ARRANGE YOUR LOVE MARRIAGE

(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”)

When I was young and in love with my husband (then boyfriend), my father asked me “What is it that you like about him?” and I had a list of items to tell him. Then he asked me “What is it that you don’t like about him?” and I said “He is perfect”. The reality is that I actually could not think of anything negative quality in him. The world was bliss then, I believed that my life just like a fairy tale would end to be “happily ever after”. I believed that there was nothing that I did not know about him and that we would have no issues living together after marriage. I longed to live with him, to be 24/7 with him. What happened is that reality hit me in my face just after we decided to get married. I realized that there was a lot of work needed in my relationship with him. 

This is a natural process. When we are in love, everything about the person seems perfect and when bold decisions are taken believing that the person and the relationship is perfect – bad consequences need to be dealt with. Have you heard of teenagers eloping and getting married when they are just out of teens? Most of them end up in divorces or separation. This happens not because there is anything wrong with the concept of love marriage – it happens because we fail to recognize that even love marriages need to be arranged. 

In my opinion, there are some basic thoughts about different areas of life that need to be discussed even in love marriages – because you love the person doesn’t mean that the person has the same thoughts and values about different aspects of life.

1. Talk about ambitions in life – how do both of see yourself 10 or 15 years of life together? Settled abroad, doing a business, parents of x number of kids, working in MNCs or NGOs etc. This is important that you both understand each other’s ambitions as individuals but still make plans around it to have common goals as well.

2. Talk about money – How do you value money? Are you or your partner possessive about money? Are you or your partner a spendthrift or a miser?

3. Talk about family values – How important is your family for you or your partner? Do you wish to have your parents stay with you in the long run? Or do both of you picture yourself as part of a nuclear family? What about kids? 

4. Talk about hobbies – Do you approve of each other’s hobbies and agree to make adjustments to accommodate each other’s interest? What sort of adjustments need to be made? 

5. Talk about social life – How many and what kind of friends each of you have? How do each of you like to socialize?

6. Talk about any factors that you can never compromise on – What is it you or your partner is not ready to compromise on at any cost. For example – when I and my husband spoke about this, he was very clear that he will never compromise on his brothers and they will continue to be his priority. When I was asked the same question, I said that I would never compromise on my career. It was clear to us since beginning that what is it that is so important for each of us individually.

I think these are few important areas that need t be discussed. Of course, you can know your partner better without broaching the topics directly simply by just spending time with him/her, but it is always better to have a clear discussion and have complete clarity on such things. It is alright to have difference of opinions, important question is – do you love the person enough to make adjustments all your life to accommodate that difference?

So, if you are in love – just pause from saying lovey-dovey things to each other and have such talks that will make your life easier in future and will help you work on your marriage.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM FOUR YEARS OF MARRIAGE

(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”)

Before writing this snippet, I asked my husband this very question – his answer was simple and surprisingly immediate: The secret to my happy married life is a happy wife.

I burst out laughing and rolled my eyes at him, but my dearest husband looked at me and said, “What’s so funny? I am serious!”

Thinking about it for a while, after all the laughter and the teasing, made me realise one intrinsic truth about marriage – and especially our marriage. We both strive to make each other happy. Our goal is to make each other happy. Our decisions are made keeping each other’s happiness in mind.

We live in an increasingly selfish world – and even in marriage, spouses seek their own happiness. If we believe God has instituted marriage and brought the two people together in holy matrimony, don’t you think He expects us to exude His qualities in our married life too?

If you remember my last snippet, I tried to reiterate the most important thing about love – that it is a decision, not a fleeting feeling. In the same way, marriage is not a means to get your way – marriage is unselfishness, selflessness and kindness shown by both partners. It is the first step to being satisfied and happy together.

Happy husband, happy wife, happy life!

TWO GOLDEN RULES THAT KEEP THE MARRIAGE FIRE BURNING

(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.

IS YOUR HEART STILL BEATING FOR HER?

