Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Empowerment & Marriage"

Empowerment Commentary By
Jarrett L. Perdue Sr.

Defining marriage from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. Such a union may also be called matrimony, while the ceremony that marks its beginning is usually called a wedding.”
People marry for many reasons, including one or more of the following: legal, social, emotional, economical, spiritual, and religious.”

In this commentary I am talking about the process of marriage and empowerment. There are very important things we should understand about marriage. Divorce is also a topic for discussion. Many people do not want to talk about the divorce aspect of it because divorce can be painful. We should also know that Empowerment is about knowledge and making informed decisions and dealing with the reality of our decision making.
I will then proceed to talk about the wonderful things about marriage, and yes, notwithstanding the unfavorable things that will attempt to approach the couple, marriage can be awe-inspiring, enjoyable, and pleasant. The title is: “MARRIAGE: ABILITY TO HAVE A WONDERFUL LIFE TOGETHER.” 

There are 2 things that marriage can be a subsequent result of.
  • 1) DATING
When 2 people meet and are attracted to each other, they may want to get to know each other better. Of course we know just because people are physically attracted to each other does not constitute them having a successful relationship or a successful marriage. The attraction has to be more than physical. The attraction may include appeal, charm, drawing power, fascination, interest, admiration and perception. With some of those attributes, the 2 individuals may want to explore those areas with each other. This still does not mean people want to marry each other.  A lot has to go into the relationship before something as serious as marriage begins to evolve.
There has to be something that both parties have that will continue to draw them together. The allurement becomes reciprocal. The ideas and concerns are similar. Still, how does this lead the 2 to want to become espoused?
The 2 may decide to start spending some quality time together. Going to different places and enjoying time with each other. Having dialogue and finding what the other person likes and dislikes. Sometimes people date for a while and then lose interest in each other. That is not uncommon. Many people are excited about their first and second date. Then, each date after that may start to become monotonous. Then the dating may become intermittent. Finally not at all. So each person goes their way. Sometimes people will start dating other people. Then, they may find after spending some time away from the first person they were dating, they may want to give it another try.
For those that want to continue to see and be around each other on a consistent basis, things may start to become serious. When I use the word consistent in relation to dating, I am talking about being dependable, unvarying and agreeable in the dating process. Both will need to want that to happen. Both will need to understand in a coherent manner this is what is agreed upon. The question will become: Is the dating process exclusive with each other or shared with others? So there definitely has to be an understanding.
If the dating is exclusive then the 2 are able to move to the next phase is they so desire. Now, I know there are some people that date for years and never get married. If that is the understanding of the 2 and they are very happy with each other, no one can force them to get married. I am talking about those that want to generate a relationship that will eventually lead to marriage.
After spending time together and the fondness becomes adoration and devotion, and the 2 people decide to take the step of marriage, then there comes the next development.

An engagement can be defined as a pledge of marriage, promise, obligation or commitment. Some people who are engaged to be married want to have a wedding which is defined as the act or ceremony of marrying. So a date is set, a place is chosen for the wedding and reception, invitations are sent out, people are asked to be in the wedding. For others, getting married may mean going to the court house and possibly a reception or get together. What should be remembered is that this is the time when people are in preparation for spending their lives with each other. We go to the next aspect.

People seem so happy the day they are married. Depending on where there are married, they vow before people, the courts, churches, family and friends, that they will spend the rest of their lives together and no matter what, they will never leave each other. No matter what happens in their marriage, good or bad, they will be there for each other. When people are dating, they put their best foot forward. They show their best personalities. Even if they run into issues in dating, they eventually work it out. They are definitive, absolute, and clear cut in their statements of love for each other. Those continued expressions of love lead to wanting to spend their lives together and show the highest level of commitment. Now the marriage date is set. The time has arrived, and the ceremony starts.
Before I give my narrative on marriage and having a wonderful life together, I want to talk about the disconnect that may come in marriage.
It is called:


