Jun P. Espina         5 min read
Updated on November 22nd, 2022
Loving someone you don’t love at first is the mystery of being in love. I knew of a good-looking guy who married a widow who had eight children from her first husband. Or have you heard of a teenager marrying an old man she hated? But then, later on, the young girl fell in love with him. In short, love can be educated. Hence, the expression, “Teach yourself to love him (or her).” Cultivate love as if it were a seed of eternal joy.
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Some couples were madly in love with each other at first, but then discovered they were not meant for each other. Perhaps the love-at-first-sight syndrome took hold of them before they found serious incompatibility in their union. I fell upon this quote, which describes how true love works: “No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved by they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.”
Incompatibility, the number one cause of divorce, is simply the spouses’ unwillingness to ask “one another the reason… sought the remedy.”
In one of my posts on my website, I wrote:
“If you think incompatibility is worse, try divorce!”
Yes, divorce is the worst form of tragedy in life. Thus, let’s avoid it as much as possible by asking for the root cause of the constant misunderstanding in the relationship and then seeking the best remedy. Instead of a divorce, cultivate love!
Can love be educated? Yes, culture love; cultivate love!
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Understanding the Law of Cause and Effect
I gave a lecture to a handful of employees where I told them that to enjoy employment, one needs to understand that it is just like entering a gargantuan box with a square area of a thousand miles. This box is surrounded by one and only one “material,” the employer. To work as an employee in Hong Kong or Singapore or anywhere else makes no difference at all: you are still an employee; you have a boss [your employer] who will give you orders on what to do next, and your income is fixed. You are inside a vast box known as the Employment Box.
Do you want a new life? Then, get out of that box; understand the law of sowing and reaping—the law of cause and effect! Enter another box, perhaps the Self-Employment Box, or the Business or Investment Box (remember Kiyosaki’s “quadrant”?).
It is also true in a love relationship: we are trapped inside a marriage box, which is surrounded by a single material known as “our future.” In this box are many splendid and troubling things.
If you are inside this box but continue to feel you are still in a Single-Person or a Widow Box, then you are courting trouble.
Call it an incompatibility issue, but whatever caused the death of your love, it would always boil down to the fact that it has a cause (or reason) that can certainly be remedied.
The problem is not incompatibility per se, but failing to understand the law of cause and effect; failing to understand that a soured relationship was caused by incompatibility, and that incompatibility was caused by another cause—by another cause!
Folks, there is always a remedy to cure a dying love, for love can be educated. Cultivate love. Understand how to grow it and keep it healthy.
No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved by they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy. — Anonymous
Love Requiring Reciprocal Affection
Avoid the Motivation of Pure Greed and Self-interest
Old and dying American or English retirees who are trying to find “love asylum” under the wings of an innocent-looking, young, and less educated Pilipina or Indonesian easily answered this question.
It is a telling phenomenon indeed in the Philippines: young Pilipinas marrying or cohabiting with elderly, mostly tattooed American retirees who are not rich! This is more of a monetary (or greed and fear-based) union.
On the part of the young Pilipina, the dollar; and on the side of the old and sick retiree, the fear of facing death alone, having no loving families—or being already abandoned by their children—in the US. Although there are many cases of divorce among these loveless and mismatched couples, there are a few who survive. One reason is that love can be groomed and nurtured!
Again, let’s ask this question: how do you cultivate love for a union motivated by pure greed? Well, our answer is the same: the law of cause and effect. Remove that “greed,” if you want love to grow. If you want love to grow naturally and become strong, replace greed with the intention and motivation to please—to give joy and happiness to your spouse or live-in partner. Love can be educated, indeed! Get out of that Greed Box and start entering the Selfless or the Make-Your-Spouse-Happy Box. That’s it!
It’s Much Easier Said than Done
You may object that the idea of entering the Make-Your-Spouse-Happy Box (or MYSH Box) is easier said than done, more so if your partner is greedier than you are. My idea is that we all need a little “love education.” It was Dale Carnegie who once said that to “influence people,” we need to list down the advantages and disadvantages of any decision we are about to make. Jesus Christ calls it “counting the cost.”
Consider how a divorce will ruin your person—your everything! MYSH Box is a worthy alternative. List down its advantages and disadvantages. For it is better to swallow your wicked pride than to buy into the idea of one day losing your house, your job, your children, your wife or husband, and, worse, your sanity.
Remember that with a proper “love education,” there is no substitute for the first husband or wife. Those who insist that their second husband or wife is better than their first are not telling the truth. Because you spent more time with your first wife or husband when you were younger. She was your girlfriend, for example, while you were still in college. Indeed, it makes a difference.
Your new husband or wife serves as your pain reliever and a band-aid for your wounded heart.
What you desire most after a breakup is a new companion and a wailing wall, not necessarily someone whom you love more than your original spouse.
It is difficult, according to research, for a divorced couple to live a life away from each other. After a divorce order, they continue to talk for the sake of the children and their emotional balance.
A Little Education in Love is Needed
I believe with all of my heart that love can be learned or educated. For example, I have a philosophy that I have shared a hundred times about how to run a family: “God first, family second, career third.” Every time our children seemed to have a problem with their love life, my wife would say to them: “My children, remember our family philosophy: God first, family second, career third!” (learned from Mary Kay). And that is what I call “love education.” We have another love principle at home (taken from the Holy Bible):
Why is it that there’s conflict in the family? Because the wife is not submissive and the husband is not willing to die for his wife.
I have another lesson in love education, which I applied to my marriage. Every time I had complaints about the weaknesses of my wife, I would immediately rescue myself from disarray by reminding myself of Paul’s philosophy: “… for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Phil. 4:11b, ESV) My wife would sometimes lecture me about my dissatisfaction: “Didn’t you tell us that… in everything we need to learn to be content?” Learn to be content. What a philosophy! It can save a thousand dying relationships.