Picture this. A wide ballroom dance floor, a well-dressed man in a suit with a rose in his mouth, passionately dancing with a beautiful woman in a dress as red as the rose. Now add some distance between them, even so little so as to them not being able to hold hands. Does the dance still make sense to you? Does it seem as passionate as it did earlier?
It’s exactly the same with marriage, that gap whether emotional or physical needs to be bridged as soon as it forms. The longer you wait, the bigger the gap gets. Recent studies reveal that there is an increase in adjustment issues between newly weds in urban India. Often there seem to be ego clashes between the couple, especially if they are employed and self-dependent. There seem to specifically be issues with proper communication; in fact, people tend to communicate more with their own families, who try to guide them, adding to the friction between the couple.
In many cases, it is seen that marriage is not consummated even six months to one year after marriage, leaving both partners frustrated, depressed, and undergoing tension, stress and misunderstanding. On probing, it has been found that sometimes ego plays a major role in misunderstanding between couples.
How then can we deal with these ego clashes and resolve issues amicably? If you feel that you and your partner have the slightest of gap between you, here’s some proven advice for you:
- Keep the family out of your marriage
This doesn’t mean that once you get married, your family must be kept at bay. It means that issues you have with your spouse, should be resolved with them, just like you promised during your vows.
- Leave the past where it belongs, in the past
Starting afresh always helps, with issues both small and big. Forget about things that are not deal-breakers and move on, focusing on the present and planning your future.
- Prioritize your spouse over your gadgets
Let’s face it. Our gadgets and through them, work and social media have taken over our lives. When you have to spend quality time with your spouse, set aside your gadgets and give them the time they deserve. Do things together so that you can bond more – whip up a meal together, go watch a match or a movie, pick up groceries, take up a common hobby. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do as long as you both are enjoying yourselves.
As often as possible, sit down face-to-face and openly discuss what is bothering you rather than nurture negative feelings. Avoid arguments and try to sort things mutually and amicably. Once you both understand what is causing the disagreements, avoid repeating the same mistakes.
- ‘We’ekends are for We time
Rather than spending every weekend with your respective families, try to sneak in some ‘us’ time. Go on short holidays, de-stress, focus on intimacy, and look for new ways to rejuvenate the relationship. You should understand that while we need family with us, we do not want them to interfere in everything ‘we’ do as couples. Establish personal time and have your own little secrets to grow that bond you share.
- Like the gadgets, set aside your ego
The success of a marriage depends on the friendship the relationship is based on. Establishing companionship and camaraderie is extremely important. Adjustment plays an important role for both people in a marriage, so make space for things that really matter. One’s ego does not.
- Grow resilience
Couples who’ve stuck together for 2-3-4-5 decades, say that despite all the differences they have had along the way, it was their determination to stick together that worked best for them.
At the end of the day no matter what the external circumstances are, it is entirely in your hands to make or break your marriage. Couples quickly opt for divorce rather than talk and resolve issues. And we know that not all issues are deal-breakers, and so they should be sensibly evaluated. If you feel you are not able to sort things out on your own, you should feel comfortable enough to consult a psychologist or a marriage counselor to resolve issues, as a couple.
Remember, it takes two to tango!
– Nithila Ranjan, VISIT Therapist