The sanctity of marriage is supposed to be a sacred and safe space for 2 people to grow in love together. But we continue to see high rates of divorce and people living by principles based on outdated belief systems, which is causing higher rates of unhappiness …
So, I asked myself WHY ? … and did a little self reflection and research
A BRIEF HISTORY of Marriage in the Western Culture
- Marriage had very little importance in pre-historic times. Coupling was based on a biological desire to survive. According to historians, during the Stone Age, marriage became a way of controlling sexual behavior and providing a more stable structure for child rearing.
- During the Dark Ages marriage was primarily based on alliances made for economic gain and protecting family bloodlines. The church power and influence became strong, which led to the creation of a legal document, based on customs that gave more power and control to men.
- Love had very little to do with marriage until the 17th Century, when “enlightened” thinkers pioneered the idea that life was about the pursuit of happiness. This led us towards divorce because people wanted to experience more happiness, so they took control over their love life.
- The concept of marriage changed dramatically during the 20th Century, with thanks to the Women’s Movement. Pioneers who fought for equal rights, a fight that continues today for same sex marriages. But as more women come into their own power, more men are struggling with their own sense of self, which is having a negative impact on relationships.
- The 21st Century relationship has become even more challenging. The empowerment of women and technological advancement provides more choice and opportunity. Our world has opened up and we are connecting, reconnecting and disconnecting in ways unlike before.
We are hearing more and more about the “awakening”, which is a shift in consciousness that pioneers the idea of oneness. A spiritual belief that focuses on our connection rather than our separateness. This is the beginning of yet another important turning point in our evolution, which is influencing our experiences and changing life as we know it.
Acknowledging how our behavior, thoughts, feelings and beliefs are shaped by our social and cultural conditioning is essential for our spiritual growth. A process of clearing away the old to make way for the new. Dropping the ego and living from our hearts, which is changing how we experience the relationship with ourselves and may alter our perception of marriage in the future. Perhaps the sacredness of marriage will be truly embraced ?
“Because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” … 1 Corinthians 7: 1-40
A statement the wreaks of shame and guilt, based on a belief that our bodies do not belong to us. One of the reasons why I refuse to identify as being a religious woman and instead choose to live a life based on spirituality. A personal choice that has caused me many internal conflicts over the years, as my belief system undergoes the challenging process of deconstruction and reconstruction.
A rebooting of the mind
I was married to a man I loved very much for 11 years, but we grew apart as life took us in different directions. As a divorced woman Ive experienced the ups and downs of being single for almost 10 years. During which time Ive been deceived by many men who struggled with their own truth. I loved and lived with a man for a short time and I fell in love with a man from my past, who lived in an unhappy marriage. So, I believe I offer some valuable insights into this topic of conversation because over the years Ive had many in depth conversations, with both men and women who feel bound to stay in unhappy marriages, due to a sense of loyalty to their family, a need for financial security or a fear of change.
I have the utmost respect for marriage and in truth I am a little envious of those in loving relationships. I still believe in the sanctity of marriage, but its time to wake up to the bullshit we’ve been spoon fed for far too many years. Its time to drop the fucking shame and guilt about choosing to love ourselves first. It’s time to drop the preconceived notion that being married reflects that we are being more responsible in matters of love. Because the truth is some of us are doing it a damn site better as single men and women.
I was raised to believe that marriage and relationships are about love, respect, loyalty, commitment and honesty, which I still do believe. But I was also raised to believe that compromising our needs is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship. A belief that kept me in a space of hurt for far longer than needed because my love of self became secondary to the relationship. But I no longer buy into the sacrificial compromise of marriage. I refuse to compromise my own needs until I become invisible, because that’s what it means to be considered a “good” woman, wife, lover, partner or girlfriend.
Yup… in other lifetimes I was one of those witches burned or drowned for flowing with the magic of nature and believing in universal energies. I’m probably considered to be one of those fiery sorts who has too many questions, challenges the status quo, refuses to conform and says fuck a lot. I am a wild woman, who is more in touch with my flow than ever before, unashamed of my passions and desires. I choose to experience life completely and express myself fully, regardless of what others think or have to say. I am slowly awakening to my truth and learning how to truly love myself, without validation from anyone else. And regardless of how many times I confront hurt, failure, rejection or dissappointment, I still believe that love is indeed, an extraordinary and beautiful thing to be cherished between a man and a woman.
The truth is … our world needs people like both you and me. Because those who are resistive to change provide us with a sense of stability that our world needs, while others challenge the norms and inspire the changes needed to ensure that we all progress, move forward and evolve into our fullest potential.