After having a cursory look at How men and women are different – Managing Gender differences in Relationships, let’s consider the nuances of wedlock. Marriage remains a subject of deep concern and importance. Research suggests that happily married couples tend to perform better in other spheres of life as well. Relationship analysts have defined marriage as a multi faceted coherent bond. It comprises love, affection, interdependence, respect, bond, physical needs, intimacy, emotional needs and several sensitive things. The question of making an eternal bond that stands through thick and thin times is often discussed over relationship forums. What comes across as an obvious answer is the bond of trust, love and respect. Several studies have highlighted certain central and peripheral issues concerning marriages. Today, we take a heads up of things that couples must consider crucial for marital bliss.
Whether you are newly married or have been in the wedlock for years, you need to boost your love life perpetually. Modern lifestyle, hectic schedules and financial concerns often overtake your love life. Friends, family and external issues might become hurdle to your way for eternal bliss. Think of the following ideas as a guide to marital bliss and happiness.
Care and Love
This is a revealed secret of all happily hitched couples. A recent survey of marital success revealed that care has high correlation with marital happiness. Couples who rated their partners high on love & care also scored high on happiness. Little gestures of affection have lasting positive effects on your love life. Be nice, gentle and caring at all times. Extend small gestures like sending messages, saying I love you and doing things that makes your partner happy. Just recall the time when two strangers begin to date and the efforts they make to impress each other. Your marriage needs equivalent care. The nuptial bond needs to be nurtured for a happy marriage.
Distance will make you fonder of each other
Have ‘me’ time. Experts strongly believe that withdrawing from your partner sometimes can actually boost your love. It definitely helps in missing each other and longing for your spouse. If your wife goes to see her parents for a couple of weeks, you may enjoy your drinks and soccer. But you will surely start missing her after a few days and wish she’d be back. Same is true for her too. So, when she comes back you two meet with a stronger feeling for each other.
You have to be friends with each other. You have to enjoy hanging out with your spouse. Shopping, dining, picnics and general activities must be done in a fun way. Cherishing your bonhomie is a great way to a successful marriage. As friends, you must compliment, adore and be around each other. Research suggests that friendly couples are happier and less likely to separate. Even if little things go wrong, your friendship can sustain it and rectify the issues.
Monotony kills the charm of life. Taking a break from normal life can actually solve many marital discords. People consider marriage retreat as an expensive way to revive romance and affection. You can drive to countryside, go to a resort or just have a week off from your place. Spend some time together and see how magically you revive your bond. Relax, unwind, chat, laugh, have coffee and just enjoy each other’s company. Remember not to talk about problem areas and argumentative topics. If you want to make a point, do it in a subtle way. Leave your baggage at home. Accept the imperfection of life and learn to create your own love space. Research finds that couples who go for regular breaks have lower chances of divorce. This is a great way to rediscover your romantic charm and overhaul your love life.
Money remains integral to human survival and sustenance. Whether you like it or not, finances remain one of the major issues in marriages. Money cannot buy happiness. True. But it can definitely cause problems. Marriage counselors all over the world meet couples who are parting ways due to hidden debts, unequal incomes and an over spending partner. Couples should ideally work around common monetary goals, transparent discussion and adjustment. Work out monthly budgets and long term plans together. Things like ‘your money’, ‘my money’ and ‘why you are spending so much’ are common utterances on counseling tables. Does that mean you become oblivion to your financial status? Definitely no! But you have to compromise and let go certain things for the sake of your own happiness.
Pick any relationship manual, talk to any expert or seek anyone’s guidance, they will all talk about how crucial communication is to marriage. A recent survey on marital dissatisfaction revealed that over 78% couples feels that their partner lacks communication. It could either be about speaking about feelings or listening to the other one. Discussions that are held amongst couples are often argumentative or over shadowed with personal bias. Ego and prejudice are also prime culprits to blame here. You may ask yourself, how the hell am I needed to talk then? I would say, pick up good time when your partner is in a listening mood. If both parties are angry, its better you leave the discussion and resume talk later. Plan before discussing crucial issues with your spouse. Sort out your own thoughts and think about what you plan to convey. Abuses, yelling and bitter words are definitely not an advisable way of putting across your viewpoint. Maintain some ground rules for discussion and you will resolve issues in a smoother way.
Finding happiness in Imperfection
This sounds like too spiritual but that’s a key to happy relationships. Accept the fact that your spouse has not arrived into your life from any Hollywood movie. No girl has perfectly done hair when she wakes up and men do not bring flowers every time they come home. Most divorces in US take place on grounds of incompatibility. Well, I have a question. Weren’t you compatible when you were dating? Then what happened now? The answer is that people come with loads of expectations. They walk into the wedlock with hopes of perfection. When hopes clash with reality, dissonance creeps in. There is a vicious cycle of anger, denial, frustration and problems. So, accept your partner the way he or she is and you will learn that things are not as bad. Except for issues like bad behavior, infidelity, mistrust and major problems; things can be sorted out by managing your own feelings.
Learn to Forgive
This is a very basic human trait we often forget. Ruminating non-sense in your head will only cause more problems. Withholding grudges is a big marital disaster. Initially, little disagreements are okay. But when years pass by, things start to pile on. This mental baggage is often most difficult and erupts like a volcano in the middle of a fight. So, learn the art of forgiving right in the beginning of the relationships. It could be words, acts or anything else. Reassure yourself that your beloved is only human and is susceptible to errors. Only when you start forgiving can you expect to be forgiven.
Keep out ‘outsiders’
Everyone except both of you is outsider to your marriage. In-laws, friends, neighbors or anyone else is simply not as important as you two. Couples argue and fight over ‘other’ people. It’s most tragic part of any love story when you fight for others. So, work out a comfort zone and keep people at bay. If you have issues with your spouse’s parents or siblings, do not make it a personal issue. Discuss about it and leave it then and there. Also remember the fact that your partner cannot control parents, friends or siblings. Asking your spouse to dominate or change behavior of his/her family is not reasonable. Things like ‘why your mom said this’, ‘go and tell your brother’ and ‘why your friend is like that’ are ways to create disharmony. One has to understand enough to maintain peace at home and not disrupt nuptial life for the sake of ‘outsiders’.
Marriage is indeed a complex set of algorithms. It’s a fragile bond that needs a lot of care. There are no laws of love but there are definitely some rules in marriage. You may come across some totally opposite people surviving a nearly impossible marriage. But let’s not follow those rare cases. It’s always safer to go by the wisdom of the majority and stay on general principles. The above mentioned ideas are definitely the most tried and tested things that are bound to give you great results. The essence of marriage is the substantial bond between two people and the oath not to give up one on each other.
Will keep you posted with a new and enlightening piece of wisdom in the next article!