Marriage and life are all about relationships

it’s all about relationships

When you have a good long look at life, you eventually see that it’s all about relationships. We have a plethora of relationships raging around us all the time. We have a relationship (good, bad or indifferent) with our maker, our parents, our siblings, our children, our friends, our bosses, our sub-ordinates, our colleagues, our government, other drivers on the roads, waitrons, tellers, suppliers, clients, customers and the annoying taxi driver in the yellow line during peak hour traffic.

So how do you think you are performing in all of those areas?

I believe we have all heard the saying that 50% of marriages fail (don’t shoot the messenger hey!!)? That would mean that we fail at about 95% of relationships! Remember, we do not marry everyone we date. Personally I believe this is why 80% of new businesses fail too.

Interestingly enough, when my wife Jacqui and I visited India, we were surprised to find that Indian arranged marriages beat the divorce statistics. Indian parents use astrology to pick partners for their children and it seems to work better than our chemical reaction (read lust) method here in the West. And here is a nice little challenge to all of you; someone once asserted that an enlightened being could be married off to anyone on earth and make the relationship work!

Then of course we get the common malady of searching for one’s soul-mate. I believe we do this out of pure laziness! We think we want to find someone that is so perfect that we think the same, react the same, want the same, vote the same, say the right things, do the right things and fulfil every single need we have. Indeed you don’t even need to talk because you are automatically tuned into each other almost telepathically. What rubbish. In my opinion, your soul mate would be someone who is the exact opposite and COMPLETES you. They would challenge you to grow, call you on your shit, tell you when you are being stupid and force you to grow (and probably grow up too!).

That is why my favourite relationship symbol is the yin-yang symbol. Not for religious or spiritual reasons but because we are opposites that complete each other. The little “dots” are where we are the same and they anchor us. The black and white are how different we are. The beauty is that we COMPLETE each other! Whenever I work with a couple who are struggling, it’s usually because one partner wants the other partner to be more like them. Imagine the entire seven billion people on earth were exactly like you. The world would be a mess. My advice is to love yourself for who you are, then love your spouse for who they are and then don’t try to change each other!


This is an excerpt from the book, “So you’re married, now what?

Written by the marriage expert, Stephen van Basten


About Stephen van Basten - The Marriage Expert

When you meet Stephen van Basten you instantly realize that there is more to him than meets the eye. This is not a moment to judge a book by its cover. Stephen boasts a list of achievements: He met his wife, Jacqui, 27 years ago, married her 21 years ago and is the proud father of a 'very together' 18 year old daughter. Stephen will immediately tell you with a twinkle in his eye, that Life, Work, Marriage and Parenthood are not for sissies. That while they are all hard work, they can be, and should be, incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Stephen is a past Karate World Champion, a yoga enthusiast and recovering golfer. If you opened Trip Advisor on his facebook page you will see that he has visited 81 cities in 52 countries including the USA, Alaska, Japan, Europe, Australia and China. Stephen has owned his own company, worked in his family's business, being employed by small and large businesses like Shell SA and the BTG Group. His titles include Brand Manager, Sales Manager, Account Manager, Sales Representative and Business Owner. He now sees himself as an Author, Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Stephen published his first book, "So you're engaged, now what? The journey from engaged to married" in December 2013. His ingenious marketing strategy put this book into over 2000 hands in its first 6 months. His second book "So you're alive, now what? The journey from birth to death" is available online and he is working on 5 more books in the series including "So you're married, now what?". Stephen's obvious passion and first love is Human Behavior and specifically Human Behavior as it manifests in RELATIONSHIPS. He is quick to point out that we have many differing relationships: employer, employees, customers, suppliers, colleagues, friendships, marriage, parents, siblings, children, our maker, other drivers on the roads and we generally have issues in most if not all of them. Stephen is a student of the well-known human behavior specialist, Dr. John Demartini and is constantly researching and honing his understanding of this incredibly complex subject. In 2013 he completed over 175 hours of intense training on T. Harv Eker's signature courses.
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