Relationship as a learning environment and an enabler of happiness


Merja Sankelo

Romantic love between two people is a beautiful thing. People can fall in love at first sight. The beginning of a relationship is infatuation, which will eventually turn into love if people give it a chance. Not all people are meant for each other and that is why everyone should first get to know the other person in order to find out if there is some factors in him or her, which could make life too difficult together. Real love can be kindled or awaken when both persons have had enough positive experiences during the time spent together. Usually people fall in love when they feel like they are quite similar, i.e being together is fun,pleasant and easy. People should look for a spouse that is attractive both physically and mentally and is an perfect answer for a person's expectations and requirements. When one is in love, a person feels that the partner is so important that the life would never be happy without him or her.

People get into relationships for various reasons. The reason could be, for example, the other person's wealth, a dream of having a wedding or children, physical needs or the fear of being alone. From the happiness and spiritual development perspective, choosing a partner should always be based on love. Of course it is possible to fall in love with someone even after having been married to them for some time, like in cultures in which the parents choose their children's spouses, but in those cases it is also possible that they will never feel romantic love for one another. When love is one of the main foundations for a relationship, it is easier to forgive the other person and more willingness to keep trying to find a solution in conflicts.

Both people in the relationship are here to learn and to become a better person. They have their own individual plans for their lives that have been made for them before they even came here on Earth and these life plans can be different from each others. Every one should be allowed to be themself and to do things that they find interesting and inspiring. Because of this married couples need to give their spouse the freedom to have their own life beside their life together.  If both of them understand this there won't be any problems, but there are quite a few couples who subordinate,undervalue each other or judge everything their spouse does and even interfere strongly in plans of the partner, which shows that those couples are unaware of the most basic things in life. When the other person opens up about their thougts, dreams and wishes, he or she should be encouraged, understood and supported, which is something that everyone needs when they are thinking of making some changes in their life. However it is important to not listen too much to the other person's opinions, especially when it seems that a partner does not fully understand the  effects, that a certain change might have on own happiness. When couples give each other space to fulfill their own dreams, they can both be content and happy with their own lives and the life that they have built together.

It can be said, that being in a relationship and the shared every day life is the best school for souls during their staying on Earth because it requires  the kind of communication, actions, behaviour and reactions that make it possible to continue the partnership and make the other person feel good. When couples get children they will have even more opportunities to learn new things about love and goodness. However, not that many people consider relationships and families as opportunities to learn and grow spiritually.

The learning challenge that people in relationships meet among others is focused on how to combine the spiritual and the physical love that one feels for their spouse. Both of them are cornerstones for a happy relationship. People often talk about how love is very passonate in the beginning of a relationship but later the passion fades a little. It's obvious that passion can't remain the same in a long-term partnership but there is always some passion in a happy relationship. When someone feels passion for another person they want to be physically near him or her. Couples can solve their problems by talking about the expectations and hopes that they have for the life together.

In relationships people need to learn to compromise and solve their problems. They should get rid of unforgiveness and silent treatment; they are not solutions to problematic situations, because they just prolong the solving process. It's healthy to bring up "a cat on the table" and openly discuss about difficult topics. During arguments, couples should learn to talk about their own thoughts and feelings and to discuss things in a peaceful manner. Shouting only makes things worse and causes the other person to feel bad. Both people in the relationship have to take turns forgiving the other person. This helps the spouses grow as individuals and as a couple.

In the succesful relationships it has been noticed that the partnership does not stay good by itself; you have to organize enough time to be together. If that doesn't happen, couples start to become estranged and the love will eventually die. Couples should also make a conscious effort to arrange events, which gives pleasure to the other partner and to tell enough often how much they love each other. No one wants to be unsure about their spouse's feeling. So, love has to be treated like a rose that requires regular watering in order for it to stay alive.

When people love someone they want good things to happen to them, they accept the other person as they are and they are genuinely happy about the other person's succesful accomplishments. If people only find flaws in their spouse that they want to fix, they should ask themselves "Why did I marry this person?" Sometimes it's good for couples to realise that they have made a mistake and in those cases it's better to separate and to find a new life partner that they can accept completely. When considering getting a divorce, people should put their own happiness before anyone else's.

Both people will be changed during the relationship. That is why it's good to understand that sometimes couples grow apart. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't any more a good match. That type of situation needs constant communication and discussions about what both of them want from life, what they have learned, what is making them unhappy and what they think about the relationship. Constant communication is important because it allows couples to follow each other's development and changes. If a person truly loves their spouse, they are willing to discuss their relationship and to find a solution for their problems. That way the parnership can last even during difficult times. If the other person doesn't even want to talk, it's time to seriously consider if it would be best to end the relationship. Sometimes one person in the relationship is a so-called mature soul and the other person might still be only starting their spiritual development. This might even cause a couple to get a divorce, if the less spiritually developed person is too judgemental about the other one's interest in spiritual things. On the other hand, if the other person is understanding and loving, the relationship might continue and keep the couple happy.

A relationship that is based on real mutual love and shared every day life teaches things that help people to develop spiritually. People who live alone don't have this type of a learning environment. Single people need to find interaction events and learning environments outside of home, which might be difficult, but they do still exist at student places, in  workplaces, in hobby- and leasure time communities etc.


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