(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”)

I recall the incident of that day. I tried to contact my wife twice from office. But she didn’t respond. I thought she must be busy in her classes in the school. She usually returns back to home at around 4 pm in the afternoon. We usually text each other regarding few household things from each other’s work places.

That day I returned back home at my usual time around 6 PM and found the door still locked. I went inside and just sat down thinking what could be the possible reasons of her delay. Then I remembered the next day was the foundation day of her school and she must be busy. I pressed the call button again on my cell. It rang but there was no response….

I just laid my tired body on the bed and watched the TV for sometime. Then I went to take bath. After that I texted her twice. Then again I called. It was 6:45 PM. I thought how could it be that late? Why she is not picking up the phone? She should have answered my text messages at least! I usually don’t bother about delays if informed earlier but she never told me that she would be late. I just guessed that she may be busy for tomorrow.

I was feeling hungry. I made noodles and ate. Eventually I called my sister who used to work in the same school two months ago. I asked her if she know the school number. It was a ‘no’ from her.

I took rest for sometime. After sometime when suddenly I opened my eyes and saw the clock, it was  7:45 PM and I was really worried then. I thought of putting my jeans on again and setting out for her school. But then my sister called and told me, a colleague picked up her call  and confirmed that ‘Asmita Miss just left the school.’

Ah…what a relief…! I pressed her number again and she picked up this time. She said her phone and bag were in the office as she was busy in the class decorating and rehearsing for the next day. She reached home in a short while. 

That day’s incident made me think of a very valuable lesson regarding a marriage relationship. How many times we had fought with each other, how many times we had disagreed over things, how many times I had shouted at her for some or other reasons…but the worries that I had for her without any reason struck me. And gave me an assurance that I am still in love with her.  The beating of my heart for her felt good later after knowing that she was alright.

It is not always important to know whether our spouse loves us or not. Sometimes it is more important for us to realize whether ‘I still love him / her’ or not. In fact, that assurance will give us the confidence to ask our spouse, ‘do you love me?’

The worries for such petty things in life are reassuring. Trust me it is always very soothing and satisfying when we get to know that we both still love each other the way we used to love in the beginning.  It’s a great feeling to know that my heart still beats for her or him. That gives us a sense of immense security in our relationship. I felt it on that day and you can feel the same when you realize that your heart still beats for her.

May God bless us to understand the deepest mysteries of a marriage relationship.

Stay Blessed!

(https://dailypost.wordpress.com/postaday)

MARRIAGE A CONTRACT OR COVENANT?

(In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happily Ever After.”)

Marriage is a wonderful relationship, which according to general opinion is made in heaven. It is partially true because marriage is a union instituted by God, but also the partners have to play vital role to keep the fire of love burning on earth. It involves the active participation of both the partners in working out a good, healthy and everlasting marriage.

hand-861275_1920In the present generation with modern ideas about freedom and self- centeredness creeping in, marriage is viewed as a Contract between two persons. Two people make a deal to experience “live in” relationship as long as it suits them. With the appearance of suffocation and boredom, the partners split with mutual understanding. These relationships are not based on love but selfishness and ambitions, which can be easily broken. Sometimes marriage is treated like a business deal. Faithfulness until the work is done.

The correct perspective of marriage is that it is a Covenant between two people along with the presence and witness of a third party (actually the first) i.e. God. The seriousness of the Covenant relationship can be understood when we look at the unfailing and ongoing relationship of God with human beings. Though we fail time and again to keep our promises of faithfulness and love towards God, yet God remains faithful and never gives up on us.

A Covenant signifies an eternal relationship. It cannot break with the storms and tempests of life. Rather it grows stronger and sweeter with each passing hurdles. When two people commit themselves to each other for a lifetime, it demands undivided devotion, unflinching love, and unwavering faithfulness towards each other. This is possible only with God as the strong Foundation. If He is the chief corner stone, friend, philosopher and guide of both the partners, there is 100% guaranty that any marriage, no matter how miserably mismatched according to the worldly standard will never hit the rocks but will always have a safe landing in spite of rough weather.

Swapna Nanda