It was a wise woman who remarked, “Of course my husband and I take each other’s love for granted! We are sure and secure about our love. But we never take each other for granted!”
It’s true that after marriage, almost all spouses take each other for granted. Women have complained to me, “There was a time when our husbands gave us many promises, made many vows, took great interest in what we did. All that has become history; now they take us for granted.”
The truth is, it is not enough for husbands to earn money to support the family. It is not enough for wives to cook and clean and launder. Marriage involves much more than such material needs. Listen to the emotional needs of your partners. Absorb the spirit of their conversation. Appreciate their dreams and aspirations. Learn to support and encourage them in every way.
Vulnerability is good
Emotional and physical independence come easily to men and women these days. I am quite sceptical about ‘open’ and ‘free’ marriages, where husbands and wives give each other the ‘freedom’ to do as they please. Long-distance marriages, which are becoming common nowadays, alarm me.
I always think that it is good to develop a healthy sense of ‘dependence’ on your spouse. I think there is something valuable about a relationship where husband and wife need each other, and are vulnerable without the other’s support.
Are you married strangers?
Consider a couple who are leading “full, active lives” as they put it. The husband is a busy executive; he jet-sets all over the world attending seminars, conferences and business meetings every other day. He entertains customers, foreign collaborators and visiting consultants to lunch or dinner at five-star hotels; and at weekends, he relaxes by playing golf with select friends...
As for the wife, she is ‘into’ yoga and fitness, she visits fashion designers; she is a regular member of the Ladies’ club where she plays cards with her friends every day. She is also learning to design jewellery and hopes to open her own outlet soon.
They are beginning to go in separate revolving circles and are in danger of becoming married strangers. They live under the same roof, eat at the same table and share a bed every night... but they are drifting apart.
They must learn to be flexible. Each should be willing to change, give in just a little for the sake of the marriage. They should spare more time to be in each other’s company. They should spend more time with the children. They should ‘loosen’ their schedules and deadlines so that their marriage does not suffer. They should work for change. They should work to keep their love fresh!
Nobody wants to live an emotionally barren existence. No one likes to live in a separate revolving circle!
The secret is love and patience
A highly respected marriage counsellor tells people: “Take the trouble to study your partner. Make an effort to understand her. Consider him as a rare and fascinating object. Study her constantly. Understand his likes and dislikes. Appreciate her strengths and weaknesses. Be sensitive to his moods and feelings. If you wish to live successfully with your spouse, you must get to know the person better each and every day. You must learn to know what pleases her, you must know what upsets him, you must know when to encourage her and when not to push him too hard. In other words, do not ever take your partner for granted.
Many men take quick decisions—and having once made up their minds, stick to their guns. Women, on the other hand, have a tough time taking decisions. There are so many issues and considerations which sway them. This calls for a significant adjustment—but it can be accomplished with love and patience.
Keep your love fresh
There was a lady who needed to travel to the US to be with her daughter who was about to give birth to her first child. It was decided that she would travel in February, for the confinement was expected in March. The husband would fly out to join them in April, after the baby was born.
Accordingly, the flight reservations were made. The mother was to fly out on February 1st. On 28th January, she developed mild blood pressure. The doctor assured them that it was nothing serious, and that she could fly as scheduled.
“I think I’ll fly a little later,” she said to her husband. He readily agreed. The flight was changed to 5th February, and the daughter was informed.
On 3rd February, the lady was afflicted with a severe allergy. “I’ll leave on the 10th”, she pleaded with her husband. And he agreed.
On 8th February, she began to suffer from acidity. When the father called his daughter in the US, she said to him, “Papa, I suggest you fly in with Mama. I think she doesn’t want to travel alone without you.”
The husband was a kind and loving man. He said to his wife, “Honey, there’s no need for you to feel so tense. We shall fly together to be with our daughter. Does that make you feel better?”
The wife cheered up instantly. Her numerous afflictions disappeared miraculously. In gratitude and appreciation, she held her husband’s hand and said to him, “Thank you! The truth is that I did not want to leave you and go alone!”
Eventually, the daughter sent them fresh reservations to fly together to the US on the February 14th—St. Valentine’s Day! They knew how to keep their love fresh!
Excerpted with permission from 10 Commandments of A Successful Marriage by J. P. Vaswani published by Sterling Publishers.
14th February is Valentine’s Day!
Take a good look at the following expressions“I am proud of you!”
“You make me feel good!”
“I love to be seen with you.”
“My self-confidence gets a boost when you are with me.”
“You know how to make me feel great!”
“Your sense of humour is terrific. I love it when you make me laugh!”
“I am so glad you are watching over me. I don’t make mistakes when you are around!”
“Thank you for being you!”
And of course the seven-word magic formula, “Honey, where would I be without you?”
This is the secret of keeping married love fresh permanently!
In every one of the above expressions is the underlying message—I love you! You make me feel happy and secure.
This was first published in the February 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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