Lessons from 34 Years of Companionship – Issue #108 (5 min read)
Marriage, often painted as the ‘happily ever after’ in fairy tales, is a beautiful yet intricate dance of emotions, responsibilities, and growth. As many couples can attest, the journey, though rewarding, is not always smooth. This 30th November marks our 34th anniversary, and in this newsletter, I’ll share some invaluable tools that have transformed our journey from just another tale to an utterly delightful adventure!
1. Embrace the Realities
The first step to a happy marriage is to let go of the fairy-tale expectations. It’s crucial to understand that every day won’t be sunshine and rainbows. There will be moments of pure bliss, but there will also be times of struggle and doubt. And sometimes, it’s during those struggles that you realise the depth of your bond.
2. Hold Respect Sacred
While love forms the foundation of marriage, respect is its cornerstone. Without mutual respect, the pillars of trust, understanding, and communication crumble. It’s more critical than shared interests or even love. It’s what keeps the essence of a relationship intact during the stormiest times.
3. Transparency is the Trust Pillar
Open communication cannot be stressed enough. From sharing your day-to-day experiences to discussing the things that hurt, being transparent keeps the trust intact. It ensures neither partner is walking on eggshells and both feel heard and valued.
4. Cultivate Individual Spaces
While ‘two become one’ sounds romantic, it’s essential to remember that both partners had individual lives, dreams, and aspirations before they tied the knot. Respecting each other’s individuality and giving space is essential. After all, two fulfilled individuals make a thriving couple!
5. Grow through Resistance
Just as our muscles strengthen when we exercise, relationships too solidify when faced with challenges. Instead of fearing disagreements, face them head-on. Remember, it’s not about winning the argument but growing together from the experience
6. Let Past Grudges Go
If yesterday’s argument was resolved, don’t let it creep into today’s discussion. Every disagreement should be treated as isolated. Prioritise harmony over proving a point. And when things go wrong, choose forgiveness. It’s the balm that heals most marital wounds.
7. The Vital Role of Intimacy
Sex isn’t just a physical act; it’s an emotional bond. It plays a significant role in keeping the connection alive. It’s the language of unspoken love, care, and affection. And while frequency can vary, the intimacy and understanding it fosters are irreplaceable.
8. Abandon the 50:50 Myth
Marriage isn’t about splitting chores or responsibilities down the middle; it’s about balance. Each partner brings unique strengths to the table. Recognise that, and the journey becomes more manageable. Maybe one is better with finances while the other excels at household chores. Celebrate these differences; they’re what make your partnership unique.
9. Set Boundaries with External Influences
While family and friends are vital, it’s essential to prioritise your relationship above external opinions. Every couple is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Chart your course based on mutual understanding and respect.
10. Cherish the Little Moments
Whether it’s making breakfast for each other or a simple ‘I love you’ text during the day, these little gestures often hold more value than grand celebrations. They’re constant reminders of love, care, and the promise to stand by one another.
In wrapping up, it’s essential to remember: as years go by, many external factors will change. Eventually parents die, kids grow up. You are only one left together. It’s the bond you nurture now that determines your future happiness. A good marriage doesn’t just nurture good kids; it creates a legacy of love, understanding, and resilience.
Until next time, keep cherishing each other. Because in this journey of life, it’s the love and respect you share that will guide your way.
All illustrations are by Kratika Singhal