Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
Marriage needs more than just love – in the long haul, it requires plenty of compassion and effort as well – staying invested makes all the difference.
“Ma, I love Anish, and he loves me too. I have known him since we started college. He will keep me happy.” Ananya was trying to convince her parents.
“No, Beta. Love marriages are never successful. It’s just the initial infatuation which dies within 6 months of getting married. We have offers from well-settled boys of good families.” Her mum continued in vain.
She had just finished college. Ananya had met Anish at her college and had soon realised that he was the one with whom she would like to spend her life. However, love marriages were still frowned upon and a girl choosing her own spouse was talked of as ‘characterless’ in whispers by the society. So, the moment she had told her parents, their next thought was to marry her off.
Both of them were still unsettled and were trying hard to get good placements so that they could tie the knot soon.
Anish’s family had still not accepted the fact that their only son who had a good market value would marry a girl of his choice. That too from a different state and a different caste. “She has always lived in a nuclear family. She will never be able to adjust in our extended family.” Anish’s mum kept hovering over him whenever he went home.
Yet, as they say, love is blind and they were unwavering despite the cries of their near and dear ones. A year later, with some savings in their hands, they both got married.
As always, the first few years of married life were bliss. The only bone of contention among them were the respective families who, though they had bowed to the relentless love, could still keep finding faults in their respective spouses. That too, they had realised in the first six months and henceforth decided to not get affected by comments of others.
A year later, Anish had got a good placement in his hometown, and the same year Ananya gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Thus, the threesome moved in with Anish’s parents to complete the joint family.
Ananya had never been welcome in Anish’s family. As a new mom, she jumped between the roles of a mom, a career woman and a housewife. Postpartum is a stressful time for women. While the hormones play complete havoc with the brain, a woman looks forward to support from her her husband and her family.
Ananya too tried to seek refuge in Anish. However, Anish in his new job profile became more busy along with taking on the added responsibilities of a father. Ananya needed Anish to give her time. Anish was already stretched out.
She tried to turn to her parents. Whenever she tried, she was pushed away instead, as they were always keen to point out that he was her own choice. She withdrew from all.
Anish could not understand why she behaved this way. Whatever little conversation they had turned into a fight. His mum was quick to point out, that she had already told him that “the girl won’t adjust.”
One day, Anish was out of town for a business meeting. There he met one of his closest pals, Amit. At college, Ananya, Anish and Amit and Aadya had been a gang. Amit and Aadya had been family friends and their marriage had been smooth without hurdles. They knew both of them more closely than anyone else. When he asked about Ananya, Anish’s response made him realise that something had to be done.
He invited both of them to his place the next weekend. A timeout from everything, and seeing their best buddies still very much in love and happy made both of them look inwards and towards each other.
What they had lacked all this time was frank and honest communication. Anish started spending more time with Ananya, even though on some days, it would be just a mere thirty minutes. But those few minutes would be theirs, as Husband and Wife, as best friends, without the additional label of being even a mother and a father.
He started taking time for himself, and began going to the gym. Ananya loved dancing. He encouraged her to join a dance group, during which time he would be there to take care of his little cutie pie.
Soon, their life was back on track.
Just getting married does not guarantee a happy married life. Marriage needs a lot of dedication, hard work and commitment to make it happy.
As elders say, once a child comes in, the distance between spouses increases. However, this notion spoils a lot of relationships. After having a baby, both the spouses need to be more sensitive and adjusting to the new demands in the relation. They should make a greater effort to give quality time to each other as well as spend quality time with the child.
Love marriages are more under stress during such times, more so because in a love marriage as the choice is yours, the responsibility to make it work, is yours too. In an arranged marriage, as the parents choose the spouse for their son/daughter, they will ensure their full support whenever required, especially if a couple is going through an adjustment problem. This is seldom true for love marriages in India, and the couple has to make double the effort to make it work, as no one offers to support them.
As is said, it is easy to fall in love, but staying in love is always a choice which requires constant effort, struggle and patience. Daily togetherness, honest and clear communication are the keys to keep a marriage going strong.
Take out time for each other, may be as little as half an hour in a day, but a time where you both can sit and unwind in each other’s company. Along with that, self-time for each spouse is as important. This self-time is different from the time spent in work. Pursuing your hobbies, sports, music anything that makes you happy keeps both the spouses relaxed and mindful to each other’s presence.
As a marriage grows older, people start taking each other for granted, which leads to stagnation and boredom. Hence, like all other relationships, marriage needs to be nurtured. Appreciating each other like in the early days, complimenting and making each other feel wanted, and random, small acts of kindness keep a marriage happy.
Kindness, compassion and meaningful conversations go a long way in keeping a marriage healthy and happy.
Top image via Pexels
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