Tips to a safe and sound marriage.
Note that my title did not mention a happily ever after marriage or a successful marriage. Just safe and sound marriage. I am not an expert in happy or successful marriage. But because I am in my 11th year of marital bliss or something like that - I m pretty sure people will like to know how this happened. Cos obviously some statistics report that divorce is on the rise. I dont know which study came up with that statistics - but its generally true.
A piece of disclaimer here:
I m not a marriage expert or counselor. I am the very last person anyone should come for relation ship advise as my friends can all vouch. So take everything you read with a pinch of salt. I do not want to be sued for anything I say that came out of my mind. Seriously. Cos I do not have the means to get myself out of jail..
Here we go...
1) Enjoy it while it last
The actual fun and happiness runs from anywhere between the day you get married to the day you have a child. Or if theres no kid in the scene - it takes typically a year to 2 years for the fun to wane down. So if you have this in mind - when you have hit your 3rd of 4th married year - and you are still happy- then you are in the long run.
2) Its not all about you - at times it is..but not all the time.
You know the adage that when two people marry - they become one soul and stuffs like that. Well its true in the romantic realm ( if it exists) but in actual life....nope. You take maybe 20-25 years to become an individual ready enough to live on your own with another guy or gal. You would have developed your ego, super ego, personality or personalities, habits, traditions and what not. Marriage does not have the capability to fuse two individuals into one. Sorry - but nope. The trick is to learn to live with each other in the same place. Yes - that means you will have to learn to pick up the clothes he left piling and yes he has to learrn to discard the web of hair in the bathroom sewer without ever complaining.
3) Tips for the ladies:
Do not...and I mean it. Do not start the habit of serving your other half. You dont get me?
Well I give you an example.
Lets say its the first time you are cooking after your Home Econs days maybe 10 plus years. And if the MAN is offering to help - DO NOT say No. Let him volunteer.
You may serve the MAN the food at the dinner table and feed him or something - but DO NOT pick his plate to wash when the hes done. If you ever make that mistake - forget about him picking his plate after every dinner. Ever.
I know you want to be the perfect wife - doing everything for the MAN. But trust me. Instead of being the best and being someone you are not - just be yourself. Cos the pefect wife act will wear out fast if you are the one doing everything.
Play games. Make fun of each other ( in the most fun way ever - not insult). Pretend to date each other. Explore new places. Go camping. You know what - just pretend that you have only a day to live. Then live it out. It works. We have done that alot of times.
Dress up or down - anything that makes the man or woman happy. Though I am not the type pf person to take a naked selfie to send to my hubby - there are people who do it. So if that works for you - go ahead.
Ask questions you never thought of asking when dating. If you have been dating like 10 years and lived together before the marriage - then no issues. You would have exhausted the YOU in the marriage and focused on the KIDS. But if you had short dating life or a long distance relationship and there was not time to waste on asking trivial questions- then go ahead and write down the things you want to ask. Maybe you forgot. Play a game between you two and ask the questions to see if your other half knows you as well. Sometimes - the answer can be surprising.
I m talking about the in laws here.
If your other half is the type of person who tells you everything about this family and you are sure its the truth - then do not say anything bad or negative about them. Instead stay in neutral position. Especially in an argument.
Its not in good taste to talk about a family member in bad or negative light during an argument. You will not like to hear your other half talk nastily about the weird habit of your mum's or dad's. Somethings mentioned in private should remain in private even in arguments. Do not ever bring in the family esp the in laws in fights. Learnt it the hard way me.
That being said - if there are things in your family in which you feel is too early to share with your other half - then do not share it. You can talk about it maybe a year into your marriage or maybe more than that. The point is - if you feel that your other half needs to know everything about your family, the guys you dates, or dumped, your friends, the people you met or everything under the goddamned Sun - then go ahead. But I would suggest waiting it out maybe 6 months to a year before going into a confessions.
5.1: Be friends with the family.
You may hate your SIL or not be in touch with your MIL. No matter what - find time to be alone with them - hang out with them and know as much as you can about them and make them your friend. Call them once in a while and chat about nothing. I have a Whatsapp with my own SIL, we make it a date to talk or chat every Fridays.
You need to have His/Her family rally behind you in times to come. You can be isolated from your family maybe a few months after your marriage - but you will need them. Both families actually. So be their friend. His/Her parents an family are the reason you being in love with the person you married. They have brought him/her up the way you like. So I don't think its hard to love the family who brought up your loved one. Try that.
I have heard from other couples that their hubby spends time with their buddies alot. I actually cannot help much in this case cos my hubby has limited friends in Singapore. He doesn't spend time outside his family. So I can't help in this matter. But give him his space. Hes free to meet and be with his mates and so do you. If there are some things you cannot change about his friends - then change your attitude. For example - my hubby has a good girl friend from his good old days in Chennai. I hate that she calls at ungodly hours (since shes in US) and shes still calling him when she knows very well I don't like her to call at that time. I have no issues in both of them talking - but talk in day time.
Hubby and I have argued about this so many times. He does not give in. So I let it be.
In that way - if your hubby has a friend you don't approve - then tell your hubby about it. They have been mates long before you came in the picture so give then their space. You can bad mouth them if you want - but don't force the man to give up on his mates. As long as the existence of this friends don't disrupt your life - let it be.
I feel that its over rated. I really do. But its been hyped in media that its ultimate and the reasons for breakdown in marriages are because of trust issues as well. The guy or gal must have been dishonest about something - maybe an affair or something they thought was trivial. Lets just assume that the trust is broken.
You see its hard to build up trust. It really is. So trust is important. You must have your partner's back at all times. He/She depends on you. Yes - we know that. But when trust is broken - you can break free from the contract of the marriage or assess the situation surrounding it. After you have been through the pain and sorrow - after you are clear enough - think about the whole mess. See if its worth the effort to kill a good marriage. It could have been a mistake - something new. Check your partner out. How are they doing? Are they hurting as well? Give your selves some time and space. If there are kids involved - be in their shoes. Think about the future. Its harmless to think about others for a change. Give yourself a chance - give your partner a chance. I would say give your marriage another shot. Work on it. Couples become more stronger after such crisis and I must say its true. Do not be harsh or rash. Work on the marriage. Talk about it.In fact - talk alot about it till that subject itself becomes a taboo to talk. Being humans - we must try to forgive and move on. If God forgives when we ask for mercy- we should learn to forgive as well.
8. Be your partner's BFF.
Do things together.
If your partner is the type who wants to be left alone - then don't force him out. But encourage. My hubby like all men - hates shopping. But he will gladly come along with me because we get to talk and be with each other a lot. You should know what he likes. If he has a hobby that you cannot understand - learn about it. Ask questions about it. Then see if you can do it together. See if your partner is ok if you talk about the opposite sex. Will he mind if you say the other guy is hot or will you mind if he finds someone sexy? Know about it.
9. Draw up a list of no-go subjects.
This is a must. Both of you must decide which are the topics that are off limits. No talking about it at all. Once that's done - ensure you don't talk about it. I don't talk about money and he don't talk about my housekeeping habits.
10. Be patient.
That's all I can think of today. I will draw up more if I have.
Anyway its Deepavali tomorrow- which means its holiday tomorrow. Wishing you Hindus a very happy Deepavali!