Golden rule on marriage


Golden rule on marriage

Warrick Lattibeaudiere

Sunday, October 11, 2020

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WHO doesn't like to be treated with dignity and respect, especially in marriage?

Couples value when their thoughts and feelings are cherished by their partner. But how often do we hear, “I am going to give him a taste of his own medicine”?

It is human nature to want to get even, but revenge really has no place in a marriage as two wrongs do not make a right.

Put in what you want to get out

Difficult situations, if not handled in a spirit of wisdom, will corrode the bonds of marriage. Instead of the tit-for-tat approach, why not try a rule that is tried, tested and proven, the world over? In fact, it has come to be known as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

This must not be confused with the commonly misquoted derivation: Do unto others as they do unto you. In the Golden Rule is the understanding that you treat people as you would have them treat you or how you would like to be treated. This means there is no room for repaying evil for evil. In marriage, applying the Golden Rule means putting into the relationship what we want to get out of it.

Consider each other's feelings

A marriage strengthens when mates are sensitive to each other's feelings. So, make the Golden Rule a habit in how you treat your marriage mate. True, mates will quarrel from time to time, especially if there is just cause to be upset, but try to make a diligent effort to treat the other the way we enjoy being treated — with respect and dignity.

Don't expose your partner's weaknesses

We all have weaknesses. None of us like when they are exposed, much more harped upon or ridiculed.

Mates will refrain from these corrosive vices by remembering that the union should be one of partnership and not a competition to see who is more powerful, who shouts louder, or who can hurl the most cutting remark.

True, we upset each other from time to time, but there is no reason to be sarcastic or employ speech that demeans. Worse, partners should not hit each other.

A calm person is strong

Some cultures view husbands who bully as manly. To the contrary, it takes great self-control and strength of character to control one's temper.

A man who loves to 'trace' and fight, that is, verbally or physically abuse his wife, is both a sissy and coward. There is nothing manly in that.

Make it your aim to have a successful relationship. Marriage is a union of two forgiving people. Care and do good, just as how you would like good to be done to you. Be generous when it comes to forgiveness, for you'll find how easily you will require the forgiveness of others, including your mate.

Admit when you are wrong and remember the Golden Rule is a measure of the treasure you can have in marriage.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 23 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he is also director of the Language, Teaching and Research Centre. E-mail him at

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