Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Relationship thoughts

Sometimes I think that for women, their lives revolve around their relationships. Is this just a gender stereotype? I don't know! Observing my female friends, knowing myself, and noticing how often we all talk about relationships, it seems like we all place very high value on our relationships. I just finished reading “Kaleidoscope” by Herman Aihara, and he discusses some interesting points about marriage and relationships in general. I can't resist the opportunity to reflect more on the irresistable topic of personal relationships!

In his article, Aihara compares relationships to eating brown rice. He says,

“[Marriage] is like the brown rice taste – it’s not a hot dog taste or a Chinese restaurant taste (very spicy and oily). If you take that every day, you get tired of it. If I go to a French restaurant every day, I get tired quickly. But brown rice, if cooked well, chewed well, becomes more sweet. You barely need to chew gourmet food – it’s already tasty. So your marriage should be like brown rice – you have to chew very well. If you are very flashy, pretending to be like prince and princess, it doesn't last long. Better to work hard to just make a nice home; then it lasts longer.”

I loved this idea as much as I love brown rice, a lot! It shows a lot of commitment and love.

Other important factors that he mentioned were:

--Choosing a healthy mate. Having a sick partner causes the healthy partner to carry all the burden of cooking, cleaning, childrearing and bringing income into the household. (See more in other postings for ideas of what health means.)
--Having decent income or adequate financial support.
--Having similar interests and hobbies. Aihara says, “If you are interested in macrobiotics, you had better have a partner who is interested in macrobiotics. Romance may not last long, but caring lasts long. Try to find interest in your partner’s hobbies and activities. Give up some of your own pleasure for your mate.” That means if your husband/boyfriend loves to watch loads of TV, including something like football, you should sit down with him and watch it together, even if you don't really enjoy football yourself. The important thing is to try and share the same interests. It could end up being a fun, enjoyable experience to share together.
--Having respect and humbleness towards each other. Without respect, all is lost. To respect each other, act in a respectable manner. Honor and maintain your commitment to each other (e.g., loyalty, fidelity, honesty), your good character and behavior. Work on raising your own level of consciousness.
--Attending to one’s diet. Share at least one meal together every day. Eat together peacefully. Follow a good macrobiotic diet.
--Accepting each other and being happy with what you have instead of thinking “There is something else better out there.” If you simply leave your partner, you could end up in another difficult relationship.
--Communicating and having an open and listening mind, as well as keeping no secrets from each other.
--Avoiding complaining, and instead talk things over sincerely. Speak with your whole heart, for another’s benefit.

My parents have been married for over 35 years, and though no relationship is perfect, nor without its ups and down, they continue to live happily together, with their love growing all of the time. They are not following a macrobiotic diet, but it seems they naturally do many of the things on this list.

Anyway, for me, these are wonderful ideas to think about. I hope you will leave comments if anything inspires you.

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