Love Conquers All – Clashing Values?

Love conquers all - clashing values?

Love conquers all – clashing values?

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to explore the famous quote “love conquers all” and reveal the ways that clashing values destroy relationships.

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Now, let’s talk about the famous quote “love conquers all” and reveal the ways that clashing values destroy relationships.

“Love conquers all. and we must yield to Love” – Eclogue X  by Virgil, 37 BC,

It is one of the simplest and most beautiful quotes of all time – love conquers everything, it is an uplifting and inspiring quote. And indeed, in countless ways and instances, it has proven to be correct – the way that love between two people has conquered societal pressures or the objections of friends and parents; the way that an adult’s love and devotion has resulted in the adoption and rescue of a child from an orphanage.

But does love truly conquer all?

If so, why is the divorce rate so high? (Divorce in the US has risen for the past 3 years).

Why did the love not conquer all; why did it not conquer everything?

If love conquers all things (problems, obstacles, circumstances, illness, etc), how can there be so many failed relationships and how is it possible that love can result in so much pain, disappointment and heartbreak?

As revealed in other newsletters, there are many forms of love. In that article, I also explain and reveal the meaning of the four different Greek words for love – “Philia, Storge, Eros and Agape.”

There is also passionate and companionate love; passionate love is the honeymoon love which science and research reveal lasts about 18 months to 3 years in relationships; companionate love is the tenderness, deep affection, caring and friendship of a life-long relationship.

I define love as wanting the best for the other person.

However, even that definition does not explain why there are so many failed relationships and marriages; why there is so much heartbreak and pain in what appeared to be a foundation of love.

First, let’s look at the context of what Virgil was saying – he was also writing about the way love has humankind in its power; no one can resist the power that love has over oneself. Thus, he was saying to surrender to it. Virgil was a poet.

And while the common interpretation of Virgil’s quote gives us hope, encouragement and strength; the missing key from the quote is about values.

Love cannot conquer clashing values.

The reason why any and every relationship ends is always the same thing – clashing values.

Values can be defined as: A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable. In other words, your Core Values is a list of the primary things or qualities that are important in your life. Read my article “What do you value?”.

“Marriages that reached their 20-year anniversary were associated with having a college degree, having a religious life, not cohabiting before marriage and not having previous marriages or children from previous relationships” – Washington Times on the 2012 report  by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which uses data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2010 and previous years. Click to read more.

In other words, common values (beliefs, priorities, perspectives and expectations) create the basis for a long-lasting relationship and marriage.

Arguments that lead to marriage and relationship breakups are always about a difference in values – a difference in priorities and a difference in expectations. .

In a national survey, the most common reason given for divorce was “lack of commitment” (73% said this was a major reason). Other significant reasons included too much arguing (56%), infidelity (55%), marrying too young (46%), unrealistic expectations (45%), lack of equality in the relationship (44%), lack of preparation for marriage (41%), and abuse (29%).

Again, all of the above given reasons are reduced to a difference in values.

Commitment is a value; loyalty (versus betrayal) is a value; equality is a value; marrying too young is a value because it relates to other possible values such as fun, freedom, independence, desire for experience, and so forth.

From the same study cited above, it was revealed that 31% of men had wished they had worked harder to save their marriage; 74% of men said they wished their wives had worked harder to also save their marriage. Again, this refers to the values of commitment, dedication, devotion, and; to the priority of the marriage.

It is only after repeated failure or loss of a relationship that people sit down to determine and analyze what went wrong and what they truly want in and from a relationship, partnership or marriage.

I work with individuals and couples and have seen numerous examples of the ways that clashing values became the wedge that tore apart the relationship:

  1. Differences in the decision to have or not have children
  2. Differences in parenting styles (discipline, education, freedom, morality, etc)
  3. Differences in where to live – fast-paced city, suburban or countryside (one couple separated because he wanted to move out of New York City while she wanted to stay and further pursue her career; another couple separated because she wanted to move to the West coast to be closer to her family and he wanted to stay in New York City – she valued her extended family over career and city.)
  4. Differences about finances – there are four types of money personalities. Read my article: “What’s you Money Personality”.

Here is a simple exercise I share with clients:

Imagine a relationship as a large blank canvas, In front of you is a table full of paintbrushes and tubes of paint of all colors.  Begin to create your painting. What do you want to create? How do you envision your life?

Now, who will you invite to add to your painting?

Does he/she share the same vision as you?

Does he/she want to paint something completely different to you or truly complementary to your vision?

Relationships and life are like a blank canvas; you can create what you want.

Of course, if you already have commitments, responsibilities and dependents, then they, too, are already part of your canvas i.e. if you have children, then your painting and vision includes them and whoever joins you in your painting has to accept them as well.

Only when you are extremely clear about what you want, what you want to create and paint in life, are you able to find someone who is willing to share and become a co-creator with you.

Finally, remember, you must be willing to be courageous and honest enough to actually share your vision from the beginning and not leave it up to chance or simply expect that love will conquer the difference in your values, the difference in your visions.

Love is the starting point; it is the choice to commit, but common values, priorities and expectations are the glue that will bind your relationship and ensure happiness and fulfillment in the relationship. Also read my article “Your personality and ideal match”

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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