Marital discord historically may be as old as the institution of marriage itself. Some lead to the courts while most in countries like India sustain through compromises.
The trivial reasons…
It is logical that no two people will have the same thought process. Differences are bound to be there in opinions. But, should that difference lead to separation? I have been dealing with this subject, directly or indirectly, for quite sometime now. My understanding is that the trigger in most cases is trivial which goes unaddressed. Small differences/ issues accumulate and lead to a point of no return.
I have witnessed love marriages breaking down for reasons like ‘parental pressures’ ‘It is only after marriage he/ she showed true colours’ ‘she does not respect my parents’ ‘I cannot stand his/ her habits or friends’. If such reasons could lead to separations then my mind says that ‘love and understanding’ were definitely not the reason which brought the two together.
Accept…Do not impose….
Two people may decide to spend their life together because of love or parental decisions (In India most matches are arranged by parents). Whatever be the reason leading to the union, one thing both have to understand that they got to accept each other as a package. The package generally includes the families, friends, emotions, values, beliefs and the likes.
One should not expect the other to change just because he/ she has married him/ her. It is not imposition of will but convincing and conviction which is desired. Do not expect the partner to change overnight. Give the relationship time and space flourish and maybe the love and understanding will bring in the desired changes. Any attempt to enforce changes is bound to lead to stiff resistance which is definitely not good for marital health.
Learn to respect the individual values, beliefs and emotions for a happy married life (Keep the friends away; do not think of falling in love with them!!!).
Time and space….
It is well understood that there is no place for an outsider in the private space between the spouses. However, in their respective personal spaces there may always be family, friends, pets or hobbies. This space has always to be accepted and provided to help the relationship grow. Each partner has to understand the meaning of balancing out the private, personal and the public space.
I have come across cases where the reason for strained relationship is pinned by either of the spouses on parents, friends /other relationships.
Discuss…Do not debate….
The differences are best resolved by positive communication/ discussions. But unfortunately, more often than not people indulge in arguments/ debates and not discussions. While discussions are to find the best solutions, the debates are often entered into to prove a point. Any conversation started with the premise of proving a point of view is likely to create more fissures. The avenues of communication should always remain open.
Do not assume…make an effort to understand…
Most personal clashes are results of unfound assumptions. It is always better to ask and confirm than to just rely on hearsay or one’s own reasoning abilities. The aim should not always be to confront (May be required in some situations) but to find the truth. ‘How’ often matters more than ‘Why’ and ‘What’ in such communications. A partner going out of home solo every other day, without assigning reasons, should not become the sole reason for doubting the intent. One does not have to hire a private detective to ascertain the intent the behaviour will show it all.
Compromise…but never with values…
I am personally a staunch opponent of compromises people make to sustain. ‘Why should I be the one always compromising?’ is a standard question raised by spouses at home every other day. However, foregoing an evening dinner, meeting a friend or attending a party has never been a cause of major harm for any married men/ women. The love between the two should be reason enough for making adjustments and small compromises. But never ever compromise with values. When your values are being challenged, by all means resist or hit back.
One common complaint of warring spouses is about the aggressive behaviour of the other. Misbehaving, humiliating in public to showing no respect to elders and the value systems are often quoted as the triggers for strained relation.
It is a fact, there are spouses who have this tendency of raising their voices with the partner in public. At times, a situation may be created which one feels warrants an immediate high decibel response but then it is always better to wait and sort out the issues within the confines of the home.
Hurry to offload problems on to the partner immediately on occurrence is another trigger which may lead to a possible break up. A clear distinction should be maintained between office and home. No official stress should be brought home nor any domestic issues passed on to the partner through telephone while he or she is in office. Wait for him/ her to return, maybe by then the issue would have got resolved without much ado.
Everyone has a right to speak their mind but one does not necessarily have to ‘explode’ to convey. How long the after effects of what you have communicated depends on how you have conveyed.
Equal status…freedom of action….
Marriage is definitely not about ownership but about partnership. Unfortunately, some do think that they have got the ownership license and nothing should move at home without their explicit approval or consent. This is another reason which becomes a cause of suffocation and forces one partner to create more space for breathing. Yes, discussions should be the norm. There is nothing better than a joint decision. But situations leading to ‘compromised decisions’ are certainly best avoided. You never know when the patience will give way to frustration leading to strains.
Seek help ….
All efforts should be made by the partners to resolve personal differences by themselves. However, when signs of reconciliation get dim it is always better to involve the elders/ friends. Unfortunately, in many a case it is the elders/ friends who further add fuel to the fire.
There is no harm in seeking professional guidance when nothing else is working.
There is life beyond the daily routine, the office and the family. It is the lack of communication which accelerates the ‘break up’ process. Spouses should always have time for each other, an exclusive ‘our time’. Whatever business you do in life, people should always come first and amongst the people the close family should always be on priority one. Love and peace of mind should always lead the decisions. Always make an honest endeavour to find the ‘our time’. Do not wait for the weekends, there is scope in everyday, use the time wisely. More the ‘our time’ lesser will the problems in the personal life.
Communication is the only answer to personal issues which may arise between spouses. One to one conversation yields the best results but no harm in following a ‘through me’ procedure and taking help of others if you have hit a road block.