marriage to a particular person). It is a plan that insures our economic
well-being, our development of our talents and potentials, our
happiness with friends, causes, and activities, and our living in
accordance with the values and morals we have decided to follow.
Only in this way, during courtship, can we avoid becoming an
emotional slave to a particular person we have met more or less by
accident. Culture and biology have led us to think "I can't live without
my lover." It is true that we need intimacy with others for our
happiness and for meaning in life, i.e. a "life plan" can only rarely
replace love relationships altogether. But the reverse is also true:
intimacy can not replace a life plan. To be whole and healthy, we need
both connectedness (interdependency) and self-sufficiency
In a similar way, other therapists do a good job of discussing for
the lay person some of the deeper and more complex aspects of
emotions in a relationship, especially Scarf (1986) and Hendrix (1988).
Several other books cited below also attempt to help you wisely select
a partner for life.
Marriage and Love
One hundred years ago, even though the divorce rate was very
low, there were a lot of unmarried adults. At that time, it is estimated
that 65% of adult women were unmarried due to never marrying and
early death of the spouse. In contrast, today, only 20% of adult
women are unmarried. Marriage is still popular but the number of
unmarried adults doubled between 1970 and 1993. Women are better
off financially and there is less pressure to marry and stay married; we
are freer to choose to be married or single.
You hear a lot of criticism and jokes about the "trap" of marriage. Yet,
many are attracted to the "bait" at least -- 96% of us live with a
partner sometime in our lives. Most of us are eager to do so--and for
good reasons. Loving someone brings so many joys and thrills and so
much comfort... it can be fantastic. An unhappy marriage, however,
can be terrible. Marriage is very different for different people. We don't
know a lot, yet, about making marriage be what we want it to be.
Facts are confused with myths.
No human relation gives one possession in another...every two souls are absolutely
different. In friendship and in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what
one cannot reach alone.