Ingredients of a Happy Marriage

11:57:00 AM

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner

With increasing work pressure, higher stress levels and rising demands of independence, marriages have started falling apart like never before. Once I was with a group of friends, all from Europe and US, and we were talking about success of marriages. Surprisingly, few of my phirang friends thought arranged marriage is the reason behind less no. of divorces in India, unlike US and Europe, while I had different views altogether.

I believe success of a marriage doesn't depend on who chooses your partner but onhow you keep your partnership. Marriage is like a recipe that tastes good only if we have the right ingredients and in right amount.

One just has to make the right mix of the following ingredients for a happy marriage:

1. Happiness From Within Nothing, let alone marriage, can make you happy if you are not happy with yourself. To thoroughly enjoy anything or any relationship, a person should be accepting in nature and that happens if he is positive and takes things positively. Efforts of a partner to make marriage work will be in vain if the other person is unhappy or finds faults in those attempts. So, be happy with yourself first and then stay happy with your spouse.

2. Ritual of Respect I have an arranged marriage and the first feeling I had for my husband was - immense respect for him. Slowly with time, that respect blossomed into love. Ditto was with him. You feel more loved if your know your partner respects you for what you are. It feels as if he loves you for how you are as a person and not for what you achieve or how you look. And this respect has to be two way. I would call it 'ritual of respect'. Make it a ritual to respect each other (and also to express it) in your day-to-day life.

3. Sufficient Space We need spacious house, spacious rail compartment, airy office and open walkway, so space in a relationship should not be an odd demand. My husband is fond of Ghazals, Guru Dutt movies, international politics and current affairs. He can talk endlessly on Marx, Lenin, budget, CrPC, among many other things, while hardly any of these makes sense to me. But I know how important these concepts are to him and thus if he wants to talk about them, I allow him to. I don't add anything concrete to the discussion but I do lend him a patient ear. Similarly, he gives me ample of space whenever I need it. That is one reason, I never feel suffocated in my marriage. We should always remember that we are an individual first and then a spouse. And thus as an individual, we may have different tastes, preferences and opinions.

4. Forgiving Attitude Don't just forget. Forgive. This one is the thumb rule of any successful relationship. Our brains have limited capacity to memorize things and thus its up to us to decide what we choose to remember - beautiful memories or ugly moments. The best marriages are served with an extra scoop of acceptance for one another’s peccadilloes.

5. Life Long Commitment If you enter matrimony with the mindset that in times of trouble you can take the Exit door, your relationship has more chances of being doomed. While if you know that there is no Exit door, you would focus on staying in and would look for solutions. As they say, 'where the attention goes, energy flows'.

Finally, I read it somewhere which I found extremely useful in this context.

'You are the master of your words until they are spoken, Then they become the master of you ... so choose your words carefully'.

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