Are marriages made in heaven?
Krishni Gunawardena- Therapist/Counselor
However much we are clever and know that married life is not a fairytale we tend to live in a dream world especially at the time we fall in love until the wedding celebrations are over.
The beautiful images of the wedding, romantic visions of Cinderella and Prince Charming lurk in our hearts and minds. The romance, passion, glamour, and all the attention in the world is on you. Isn’t that the best time of our life?
The answer is a resounding "Yes"
However…let’s face it, in real life how smooth is marriage life? We think that our pure love will pull us through. Actually it does, but not that smoothly.
Sometimes it’s not the most romantic parts but the least romantic parts in our marriage that help us to learn about ourselves, our love for each other and the reality of marriage.
Nirasha, 26 thought she found ‘Mr. Right’ when married Shiran, an Accountant by profession. She thought they were going to be happy together until ‘death us do part.’ But one year into her marriage problems started. In fact she wondered "is this the guy whom I was in a mighty hurry to get married?" Actually he was.
What she didn’t realize, at the time she was cramming wedding cake into his mouth, having buttly and dancing away, was that the sameness of the day in and day out togetherness can sometimes get you down, if you don’t work on your marriage.
When Nirasha’s parents talked about "marriage takes work" Nirasha assumed it was all about keeping a lovely home and tolerating Shiran’s few bad habits at home. But it wasn’t that simple for her!
Human beings are complicated creatures by nature. It’s a good thing to study each other constantly. Each time we think "oh! I know him so well and I’ve mastered is ways" he has changed a little bit more!!
As two people grow and evolve the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate and nurture each other in the process.
Most of us don’t realize that marriage is not a destination but a journey filled with equal parts of excitement and difficulties.
Nimshi and Naresh a loving couple- second year into their marriage- confessed to me that they have heated arguments mostly after coming from work. They start from petty issues and end up insulting each other’s family and relatives.
Contrary to the saying "never go to bed angry" [meaning resolve it, kiss and go to bed!] the appropriate thing to do is just ‘sleep on it’ not forgetting to say "I am a little tired right now, let’s talk about it tomorrow"
You need this break to calm down, gain perspective and to give it a rest. It will allow you to figure out why you were angry and hurt. Probably you were too stressed out at work and wanted to unload it on someone. Without this ‘time out’ a good argument can lead to irrelevant and damaging words being used to spoil the relationship.
Getting your way always, is not an achievement, what is important is finding a way to work it out together.
Darshi, 49 who holds a prestigious position as a Judge felt that a lifetime of life experience has taught her that in most areas, at most times, she was right about most things. She says, "What shocked me after many years of marriage was that the more ‘right’ I was the more discontented my husband and I were as a couple"
"I realized that in certain disagreements there is no ‘right’ or no ‘wrong’. It’s simply his way and my way of looking at things"
There was time I thought things were "either black or white" but now I’ve realized there is more ’grey’ in life.
Most of us have this belief that we can change a person we love-make him closer to ‘perfect’. We may use nag, sympathy or shouts and tantrums but changing a full grown person-stripping her/him of age old habits and beliefs are truly impossible, especially when you have known her/him for a year or two.
It may be good to realize that it is much easier to change the way we respond to them.
These realizations- if they come to us sooner than later- are great bonuses in a marriage.
Though marriage has hard times and lessons that no one can ever prepare you for, at the end of the day, those are the things that give us the powerful moments, richness to our life together and make our love even deeper and stronger than when it began.