There is friendship and there is marriage. There are also friendships of convenience and marriages of convenience.
True friendship requires a Love for one another and is purely platonic. It is based on spiritual affection and is free from sexual desire.
Friendships of convenience do not rely on spiritual affection, but rather they rely on each side helping the other to fulfil its worldly/materialistic desires, which can include the non-spiritual fulfilment of sexual desires. This makes them no more than business partners.
In both of these types of friendship there is a balance of power, mutual respect and freedom of will which remains intact for both parties.
Marriage is a step beyond friendship. It involves a total commitment between the two parties to each other and a complete sharing of all they have. It is a promise to Love, honour, serve, and remain loyal to each other, regardless of what may or may not come.
True marriage is made in the heart; it is a bonding of two souls by Love. Such souls who make this union seek only the happiness and wellbeing of each other, and would gladly suffer and sacrifice anything that they have to make it so.
True marriage and its vows are made in the heart, and they are not dependent on their recognition by others, or on the authority of a marriage certificate. If the marriage in the heart ends for one or both, then neither can consider themselves truly married whether or not they remain friends. You see there is a difference between ‘Love’ and ‘in Love’, and for true marriage both parties have to be ‘in love’ with each other.
When you ‘Love’ someone that Love always has conditions, but when you are ‘in Love’ with someone there are no conditions. The attachments to friends can be easily broken when they cause you hurt, but the attachment to someone you are ‘in Love’ with is almost unbreakable, no matter how much they disrespect and hurt you.
So many people get married because they could not see the difference between true friendship and that required for true marriage, or because one has been attracted to the other more physically than spiritually. Such relationships soon see the light fading as their partner drifts away from them. Both partners may find themselves trapped in a relationship, afraid to break the vows they made, but the greatest tragedy is that as they stay together they each block the others path to finding their true soul mate.
The main cause of the disintegration of relationships occurs when one party sees a weakness in the other and is tempted by the power they can have over them. It is then that one is made a slave and the other a master, one gains security and the other loses their freedom.
You may have noticed that I left out the word ‘obey’ from the marriage vows and replaced it with ‘serve’. The word ‘obey’ always carries a threat of some sort of punishment for non-compliance and would never be used by a loving soul. Obey means do what I say regardless of whether you think it right or wrong.
Many people find themselves in abusive relationships. Some are unable to break free and some don’t want to. Their relationship has either become one of convenience or dependence. In both instances, their relationship has become an obstacle on the path to freedom, peace, happiness, and the fulfilment of Love.
How do people gain power over their partner? Well the first thing to go is their partners self-esteem, they are made to believe that they have so many faults that no-one else would want them. Then they are made to feel that they will lose what they have, i.e. their home, their security, and they will find themselves alone and having to start all over again. There is also the threat of affection being withdrawn. Outside associations are then controlled or denied. If this doesn’t work, the abusive partner then turns to violence, and the abused partner accepts this also, thinking at least they are getting some attention. How unloving it is to have control over someone in these ways, and how foolish to expect true Love from such an abuser.
It is selfishness that destroys relationships, and it always ends with the unselfish having to pick up the pieces of their broken hearts and lives. If you Love someone let them go, if they Love you they will return, if they don’t return, you have lost nothing of worth.
If you are in a truly loving relationship as an equal then you are blessed indeed, and it is not an obstacle, it is a chariot for your journey.
Be wise with your Love, treat it with respect, protect it from those who would take advantage of you through it. It is Love that makes a soul kind, caring, compassionate and forgiving. You can give these things even to the unloving, but don’t let them break your heart where your Love is stored, because it will pour out and may be hard to find again.