If I were to write a book about the Principles of a Happy Marriage--assuming someone out there would want to read romance advice from an academic economist--I would definitely include a section or two about what is love.
I understand that every individual is different and has unique needs. Therefore, every pairing of individuals and thus every marriage is also unique. Nevertheless, I believe that several fairly universal principles will apply to making any relationship successful:
The most important principle of a happy marriage is love. Love is caring for another person such that we genuinely want what is best for them. When we love someone, we want them to be happy, content, and to have peace.
There are at least two ways to love someone:
Passive Love: while we are busy with our own struggles, we silently hope that they are happy, content and at peace.
Active Love: we specifically dedicate some of our own life energy to helping this person to be happy, content, and at peace.
The kind of love that makes for a happy marriage is Active Love, though passive love is important in a world where our time and abilities are limited.
More accurately, working toward a happy marriage involves being willing to sacrifice all that you have in order to help your spouse to be safe, happy, and to have peace--even when they are not all in.
- This means that no matter what your spouse does or does not do for you or for your marriage, it is your responsibility to make sure that they get from you that which is best for them.
- This also means that a large portion of your life energy is going to be devoted to learning about your spouse.
Research, Research, Research.
In order to provide what is best, you need to figure out what that is. This is not an easy task. Even the seemingly most simple person is a complex puzzle. It takes more than a lifetime to figure any one person out, so you'd better get started now....and keep at it.
I hope you find my thoughts helpful. Please comment and/or respond somehow if you have other thoughts about this sort of thing.
I passively love you all.