Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Marriage-the Act of Mutual Care

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Dec 8, 2012 12:59 PM

The woman just had surgery. Her husband fed her a teaspoon of water and a few crumbs of saltine. She couldn't tolerate it. He fetched the vomit bag. He was an angel as he took care of her. She would do the same for him. That's marriage.

Real marriage isn't flamboyant, sexual passion, though it can be. The sex part is more characteristic of an affair. It isn't the guaranteed weekend date or having an escort for whatever program or gathering comes up, though it can be. That's really dating. It's great when marriage integrates the elements of tender caring, romance and passion, and companionship. However, without the aspect of helping each other in hard times, it's superficial. The real essence of marriage is commitment. Knowing that you'll be there for each other in whatever way is needed makes the bond secure.

Commitment doesn't mean there won't ever be an argument or fight over the usual stuff, like money, activities, communication, chores, relatives etc.. It means you accept and love each other no matter what (within reasonable limits, like no adultery, addictions or abuse). It means you trust each other to be there. Your first priority is to the relationship, to yourself and the spouse combined. There will be compromises. There will be security and joy, too.

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