8 Simple Steps to a Forever Happily Married
I was watching this beautiful movie on Netflix named “Marriage Story”. The movie starts with two people telling how they feel about their spouse. It was so beautiful so heart-warming…. so perfect.
It seemed like just the two perfect people together. And then you come to know they are on the verge of a divorce!!! It happened to be that their counselor asked them to write what they feel and think of their other half and then wanted them to read to each other…. which apparently they refused.
As the movie progressed and I saw the two of them articulate their emotions to everyone but each other…. and also see them suffer in silence… I couldn’t help and feel sad, for them and for every other couple who falls in and out of love.
Divorce is ugly. Of course if you are stuck in an impossible relationship it makes sense. But if it is just basic misunderstanding, failure to compromise on small things, lack of patience, falling out of love, all these issues can be addressed. Marriages must last forever!
To start with falling in love is a hormonal rush… everything seems so beautiful and we are ready to move heaven and earth for the one we love…. Marriage is another story. It makes us take things for granted. We take our partner for granted and the relationship for granted.
But making a marriage work needs hard work. Even breaking a marriage is a lot of hard work and painful one. Some certain steps and being mindful of our behaviour can make a world of difference in the relationship.
In my 13 years of marriage and 18 years plus of knowing my spouse, and also having observed my couple friends, I have understood that making these small changes and always being empathetic of what the other one is feeling can bring magic to your marriage. Here i try to list 8 simple steps to a forever happily married !
Without doubt communication is the key to any relationship. And what is most important in communicating is to listen. We all feel we aren’t heard… perhaps we need to make an effort to listen ourselves. Most of the times even if we listen we listen to respond, but listening must be empathetic. Unless we make an effort to feel the emotions behind what our loved ones are saying, we can never really communicate with them.
Men and Women are so very different in their outlooks. Men need to respect and honour the emotional side of their partner. While women must give regard to the straightforward and to the point approach men have and speak up to them sans the drama. Do not look for hidden meanings and be straightforward. Life is very simple keep it simple J
2. Five love languages
The main problem with most all relationships is that we never understand and honour the differences. Each of us has a different love language.
In this beautiful book five love languages by Gary Chapman, he has very beautifully illustrated how each of us are different and what are the different ways we express and feel love. The five love languages mentioned by him are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Each of these is important to everyone but the degree of importance differs. Understanding the primary language of love is very essential. Say you may be showering your lady with surprise gifts every now and then but what she is eager for is some quality time with you!
It is very important to understand the language of love of our spouse and communicate in that same language.
Talking of books it makes sense to read books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus or Why Men don’t listen and Women can’t read maps. It helps to understand the differences between the two genders so you know what to expect!
3. Making time
Life is almost like a race. But what is the finish line and why is there such a hurry to reach to the line? We are forgetting that the true joy of life is the people we love. Spend time with them. And that needs effort because we really never will have time we will have to make time.
Do spend time without distractions with your spouse. It makes the relationship more meaningful. It leads to a friendship which is a foundation to a forever marriage.
4. Keep the spark Alive
When you first met your spouse there certainly were some sparks in the air. And in the days that followed you did a lot of things to appease and please and woo them. Sadly but once we are married everything becomes for granted and we stop doing those things.
It is good to surprise your partner even post marriage. Small things make big difference. Cooking a meal, a surprise candle light dinner, flowers, or whatever else you feel may bring a cheer to them. The thought behind the act is what matters.
5. Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy is perhaps the most important ingredient of a happy marriage. It builds a stronger bond. The release of Oxytocin during intimate moments helps build trust. It can be as simple as eye contact, holding hands, cuddling together or sex. Though sex is an important part of intimacy but intimacy is much broader. So hold hands on that long drive, cuddle in for a movie night, and gaze into the eyes of the one you love as many times as possible. This is in fact the most important expression of love. It also helps reduce stress and improves the relationship satisfaction.
6. Give up on expectations
Most of us step into marriage with a lot of expectations. We may not have listed it down but that rosy image in our mind in itself is a proof of the expectations we carry.
It is understandable to have expectations from your loved ones, but the truth is that these expectations are in fact the biggest source of unhappiness. Whenever we step into something with some expectations there is a very high chance that we had be disappointed.
Many years ago I did this very beautiful course from Art of Living where we were told about the principles of life and one of the principles was “expectations reduce Joy”
So my dear friends do not have any expectations from your spouse. Step into and stay in the relationship with the motive to give… whatever you recive accept it with a heart of gratitude. Also instead of finding faults and looking for shortcomings, appreciate the goodness that your spouse showers on you.
7. Chuck the phone
In the present times this is perhaps the biggest hurdle to a healthy relationship. We have another parallel world we live in on the virtual community. The apps on our phone, the messages some maybe important but many others avoidable, keep us anxious all the time. But it is more important to be present where you are.
The smart phone is actually a big hurdle to all relationships in the present times. Whether it is a group of college friends, a mom with kids or husband and wife, we are all so engaged with the phone that we fail to connect with the ones around us.
At end of day instead of having a heart to heart conversation most couples are glued to the screen of their smartphones.
It is very important that there be some strict rules around the usage of phone at home. The addictive nature of smartphone makes it very important that we practice some self discipline
8. Compromise and Patience
Instead of expectations, it is compromise that makes a marriage. We need to have more acceptance and must also be ready to change our ways. Patience is the key in any relationship. It takes time for two people to understand each other. We must have patience for the ways of the other.
The companionship in a marriage can be miraculously amazing. Give it your time and energy and it will give you a happy heart and home. We can wear it off saying that it isn’t important we can live without it, but why not give it a fair chance.
It is easy to give up but what is tough is to keep strong through thick and thin. I have seen my parents grow old with each other. Its not that they did not have their tough times, but now years down the line when I see them share a beautiful companionship it warms my heart. In old age they are such beautiful companion to each other, caring and walking along.
I wish the same for every couple… though it is something that two people have to work for together.