The modern spouse

 Let me give you a brief introduction of how I perceived the modern

marriage develops. The basic nature of the modern marriage is composed

solely of superficial attraction, and knee-jerk reactions, without any

forethought given to different compatibilities and complementary qualities.

This kind of marriage essentially lacks a strong base for trust and respect,

ab initio.

A majority of modern spouses seem to be immature and uncertain

about the real meaning of marriage. Their marriage is initially based on

imagination and fantasies, and when they finally realise the difficult truth

of the non-existence of an ‘effortless marriage’, they often tend to shy away

from putting in the requisite amount of work and inputs into it.

The different roles that a spouse has to enact are ever-changing, and

very few people are willing to accept these changes. A marriage challenges

you to find your own self within another person, search for happiness and

satisfaction through the medium of a person other than yourself, throw away

your rigidities and egoisms, and embrace the beauty of a perfect union. For

a majority of people, marriage turns out to be so much bigger and more

intimidating than they had imagined that they are immediately taken aback

by the enormity of what they have undertaken. And, ultimately, they crack

under pressure of this burgeoning weight and find it easier to give up than

to fight on. This is precisely why we are seeing the rapid trend of divorce

quickly following marriage. Unfortunately, parallel to this trend, there is

another which makes the situation completely pathetic: having a child very

quickly after marriage.

In today’s world, women often earn as much, or even more, than their

husbands. This might lead the husband to develop an inferiority complex,

or conversely, the wife to develop a superiority complex; and either one of

these can turn out to be extremely detrimental to the marriage. When handled

improperly and immaturely, this unequal gap in the earning power, with

the balance shifted in the woman’s favour, seeps into the couple’s personal

lives as well, creating an emotional gap between them. It is imperative for

the couple not to focus on this financial disparity, but, instead, pool in their

money to create a common budget. The money should not be looked upon

as belonging to a certain individual, but rather, as belonging to the whole

family. This will result in greater harmony within the family and ensure

a safe and secure future for the children as well. The husband’s jealousy,

inferiority complex, insecurities and rivalry, arising due to his counterpart’s

higher remuneration, better job status or a more successful professional life,

should not get in the way and cause harm to their conjugal life.

Marriage is supposed to be an institution and your family occupies

the entire space of its hallowed premises. It is reckless and immature to

have children soon after marriage, even as your marriage has not yet been

established on sound and resolute grounds. A child completely changes and

disintegrates all equations. It turns your world upside-down, and brings

about changes in your relationship with your spouse. If you have not put in

enough time and effort into your marriage to form strong and stable bonds

with your spouse, you will never be ready to survive the major upheavals

that a child will most definitely cause. Unfortunately, couples, careless in

‘love’, and immature in thoughts, do not see this coming. What follows can

be as devastating in a weak relationship as it is beautiful in a strong one.

Nevertheless, it should be distinctly understood that planning for a child

even at the incipient stage of the couple’s married life should be devised

with the mutual consent of the couple themselves.

The good news is that there is a fairly simple way to prevent such a

calamitous consequence: WORK on your marriage. This implies spending

time with your partner, respecting each other, making a determined effort

to understand and empathise with each other’s weaknesses and strengths,

letting go of your own harmful ego, and eliminating your rigid attributes by

realising the opportunities that a new-found flexibility of mind will present.

Almost all the negative attributes of humans shoot out of a common

root— RIGIDITY. This eight-letter word is such a common trait as it has

shaped itself into a pattern.

Generally speaking, the meaning of marriage is ‘to create’. This creation

in the form of their own baby brings heavenly pleasures for both the spouses.

They love their children boundlessly. But their responsibilities increase

with passing of time. Their natural care and affections for their spouse start

shifting to their kid. The problems start right from here. Both the spouses

start feeling neglected by his/her counterpart without a realization that life

can change with the increased responsibilities and liabilities. These natural

and real circumstances are bound to come. Their expression of love slowly

turns into profane and acrimonious language. They start blaming each other

for any meaningless reason. They find themselves neglected and rejected by

their spouse.

Integrity in diversity: fusion of distinct

interests, and co-operation

A marriage requires adjustment and compromise, qualities integral for

its sustainability. However, such change and self-sacrifice is a tough task

for anyone, and not surprisingly so. Each partner in the marriage tries hard

to keep his/her identity and perspectives intact, in the process of wishing

the other half to live along the same lines. Obviously, this becomes far too

much to expect, and due to the inflexibilities on either side, differences

do remain in many aspects. Such long-festering differences of opinions

and viewpoints ultimately take a turn for the worse, and when the dam

finally breaks, a flood of unhappiness, discord and pain is released and

the children’s situation is analogous to that of the displaced persons or

refugees—requiring rehabilitation immediately. Some couples try to work

out a stop-gap solution to keep the tensions at bay, for the sake of their child,

by refusing to communicate openly and resorting to external dependencies

to fill the vacuum of love and support. This severely affects their marital

life, and consequently, they go through emotional turmoil, which not only

affects their own physical and psychological constitution, but also, often

unintentionally, ends up hampering the healthy growth of their child.

A good marriage involves a well-balanced outlook and fulfilment of the

wishes, desires, needs and duties of both the partners without any feelings of

prejudice, jealousy or injustice. A successful marriage requires compromise

and sacrifice, ensuring equal importance to the interests and wants of the

spouses. When this balance becomes skewed in either direction, discord and

disagreements start rearing their ugly heads.

The most important ingredient in the recipe of a successful marriage

involves the successful, pleasant and balanced combination of desires and

mutual respect for each other’s interests and requirements. It also includes

equal, unforced participation in activities and decisions made by the other

partner and unconditional support to your spouse. Accept it as a normal

phenomenon. Marriage in itself indicates a new beginning of your life.

Never take it as liabilities. You are not sacrificing nor compromising. You

are taking it as your integral part.

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