Is Our Marriage a Legal Arrangement or Love?
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
written by: Attorney Jeremiah N. Ollennu
Is marriage a legal arrangement or love? We must ask ourselves whether our marriages are real. We must honestly test ourselves, especially when engaged in conflict. We must determine whether what we call marriage is but an imitation, leading us into heartbreaks.
Most of our marriages are mere legal arrangements, which can lead to divorce. These marriages are necessary for social and economic convenience. They give us no other fulfillments, yet we buy into them because we don’t understand that they are limited-purpose transactions. If we are honest in our appraisals, we realize quickly that their warranties have no value to us. The longer we hold on to the marriage certificate, the worthless it gets.
It is as if we buy into a government-owned franchise, cloned to mimic a marriage rooted in love. We pay for a marriage license, and if we qualify, we’re certified to run our business publicly as married persons. There are tax breaks, and other corporate business-like benefits in marriage. But the marriage itself is a knock-off; too cheaply made to last. We feel its yoke immediately burdening our spirits. It weighs us down into intractable conflicts, yet we ignore the truth, until it has ripped us apart. This is how we know that what we have is not real.
If we want to overcome divorce, we must deal with the truth. Our dis-honesties in marriage will inevitably be exposed by divorce, because divorce can only dissolve a marriage that lacks truth. We can’t survive very long in marriage infested by fears and lies. We don’t have much to hold on to in conflicts if we cling to fake marriages. If we settle into marriages devoid of real love, our semblances of love may be good, but they will grow stale, and we are forced to throw them out after their expiration dates. We must ultimately set the whole shammed affair aside in divorce. Divorce becomes necessary when a marriage demands unnatural efforts to keep up. This is what must happen when we can’t keep pretending that a sham is the real thing.
What we often get as marriage is unreal. But we’re too ashamed and timid to admit that it’s a sham. So, we stick to it, and choose to live with our lies. It doesn’t last because a marriage without love never quite achieves the natural organism, or immortality of the real thing. When we realize that the marriage is without love, we undertake to rid ourselves of it. To save face, we justify ending it by claiming that the marriage is dead. But a true marriage cannot die because its essence is love – and love is an everlasting energy. It cannot be destroyed, and it cannot die.
Divorce starts in conflicted minds, which feeds into destructive emotions, and produces misbehavior. It appears to rescue us from the torment of bad relationships, but the actual divorce happens long before we ask courts, lawyers, and judges to get involved. To avoid divorce, we must stop playing marriage like it’s a game. There are clear principles to be followed in marriage, but they have nothing to do with giving and taking anything, which is the defining feature of our materialistic relationships.
We can see the sign of a marriage heading for divorce before the honeymoon begins. Even if we miss the starting signs, we can’t miss their inherent instabilities. This is why some marriages look good on the outside, but the couples in it feel hollow and empty. It is a weak-mindedness unique to marriages which makes us question our very existence as complete persons. We may look confident to the world because we learn how to play with appearance as adults. But in putting on shows for others to misjudge the truth about us we look like giant tree props on a stage. We look good. But we’re not real. A gentle breeze, a little quarrel, and we fall.
We rarely rely on our unique strengths in our marriages. Rather, we try to capture and control others, and we call it romance. Most of our marriages are based on deep emotional attachments, but the bedrock for our attachments is often insecurities. We’ve drilled into our collective psyche certain expectations in marriage that we simply cannot sustain. They corrode and eat at the foundations of even well-meaning relationships, till there’s nothing left to hold us together.
Habitually, we start with gentle possessiveness. Times shared are valued only when we’re given absolute attention. We must have exclusive dominion over others. The mind, body and soul are all bits of evidence. We must collect them, keep them and use them; otherwise we’ve not been fully loved. Additionally, we seldom express gratitude without extracting reward. We swear to love sincerely, but in fearful expectation that we’ll be lied to, cheated on, and destroyed in the end. We demonstrate little faith in love.
Instead of surrendering to the grace of love, we use it as a tool for separation. Love becomes the foundation on which we build walls, and separate the people we love from everyone else around them. Brick by brick, we trap our loved ones into emotional, psychological and economic darkness. We’ve come to accept relationship highs and lows as normal tidings. Recording grudges is how we track time. But having each other’s complete surrender never seems to satisfy our hunger.
That’s why we wait impatiently to escape. We’re vigilant in love, ever guarding our sins from being exposed, and watching for the right mistakes to break us free. We may regret the losses. But our pleasure-centric minds move on quickly. It’s as though a marriage must fail the moment the juice promised to us is no longer worth the squeeze we must endure. We can’t stand to be squeezed, not even in the name of love.
We control those we marry, until we’ve reduced them to shells of their true selves. We guard their commitments with hard boundaries, and we seek decisive revenge as a way of keeping score. These are the elements that create conditions for divorce in a marriage. If we don’t want to divorce, then we must actively cultivate and communicate love with gratitude.
© Jeremiah N. Ollennu and www.ollennuandassociates.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah N. Ollennu and www.ollennuandassociates.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.