The day I got married (we courted for about three months before tying the knot), I dreamt of a life full of roses everyday, date nights every week, honeymoon every month and a trip down to a fairy land every year.
While we managed to go on date nights every month and honeymoons every year, I had got the roses-everyday part pretty bad. In general, a rose is a rose. It is a mere flower but in matters of love a rose is lasciviously treated like a trophy that has to be won every day – along with a compliment, after an argument, before and after making out, on anniversaries and birthdays and on normal, casual, usual days as well.
It took me years to un-learn that a day without roses can be a day well spent.
It also took me years to learn that fairy land is a place right inside your home, right there on the bed where you talk to your spouse for hours and share your dreams and desires with him.
In these last six years, I have learnt six big yet not-so-known lessons of marriage that only a ‘real’ marriage could teach me.
‘Angry to bed’ works – Whoever said (my mom also says), ‘you should never go to bed angry’ has actually never gone to bed angry and thus does not know what a relief it can be for your anguish ridden mind when you go on and sleep for eight hours. Not every fight has to be resolved before going to bed even if it takes the dawn to finally find out who gets to say sorry.
Not every argument has to end before the end of the day. Some may end abruptly with one or both of you falling asleep. Going angry to bed actually helps. It works because for tiny and petty issues, it only takes a good sleep to get over them. My husband and I literally sleep over the minor issues. It has proved better for health as well.
Money matters, a lot – Only those with lot of money can claim ‘money does not matter’. For ordinary people in ordinary lives, money matters and it matters a lot. Your date nights can not happen if you are short on money. Trips to exotic locales will die in dreams itself if you do not have money. Money may not buy you happiness but it certainly buys many things that can help in being happy. It helps you in giving gifts to your spouse if that is his love language. It also helps in spending good time together if you have some body to help you with your chores so you can be with your spouse. Give any reason, fact remains that money is important.
Small gestures matter, the most – Women love affectionate gestures and so do men. A peck on the forehead in the morning or a warm hug as soon as you arrive from office or a simple I love you before you go to bed – these all go a very long way in preserving your marriage. Small gestures build the foundation of a healthy, loving marriage.
Pressure (sometimes) is a good thing – Here I am talking about social pressure or the pressure you get from your kids and I am emphasizing on ‘sometimes’. It has helped me numerous times. In the last six years, at least million times I decided to walk out. At least hundreds of times I banged the door and got out of the house thinking I would never return. But each time I returned sooner than expected. The pressure (in Indian context) of parents, family and kids helps in staying on and stops you from taking an impulsive decision. It helped me in staying back and I am only thankful for this pressure.
Happy people make happy couples – How can I make others happy if I am grumpy within? I firmly believe that being happy helps in having a happy married life. In days when I don’t feel good about myself, no matter how hard my husband tries, I only sulk. But in days when I am at my best, I make his life also a bliss and this applies to him as well. My mantra of life is now to be happy and this has helped in making my marriage lot better.
Tolerance and forgiveness are the best keys to a happy marriage – Forget about honesty, being tolerant and being forgiving are the best policies in any marriage. I am tolerant enough to dry his wet towel every day and he is forgiving enough to let me nag at him for one more silly thing. I forgive him for soiling the floor yet again and he tolerates my ever-changing moods one more time. This mutual forgiveness and tolerance for each other’s flaws and weaknesses is what has made our marriage a great companionship.
Marriage is a great thing. But gone are the days when marriage was supposed to last. In today’s chaotic times, couples have to work hard to make a marriage live longer. And this is the ultimate truth of all marriages.