The 4 Basic Instincts of a good marriage

The 4 Basic Instincts of a good marriage
I am sleepless in Manhattan after a weekend of “Occupy Wall Street” mania. So I thought I would throw something up on the Board. Here are the 4 basic instincts that I think every successful marriage needs to have. Without them, the marriage/relationship is doomed at the gate. I mean, if you can spot that these qualities don’t exist and you’re not yet married? Absolutely, positively DO NOT marry the individual. It will only end in divorce. Here are the 4 basic instincts:
1. Protection
A well matched couple protect each other and protect their relationship from outside forces. The sexes are not necessarily evenly matched up with this because, arguably, the man has a higher burden. Nature made it so that men are instilled with a “protection” chip. The thing is, they don’t have it for every woman. So if a boyfriend does not automatically demonstrate a propensity to “protect” his girl, then she should definitely not marry him. If she does marry him and she comes to realize this gene is missing, there really is nothing she can do except stay married and be miserable, or get a divorce. You can’t teach someone to want to protect you. It’s inherent. It’s either there or its not there. A marriage is not good without this element. As for the woman, she, too, is vested with the responsibility of protecting her mate and her relationship. It manifests differently, of course. It is not the same burden. But both parties know when they have this or when they don’t have it. If they are already married, I can only say, my condolences.
2. Support
By support, I don”t mean financial.  Although, who knows? That might be a part of it. But what I mean is that the two people must be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. They must be there for each other. They must instinctively do everything they can to help each other become their best selves, reach goals, accomplish dreams and achieve self actualization. There can’t be competition and sabotage and indifference and obliviousness. A good marriage is one where each person feels safe, secure, and supported. Again, there are signs that this may or may not be present pre-marriage. And it’s important to pay attention to these signs. If you go ahead and get married when you don’t feel “supported” by the person you are with, then you only have yourself to blame. Support is a basic instinct just like protection. It’s either there or its not. It cannot be taught. Do you have it in your marriage?   
3. Respect
R.E.S.P.E.C.T is simply non-negotiable. In a relationship, this manifests in a multiplicity of ways. When you respect your spouse there are things you do and there are things you don’t do. You don’t cheat on a spouse you respect; you don’t defile a relationship you respect by cheating. You don’t hit and abuse whether physically or emotionally, someone you respect and love. When you respect someone you give them the benefit of the doubt and you are filled with admiration for them, so much so that anyone with whom you come in contact can tell right away that there is respect in the house. Look, for example, at Barack and Michelle Obama. There is respect there and it shows. Respect is earned, of course. And it is a two way street. You can’t expect someone to be filled with respect and admiration for you and you turn around and treat them caverlierly and with disdain. You will eventually lose that respect and admiration. Respect is an ongoing organism. It can be lost, it can be taken away. In a successful marriage, respect must be mutual.
 
4. Reconciliation/forgiveness
Marriage is hard, probably because forgiving is so hard sometimes. People are not perfect, marriages are not perfect. You and your spouse are totally imperfect and sometimes you mess up so grandiosely that there is no going back even if there is forgiveness. But for sure, a successful marriage must be blessed with lots of reconciliation and forgiveness for all the sins, slights and screw ups that inevitably will be a part of the journey. As I said, some things are unforgivable. And that is when divorce happens. But to the extent that a couple is able to make up and forgive each other for mistakes and shortcomings, that will be a successful marriage indeed.