Thursday, 31 May 2012

How to keep it together when you're both together...

Yeah, I know the title doesn't make much sense. Maybe if you stick around to reading the whole post, it will.
So as most of you know, I've been married to His Majesty or HM for almost a year and a half now. It wasn't the best time of my life and yet it was filled with some beautiful moments that I will cherish forever. There are also moments that I'd rather forget but I just can't. All in all, I learnt one very important lesson. Marriage is not easy. And a love marriage is all the more difficult. But if one tries hard enough, it works. I know that people always say that marriage is not a one way street. Both the parties have to adjust, understand and be kind to each other. Firstly, that is just nice to say and hear. Sometimes the reality will be far from it and one has to be prepared for it instead of expecting something unreal all the time. You may be feeling particularly affectionate but maybe your other half isn't. Sometimes you could be downright rude and your significant other could be unusually kind to you instead. It takes years to be on the same page and even then, one has to always know and understand that you are both very different people who have somehow managed to be in sync with each other. So how should one keep it together in the initial years when everything is new and a lot of it is annoying? There are very simple rules to this. Now firstly, I am no expert on dysfunctional couples and all I'm about to say is completely based on my experience alone. So here goes:

Patience is the most important thing. It may seem like you married the evil twin, but give him/her some time and it will all be okay.

Tolerance is essential. You will be convinced that your partner is doing everything he/she can to annoy you but that isn't the case. He/she is just showing you a side that you are unaware of. Observe and let it be.

Annoyance or anger is not going to help. It will only increase the negativity and by yelling, screaming and nagging, you will provoke your partner to do the same. Pretty soon, things will go from bad to worse and you will be wishing that you hadn't opened your mouth in the first place. Regret is not good, so just hold your tongue before you say or do something nasty.

If you are at the receiving end of your partner's anger or annoyance, simply keep quiet and let them vent it out. They will appreciate you for being calm and will also apologise later if they feel like it. Also, it will encourage them to share their negative feelings with you because you're the one who doesn't judge them when they're angry.

Do not expect your partner to apologise. I am talking to all the wives out there who wait for their husbands to say sorry and basically sulk till they get their apology. It is a cruel thing to do. It is far easier for the wife to say sorry. Atleast for me it is. But men are unintentionally egoistic and they don't believe in apologising. If your husband does say sorry quite often, it is only because he doesn't like the tantrum you throw after he has messed up. Men don't like to apologise and often do it only as a last resort. I don't like doing that to my husband and he makes up for his mistakes without saying sorry out loud. I love that. Most men are exactly like that. Don't wait for an apology and they will make it up to you in better ways. Just remember point 1. Be patient.

Do not start a fight under any circumstances. Always remember that you are going to be with this person till the day you breath your last and it pays to treat them well. You do not want to be remembered as the irritating husband/wife who made their life miserable. If you do not like something about them or you don't agree with one of their actions, find a way to tell them kindly without offending them or hurting their feelings. It may seem like a lot of work when all you can do is yell and scream at them and make them see how mad they've made you. But this is when patience and tolerance come into play. Also it is easier to be angry but more difficult to be calm. Do not take the short cut. This is a life long relationship we're talking about and you may consider wanting to invest more time in handling it well.

Always appreciate and support your partner. They may not do the same to you right away, but it is essential that you do your best to make them realise that you will always be there for them.

Understand your partner. It is essential to know their likes, dislikes and pet peeves to say the very least. Find time to talk to them and if your partner is anything like HM, you'll have quite a task at hand. HM is very quiet and he used to enjoy being left alone. He had been living on his own for more than 7 years and a fellow human in the house was enough to irk him. Most of us are like that. We are not used to sharing our space with others and we can clam up and retire into our shells at such times. If your partner does that, just draw him/her out slowly. Don't bombard them with questions and give them time to get used to you. Very soon, you'll have a talkative, lively person to live with. Patience is the key.

Give your partner his.her space. Let them do the things they like to do. You may not enjoy golfing or reading but he/she does. Let them enjoy their hobbies and pass-times. You can enjoy yours.

Never force your partner to change according to your specifications. Know that nobody is perfect and unless your partner has a serious bad habit that is going to hurt them in the future, do not make them change anything about themselves. Do not do the same for them. Let them know that you are what you are and gradually they will love you for it. The key is to stop being perfect and be more spontaneous instead.

