Love Is Not a Bargain

There is no quid pro quo in selflessness

A young bride sniffed and cried. "I don't understand why he's doing this. I don't like it and it's not fair."

Her mom gave her a big hug. "Who told you marriage is supposed to be fair?"

Even when we try to face reality, most newlyweds still hope for the happily-ever-after fairytale. They hope that frustrations, pain, and sorrow will be met with immeasurable understanding and love. At some point all married couples (yes, even me!) subconsciously believe that their spouses should be held accountable for any changes after the marriage ceremony. For example, if she is beautiful, her husband secretly hopes that she will always be beautiful. If he is a good provider, she is trusting that he will always be able to provide.

What happens to the marriage when one person can't fulfill the implicit "promises" made before and during the ceremony? We all hear the words for better or worse, but how often do newlyweds actually visualize the ugly face of worse?

My father, Dr. Ken Crocker, has preached, counseled, and written on the subject. Dr. Crocker explains, "The principle of quid pro quo is taken from the Latin term for 'something for something.' This term is used in legal documents and business agreements. It refers to a business relationship or bargain between two entities trying to protect their own interests and make the bargain fair for both parties. You give me merchandise and I'll give you money. You do this for me and I'll do that for you. Quid pro quo may be necessary for business agreements, but love and marriage is not a quid pro quo search for a bargain."

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