Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The season of life just before and after the wedding is filled with passion and the flame of romance burns brightly. Thereafter, romance is often pushed to the back burner or completely evades the couple. Prolonged neglect of our mate stifles the life out of the marriage.
We are created as relational beings and the longing to connect with others is one of the deepest longings of the human soul. We are internally wired for intimate and fulfilling relationship. Often when romance disappears from the marital relationship, we seek out other relationships for intimacy.
Oftentimes, when some are disillusioned with their own marriage, they seek intimacy with colleagues, old friends and anonymous strangers over the internet instead of seeking that intimacy within the context of marriage, which eventually destroys their marriage and themselves. The most fulfilling and intensely passionate experience must be exclusive and committed to last forever.
Relationships that are short lived or those that include a multiplicity of partners and lack deeper commitment, keep us from giving ourselves entirely to that one relationship and we can never reach the full potential of intimacy. When two people are not able to be fully open, transparent and committed to one another, the relationship is bound to be shallow.
When there is doubt if our partner is genuine or is involved with someone else, we can never experience deeper intimacy. Trust is a delicate component in relationships. Loosing trust is easy, and rebuilding trust takes a lot of effort. A growing level of trust between a husband and wife over a lifetime is a clear sign of the strength of committed love.
Due to our Indian heritage, we sometimes feel guilty for having romantic feelings toward our beloved. Expressions of love are restricted to the bedroom and are considered private. We are uncomfortable with PDA (public display of affection) and love talk. Rather, we resort to watching a romantic love story where the hero and heroine run around the trees in a beautiful setting.
Men and women experience romance differently. For women, romance revolves around her emotional needs and her longing for a relationship with her husband. For men, it simply reduces to physical and sexual needs. Being committed to meeting each other needs arouses romantic feelings in marriages.
Feelings of deep connection and intimacy are sure to well up, when we begin to think and act on behalf of our marriage partner. When we become other-centered and try to meet our mate’s needs, sometimes going out of our way, we are sure to find happiness and fulfillment.
Marriage is fundamentally a call to serve one’s spouse and the greatest opportunity to combat selfishness. Let us not do anything out of our selfish ambition or vain conceit, but be humble enough to consider the other better than ourselves. We must look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of our spouse.
In this paradigm, any marriage is bound to thrive, no matter how much neglect it has suffered lately. Let us understand the rightful place of romance within marriage and be committed to nurturing our marital relationship. Rekindle some romance that you once enjoyed and see what happens to your marriage.