There must had been times when Adam held his head in his hands and asked God “What does Eve want from me?”. Mary, the perfect woman, must had given Joseph the silent treatment every now and then and poor Joseph must had discussed his ‘marital problems’ with his friends over a pitcher of wine and dates. Every married person has problems with his/her partner and this issue is never going away. Mother Teresa would have problems, had she gotten married. Many times, we come across couples looking so lost in love with each other, they talk about being 100% supportive of each other and say things like, “We don’t hide anything from each other.” or “We have an open relationship.” and we are gawking at them thinking if we had chosen the right man or woman as our ‘awfully’ wedded husband or wife. Well, human beings can never be that perfect or understanding. No matter how much we try, we FEEL and we cannot stop feeling. I am not trying to advise on marriage. I am just discovering new things about marriage which I don’t want to keep to myself. I’ve been married for a mere five and half years and we are still trying to figure out how a man and a woman can live under the same roof and share everything for the rest of their lives.
Marriage is overwhelming, intimidating, and unpredictable. A moody woman like me can make things very trying for a partner but the truth is that even my partner will also have a trait that can make our marriage equally frustrating. Most times we act involuntarily and only ‘years’ of living together can make us immune to each other’s characters that we don’t approve of. I think it is very unfair of a person to tell anybody to change something about them for their sakes. If we think with a balanced head, we can all better ourselves in many ways. When we are faced with such a task, we should ask our partners, “Shall I tell you what you need to change in yourself?”. It will be excellent if we are able to change for the better but let’s be realistic, how often do husbands and wives discuss their differences. We just assume that we will get accustomed to each other’s habits (no matter how annoying) and wait patiently for that day. Out of ten conflicts that I have with my husband, at least 8 are just silly character clashes between us. We DISCUSS about it and both of us know which traits the other dislike, and I think we do make efforts to be more tolerable and patient but the truth is that most things are never going to change and that’s fair.
Small fights will always break up, there will always be misunderstandings and we will always have differences. Maybe some will remain unresolved but I think there are ways we can prevent our conflicts from aggravating. A very recent incident that led to an intense argument between us made me realize the importance of RESPECT in a marriage. Some friend had asked him to do something and he immediately agreed without consulting me. He didn’t mean to do it behind my back, he just didn’t feel the ‘need’ to tell me and I was very angry. I agree that we might still had clashed if he had asked me first, but I would have felt better knowing that he thought it ‘important’ to inform me. After 3 or 4 days, we settled our dispute after he admitted he was ‘wrong’. To tell the truth, I’m also guilty of making decisions (that concerns both of us) without checking with him. Small questions, unimportant questions, they build up TRUST. I also thought of the times I had asked something from my married friends and totally disregarded the opinions of their husbands. I think whenever we ask something from our friends we should always add “Ask your wife/husband and see what she/he says.” or when our friends ask something of us, we should make a habit to say, “I’ll talk to my wife/husband and let you know.” In this way, I think we are showing others that we RESPECT our spouses and theirs too. This shouldn’t be confused with submissiveness or compliancy and we must understand this. What happens after you ask your spouse is a different story.
I am repeating myself but these small fights will never disappear. Two human beings cannot agree at all times but complaining about these minor issues constantly only intensify the matter. We need to learn to talk about it and if we are that person in the relationship who ‘doesn’t listen’ we need to learn because LISTENING is the only way we can exist with another human being. I think a short BREAK from each other every now and then is also crucial for any relationship. It is in our nature to start taking things or people for granted and to remind ourselves why we need a certain person in our life, we need a little distance. APPRECIATION is an important key that keeps our dearests close and we shouldn’t feel shy to throw COMPLEMENTING words. We often make fun of those who praises their spouses or show AFFECTION but there is nothing wrong or indecent about that. We can only admire such kind of attitude and applaud the efforts of that person. It is impossible to be modest all the time and if your spouse has not praised you for three days, demand it like I do. I force him to ‘appreciate’ me by asking questions like, “I am the best cook, am not I?” “You have the most understanding wife, don’t you?” and the answers never fail to disappoint me.
I think we never really know each other until we start living together. We may had been dating for 5 or 10 years but unless we live under the same roof, we cannot say that we know a person. Like my friend says, “Marriage is a totally different ball game.” I think the initial years of marriage are always challenging as we try to crack the character of our spouses and try to UNDERSTAND them. I now realize that EMPATHY would have helped hasten the process for me. Putting ourselves in our partner’s shoes always brings out new realizations which eventually helps in building a strong relationship. Marriage is the most ‘sacred’ institution but it is also the biggest gamble we take. It may work or fail but we should always give our best to turn our marriages into a success. The day we stop putting EFFORT is the start of a crumbling marriage. And we need to remember at all times that it is not a one man’s dance.
I’ll leave ‘BIG’ fights for another day.