“In this path the hearts of husband and wife are the foundation.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 189, “The Hearts of Husband and Wife”
In one of Plato’s dialogues, a character explains the origins of love by saying that, when humans became too arrogant and powerful, Zeus split them in half and that, being only one half of a whole, they have since been looking for their other half to feel complete.
Could it be that a husband and wife might profitably see themselves as halves who can become complete by complementing each other? Personality differences are often cited as a cause of divorce, yet it may be similarities rather than differences that more often lead to marital conflict. For example, if we see one of our own unpleasant traits in our spouse, we might find it particularly annoying and react strongly because we know what it is like first-hand. Jigsaw pieces fit together because they have tabs and slots. If the pieces only had tabs, the puzzle would be impossible to solve. A husband and wife can embrace their differences and use them as a positive force to complement each other, rather than letting the differences make them lonely, isolated beings.
Meeting people is made possible through masterful arrangements by Oyasama. Attracted to each other by a mysterious pull, two people feel the chemistry between them. It is true that their infatuation and passion for each other may not last forever, with their budding love eventually withering. Yet it may blossom and bear fruit; that will ultimately depend on their heart and effort.
We can grow as persons, moving away from the kind of love that is focused on seeking from each other to the kind of love that desires to give to each other. Experiencing and overcoming difficulties and adversity together, we can nurture our love for each other and let it mature into something profound and abundant.
A rich, fulfilling relationship can bring joy and peace that may count among the most remarkable treasures that life has to offer. Children’s most intense happiness can be found in their parents’ loving relationship—which may, therefore, be the best present that parents can give to their children.