Unconditional love is a gift bestowed upon most of us at birth, by family. Truly, it is a gift we do not appreciate until we are older, as we come to realize that all other relationships in life are premised on conditions of one sort or another.
Unfortunately, after marriage vows are exchanged, I think many people fall back into this false belief that their partners have now agreed to provide unconditional love. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth because for most of us, marriage is conditioned on many things, including the need to communicate and be on the same page about your current responsibilities and future goals while remaining not just respectful and faithful, but caring and kind.
Unlike blood relatives, who will remain family whether you like each other or not, your life partner is entirely a connection of choice. And with free will, comes the right to make a different choice if the relationship ceases to be nurturing and fulfilling.
Marriage in the 21st century unlike those of previous generations is based mostly on desire, not necessity. No one I know actually believes in the clause “til death do you part.” In fact, most would agree that if someone continues to show bad judgment and risks the safety or financial security of the family’s overall well-being, these are valid grounds to opt out– even without any physical abuse or adultery at play.
The more people come to understand that the marriage contract, like all other contracts in life, are conditioned on maintaining a quid-pro-quo situation, the greater the chances those entering marriage will have more realistic expectations of their partners.
Reality is that unconditional love is predominantly a gift passed down by your bloodline. In no way, however, does this diminish the conditional love extended to you by your partner because freely choosing to remain committed to one another to preserve the pact between you is an incredible gift too, just not one to ever take for granted.
If what you seek is unconditional love, then you really aren’t ready for marriage, and maybe you should consider moving back home to live with your mom.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.