Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Marriage and Conflicts

We have been reading of late marital conflicts and disharmony leading to grievous consequences including murder and suicide in the highly educated. It is hazardous to make generalization when individual cases are involved as each case is unique and consist of constellation of factors specific to situation which only a professional inquiry would unravel. However, factors that go into successful and disastrous marriages can be understood in general terms that would be beneficial to us.

Suicide is often considered as aggression turned inward on the self, where as the homicide, aggression turned outward on another person. Both may have some common characteristics in normal condition as distinguished from abnormalities. Often,helplessness, hopelessness and a feeling of personal inadequacy underlie these maladies. We find individuals involved suffer from alienation, separation from ones own people and a lack of social support system.

We must realize that after all marriage is a social contract/event and must attend to such consideration. In fact, any successful marriage rests on four major pillars : biological, psychological, social and religious/spiritual. A lacuna in any one pillar has the potentiality of endangering the marriage itself. Adequate sexual desire and competency is the biological foundation. Psychological understanding of each other needs and aspiration with inclination to regard the other as other is and not as what one wants other to be, a genuine love and respect for each other, is the psychological foundation of marriage. Social support especially from the people who brought us up, the parents, relatives, friends and neighborhoods are a great cushion for our problems and prospects. Religious compatibility or at best, a spiritual understanding of life and world that is characterised by an understanding that there is something much greater and fulfilling in life than people, relationships, possessions and status alone. All these come handy in the time of crisis.

Living today has brought lots of freedom, intimacy, inquisitiveness, adventure and individual responsibility in personal affairs all of which are essential ingredients of fulfilling life. Yet, there is a gnawing loneliness and separation amidst plenty. Reaching out to the other is either superficial or, if it is solid and deep, it is for too little. They are alienated from people, situations, personal history and their identity is carved out of very little in real terms, in terms of fulfillment and satisfaction. As much as we need to know our uniqueness and develop it for self growth and satisfaction, it is also part of our existence to reach out to others especially to those who are in need of it. The meaning we derive out of it for our living weathers any personal crisis.

In times of crisis it always pays to share our sorrows with our significant others and to view the crisis differently and at a higher plane than we are accustomed or 'pushed' into. Life is hugely vaster in terms of greater fulfillment that we need not be bogged down by any unfavourable circumstances. Consultation with experienced , professional/qualified Counsellor or a Clinical Psychologist would greatly help too.

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