What Makes a Relationship Strong?
– By Aisha Abbasi M.D. –
Valentine’s Day is just behind us. Beyond the hoopla, gifts, cards, flowers, etc., what is love really about? And what makes a relationship genuinely strong over time?
Let’s turn to what The Bard (a/k/a William Shakespeare, the English playwright and poet) wrote, hundreds of years ago in Sonnet 116.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
Shakespeare reminds us that love is essentially a marriage of minds. This helps us understand that even though the way people look, what they do, how much money they have, and other factors may have some importance, what is MOST important is mental compatibility.
He also tells us that genuine love does not change or decrease when we realize that the person we have chosen has some deficiencies and problems. After all, so does each one of us!
Shakespeare compares love to a star that guides vessels on the sea, and helps them stay on course. This is what each partner in a couple needs to do with, and for, each other. Each partner needs to be a guiding star through the expectable storms of life.
Finally, Shakespeare highlights that real love continues unabated over the years. Even though age may claim youthful looks and charm, loving partners continue to cherish each other through the vicissitudes time imposes on all of us, even to the edge of death.
What wonderful psychological advice and wisdom from The Bard! May we all find the wisdom to love so deeply and so well.
Dr. Aisha Abbasi , the Founder of Tampa Bay Center for Psychological Health, has been voted (by other physicians ) one of The Best Doctors in America for 17 consecutive years. Check this blog in the coming weeks for more tips and helpful articles. At Tampa Bay Center for Psychological Health, our goal is to offer a safe, confidential, and trustworthy treatment setting for all patients. For more information, or to request your free 20-minute initial phone consultation, please call Dr. Abbasi at 813-492-9241.