There are four reasons why husbands and wives stay together and create stable and so happy families. Each of these reasons corresponds to a different part of our complex human nature.
- Physical: Sexual Attraction
The reproductive instinct, our hormones, is such that one sex naturally looks for its other half. However, despite the last fifty years of commercial sexualisation and conditioning in Western societies, which has stressed egoistic sexual life (called ‘love’), this is the least important reason for a couple to stay together. If the attraction of boy and girl to each other is only sexual, the relationship will be short. It is guaranteed. It is why modern Western societies are littered with single mothers, fatherless and illegitimate children and lonely men.
- Intellectual: A Common Mind
Another aspect, also relatively unimportant, is the intellectual and educational level of husband and wife. The fact that this is relatively unimportant is proved by the existence of many couples with very different intellectual levels. Here we see that the factor of complementarity begins to be vital. Two couples who are very similar easily get bored with one another: too much in common can almost be as much a problem as too little in common. Husband and wife must not be ‘the same’. The attraction of the different is very important. A man is a man and a woman is a woman. If you confuse male and female identities, as the Western world deliberately has over the last fifty years plus, you are asking for trouble.
- Emotional: Common Feelings
Men and women are generally quite different emotionally. Men generally hide their feelings, women talk about them openly and willingly and need to do so. But emotional happiness is still just as important for one as for the other. However, again, in this field too, we see the role of complementarity. We often hear women saying: ‘Oh men, they’re all the same’, and men saying: ‘Oh women, they’re all the same’. I would say, fortunately! We need one another and expect each other to behave in certain ways and want and need that.
- Spiritual: Souls on the Same Wavelength
To our mind, the most important reason why men and women are attracted to each other and then stay together is because they are on the same spiritual wavelength. This does not necessarily mean that they both go to church or even have exactly the same religious beliefs. What it does mean is that they have common cultural values – for these are the result of spiritual values. For example, they should agree about who will do what in the relationship, who will care for children, who will do the shopping, who will clean, who will provide most of the money. It also includes common tastes in furniture, clothing, colours – things that are in themselves secondary, but actually very important when living together day by day. This is because they all stem from common values – they stem from being on the same spiritual wavelength. This similar wavelength is called love.
Thus, we can see that attraction and the desire to be and to stay together depend on four different factors. When they all coincide, then the relationship will be long-term, indeed, until and beyond death.