Get The Ring: How to Find & Keep the Right One for Life.
Lawrence Kelemen - Part 4
would say at least the person should be feeling, before they're… they should know that they're ready to get married because they'll be feeling they really want someone else to take care of.
In short, you perceive the desire to give unconditionally as a focal prerequisite of marriage. But tell me, is this giving nature really such a central aspect of human character?
These Orthodox Jews… it's interesting. They divide human character development up into a continuum that basically breaks into four stages, but it's a continuum. There are those people at the very bottom of the continuum, who are one hundred percent takers. Completely selfish. Most of the people are at that level, so they're interested in 50/50 arrangements. Compromise. I'll do the dishes, you take out the trash. That sort of relationship. Now why are they interested in a 50/50 relationship if they're a hundred percent taker? The answer is because they're smart. And if you're a real smart taker you realize it's better not to take 100% and not give anything back, because you're going to get dumped. No-one's going to want to spend time with you.
You see this in the business world. Someone who just wants to take money, so they don't become a bank robber unless they're a fool, because if you're a bank robber — how long are you going to get away with it? A month, two months, a year, five years? After five years you're going to end up in jail, you'll have to stop taking. Someone who really wants to take and is highly intelligent, he'll go into business, he'll run a supermarket. Then people come and bring in their money every day. And they can stay in business a lifetime. And more that than that, people compliment them on their wonderful service and their high quality products, and the taker is able to take and take and take. It's not to say that all businessmen are only takers. We're not saying such a thing. Obviously that's not true. There are very good people who are involved in business. But if someone were to be a 100% taker, certainly the intelligent thing to do is go into business, make a 50/50 deal.
And that's what we see in relationships. The bottom of the continuum, what those Orthodox Jews call Level 4. There's someone who is a 100% taker and therefore is willing to stay in a marriage as long as they're getting a benefit out of it.
The next step up on the continuum, Level 3, is someone who, they demand less salary. They don't need their partner to do exactly 50% of the work. The person who is at Level 3 says — you know what? I'll do the dishes and I'll take out the trash — and — you know what, I'll earn the money and I'll take care of the kids. I'm willing to do it all. What do I demand in return? I demand a thank you. If I do all that for you and you don't even say thank you to me, so then… I mean, that's
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