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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
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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I'll be 43 soon and yes, I almost gave in to my conditioning and asked myself- what did I do wrong? Did I lead him on? But not any more.
This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I have a feeling that this won’t be the last either!
So on May 12th, I ran into this man. I was waiting for something and it was raining. He seemed decent and we got talking. About work.
I realised that his company could actually do some work for my NGO and we exchanged numbers. After that we talked about general stuff on WhatsApp sometimes, and he connected me to some others for the work I had in mind.
To think that money can buy you anything is as wrong as singling a woman out after her divorce because the world feels she got overcompensated.
A lot of people are attracted to money and that’s not a bad thing. Which is also why everyone talks about money and the rich. The rich always make the headlines.
The rich, also, get upset when their personal lives are talked about, and rightly so. They have all the right to privacy.
Time moves on. However, people do not.