People decide to enter into intimate relationships with to fulfill self-interests. However, an individual might face problems in keeping the relationship alive since it has never been an easy task. Human beings rarely compromise on their interests yet marriage calls on each person to accept challenges and to adjust according to fit in the system (Coontz 54). Because of defective information circulation in marriages, many couples have divorced, with some moving to courts to obtain what rightfully belong to them. Studies show that individuals can sustain their relationships in case they observe certain principles.
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In this article, at least five components of a lasting relationship are discussed, with specific examples drawn from the Odyssey Homer, Oedipus the King, Hippoltus, and the Ramayana. In these examples, life experience is discussed extensively where members are engaged activities that either support or interfere with normal living in a family setup. Additionally, the paper gives real life examples to show that the five components discussed are very important in maintaining positive relationships among individuals. These components guarantee a satisfying relationship, as well as building a strong foundation for a flourishing life given the fact that stable marriages have an impact on the successfulness of an individual.
The first component that enables peaceful coexistence in the family is communication. Family members are advised not to go to bed when angry meaning that they have to speak out their problems, as solutions might be provided before the issue escalates into a major conflict. When people live together, chances are high that arguments will arise, but what matters is when and how the conflicts are addressed.
A family that employs an open communication strategy has the potential of doing well as opposed to the one that does not consider information sharing. An individual is requested to listen to his or her partner because this plays a role in maintaining the relationship. Oedipus was one of the individuals who never had peace in his life because he never received the right information from his parents. In one of the phrases, he requests his audience to listen to what he had to say, “For what you ask me-if you will hear my words and hearings welcome them and fight the plague, you will find strength and fight the plague (Grene 6).”
In this sentence, it is true that listening to the wishes and the desires of other family members empowers an individual and facilitates understanding. Oedipus insisted that his actions never killed the king, but other members were reluctant to understand meaning that lack of proper communication skills might bring unnecessary conflicts. In a different encounter, Teiresias claimed that everyone in the family knew nothing and she would not share her tribulations with them, as she considered these problems personal. Oedipus requested her to share anything she knew with the rest of the family. According to Oedipus, keeping quite was dangerous since it would destroy the entire city and it was a form of betrayal as well.
The second component of a good marriage is intimacy, which means maintaining physical affection among family members and focusing on sexual relationships in the case of couples. If a couple maintains a robust sex life, chances are high that other problems will fade off because happiness will always characterize the marriage. Members are requested to be honest when dealing with other people in the family, as this will pave way for sharing feelings and information. If a couple finds it difficult to talk about sex, writing is suggested as an alternative because it will help expose the thing that cannot be said easily.
In the Odyssey, the writer shows how Odysseus had difficulties establishing an intimate relationship with his partner mainly because of the constant migration that characterized his life. Unfortunately, he perished in the remote island of Ogygia when he refused to resist an attempt by the Calypso goddess who fell in love with him (Homer 12). He betrayed his family by getting married to another person, even though she was a goddess. In his home, several suitors and comforters were busy courting his wife in Ithaca. When his son grew up, he faced many problems trying to keep off many admirers of his father’s estate who wanted to take over his mother and all available properties.
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Odysseus’s son convened a meeting with his father’s friends to request the city governor to banish all the suitors from his estate. Odysseus was not a faithful husband because he allowed the goddess to interrupt his relationship with the family while his wife, Penelope, was not also a good wife because she tried to misappropriate family wealth by inviting foreigners in the estate. This forced the son, Telemachus, to do something, which was shameful to his mother. In other words, it is suggested that lasting relationship is maintained through intimacy whereby members play their roles faithfully, with the couple ensuring that they do not deny each other conjugal rights.
The third element of a lasting marriage is respect, which implies partners have to encourage each other always, as this ensures collective goal achievement. Additionally, members of the family should have shared values meaning that each person has to adjust his or her personal objectives to suit those of the family. In case any family member resorts to physical abuse as a conflict resolution mechanism, the relationship will definitely collapse meaning that this should never be accepted as an alternative to the established strategies of conflict resolution. Narayan observes in the Ramayana that some family members never valued their children, as well as spouses and decided to sell them out after organizing abduction. He noted that women were tricked to marry foreigners whenever the family needed some resources to take care of its welfare (Narayan 87). This does not support a lasting marriage because conflicts will always emerge.
Similarly, Euripides talks about the dangers of non-commitment in the relationship by giving an account of a prince who was never concerned with family matters preferring instead to engage in an economic activity. The prince believed in purity, something that made him worship the goddess of virginity when he was expected to associate with the goddess of love (Euripides 36). The prince ended up dying, which proves that commitment is an additional component of love that ensures a lasting marriage. Commitment has to be accompanied with forgiveness whereby a member for the family has to empathize with others and extend his or her love through amnesty. Hippoltus was never serious with his family, something that angered the gods to an extent of cursing him to fall in love with the stepmother. Euripides shows that non-commitment has serious consequences.
It is concluded that various factors contribute to the lasting marriage and it is upon an individual to conquer oneself constantly to achieve this. Through a review of the works of various writers, it is observed that love is an elusive issue that has to be approached cautiously. Unfortunately, a relationship cannot last without love. In the Oedipus the King, the writer shows that family members have to trust each other while Narayan proves that respect is equally an important aspect.
Coontz, Stephanie. Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Viking Press, Penguin Group, 2005. Print.
Euripides. Hippolytus. Lanham: Start Publishing LLC, 2013. Print.
Grene, David. Oedipus the King. Chicago: University OF Chicago, 2012. Print.
Homer, Stanley. The Odyssey. New York: Hackett Publishing, 2000. Print.
Narayan, Ruth. The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. London: Penguin, 2006. Print.