Commitment? Why?

loyalSomeone talked with me recently about what it is like to have been married 55 years. This made me think about the differences in relationships today. Marriage has become a maybe situation. I think some people are marrying for the wedding. It is amazing what people will spend.

Some people are choosing not to marry and just live together. There seems to no longer be a moral issue in this decision. I wish I would live long enough to see how many relationships last as long as 55 years. When someone asked me that question I started to think about what we gain from being married so long. I wish there were a word different than “love” to express what happens in a long term marriage. Knowing that the Greeks divided love into 6 categories I looked it up and found it in YES Magazine.

  1. Eros – sexual love
  2. Philia – friendship
  3. Ludus – playful love
  4. agape – love of all mankind (God’s love)
  5. Philautia – self love (divided into two kinds; healthy and unhealthy}
  6. Pragma –Another Greek love was the mature love known as pragma. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples. Pragma was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance.The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.” Pragma is precisely about standing in love—making an effort to give love rather than just receive it. With about a third of first marriages in the U.S. ending through divorce or separation in the first 10 years, the Greeks would surely think we should bring a serious dose of pragma into our relationships.

faithfulThat was so perfectly put that I couldn’t have done any better. The only thing left out is the rewards of this kind of love and it is that I have ALL of those loves at one time. All of these have been enhanced over the years by the understanding and commitment given to me. We have been through good times and bad, anger and acceptance, joy and sorrow and so much more both bad and good. Yet we have stood the test of time. Our love is deep beyond expressing and even death will not change it.

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