Almost 5,000 surveys and researches have been conducted on the institution of marriage in over a decade’s time, and almost all of them have found a few basic but essential conditions to sustain and strengthen the nuptial bond.
I Do, Till Death Do Us Part, On Bended Knee, In This Life And The Next, these are the very direct references to the institution of marriage, regarded as a holy union of two souls who promise to stay by each other in life through thick and thin, to be life-partners in the truest sense. The past few decades have witnessed an alarming rate of dissolution of marriages across the world. The reasons vary from incompatibility, temperament trouble, different priorities, professional obligations to difficulty in adjusting, among other reasons.
But in times when the very concept of marriage is hanging by a thread, there are many, yes, many couples, who have been happily married for years, rather decades, for life. What is the secret behind their companionship? Let us have a dekko at 20 of the most common and effective ones.
1. Honesty: The foundation of any relationship, more so between wife and husband no matter how long you have been together and what circumstances you have braved together. Being honest to your significant other will not only make you feel truthful and unpretentious, but will also bring you closer with the passage of time.
2. Love: Love makes the world go round and marriage is a tad more than world. It is the living breathing space of the two who took the vows. Love is a very enriched and expansive term encompassing feelings like care, respect, intensity and real concern for your other half.
3. Trust: An extension of honesty, trust is only the other way round. You have to have trust in your partner, unshakable trust. No matter whatever is going through your wild imagination due to any reason; sort out things with good hearty and healthy discussions.
4. Communication: Communication is the key to carry trust forward. Never ever let any doubt creep in and make you paranoid. Go ahead and talk. Unless you are going to sit along and share your apprehensions solution to the marital woe is almost impossible.
5. Respect: Mutual, as well as for each other’s in-laws, relatives, extended families, colleagues and friends. Here it is not about demanding or earning it as the tradition is rather imbibing it for the others. You give respect, you get respect, it’s as simple as that.
One survey suggests that the secret to a long-lasting marriage is a 2 year age gap where man is elder, four kisses a day, and sex three times a week.
6. Commitment: It is the men who are labeled as being commitment phobic and hence a bit on the wrong side of the territory. Might not be the case always as women too could shy away from nodding in affirmative for reasons like job or not being prepared. After you are man and wife, never make it look like you did it without commitment as it can drum-in doubts in the mind of the other person and the relation might go for a toss.
7. Humour: Switch off Comedy Central and let grow your own funny bone. There is nothing as sexy and sensuous as your partner springing out a joke, anecdote or just a simple one-liner to have you in splits. You can always learn witty and funny stuff from the net and, Comedy Central. But the fun stuff should never be aimed at your partner or partner’s near and dear ones.
8. Support: Through thick and thin, remember the vow? Exactly the message being conveyed here. Life is not just a bed of roses, there are trying and testing moments, and if you hold on to each other and provide the much needed succour, rest assured that your bond is only going to be cemented further. Even if it means providing support to your in-laws, your spouse’s family, friends, colleagues or even the pet, you must do it selflessly. Who knows it might let off the steam of a latent scorn or strong dislike for you, if any, and make you the ultimate real life hero.
9. Compassion: It might sound like a rather easy and light emotion, but make no mistake, during tender, sad and melancholic phases even a silent gesture of compassion can go a very long way and win you the situation as well as the unconditional submission of your other half.
10. Dependability: No matter whatever be the state of affairs, if your partner is sure that she/he can always rely on you for every iota of assurance and most prudent solution, you are a winner. Trust me, no power in the world can bring you closer than the belief that you are the only one to offer that strength to brave the storms of life.
Carol Richardson of confetti.co.uk conducted a research in which she observed: The research shows just how many components make up the perfect marriage, including the ideal age gap, dating duration and time to get married. The perfect age gap for an ideal partnership still consists of the groom being older than the bride which must work due to the husband being more emotionally and financially stable. And after wedding hype is over, the study shows how important it is to keep the magic alive with regular kisses, cuddles and romantic nights out.
11. Compromise: Please don’t let your ego play the demon here! Compromising at times is not at all a sign of weakness. Together you both have to make a vast number of decisions and without doubt you will often come across situations where your point of view would be Venus or Mars depending on the circumstances. Just chillax, let your mind cool off and you can always give in a bit and reach a ‘friendly’ consensus that both of you will be happy with.
12. Transparency: Extremely vital, especially in the matter of family budget. Financial stability is very very important, so it’s completely okay if your partner is managing a separate bank account. This goes the other way too, dear!
13. In-laws: You don’t have to prostrate before your in-laws. Whether or not you are much cordial with them at least bear in mind that they are parents of your life-partner. Engage in conversation or plan get-togethers, the purpose is to keep the wheels moving with occasional oiling.
14. Forever Young: You can’t beat the biological clock but you can certainly be the eternal romantic. A simple ruffle of hair, a small present on any occasion, movie or opera tickets, taking an off from your work. Once in a while indulge yourself just the two of you.
15. Time: The most precious commodity no amount of money can buy. Spend time with each other. This one especially sweeps women off their feet. Here men have to take the charge since chivalry is not and can never be out of fashion.
a) I have been married 36 years, got married real young and still happy and in love. My advice is DON’T give up, work on your problems and talk to each other: Sandra Baillargeon Sheridan.
b) I’ve been married for 25 years. I’ve learned to pick my battles and never go to bed angry, stay up till 4 am if necessary talking things through or just forgive and forget! Marriage is a commitment to that person that has been and will be the witness of your life! Cherish it because you never know how long you’ll have each other: LD Rocio Wagner
c) Married 21 years! My motto for our marriage is we are not perfect, just perfect for each
other. Be best friends. Never say the word divorce. Never leave each other without saying I love you. Talk to each other, don’t yell: Michelle Hicks Kerwood.
16. Laugh at yourself: If you can do it you win the battle half way before it starts. Well, battle of the sexes I mean. Let the world laugh at you but you two laugh together and let the matters become beautiful funny memories.
17. Criticism: If ever you have to interrupt or jump between a conversation that is witnessed by others, be very careful how or not to correct or interrupt your loved one. If at all do it once you are at your abode and in a succinct and mature way, or maybe not at all.
18. Perfectionism: What is that? At the most it is 99.999% correct but no one is impeccable
or 100% right or wrong and neither you nor your spouse is any exception. Need to explain more?
19. Words: They can make or mar a simple situation or your entire life. No matter how furious you are, just take it easy. Have water, give yourself time to discern that you very well know the consequences and repercussions of what you are about to say. Or even better, say those words to yourself like a rehearsal. How does it feel? What we say is important no doubt, but how we say can make or break the game.
20. Sex life: There are phases for both men and women when they feel high or low. This should not drive you mad or cast aspersions. In the present scene when both wife and husband are running around to make the ends meet for the family and also saving for the future, it is but natural that the fatigue takes its toll on love life. Don’t push or call names, rather discuss like best of friends and confidants. Professional help is always there and it’s for you guys only. Make the most of it.
I would just quote Pink Floyd here, never let ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ leave you with lifetime of regrets.