There’s plenty of evidence that the institution of marriage has existed since before reliably recorded history and that, through most of the thousands of years of its existence, love has been the least important reason for marrying.
People have married throughout time to ensure simple survival or dynastic survival, for economic reasons, or to cooperate with social, legal, spiritual or religious traditions. But the idea that love should be the primary reason for marriage is comparatively new.
According to psychologist Carl Jung, marriage is one of the great event archetypes, along with death, birth, initiation and a few others. Jungian psychologists believe that these archetypes exist in a collective unconscious mind that binds together all living beings, organizing the experiences of each species–all the experiences, back to the very beginning–to create an ever-increasing pool of knowledge, belief and expectation that each individual shares, and to which each contributes their own experiences.
Even more important, these archetypes are actual presences, each possessing a power and influence all their own, an undeniable presence and effect which Jungians call “numinous.”
What effect can an archetype have on your own marriage? Plenty!
If it’s working behind the scenes, underneath your radar, so to speak, the marriage archetype can make it very hard to sustain love, romance and spontaneity as the mainstays of your relationship. The key here is consciousness. It’s important to be aware of the fact that you’re bucking long-standing values, and that it’s vital to give time and attention to love in order to keep it fresh and alive. Just that simple awareness can make a tremendous difference.
Have you ever known a couple who have lived together for many years and been so happy and successful that they’re an example to all their friends, and then, after they finally marry, their relationship falls apart within a few years? Probably that couple, like so many others, simply didn’t know that marriage is a powerfully influential entity unto itself, that it has a life of its own, and that its primary historical purposes have nothing to do with love. And that if you want to sustain love, idealism, joy and spontaneity in your marriage, you have to consciously work against a momentum that is literally many thousands of years old.
If you’re paying attention, you will notice when old marriage values start to creep into your own relationship, whether it’s about exclusive sexual rights, a man’s obligation to provide, or the importance of economic practicalities. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with sexual exclusivity, or making financial considerations a top priority, as long as it’s a conscious choice on both your parts.
Adding a Dimension
However, since struggling against anything almost always wastes a lot of energy, rather than focusing on resisting the momentum of the marriage archetype, it’s usually more effective for you and your mate to turn your attention to creating something new, something uniquely yours, something that can bloom and grow within the traditional framework of marriage, instead.
There are countless relationship books and tapes on the market, most touting some new “latest and greatest” technique, some looking more deeply into the whys and hows of human interaction.
You’ll want to burrow beneath technique to find essence, as you can in Oprah-famous Gary Zukav’s new book, Spiritual Partnership, or Riane Eisler’s profound rethinking of all forms of partnership, business and personal, revealed online at her Center for Partnership Studies.
You probably have several favorite spiritual and self-help authors. Rather than adopting any author’s beliefs unquestioningly, why not let them instead help you and your mate start thinking outside the box, discovering or creating your own personal goals and ideals for your marriage?
The secret ingredient is conscious awareness. This includes not only awareness of the marriage archetype itself, but also of yours and your partner’s family and cultural traditions, dysfunctional patterns and blind spots. Even more important is to recognize and celebrate the unique gifts that each of you brings to your marriage, gifts that are the building blocks of your authentic, unique partnership style.
And keep in mind that when you succeed, not only are you helping yourselves, you’re also laying down a new path in the collective unconscious, tweaking the marriage archetype’s traditions, which will then make it just a little bit easier for future couples to maintain a loving, conscious marriage.
Want to know more about your love life?
Talk to a psychic for answers. Call 1.800.573.4830
or choose a psychic now