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Is Marriage Obsolete?

By Claudia Carballal, MS, LPC-A, RYT.

In our popular culture, we believe that we have to find our ideal partner. What is an ideal partner is not only a subjective idea, but also an elusive one as we are constantly evolving and changing.

Does Marriage Help us Grow and Evolve?

People come together for different reasons — companionship, social status, financial support, cultural expectations, convenience, friendship. However, these reasons are not enough to sustain a healthy relationship. To sustain a healthy and fulfilling relationship, both partners have to evolve as a couple and develop relational skills that support that growth.

Evolution means the expansion of our individual consciousness. If at least one of the partners in a relationship is not expanding their consciousness, that relationship is not bound to last. The evolutionary pressure from one of the partners will be too much for the relationship to resist, unless the other partner joins in the expansion of consciousness.

The Institution of Marriage

All institutions are created to fulfill a social need. When the social need changes, the institution has to change and evolve as well. It's undeniable that human beings are in constant growth and evolution at all levels of existence — physical, mental, spiritual.

Is the institution of marriage supporting our growth? In other words, is marriage helping us expand our consciousness? That depends on the type of relationship that we develop with our partner and the motivations we have for coming together.

Human beings are looking for union and marriage has been one way to fulfill that goal. However, the wrong motivations for coming together can make marriage a frustrating experience and the source of much pain and psychological suffering.

Many people come together with a focus on physical union while others have a need for mental or psychological union. Although these needs are very human, they can create unhealthy attachment and co-dependency within the couple, which is expressed as lack of trust, jealousy, control, manipulation, resentment, anger, and even violence.

Three Types of Relationship

A couple can stay together in a formal marriage but have nothing in common and live separate lives. They become habituated to their relationship and the responsibilities they have as a couple. This type of relationship tends to become stagnant and doesn't encourage growth. It's counter-evolutionary we remain in a small circle following the same habitual patterns which inhibits the expansion of our consciousness. Growth happens when we are faced with challenges and in the process of opening our mind we develop the capacity to overcome them and go beyond them.

Another type of union is one of convenience or transaction. In this type of relationship, the couple doesn't seem to be stagnant — there's activity between them, give and take, conversation, stimulation and fun. The couple see each other often and could have plenty of things in common. However, the core of this relationship is self-centered and its purpose is to feed each others ego. The relationship lasts as long as the partners keep providing excitement and compliments to each other. The moment one of the partners slows down, or stops providing something new, the relationship starts to deteriorate. This creates superficiality in the relationship and the avoidance of real intimacy and vulnerability.

A third type of relationship is one in which a couple comes together based on an inner calling and strength. In this relationship, we are not looking for a perfect partner or for constant stimulation. Instead, we feel a push to help each other grow and this foundation makes a healthy relationship. The two partners have the same goal and values which involve a purpose to continue to grow towards the fullness of love. The relationship moves forward on the basis of love, not on the expectation of status or convenience. This type of relationship is uncommon; it's a higher form of relationship based on a need for evolution and this helps expand our consciousness.

What is the Ideal Relationship?

The ideal relationship is one in which people come together for the expansion of their consciousness. The evolutionary call from both partners will ignite all dimensions of the human being — emotional, intellectual, mental, vital, physical, and spiritual.


Claudia Carballal works as a Clinical Counselor in the United States with a private practice specializing in multicultural counseling therapy and life coaching. Her therapy work combines Western psychology and Eastern teachings. For three decades, Claudia has worked with immigrant and multicultural populations in the legal and the mental health fields. She is the author of Yoga Psychology for Mental Health: A Guide to the Wisdom of Eastern Philosophy and Yoga Psychology for Mental Health and Healing. For more information, visit Claudia Carballal Counseling. Follow Claudia on Instagram


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