Monday, April 2, 2012

Let's Talk (Part 2 of 3)

So we've established that it just might be useful to be able to converse with your partner, but that's not all.

Having that mental connection also does mean you do share similar views on the world, or shall I say values. I wouldn’t say it was a must if you don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on certain things, but it does make things a hell of a lot easier. For example let's say one of you thinks it's OK to steal apples from your neighbor's apple tree while the other strongly believes that all forms of stealing - without exception - is wrong, you can't expect there to be much mutual respect there. You very well could lay in bed at night wondering how you can possibly share a bed with someone so dishonest/ridiculous. Such values are very important when raising children. Without children, the marriage just might survive if the love is strong enough. However, when children come into play, they will be massively conflicted. These are things that need to be addressed before 'I do'. Where do each of you stand within the school of life? What are the values you share and believe in strongly which you both would like to instill in your children?

If you differ on beliefs, morals or ethics, it could very well be problematic. This does have a lot to do with faith, and let’s face it, not all people of the same faith are equally faithful, and obviously those of different faiths altogether are a whole other ball game. I’m in no way suggesting people who marry must be of the same faith, same sect and share the exact same beliefs. As long as wherever it is they both stand in that matter, their stance does not clash or contradict each other majorly (I'm trying to get a delicate message across here without being too direct, but I feel like I'm only complicating it further). I don’t want to dwell on it too much because this could get slightly controversial. However it does shock me how some people do neglect this point. Here's an example of when couples may clash on such issues and how it could affect them:
Deena is a prime example of what I like to call a ‘neo-Muslim’, somewhere between liberal and conservative, although she would never admit there is anything conservative about her. Nawaf is a Muslim by descent, and by that I mean a cultural Muslim who inherited the title, not much else. He drinks, smokes, and does not pray, unlike Deena. But being the neo-Muslim she is, she decided to be more liberal and not let that affect her decision to marry him. It wasn’t really much of a problem at first, she always thought he was going through a phase and felt she could influence him slightly. But the years passed and Nawaf remained the same, very much set in his ways, whereas Deena’s faith grew stronger. She would pray for his 'salvation' every day. 

The couple had a child, Rayan. As the mother, Deena felt she had the chance to influence her son more. Nawaf couldn’t care less, he was merely there to ensure his son became a man and that included a lot of distant tough love. As Rayan got older, Deena would encourage him to pray. His dad wouldn’t take him to Friday prayers at the mosque and she ashamedly asked her brother to take him every week. She was adamant not to let Rayan turn into his father. It was hard enough to see the man she loved so conflicting with her own beliefs, to see her son that way would be too painful to think about. Alas, the older Rayan grew, the more inquisitive he became; how come the rules don’t seem to be applying to his father? 

And with very little effort from his father, Deena’s nightmare slowly began to come true. There doesn’t have to be any direct influence, Nawaf simply being there was influence enough. As the days went by, Deena saw Rayan slip through her fingers, and she resented her husband for it. The guy did nothing, he did not actively influence their son, but Deena spent her days passively punishing him for it. The tension continued to grow, her heart continued to break.

That, that right there made me sad. Religion is a touchy subject, but I tried to get the point across as best I can and hopefully without making any insinuations. I simply tried to explain what each 'character' is feeling from their particular standpoint. It just goes to show how something so basic that doesn’t really affect how you feel about each other could greatly affect your life together. Such a household does not lack love, but someone is still left heartbroken somehow. This goes back to the idea that love isn’t enough to base a marriage on, sad but true. I didn’t mention it much in the previous posts on the emotional aspect because every other aspect will do the explaining for me. Yes love is important, but so is everything else, and I mean everything.

Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. 
And when it subsides you have to make a decision. 
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together 
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. 
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, 
it is not excitement, 
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being "in love" which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, 
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. 
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, 
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, 
they find that they are one tree and not two.

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