- These views are from a guy. It has got no point-of-view of a girl. So please don't expect it to have one.
- If you don't like straight in your face remarks then no need to read further.
- This is a very scary post, written in a momentary lapse of better judgement.
- Still there? You are a brave one. Welcome to the club.
Yesterday one of my friends asked me a stupid, weird question, "What is the secret of a successful marriage?".
I thought, "Is he really talking to me?".
Am I the right person to answer this question? Me? Who has been married just for 2 years?
This is my albatross. People (specially my friends) mistake me to be a loveguru. Someone asks me for an advice on how to deal with his girlfriend. Some one asks me to cajole his girlfriend to marry him. And now this question.
Just because I am married, and they are not, doesn't make me a smartass. I am just as dumb in these matters as they are. I want to scream out to anyone who cares to listen, "I am also a normal confused adult in his mid-twenties. I am also coming to terms with the realities of life. "
Anyways, this question led me down an analysis path, and its impossible to rein in my thoughts unless I give shape to them. I want to give words to my observations. Hence this post.
Now, there are two phases of marriage, pre and post. The duration of happiness in your marriage depends on your decisions and actions in both these phases.
Before you decide to marry a girl, you have to be sure that she is the one. Three parameters which help you judge this are:
1. Would you like to wake up and see this face every morning, 10 years from now?
I know this question has been in every cookbook for knowing if "She is the one". But then this is the most important question.
I love the series Coupling from BBC. In one episode, Steve says "There are no stockings". This is the ultimate truth of a relationship. Times change, girls change. Period.
The slim, shiny angel of yours WILL not live for ever. They will turn fat. They will have wrinkles. They will loose hair. So if you are marrying for beauty then take a u-turn and run as fast as you can.
2. Can you put up with her idiosyncrasies?
Her stupid questions, on which you laugh at now and say, "Oh sweetheart! You are such a cute little stupid angel", will turn into nagging.
Suppose you are watching a cricket match. India is in its last overs in a crucial match against Pakistan. Its a world cup final and the match hangs by a damn thin thread. Suddenly your sweetheart stands up and says, "I am bored, tell me a story. NOW". OK. She won't say this but then she may say something as stupid. Are you ready to handle this?
3. Does she fit in your family?
It doesn't matter where she is from, or what religion she is from or what culture she belongs to. What matters is, will she be able to adapt for the 15 days every year you go to meet your parents? Compromises are the ugly truth of life. Is she ready for it?
Every guy carries a deep love for his mum and dad. Whether he shows it openly or not is another story altogether. So, if his wife starts finding faults with his parents then the trouble starts. This not only disturbs his mind but also affects the marriage.
So look for a girl, who will respect your parents. She may never love them as much as she does her parents. But then she must give as much respect.
Hmmmm... that completes it.
The first two conditions are infallible. Girls age. Girls ask stupid questions. Be it Sharone Stone or Marie Curie. She will grow to be an old nag. Be prepared for it.
So it all depends on how much you love the girl. And how much you can take for her sake.
The third condition needs to be fulfilled by the girl. She needs to understand that at the very depths of our hearts, we all guys are momma's boys. We have grown up respecting only one woman all our lives. We can't bear to listen to her shortcomings from the other love of our life.
So, you have found out the girl of your dreams and have married her. Now what?
Is this the end of the tunnel? Have you found out the light at last? Have you found moksha?
Dfinitely not dude. Marriage is a constant struggle. Most of the times all the odds will be stacked up against you. There will be pressure of society, parents, peers, siblings and wife to perform. To win a race in which you are running alone. People will expect you to behave in a certain way and with dignity.
Goodbye daru parties. Goodbye sutta. Goodbye bathing once in a month. Goodbye a lot of things.
There will be a stranger (or maybe a not so stranger in case you had a live in before marriage) in the bedroom commanding you to take a bath before you sleep. What the hell is the point of taking a bath when you are going to sleep? Dude... you will never knwo this secret, but you will have to do it.
You will have your side of the bed, your part of the wardrobe, your side of the TV remote. Your bike and your PC won't remain the first love of your lives.
"Wait! Its not what I signed on for", you will cry every night. But then, you have signed the contract and you will have to honor the code.
So how to live in such a constrained world, where you have a little or no choice at all?
Here is the hitchhiker's guide to have a successful marriage:
1. Never build up expectations.
We guys pamper our gals in the initial stages of our courtship. Give them everything they lay their eyes on. Even the stars and the moons. Wish them on their birthdays, their parents birthdays, their neighbour's dog's birthday. Celebrate all your anniversaries. First kiss, first touch, first eye contact, bloody first time you two saw each other's photos on Facebook.
But then that's how we are supposed to behave, isn't it? I know.
However, what after you get married? You start forgetting her medicine routines, her ration lists, paying the electricity bill, the phone bill. There are tons of things you start forgetting. This is when the fun starts. She expects you to be the same you were in the first few weeks of courtship. Can you live up to the expectations?
So the best approach is that you keep her expectations low right from the word go. In this case every time you remember some thing, she will be totally smashed.
On a serious note, try to be the same. I know its difficult but then to raise expectations and then break her heart is not done, right?
2. Kiss and say sorry.
Never expect her to say sorry even if she is on the 'other' side of the argument. There is only one golden rule "Wife is never wrong". Say sorry and pacify her first. No use shouting at her when both of you are angry. Once she is pacified, try to reason out with her. I know, I know... its very difficult to reason with your wife. But then so is to see her in pain, isn't it?
Never let your fights go on for more than a day. Never, never sleep on one. Always sort it out before it turns into an ugly, monstrous rift.
Small fights bring out the best in marriage, but the longer ones bring in divorce.
3. Try and help her out in her daily chores.
Nothing keeps a woman more happy than a man who helps her out in the household chores. Remember that she was also a part of a family where she was never allowed in the kitchen. She was never expected to do the dishes and clean up the house. So, she is as new to these things as you are.
Once in a while cook for her. Maybe a simple toast and tea. But then do it. She won't ever expect a seven course meal but then she will love to see you try.
4. Gift her as often as you can.
Small gifts. Flowers. Chocolates. Jewellery. An unexpected movie date. The list is endless. You need to keep the fire alive.
She makes a lot of sacrifices for you. Cooks for you, washes out your dirty clothes, heck she even makes you bath twice a day. She definitely deserves a show of gratitude.
5. Keep the passion alive.
You need to stoke the fire in your marriage. There is tonnes of literature on the net as well as the bookstalls on how to have a passionate sex life. Its the most important secret ingredient to a successful married life.
6. Be honest.
Honesty is the best policy, specially in an intimate relationship as marriage. Trust is the only virtue which will save your marriage when confronted with ugly situation.
7. Keep talking.
You need to have a constant conversation going on between the two of you. Trust me, nothing can diffuse a situation as amicably as having an honest discussion about what happened. Never ever clam up. Speak out your likes and dislikes. This will make clear your expectations.
Whooo!! The post ran long. Marriage indeed needs a lot of hard work. But when the going is smooth (as it does mostly) its the best relationship in the world. You need to smoothen out the rough edges though.
Hope you all have a great married life. Good luck and God bless!!