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Love is a very important factor to share with a partner, but is it enough? Here are 7 other essentials for a happy marriage to consider.
Is love enough?
Over the ages bards, poets and writers have sung paeans extolling the virtues of ‘love that makes you see the universe in pink and purple… sleepless nights spent watching the moon and stars, yearnings for the elusive soulmate seem so wondrous that every person hopes to experience it’.
Love is an emotion that hinges on your feelings, thoughts, or experience but it is not logical or rational always. It is subjective, and it has often led people to wars.
Unfortunately, an extreme reliance on love and sexual attraction as the key to a successful marriage can be dangerous. Love can be inconsistent and oblivious to the flaws or failings of a partner, making us afraid to evaluate our priorities, or overlook them in the quest of the elusive happily ever after.
Comprehensively, there are 7 essentials to a healthy and sustainable marriage between two consenting mature partners. The importance can vary depending on the relationships, people, and their priorities in life…
This is also my personal checklist of what I sought of my partner when I was prepared to marry him, my essentials for a happy marriage.
Let’s explore all of these one by one.
Most people confuse ‘equality’ with ‘sameness’ when arguing there cannot be an equality between genders because of the physiological differences. But here we speak of ‘equality as a fundamental principle’ underlying human relationships where a man cannot claim superiority of gender while stereotyping gender roles, and must share equal responsibility for housework, raising children and as caregivers for elders.
Unless women are prepared to see the end of subjugation and discrimination in our homes we will never be able to see the change happen in our societies.
Respect accorded for one’s achievements or work is entirely different from ‘respect in relationship’.
Men and women are entitled to equal respect in marriage regardless of their status, position, wealth, self worth or personal value. It’s a skewed approach when a career woman gets more respect than a homemaker. Let’s not evaluating ‘who does what’ or ‘offers what’ in the relationship. After all, it’s marriage, not business.
Honesty in a marriage is a sign of maturity, but one might ask how much is good without risking domestic harmony.
While many of us prefer to conceal facts and not reveal the truth using pretences to cover up so. …”am I fat, pretty or looking good” or a night out with buddies might be dealt with little white lies, serious issues about money, career, buying property, supporting your parents requires frank and honest discussion.
Some might argue that it’s a personal choice; after all it’s your money and you have a right to deal with it the way you want, but if you prefer to hide, conceal, or not inform your partner, it also shows lack of trust, and that can lead to massive conflicts.
Why do most people love to spend time in the company of friends and buddies rather than their partners? It’s evident that friends are special in more than just some ways.
Friends let you be… the ease, openness and freedom without being judged all the time. Lucky are the ones who find great friends in their marriage, and some of the happiest marriages have a greater element of friendship and camaraderie than love and sex, in case you thought the latter is more important.
There cannot be a real relationship without trust. It’s something that can never be replaced by love in case you thought confession might make you feel better.
Faith and loyalty can never be a casualty though many might argue it has lost its relevance today in times of FFB. Trust or faith can never go out of fashion because cheating is hurtful even if it’s a one night stand, a fling, a flirtation or affair, because it’s choosing momentary gratification over commitment towards your partner, and that’s a disrespectful thing to do.
‘Opposites attract’ works best in chemistry. In real life most partners prefer compatibility of life choices. This is something you ought to consider before marriage because after…It’s simply hard to work around someone who’s entirely different from you.
It’s not about whether you like coffee or tea, movies or books, but is more complex and deeper than that. I’d say that to a large extent, cultural values, religious beliefs, political stand, family, finance, and career goals do play a role.
It’s not a very happy surprise to discover that the man you married believed in living life king size with no thought for the future when you want to be more cautious. You might have to do all the scrimping and saving without any kind of support. So, it’s important to know if you see eye to eye on most matters.
Most relationships tend to wither or break down due to a lack of communication. From what was hours of chatting to signing off on mere goodbye or goodnight… couples hardly find quality time for themselves.
Communication isn’t limited to grocery lists, school fees, maintenance or phone bills, but about yourself. Your dreams, hopes, anxieties, uncertainties, fears, medical issues that need expression and sharing.
Many of us expect our partner to read our minds and fulfill our expectations- that’s putting an extraordinary and unwanted burden on them. Unless the person is a clairvoyant or soothsayer it’s a hard thing. So the next best thing is to talk and communicate your thoughts, desires and emotions, instead of waiting and watching for things to happen.
PS – While love can be a factor that brings a couple together, it’s hard to put love in the driver’s seat. It’s the qualities of the head and heart that drive your relationship long after love has mellowed… so choose wisely and choose well.
Image source: a still from the film Thappad
Writing is soulspeak will dare to dream own up my piece of sky..mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend we all are.. but, being your own person even more. read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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