The Indic scriptures state that marriage is one of the most profound experiences of human life. The vivāha samsara is understood as a sacrament and a purificatory ritual that allows a couple to enter the gr̥hastha-āśrama or the stage of a householder in order to pursue dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa. It is a sacred bond standing on the three pillars of rati (desire), dharma (duty), and prajā (progeny).
Having said that, in today’s time and age, is marriage itself not ambitious? A fulfilling relationship includes two people who must invest in their own development just as much as in a relationship. So, is it not ambitious enough to find such partners that are ready to transform themselves in order to make a marriage work perfectly?
We all know that the only relationships that last are those that evolve with time, situations and circumstances. When a partner feels low or unhappy, the easiest way for him or her is to blame the other for the downfall of the relationship that has bound them together. Partners need to prioritize their needs and goals to make their marriage work better, more importantly, they need to keep up to those promises with passing time. Most issues in a marriage start with firstly taking each other for granted and secondly showing lack of respect towards each other’s decisions, especially in front of family and friends.
It is not very difficult to manage a wholesome relationship with one’s spouse. Having managed 28 years of married life with three kids in a joint family, I have learnt to get my priorities straight. Listed are some of my pointers that will for sure help you make your marriage and your ambitions co-exist:
1. Never dismiss or undervalue your partner's needs at any point in time. Be there for each other, cultivate the habit of listening to each other with 100% attention.
2. Remember that even before you met each other, you both had dreams and goals that you wished to accomplish. Now that you are together, you must make an attempt to help your partner achieve these goals. All you really need from each other is to talk, be open and share your dreams to accomplish a strong sense of understanding and empathy in the marriage.
3. Support your partner's point as much as possible. And in case you don't agree, instead of criticizing, look for a possible solution to the situation and work together to get things done.
4. Allow your partner to be who they are. Remember you chose them exactly for what you saw in them then. Allow the changes that you wish to see in them come by organically. The bond that you grow in this process will keep you together without any ego of false pride.
5. Develop mutual trust. You will only see your partner as well as you see yourself. Hence, learn to give each other space so as to pursue personal interests. Growing separately and doing things individually does not mean you are growing apart- in fact, your marriage will turn itself around and you will discover deep friendship in this relationship once you allow this freedom.
6. Learn to physically be there for each other. Share household chores, spend time identifying each other’s strengths in order to manage home, finances, children, school work, shopping and other social responsibilities.
7. Show love and respect to all that your partner has invested in; whether it is people, places or products. Most times, small matters jeopardize a perfectly healthy relationship.
8. Learn the fine art of compromising small things if the long haul is beneficial. It is often the silly issues that create a serious rift between couples, sometimes even leading to separation. So learn to let go.
9. Find activities that will keep your passion for life and togetherness ignited. These activities will help you become your own person while being in a mature relationship with your spouse.
In our country, most married women give up their personal ambitions after marriage and dedicate their life to taking care of their husband’s family. Needless to say, in such a circumstance, if the woman is not treated with love and respect, a negative impact on her body and mind will set in, leaving her perpetually irritable and insecure.
These are the times, when equality of both men and women are placed on a high pedestal. To most of us, personal goals and ambitions are an integral part of our lives.
When these basic wants and wishes go unfulfilled or unaddressed, it can affect the way we feel, think and behave.
We come across more cases of separation and divorce that get ugly and uncomfortable. The root cause, according to me, is basic communication issues between partners and families. With larger families becoming smaller, the concept of sacrifice and adjustments have slowly gone away. Marriages are suddenly a war zone which requires meticulous planning and subtle manipulation. With all that hoopla about freedom and liberation from leading independent lives, partners are seen missing a sense of responsibility, with no clarity on mutual life goals.
That is the reason that many couples nowadays seek professional counselling. Research says that depression itself doesn't lead directly to divorce. That is why several forms of therapy are recommended to lead a blissful married life. Practicing yoga asanas & meditation are known to be wary of any mental discomfort. Therapy and therapists can play a beneficial role in opening up channels of communication that often get suppressed due to ego, pain and neglect. However, no one can fix your issues for you. Building a marriage based on respect and trust and achieving professional goals requires a two-way commitment. And no matter how dedicated one partner might be in salvaging the relationship, it will falter unless both of them give it their best shot. Whatever way you choose to go, it is important to acknowledge the way your partner feels and commit to making things work. More importantly, introspect, outline your goals and share them with each other, because in the end, teamwork makes the dream work!
Written by- Radhika Iyer Talati
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