.
Thank YOU for sharing yours, and again to Lee, thank you for starting this discussion.
AW
What a great discussion this has evolved into. Marriage is truly a sensitive and emotion packed issue - whether marriage in spirit only or the full meal deal with legal ties.

AkashicWreckage said she "had a whole thing written... but... deleted it." I did the same... in response to Drmikes first post. I had tried to write a light hearted, tongue-in-cheek approach, but it didn't fly. Comedians get great material from the subject of marriage, as they do from tragedy in general. Perhaps, the comedic handling of such a weighty subject is best left to the pros.

The Urantia book proclaims marriage to be the highest form of human relationships. I rejected that idea upon first read, thinking the raising of children was paramount... but now with grandparenthood and a different perspective on child rearing, I can see the truth of that... idealistically speaking; which is probably why we intuitively understand the achievement of those who have reached their golden anniversary. Imagine spending decades with another... your relationship having lived through young romance, children, grandchildren, etc., career transitions, geographic moves, mental and spiritual dead ends and growth spurts, extra-marital affairs and other unkindnesses, governmental and national changes, wars, and deaths...

A friend of mine who cheated on her husband, said she knew it was not for her, when over breakfast, her lover asked why she put so much hot sauce on her eggs. She then realized how much she loved the comfort zone of her well established relationship... someone who passed the hot sauce unquestioningly and knowingly.

Much like marriage, we must dance carefully through the field of relationships in general... because we are simultaneously attracted to the urge to merge and repelled by the possibilities of losing ourself... getting our toes stepped on.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts... I said it before, "Marriage is a commitment to the 'we' and is intended to insure that the me is only a third of the relationship." It's as if the commitment is a third entity in a relationship, with two people maintaining their individuality and being responsible for self development, yet both nurturing the third entity. That third entity is what separates marriage from other relationships.

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