Most people feel strongly that their marriages would be just fine if only their partner would change. But this approach is never the answer. Insisting that the other person change a behavior may bring some temporary satisfaction, but it will never bring true happiness, which comes only from changing ourselves. Marriages typically go through five stages: romance, disillusionment, misery, enlightenment, and love. When couples encounter the second or third stage of marriage, many give up and even more seek to divorce. There is a better alternative. This little book of wisdom on marriage was written by a psychologist and marriage couselor who has been happily married for many years. It will give you the spiritual yet intensely practical tools to move beyond disillusionment and misery and find true love with your marriage partner.
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Locke Rush has over 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist and marriage counselor. A graduate of Princeton University and former officer in the United States Marine Corps, he also was co-author and co-producer of Rooftops of New York, an Academy award nominated short subject film. He lived in Japan for four years, studying and practicing the disciplines of Zen Buddhism as a lay monk in the Ryutaku-ji Zen Monastery. He founded the first intensive outpatient addiction treatment program in Maryland. From 1975 to1986 he studied under the great Sufi Master M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. He lives happily in the Pennsylvania countryside with his wife and spends as much time as possible with his grandson and familyExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
We Can Only Change Ourselves
The most important thing to remember is that we cannot change our partner; we can only change ourselves. No marriage succeeds without this understanding. In The Alchemy of Happiness, Al Ghazzali, one of the great mystic writers of the Middle Ages, states, "Man has a lower nature, and, till he can control his own lower nature, he had better not assume the responsibility of controlling another’s.
Our resistance to change, however, is very strong. I’m not the one who needs to change, we mutter to ourselves.
There is a saying: "When God goes, I am there; when I go, God is there." The ‘I’ is the ego, the base desires, the negative qualities, the arrogance which maintains that there are two ways--the wrong way and my way.
For real change to occur, we have to get back to some fundamental questions: Why am I here in this world? What is the purpose for which I was born? What part does marriage play in life here on earth?
Nothing changed in my own marriage until I had answered these questions. What I discovered is that we are born to understand and experience our true nature so that we can progress, pass our exams and go on to our rightful place after death. This task can only be accomplished or worked on while we are here in this world. Our very existence on earth, the reason we are here, is to recognize and understand who we really are.
I discovered that the true self or soul is occluded by the mind’s desires. Much as a pure metal can only be obtained by the smelting process, this physical world provides a large furnace for clearing away the impurities of our being. If we can clear ourselves, we will see our true nature and understand the reason for our birth and our struggle in this life. There are many different catalysts in our lives to facilitate this process, but by far the greatest of these is marriage. Marriage is the great furnace, the great purifier, the character builder.
As I mentioned earlier, I spent a year in a Zen Monastery in Japan and several more years there pursuing a monastic, meditative existence, seeking spiritual knowledge. Even so, I learned more about myself in my first year of marriage than in all that time. Why? No institution or experience besides marriage provides a clearer mirror. In marriage, reflected back to us with startling clarity when we dare to look, we see ourselves: our ugliness, our defects, our good nature and our potential. We can fool anyone except the person to whom we are married. If we truly want to become better human beings or, better yet, enlightened human beings, marriage is a direct path, albeit a steep and difficult one.
Peace is something we have to earn. To earn it means going through and not around the difficulty. It means dealing with one’s ego--one’s own way of doing things. Marriage is difficult because it involves, on the outside, surrender to another’s will and, on the inside, surrender of our vanity and pride to tolerance. Marriage requires real work.
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Book Description Infinity Publishing.com. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2842903112