Take time to be with each other inspite of your hectic lifestyles. You will realise that even 15 minutes spent together with love and affection will help you to keep the spark alive. It is okay if you just sit quietly and share a cup of tea. It doesn't matter as long you're in each other's company.

And last but not the least, respect his/her family even if you don't like them that much. Your partner will respect your for being mature enough and putting aside your ego to accommodate his/her family in your life. Know and understand that they are your family too and one does not 'put up' with family. One accepts them the way they are and respects them for it.

And now that I've written the most sensible post to be found on this blog, I deserve a break. I am exhausted after all the serious thinking. But jokes apart, this is exactly how I've learnt to keep it together when I'm with HM. We are like chalk and cheese but we manage pretty well. I hope this post helps other couples to manage just as well. And those of you who have been married for a longer time, do share your nuggets of wisdom. I'm sure you all have great stories to tell and wonderful advice to share.
Toodles, y'all!


  1. I must say that your profound wisdom is praiseworthy considering that you are married for just an year and a half. Your points are most relevant (esp about the apologizing, understanding and mutual respect aspects). But to tell you frankly, I find these quite difficult to practice since, by nature, I am quite moody and temperamental and wear my emotions on my sleeve.
    Well, I have been married for over 30 years (to the same wife) and we are still confused (at SQUARE 1) trying to figure out what is a happy marriage. It seems that nothing has changed in all these 30 years.
    You said: "Marriage is not easy. And a love marriage is all the more difficult" - I would like to add: "Arranged Marriage is even more difficult".
    Since you asked "veterans" like me to share some nuggets of wisdom, here is my "nugget":
    Don't "work" on your marriage. Don't make "efforts" or put on an act. Suppressing your emotions or trying to fake emotions will cause stress and stress will affect your health which will have its effect on the relationship too. Just be your natural self and be as you are. Express your emotions freely. Let your spouse also be comfortable expressing his emotions to you. No mask, no pretense, no secrets between husband and wife. If you angry, be angry and say so. If you don't like something, say so. You must be in a "Comfort Zone" without inhibitions.
    Most importantly, have no expectations - that's the key - NO EXPECTATIONS NO DISAPPOINTMENTS HAPPY MARRIAGE
    Wish you a long and happy married life
    PS - You are lucky to have a "love marriage" - we "arranged marriage types" are still waiting to fall in love...!!! LOL

  2. @Vikramji: Thank you so much for the wise words. I am quite moody too but when I started getting annoyed and angry I found that expressing my emotions openly wasn't helping. It was only making matters worse. So I started 'working' on my marriage. We are a volatile couple and I like to keep the fireworks to the bare minimum. Now when I get mad at him I tell him so, but in a very 'non-mad' way. You're right. One should express oneself freely. But isn't it easier when you find better ways to express negative feelings? I didn't know that arranged marriages are more difficult. Thanks for sharing this. And Yes, I completely second your opinion about not having any expectations. Thank you once again for stopping by :) And yes, love happens when you're least expecting it and it is never too late!

  3. Wooow by far this the best that I have read. You actually need skills to write on the solutions for good marriage.
    Extremely helpful. Thanks a lot...

  4. @Shivanggie: Thank you so much. I had to develop those skills, you know. Maybe I should go thank my husband :P
    Thank you for the kind words! Glad you found this helpful.

  5. Hello..great post..although i am not married but hopefully will follow ur advice on d-day and after dat...u sound both happy and resigned at times in the post..

    1. @Nupur: Do I? I just don't mind making little adjustments as long as it makes my life easy. I learnt to let go of my ego very early in life so I happily put others needs before mine and I find that I'm happier that way. Besides nothing is better than a happy spouse. And it is even better when you're the reason they're happy :)
      I'm glad you find my advice helpful! Thank you for the kind words :)

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  7. Very nice post..:-)Little compromises and adjustments are keys to successful marriage..:-)

  8. @Homemaker: Isn't it? Thank you for the nice words!

  9. I had read this post a while back when you'd resolved to write it here - (see comments). I simply forgot to comment because there was nothing to add. I am so glad that you've taken all those hiccups in your stride.

    This thing is like a walk in the woods. You have to find your own way through it.