There is a disconnect that happens when people are married and then filing for divorce. For many, it may be a very emotional and dramatic time in their lives with all the things divorce can encompass and evoke. What happened in the marriage? How can 2 individuals be so happy, loving and kind to each other, then cannot tolerate the presence of each other? How does this wonderful married couple, who expressed such great love for one another, which led to taking marriage vows, now become detached, disconnected, separated, isolated and withdrawn from each other? Something happened between the marriage and divorce. There was a disconnect
Here are some recent statistics on marriage and divorce:
  • In first marriages, 45% to 50 % end in divorce.
  • In second marriages, 60% to 67% end in divorce.
  • In third marriages, 70% to 73% end in divorce.
If a person believes this mathematical review is representative of numerical information about marriage and divorce, one may start thinking of people they know who are divorced or heading to it, and all the problems they hear in marriage. Many would not want to ever get married. Why should they do that to themselves? Their examples are what they hear, read and see. What they hear, read and see are married couples getting divorced.
We do not know why people get divorced. We may be able to surmise, speculate, give suppositions, assume, or guesstimate, but we do not know for sure because we are not in that relationship. Many people are not proponents of divorce. The legal definition of divorce from Black's Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition, Pg. 566 is: "The legal separation of man and wife, effected, for cause, by the judgment, of a court, and either totally dissolving the marriage relations, or suspending its effects so far as concerns the cohabitation of the parties."
A divorce can be defined as a breach, a split, and parting of the ways. Sound emotional painful? It can be, considering when you dated, loved each other and took marriage vows together. You have made a life together, you now have a family. Now each person or maybe one person has decided to go their way. That is why divorce is the disconnect.
The reality is, many people do get divorced. So how can we apply Empowerment & Marriage when there are so many divorces? After all, the stats show that many marriages will end in divorce. So, is your decision to get married going to be based off stats and other people?
Here is how you can have the mindset to be Empowered if you are married or plan on getting married.
From a social psychological viewpoint, many people and groups have been indoctrinated to always believe and accept the negative connotations of anything. They do not even look at the positive. The negative is dissenting and gloomy. The positive is concrete and genuine.
Let's go back to the stats by percentages that show the divorce rate. Let's Empower ourselves by using math and percents to show the positive.
In first marriages, if 45% - 50% end in divorce, then, 50% to 55% stay married.
In second marriages, if 60% - 67% end in divorce, then, 33% to 40% stay married.
In third marriages, if 70% - 73% end in divorce, then, 27% to 30% stay married.
Why do people focus on those that get divorced, instead of those that stay married? Look at the information below:
Start with 100% for marriage. Use NEGATIVE (Those that are divorced) and POSITIVE (Those that stay married).

All Marriages Starting @ 100%
A) First Marriages
  • NEGATIVE – 50% (Divorce)
  • POSITIVE - 50% (Married)

B) Second Marriages
  • NEGATIVE – 60%(Divorce)
  • POSITIVE - 40% (Married)

C) Third Marriages
  • NEGATIVE – 70% (Divorce)
  • POSITIVE - 30% (Married)

Too many people focus on the negative (RED) and not the positive (BLUE). They look at the higher numbers of negativity and that is where the concentration is. People will allow their minds to disavow anything positive. They do not take the time to see how things can be constructive in their lives.
Something else to note; If you have been married and now divorced, life does not end. You can still have a fulfilled, wonderful, second or third marriage. Do not be confined in your thinking. Do not listen to the opinions of others. Do not get caught up in the guilt thought process. Do not let anyone nullify your positive thoughts about second and third marriages and how they will not work. When they show you the negative %'s, show them the positive %'s. Use the information in this writing as a guideline if you need to. Do not let anyone determine the level of happiness you can have in your first marriage or any subsequent marriage. Everyone needs to understand that life moves on.

The original intent for people that marry is to stay married and not go through divorce. The norm is people get married to stay together. The couple should work consistently with each other toward positive goals to make the marriage work. No one should run to divorce court at the first sign of trouble. Work with each other daily to make it work and stay together. If professional counseling is necessary, take advantage of it. Remember what brought you to the point of marriage. Don't give up on your marriage!
The truth is, many people do get divorced. If this should happen, and you have continued, endured, extended and given progression to make the marriage work, and that takes 2 people to do that, and divorce is still inevitable, then Empower yourself by working and concentrating on the positive. Everyone is responsible for themselves. No one can make anyone do anything. You really do not know how a person may change their mind or what actuates the change. After a divorce, some people may never want to get married again. The pain of their divorce may lead their thinking to just stay single and date. If one does want to get married again, they should not let their experience hold them back.
Whether we look at stats, society, or other couples, marriage can be one of the greatest events we can experience in our personal lives!

