Marriage, one of the usual stops on the way to settling down, talked about with so much passion and at times with so much disdain. Do happy marriages exist? If yes? how can we achieve that?
There have been a lot of research and studies in the quest of finding the holy grail to a happy marriage. I am going to sum up a few points here.
1. Be kind
Prophet peace be upon him said, “the best of you are those who are best to their women.”Tirmidhi
Same goes for females also. If you are out there being kind and sweet to everyone else but your spouse, that predicts the sad state of your relationship.
Yes, with time, the husband and wife become way comfortable with each other here is the thing is, kindness shouldn’t go away because your marriage is old now.
In one study, psychologist John Gottman put up a lab and had newly weds spend a retreat there doing vacation stuff. Their interactions were observed over the whole day. Gottman predicted with 94% accuracy, that the couple would stay together or not. The prediction was based on the fact that when one partner initiates interaction or communication like a husband commenting on a bird, how does the other respond? Do they respond kindly or shut off their spouse?
2. Never Compare your Spouse
‘Oh, he brings flowers for his wife every week.’
‘Oh, she is an amazing cook. Learn from her.’
‘Oh, he helps in cooking food even after coming from work’
And soooo onnnn…
This kind of thinking and constant social comparison leads you nowhere. If you think you husband or wife is lacking something and you come across someone else’s example who not, they’ll be lacking something else. Humans are complex beings and whether you like it or not, every person is different so comparing them wouldn’t bring any positive change. Research showed comparison with someone with having a more idealistic relationship is detrimental for your own relationship
3. Look at the positives of Your Spouse
Look at positives, all the good qualities of your spouse, that you love. Know that there is no one perfect in this world. If one person has a certain annoying habit someone else would have some other annoying habit. If you keep looking for a perfect human being, you won’t find one, ever.
4. Know that the honeymoon phase will end
When one gets married, the first phase is the honeymoon or romance phase. In that phase everything is flowers and rainbows, you are so in love and everything is picture perfect. The true strength of a relationship is tested when you step into the next phase where you start noticing every good and bad habit of each other. You will struggle in your relationship but that is the true test. If the two people can make it through the turbulent times, they’re going to reach a point of stability and even then, ups and downs do come due to different things like stress, baby, work, disagreements etc. True love is sticking together no matter what.
5. Keep learning
Read about married life and how to make it a good one. You can find resources which detail the ins and outs of marriage and the things we don’t understand about marriage. Reading those would make you more enlightened on how to solve disagreements and love each other through the thick and thin. Two books that I would recommend reading for any to-be married or married couple are ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ and ‘5 Love Languages’.
- Esfahani, A. (2014, June 12). Masters of Love. The Atlanitc, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/happily-ever-after/372573/
- Wesner, K., W, “Social comparison of romantic relationships: The influence of family, friends, and media” (2008). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10901. Retrieved from https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1946&context=etd.
- Rock Solid Marriages. (n.d.) The Five Stages of Marriage. Retrieved from https://www.rocksolidmarriages.com/the-5-stages-of-marriage.html