Each culture, each society, family and individual has its own expectations on what marriage is and how it will be.
Above all, we look for love - to be loved and to be found lovable by our partner.
What we often do not realise is that we also look for approval of who we are and that how we look, think and act is found acceptable.
We often place impossible demands on our partner and have expectations that are unreasonable and burdensome and wonder why our marriage is fraught with tension, stress and fights when we thought it would be so wonderful. The hurt and disappointment can be so painful that anger replaces the love.
..The Persian mystic and writer, Kahlil Gibran, offers a very interesting view on marriage in his book, 'The Prophet'. I often give this extract to couples I work with and the response to it is quite interesting.
It reduces some people to tears, others become so emotional they cannot even read it and I read it out for them. Yet others have a sudden realisation of their own limiting view of marriage, of themselves and of their partner and how that has impacted on their relationship.
How do you respond to the poem on marriage by Kahlil Gibran?
You were born to be together, and together you shall be for evermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Play together, but let there be space between you.