Susan Piver, Guest Author
For those of us contemplating marriage in the new millennium, a conscious effort is required to create a shared vision. Nothing can be taken for granted. There are no cultural models for us to look to. Often traditional religious values can’t support our relationship. For many of us, our divorced parents can’t offer a model to emulate. TV, movies, music; they’re all about easy solutions, romantic escapades, youthful passion. How, then, do we create an adult view of relationships, one that includes passion and commitment, the fullness of who each person is and can be?
There is no technique, no gimmick, no class, no easy answer. The solution, the only solution, is knowing and revealing yourself and receiving your pratner – relentlessly, and with great skill. My book, “The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say ‘I Do’” helps create a shared view of life and a deeper knowledge or your self and your beloved. It can be used throughout the life of a relationship; answering these questions ten years into a relationship is as valuable as answering them ten months into it. The hard questions can help lead to a deeper level of intimacy.
For many of us, religion is something that we observe when someone is born, marries or dies. Suddenly, as such moments, the religion you were raised with, the traditions your family may have followed, become vitally important.
Any impulse your beloved may have to devalue or ignore such traditions can become very, very hurtful. It’s important to examine what you will do, if anything, to mark the passages of life. If you are married, it is likely you encountered this curious arousal of attachment to tradition while planning the marriage ceremony.
Also, for many of us, spirituality has become increasingly important in our day-to-day lives. Many people have “practices”; yoga, meditation, communal gatherings, discussion groups, that are central to their lives. It is important to share such practices with your beloved! If so, why? If not, why not? And what happens when one partner holds childhood religious traditions dear while the other has created a unique spiritual practice, totally apart from the religion her or she grew up with? How are both belief systems honored and blended under one roof?
1. Do we share a religion? Do we belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?
2. Do we share a spiritual practice such as meditation, yoga or some other type of “non-traditional” observance? If not, would adding such a practice enrich our lives together?
3. Does one of us have an individual spiritual practice? If the practice and the time devoted to it acceptable to the other? Does each partner understand and respect the other’s choices?
4. What does each desire of the other in terms of support and/or participation in the other’s practice?
5. How do we mark births and deaths within our family?
6. What place do spiritual and/or religious beliefs play in our home and home life?
7. Do we observe any spiritual rituals? Celebrate any religious holidays? Together? Separately?
Larry’s NOTE: Getting married? You would be wise to purchase this helpful book, “The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say ‘I Do’!” The questions include topics like, money, work, sex, health & food, family, home and more. It is a simple, yet profound relationship tool that can forge and strengthen lasting, intimate bonds between engaged couples, newly-weds, and all those in long term relationships. I highly recommend it!
BONUS Articles: Religion vs. Spirituality
Spirituality ~ Take Two
The Benefits of Integrating Spirituality into Your Daily Life
Holy! Holy! Holy!
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Vows, Parents & Religion: Conundrum!
Copyright © 2014 – Susan Piver. Adapted from Susan’s book. Susan Piver is the former President of Upaya Recordings, where she developed CD/Book packages with authors Andrew Weil, M.D., Deepak Chopra and Thomas Moore. She currently runs Padma Projects, a production company that creates CD/Books. To learn more about answering the Hard Questions, visit, SusanPiver.com.
Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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