It has been often said that ‘Marriages are made in heaven’ and indeed they are. Two people, who come from different walks of life and literally different worlds, take a vow to love and nurture each other for rest of their lives. However when two people deeply in love decide to take their relationship forward with marriage, situations and circumstances change like never before. Generally, it has been observed that a married couple could never really have an equitable relation i.e. one person tends to dominate and over shadow the other and this is where the concept of Fair marriage gets highlighted.
The word ‘Fair’ means just and equitable and a ‘fair marriage’ would obviously refer to a marriage that is just and equitable to both the partners. Well, the above said definition is concerned to theoretical world and has nothing to do with how practical world functions. In real circumstances, nothing like the concept of fair marriage works and fairness is both relational and subjective in a married couple. There are no set of rules that can determine whether a couple is having a fair married life or not and thus it is left to the couple to decide, whether their relationship is just or not.
One can see a number of married couples around that don’t seem fair and equal but it is not necessary that the same is felt by the couple themselves. For instance, you might come across a married couple in which the husband is extremely dominant and controls everything about his wife-her looks, clothes, conversations and even thoughts. All this may seen unjustified to you but it is definitely possible that the wife is ok about the whole thing and feels that her married life is totally fair.
Thus the whole concept of fairness depends on ‘what’ is expected by the partners from their marriage and ‘How’ they are expecting to get the same. When a person is satisfied with the fairness of their marriage, no matter how others perceive it, their lives are definitely easier. However the married life starts getting complex and distressed when the desires and results do not match perfectly. The feeling of being exploited and ‘taken advantage of’ develops swiftly under such circumstances, poisoning one’s entire married life. The person who feels that he/she is being exploited or overtly dominated by their partner must address this issue at the earliest and try to sort out things as soon as possible.
The first thing to consider while clearing out how fair or unfair your relationship is to have a heart to heart talk with your spouse, this is because nothing works like a good talk in times of distress and increasing misunderstandings. Now let us come to the point of topic that needs to be discussed between you and your spouse. Many psychologists dealing with married couples believe that married couples are highly influenced by their parents married life. Thus if one has seen a fulfilling and fair marriage of his/her parents, then one would definitely demand such fulfillment in one’s own married life as well. However, on the other hand if one of the partner has seen a relationship of dominance and submission in their parent’s wedding life then he/she would feel the same as fair and just. Thus how one feels about their own married life depends largely on how one is inspired from their parent’s married life.
The second thing to note down while determining the level of fairness in one’s marriage is one’s childhood period. Psychologists feel that there are a lot of people who have had a bad and depressing childhood where they have been deprived of even the basic needs of life and weren’t loved properly. All in all these people come with a lot of emotional baggage and void that they desire to be filled by their spouses. It is their inner-child that cries and demands again and again for the same things and this is how they demand fairness in their relationship. However, the interesting thing to note here is that during the dating or wooing period, the would-be spouse happily fulfils all the desires and wishes of such people, thus boasting their demanding nature. But it is after marriage that the actual circumstances become evident and the demands no longer seem to be a priority by one’s spouse, this is how the unfair married period begins.
No matter how depressed or lonely were you as a child, the love and care of parents is something that every child is aware of and everyone has experienced it-some more while some less. This more and less care that one gets during childhood also determines how a person deals with the concept of ‘fairness’ in marriage. A child who is spoiled and pampered by his/her parents all the time would grow up as a demanding person and would surely expect the same amount of care and attention from his/her spouse as a right and not getting the same amount of attention would make the relationship bitter. However, a child who has the habit of listening to ‘NO’ and the one who doesn’t have had all the demands fulfilled would definitely be less demanding and would expect less attention and fulfillment even from their spouse.
Thus two people can have an entirely different approach and understanding of a fair marriage but in order to establish an equitable relationship, one need to exercise relational healing process. In this process, both the partners need to talk their heart out, not just for taking out their frustration but in order to reach an amicable situation where both of you like to settle mutually. The idea is to draw conclusions based on your expectations and aspirations, tell your spouse what you desire and listen to what he/she thinks is fair and finally settle for an agreement- a verbal one of course that determines ‘how’ these desires can be fulfilled. Silence may have been your best weapon and shield for many years but if you want to have a fair and fulfilling marital relationship then you need to rediscover the possibilities of achieving the same which is only possible through a number of sessions involving rediscovery and communication between both the spouses.
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