A sense of overall well-being is key to a happy and fulfilling life. Your well-being refers to more than just your physical health; it entails your mental health, emotional balance, stability in your social and romantic relationships and a deeper understanding of your own personality and inner self. The lack of it can affect every aspect of your life and cause serious issues both on the intrapersonal and interpersonal levels. In fact, without a strong sense of well-being and personal harmony, you cannot really form a stable and healthy relationship with another person. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that you attain that sense of well-being and learn to love yourself because only then will you truly be able to love someone else.
Lack of friendship
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the greatest and most important philosophers, profoundly influencing the development of Western philosophy. He believed that love is based on friendship and not only to your loved one, but to yourself as well. Nietzsche underlines the importance of being a friend to yourself first, and then building a relationship with your partner based on the same values of friendship from the very beginning. It becomes obvious that every person needs to take care of themselves before even thinking about a romantic relationship with someone else. Love requires work both on your own being and personality, as well as your marriage. If you don’t accept your own flaws, how can you accept someone else’s?
To accept yourself is to accept another
“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard
Fromm, another great philosopher, shares Nietzsche’s opinion about love. He believes you cannot love another person if you don’t love yourself. You cannot be a sincere friend to your spouse if you’re not a friend to yourself. Fromm believes that self-love based on self-care, self-responsibility, self-respect and self-knowledge is a basis for loving your partner.
Self-acceptance and self-esteem are essential for your well-being. Once you’ve come to peace with yourself and your own flaws, you’ll truly be able to appreciate your spouse with all their flaws. To achieve such a strong sense of well-being, you need to work on yourself, take care of your body and mind, avoid a perfectionist attitude and unrealistic expectations of yourself, be grateful for your blessings no matter how small they might seem and learn to live in the moment. Only then will you truly be able to dedicate yourself to another person, give them your unconditional love and accept them for who they are.
Love is practice
“So, it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me… every day.”
― Nicholas Sparks
Once you’ve attained that rewarding sense of well-being, you can be a better partner to your spouse. Coming across difficulties in marriage is perfectly normal and, at some point, many couples even may find themselves thinking about giving up. However, only those who truly love themselves and their partners can overcome the greatest of difficulties.
Improving your marriage and resolving certain issues can take a lot of time, but it’s important that you and your spouse keep working toward the same goal. There will be ups and downs, but try to be understanding and respectful to each other, even when arguing. Furthermore, keep in mind that small things, such as being kind and thankful, expressing your love and appreciation, and even going to bed at the same time, can bring about significant changes. In addition, you should rekindle your flame by talking openly about your sex life and relationship satisfaction. However, don’t bring your marriage down to just sexual relations, but nurture intimacy and closeness.
If you cannot really understand the root of your relationship problems, you should consider family therapy as an alternative solution. A counselor can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationship problems and find a way to resolve your issues.
Love involves constant work, both on yourself and your relationship with others. Neither your sense of well-being, nor a happy marriage comes without effort.