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Relationships and happiness

It is almost surprising how so many people these days seem to have a complete misconception of what relationships should, or ought, to be. And if someone asked me to identify which side is the most ‘guilty’ of ‘getting it wrong’ I would quite confidently say that the responsibility usually lies firmly on both sides – although it’s the wife who (at least in theory) has more power and more intuition to change the situation for the better.

So where did it all go wrong? For me it’s all about the notion of mutual respect and appreciation which has somehow been lost somewhere down the ages. Grammar schools and similar institutions that have traditionally promoted separate education for boys and girls could be perceived these days as nothing more than vestigial remnants of what once was a powerful and constructive system – a system that ensured stability within the roots of every society. In other words its elementary building bricks – a cell that we call “family”.

So why has such a precious gem gradually become a perceived millstone around people’s neck instead? Somewhere deep in our subconscious we all carry vague half-memories of some old rules which once upon a time were used to keep things in check and which helped to solve problems that people inevitably encountered in their adult lives. However, in the spirit of “this too, shall pass” I think we are witnessing yet again a pattern familiar to us all: first, a teaching is being born; it is then being intensively used through the centuries (and hereby exposed to more and more distortions and discrepancies), until it eventually meets its end, being abandoned as dysfunctional. But what if we go back to the very roots? Will we discover some hidden treasure buried under the sands of time?

Let’s assume as a fact that people in general want to be happy. Apart from some cases of unfortunate mental issues it is unlikely that anyone would claim that they would rather choose a miserable life over a happy one. I believe many people are looking for “a magic formula” to make their dreams come true. This blindfolded search leads people of both sexes in different directions but the key concept remains that ”to receive what you want you have to take it by force”. Marriage these days is perceived as a kind of slavery or a hunt where there are winners and losers. A girl who manages to force a guy into a marriage despite all of his protests considers herself as a winner – and a clever one too. In reality though, when that happens, both sides lose. But sadly realisation often comes many years later, when it’s too late to repair their broken lives.

Little girls are still being brought up in a belief that only getting married will establish them as individuals and make them happy. There is some truth in that, except that it only works when they marry the right person, not just any person of the opposite sex. That important detail is somehow usually omitted and (with some lucky exceptions) their own parents’ the unhappy example gives children little to think.

Little boys, on the other hand, are often brought up in an atmosphere of oppression and devaluation. Too many times they have to hear that they are “ignorant pigs”, “not good enough”, “should try harder” and in general be grateful for any slight sign of affection or even just general kindness. Many of them never hear from their parents that they are unique, outstanding and loved. This situation cultivates in some boys self-abased and self-deprecating views, as well as a distorted vision of their own value. Such a person grows up with the conviction that if a girl wants him, he should appreciate that and say “yes”, regardless of whatever he feels himself – because his feelings “don’t matter”. But yet they do. It’s those usually ignored feelings that, at the end of the day, turn the whole system upside down. Frustrated men start to feel trapped and welcome every opportunity to escape from their girlfriends or wives, who have deprived them of their freedom and happiness. Frustrated wives try every trick to receive more attention, arguing, cheating and blackmailing. Yet the more they demand the less they get, so the frustration piles up. Not even for a minute can they think that the root of their problems lies in their own attitude.

Love is the most precious gift and it deeply corresponds with the very essence of human nature. It can’t be forced or used as blackmail. Demand obedience through threats – and you will get obedience. Demand love – and you will get nothing.

Love doesn’t exist without respect. It’s difficult to respect others, though, if one has no concept of self-worth and no appreciation for their own value and uniqueness. Self-respect always has to be the first step on the way to a happy life. From that feeling grows an understanding of what we are worth and what we really need. The key is to never settle for less than you deserve. Instead have faith and patience to wait for that person who is your true soul mate, even if it takes some time. Don’t be afraid that you might get it wrong – your heart will always tell you when you find the one you’ve been looking for. You will then discover that your feeling is effortlessly mutual. You will be showered with love and affection before you even ask – and the less you ask for the more you will get. But the beauty of love is not just to receive, but also to give. If you stand by the person you’ve chosen to be your partner through good and bad then support them unconditionally, appreciate them and care for them then be sure that your gift will be returned a thousandfold.

Don’t waste your time chasing things which are not there. If someone is not right for you, your subconscious will tell you. All you need to do is to listen to that voice. Your destined soul mate will always reciprocate your feeling. If you meet someone who makes your happier than you have ever been, who opens your eyes to new possibilities in life and with whom you feel incomparably stronger than on your own – you are probably looking at your true soul mate. Cherish them, protect them and make them happy – and your own life will be transformed beyond what you could ever hope for. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t be put off by waiting. Remember – good things are always worth waiting for.

Give unconditionally. Love unconditionally. Appreciate yourself and respect your other half for what he or she is. The magic key to happiness has been in your hands all this time.

More to follow from this series:
How to recognise your real soulmate
Rules of a happy relationship
Problems rooted in childhood

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