It may be called tying the knot but you’d be better off tying up loose ends in your expectations of what you want to achieve with your partner so that your couplehood stands strong in the face of all the storms of life that await. It won’t be easy. Life and love seldom aren’t easy. In the fast and easy times of WhatsApp, people will go quite the distance to avoid anything that makes them feel confronted or compromised.
However, for a deep emotional and sexual bond to be formed, would you be surprised if I said that love isn’t usually enough to sustain a marriage? Love makes the world go round and love will find the way are lyrical cliches that have very little bearing on the multi-layered dynamics that romantic relationships come with.
Even your best intentions could be met with the worst of circumstances. Circumstances could cast a deep shadow on a relationship. After all, being together isn’t just about rainbows, butterflies and starry nights!
Ill health, financial struggles, co-parenting values, quirks and bad habits may affect a couple’s sense of well-being if all they looked for was ‘love’ while getting hitched. Here are some dos and don’ts for couples looking to take things forward since there’s a fair bit of tweaking that each relationship goes through...
DO TRUST: Remember that there’s no point being together if you’ll can’t see each other as credible individuals with an agenda to show warmth and concern.
DO RESPECT: Two individuals of opposite genders from different socio-cultural and hormonal types cannot possibly agree on everything. If something feels unfamiliar or uncomfortable - work to find a way through it together!
DO COMMUNICATE: Your partner cannot read your mind and neither should they attempt to do so. Chatting and negotiating is the hallmark of a successful relationship where the spoken word is used as a conduit of healing and sharing rather than a weapon of punishment and ire.
DON’T PUNISH: This is not grade 3 Math class where a poor performance must be met with severity and humiliation. Nobody learns about marriage from a handbook on it! If a mistake is made, look for ways in which the unpleasantness can be alleviated through alternate choices rather than looking to get your spouse to atone by paying a heavy price for a perceived transgression!
DON’T BE JEALOUS: Marriages are built on teamwork and a team is only as strong as its individual members. Replace a You Vs Me mindset with an Us Vs The Naysayers mindset. The world is a strange and sometimes unfair place and you’ll are going to have to learn to be reliable allies to each other.
DON’T WORRY... about what others say or think - A marriage is between two individuals and tertiary voices in the background must not weigh down on what a couple is comfortable with. Nosy family members can be the end of a relationship so stay focused on each other as you grow to learn new things about yourself and your partner without letting the confusions or curiosities of others cloud your own clarity about your marriage and your partner.
Through these tips, you shall be well on your way to figuring your relationship out in an effective, empathetic and eagle-eyed way.