(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”)
“We’ve mutually decided to part ways as we have realized that we are not compatible.” This statement comes so naturally to many couples these days. The marital vow “…till death do us apart” is gone in a whirlwind.
What’s going wrong? What then can keep the marriage fire burning, despite all odds?
Marriage is the union of two completely different individuals. How much ever the couple may claim to know each other, still there would be a lot which they end up not knowing. Speaking for hours over phone and going on dates with every available opportunity does help two individuals to know each other. But, till they share the same roof, they would never know the true nature of the other person. It is then that things start looking complex. The initial sparks, the romance, the curiosity to discover each other give way to bouts of rage and finger-pointing.
Well, this is not to say that we should aim for perfect marriages. A perfect marriage will always remain a utopian concept. The marital journey is always a roller-coaster ride…kabhi khushi – kabhi gam (sometimes happiness – sometimes sadness), kabhi hasi – kabhi aansu (sometimes laughter – sometimes tears). But, still the ride has to go on.
There are two God-given golden rules to ensure that the ride goes on:
First, husbands love your wives as yourself: Can any man hate himself? Hardly ever. Husbands are not to lord over their wives, but to treasure them, protect them, care for them, provide for them, be considerate and sensitive towards them and cherish them. Wives are given to husbands as their companions and so loving their wives ought to be the primary responsibility of husbands. This is where most husbands fall short. Feeling her pain as his own pain, rejoicing in her joy as if it were his own joy, sharing her sorrow as his own sorrow, giving up certain habits which irritate her ensures that the husband makes himself one with his wife.
Husbands! Remember, your wife is a precious gift given to you by God. Love her as you would love your own self. Love her with your body, mind and soul. Do not shower her with expensive gifts to compensate for the love you need to show towards her. Gift yourself to her!
Second, wives honour your husband. A loving husband deserves his wife’s respect. And many an unloving husband has been transformed by his wife’s humble submission. Honouring your husband doesn’t mean being a doormat. It doesn’t also mean to wash your husband’s feet everyday or to eat from the leftovers off his plate. It does not mean that wives are meant to be the subordinates of their husbands. That’s not honouring! Honour comes from the heart. Honouring your husband means treating him like the head of the family for all purposes. Honouring your husband means respecting his decisions and opinions. This is especially very difficult in a world where wives contribute to the family purse and enjoy flourishing careers. But, this is an essentiality to smoothen the rough edges in a marriage. A man feels like a man only when he is treated like a man.
Wives! Remember, your husbands need your honour. Do not gossip about their flaws with your friends. Do not criticize them in public. Put yourself aside for a while if the situation demands. Cherish their presence in your lives!
A loving husband and an honouring wife make a happy home for life.