Guidelines To Keep A Marriage Healthy

By  |  0 Comments

Marriage is a marathon and it is important that you prepare for the hurdles that you may come across

Words by Dr. Jayashree Satvalli    Photographs from Various Sources

Marriages may be made in heaven, but they are still lived on the earth. Realize that your marriage is going to face barriers and face it together. Nip the issues in the bud, before they are blown out of proportion.

Attitudinal barriers

Presumption, boredom, lack of motivation, lack of dedication, and resistance to change can lead to a breakdown between a loving couple, apart from the better known and bigger culprits like lack of commitment, respect, and trust.

Emotional barriers

Non-courteousness, feeling ashamed, ignored, embarrassed, rejected or belittled, experiencing worthlessness —all are emotional toll bells for a breakdown in such marriages. Anu and Deepak have been married for 2 years. To the outside world, they are a very loving couple, as indicated by their social media updates. But only they know that their relationship has started going downhill. When Anu says she’s too tired to cook, Deepak hears it as,”Why is that that only I have to cook always?” When Deepak says he’s going out with his friends, Anu hears it as, “Anyway you are not comfortable around my friends, so…” A deteriorating relationship doesn’t necessarily have bitter quarrels.

Communication barriers

Many of us speak beautifully with the rest of the world but struggle to communicate with the person who shares our life—our spouse. A harsh word or an impatient tone can send a wrong message across. The spoken message will be diminished or even misunderstood because it would have set up your partner to be defensive and frustrated rather than responsive or understanding. A step taken back in humility can weave a thousand journeys together.

The “4 formula device” for a great marriage

Boundaries: Write this on your forehead if you can’t remember it any other way: “No stepping on the other’s injured toe.” Even a saint has a past. Taboo subjects are always sad and destructive. They should never be brought up, especially during an argument.

First response: Always remember that the course of a conflict or argument is not determined by the person who initiates it, but by the person who responds. There are no brownie points given to a good defense in a relationship.

Proper timing: Success of a conversation can be maximized if the timing to initiate it is calculated smartly. Good conversations require good responses, and responses depend on the responder’s mood among other things. Time your chats with your partner so as to coincide with the times they are most receptive to the topic or your suggestions. Avoid bringing up prickly topics when you know your partner is in the “red zone”.

Physical touch: In the most misunderstood of situations or the worst of circumstances, a genuine hug can never go wrong in getting things back on track. Neither can a hand on the shoulder or a pat on the back.

Every couple has a “couple style”—a unique set of dynamics that works for them. They should strive to figure that out. As a wise soul once said, “Surrender the ‘Me’ for the ‘We’ and everything else will fall in place”.