Some may view the term, "Will You Marry Me", as old fashioned, stereotypical, stale, warmed-over, hokey and humdrum. Others may enjoy this romantic style of proposing. The people that get married can, on a consistent basis, have a marriage that is fresh, original, unique and exceptional.
2 areas of marriage for discussion: (A) Respect and (B) Relationship. You have to respect each other. You need to have a good relationship with each other.
Here is a definition of respect: “Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.”
When you and your spouse respect each other, you are demonstrating 4 things: 1)appreciation, 2)consideration, 3)courtesy, and 4)recognition.

I want to talk about those 4 areas of RESPECT.

  • When you respect your spouse you appreciate them. You value and have a high regard for who they are. You are grateful and thankful for them.

  • When you respect your spouse you are considerate of them. You have an awareness and regard for their feelings. You will be accommodating, attentive, compassionate, thoughtful, mindful, and friendly toward them.

  • When you respect your spouse you will be courteous toward them. You will be polite, gentle, pleasant, and sociable to them.

  • When you respect your spouse you will give them recognition. You will acknowledge and support their achievements. You will continue to support them.
It is very important to RESPECT each other in marriage.
Marriage is not about dictatorship. It is about respect. When people love each other in the area of marriage, it should be no problem to give each other respect. Respect in marriage is about positive dialogue not negative monologue. There will be times when you will disagree. Disagreements should not be about arguing. Disagreements should be about having healthy discussions with each other. Each should respect the others point of view even if they don't agree.
Respect must be in continuity mode 24/7/365. When you have respect in marriage you will have Empowerment in Marriage.
In marriage, a relationship is a 1)connection, 2)association, and 3)involvement between 2 people. There is an 4)affiliation, 5)alliance, and 6)bond between the married couple.

I will talk about these 6 areas of RELATIONSHIP.

  • The connection in a relationship is the development of the marriage. It is having that kinship and close friendship with each other.

  • The association in a relationship is agreement and cohesive companionship. Nothing, no matter what, will divide that unbreakable relationship.

  • The involvement in a relationship is understanding the comprehensiveness of the marriage which includes interest, emotions and commitment to each other.

  • The affiliation in a relationship is the partnership, affinity and correspondence. It is having that close attachment to each other.

  • The alliance in a relationship is that formal agreement with each other that nothing, including family, friends, or jobs, will cause discord and disunion in your marriage.

  • The bond in a relationship is that commitment to bind and hold together your marriage. You have total obligation to each other.
Relationship in marriage is about communicating with each other. The couple is Empowered because they understand that relationship brings closeness, affinity, and kinship. Relationship will cause you to know the other person and their needs and wants. Relationship means you can totally depend on each other. Relationship means you can be best friends.
Having that empowering communication daily is what makes the relationship grow no matter what length of time you have been married. That Empowerment relationship in marriage means that at the midnight hour, when no one else is there, you will be there for each other.

Enjoy your continued happiness in marriage.
No matter what you hear in the negative, know that you can have continued happiness in marriage. You do not have to listen or accept counteractive stories from unhappy, depressed, despondent, gloomy, troubled, unpleasant, displeasing and condemning people.
In marriage, continue to date each other. Keep your marriage fresh, renewed, energetic, exciting, enamored, and loving. These superlatives will be wonderful benefits you can generate daily in your marriage.
Marriage is a journey. You will encounter many things together. You will go through many things together. Good times will be there as well as difficulties. As long as you stay and support each other on the journey, the results will be in your favor. Maintain physical intimacy, emotional cohesiveness, and the opportunity to be best friends. When you are a resolute married couple, you can make it happen. Guess what? Neither of you needs permission from anyone to have a loving, happy, and fruitful life together. You make it happen on a daily basis!
Now that is Empowerment!

Jarrett L. Pedue Sr.