spiritual writings | retreat center directory

You're invited to visit our sister site DanJoseph.com, a resource site
featuring articles on spirituality, psychology, and A Course in Miracles.

Home | Writings | Relationships | Hugh/Gayle Prather | I Will part 2 | next   

Excerpted from I Will Never Leave You: How Couples Can Achieve the Power of Lasting Love by Hugh and Gayle Prather. Copyright 1995 by Hugh and Gayle Prather. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"When you get married, you simply become like the majority of adults: You are married. That in itself changes nothing."

Hugh and Gayle Prather, I Will Never Leave You, Part 2

Today there are no obvious reasons for getting married, and so, thinking that a reason is required, we have invented new ones. Now you need a partner in order to be supported and fulfilled, in order to be "all that you can be." Concepts such as the "soul mate" have been invented, and mysticism has been injected into sex. If you add to this the fact that we no longer have a moral objection to divorce, then potentially one can have anyone at any time. Little wonder that today most people are probing every aspect of their romantic relationships for inadequacies. If you can have anyone, is your present partner really giving you everything you could get? Or if there is a person with whom you are already mystically matched, the one right person for you, have you in fact found this individual?

Now couples who come to us for help believe that simply by having a relationship, the hurt and loneliness of their past should be healed. They weren't happy before they got matched, but now that they have a partner, their continued unhappiness is their partner's fault. It doesn't occur to them that except for "owning" their "mistake" in choosing each other (an arrogant rationalization for passing judgment), undoing their present unhappiness will require a joint effort.

When you get married, you simply become like the majority of adults: You are married. That in itself changes nothing. But how you react to it can change everything. Most people still believe that getting married is the most important event in their lives, but being married has become like test-driving a new car. They really think that it doesn't matter whether they reject it or not and that they can make their decision quickly, conveniently, and in accordance with the latest Blue Book of spouse ratings. Many marriage-denigrating concepts such as the throwaway "starter marriage" are now in vogue.

The enormous spiritual cost of betrayal and abandonment is presently being so miscalculated that an entire generation is in danger of becoming emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.

A couple we counseled for three years--we will call them Ben and Mary--developed a deep bond early in their freshman year of college. They got married on the very evening of graduation day. Mary, who had won several titles in synchronized swimming, began teaching at a large racquet and swimming club to support them and to help pay Ben's way through law school. Two children and twelve years later, they came to us with a family on the verge of a breakup.

next ->