How to achieve 25 years of Happily Married life?

How to achieve 25 years of Happily Married life?

We recently completed 25 years of our Happy Married life. :-).  Shriram and me!!!

Now a days we see couples who even had love marriages, leave themselves apart barely with in 1-2 years after their marriage. Also couples married for even more than 2-3 decades find it difficult to go along and say good bye to each other.

It pains me to hear something like this, hence this article!!.

Relationships don’t require hard work.

E.g. Taking care of a plant isn’t difficult, but it requires nourishment. Daily attention and care!!

In 25 years, we loved each other very much and were committed to bringing out the best in each other. We also always tried to maintain a climate of positive energy, which includes gratitude and appreciation.

Habits can either create or destroy positive climate. For instance, complaining to your partner about very tiny issues also can become a habitual complaint. Other negative habits include criticism, contempt, sarcasm, eye-rolling and distancing behaviours.

We could manage to harness healthy daily habits as opposed to destructive habits to create a positive climate in our marriage.

These healthy habits are “very small, almost imperceptible, easy things to do” throughout the day.

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Do following for a month and tell me the result –

  1. Greeting each other lovingly in the morning.

Instead of having a negative or even neutral interaction, we greet each other with a smile and a positive statement to begin the day.

  1. Text.

Modern-day technology can help you to stay connected throughout the day. Send texts to your spouse – a playful, flirtatious or sweet one. You may write anything from “I miss you” to “I can’t wait to see you tonight.”

  1. Hug.

Having an intentional hug that lasts for 20 seconds can create a magic. This is actually longer than the average hug, and it’s long enough for the bonding hormone, to be released.

  1. Touch at mealtime.

When you’re eating dinner or lunch together, make it a point to touch your partner. You might touch their hand or arm, or your legs might touch.

  1. Compliment.

Many marriages do suffer from chronic under-appreciation. Partners don’t feel appreciated, and they, too, don’t show their appreciation. The relationship becomes clouded by a “sense of lack and taking each other for granted.”

At the end of the day or may be throughout the day we thank each other, it has become a deeply rooted habit for us now.

Not only we feel appreciated after the compliment, but we have trained ourselves to look for the good. We focus our attention on the things we do, not just what we don’t do.

  1. Expressing needs differently.

Often people will criticise as a way of describing their needs. So instead of a request, it comes out as an attack. For instance, if I’m annoyed that Shriram is on the computer, I might say, “You’re always on the computer.”

But I rather say – “I’d like to spend some time with you. Could you spend some time with me?” This invites a dialogue between us.

Some days we probably won’t feel like showing appreciation or being affectionate. We might be in a miserable mood or downright exhausted. But we do it anyway. As I said earlier “It has become a deeply rooted habit”. “When we do a loving behaviour, we start to feel more loving”.

We had fun throughout our life and had a romantic courtship period also. But by doing all the things mentioned above NATURALLY, our marriage still has the initial spark. It hasn’t died down. We always wanted to live a happy married life, and who don’t want it by the way?

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I don’t remember a single occasion when we ever had said things in anger intentionally meaning to hurt each other. When arguing, sometimes, we never take it personally. Both of us very well understand our thoughts and moods even before we have a conversation. We immediately come to know that something is wrong and feel comfortable bringing it up.

We trust each other more than anyone in the world.

We wanted healthy marriage, so we had to make each other feel equal and take our feelings into account whenever we were making a decision or just going about our day. We considered our opinions really matter to each other and no one always has the final say. We respected each other’s views seriously. We worked to be kind, loving, and understanding.

We respected each other’s privacy. Never went snooping through each other’s phones or computers or anything else for that matter.

We strictly avoided getting hung up on past mistakes or keep reminding each other about failures. We rather worked on reinforcing positive behaviour, enjoying our present time together.

If we sense that something is wrong, we surly ask what the matter is. That’s the time when we need each other’s attention the most.

In social meetings though Shriram sometimes makes fun of me even in front of others. He is so witty that, I bet anybody present at that meeting would take it as a kind of absolute wit and fun. I also don’t mind and take it in good spirit.

As our relationship was progressing, sometimes we found that there were more and more obligations that kept us from having time alone. But we made sure to get that time alone every week or may be fortnight. We had to sacrifice some time with friends or family to make that happen. Though I admit we both had a very tough time when Shriram was in Bangalore on a 6 months project. And it was just 2 years after our marriage.

We never stopped doing little things, no matter how tired we were or how comfortable we were in the relationship. This especially is a very good habit of Shriram which kept us in a strong bonding. He never gets lazy when it comes to our relationship and makes sure to always make me feel special and loved.

Gifts –  are Shriram’s weak point. Need not be expensive. It is always the thought that counts. His small gifts always created warmth and sweet memories which will go a long way. “Just because” small gifts is his tactic to keep relations romantic. Won’t forget to mention here that our son Kushal is born on 14th February.

I used to take care of the house when Shriram used to be very busy while he was setting up his business. Same thing he also used to do when I used to go for School picnics etc. Sometimes we even used to deny that we need extra help, but we can feel the stress on other person and make an extra effort, e.g taking care of our pet Joey etc.

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We also maintained some level of independence. Spent time pursuing our hobbies and interests. We two never always go with our friends just because we’re married. Though sometimes we participate in each other’s social lives.

We knew very early that if we want our marriage to last, then we have to keep making an effort to be romantic and learn to compromise. We have made sacrifices for each other. Relationship was always not the fun and easy. In few bad times we needed to sit and have a serious dialogue about what to do next.

We had many rough patches but instead of waiting for it to blow over we put everything into it and came out of it. When Shriram was dealing with death of his mother or even doubting his career choices, I was supportive and understanding during this difficult time.

Every day is not a walk in the park. We are always prepared for the fact that there will be some struggles, some days of unhappiness, and some days when I just can’t even be in the same room where Shriram is. But we know it’s perfectly normal not to get along 100% of the time. We don’t expect our marriage to be perfectly blissful every day. That could end up in a disappointment.

We know we have flaws, just like everyone else has. We don’t expect perfection.  If any one of us has flaws we’d like to work on them, such as always being late, and then have an honest, open conversation about it, and be willing to change the bad habits etc.

As we grow older, it’s important to continue our own personal journey, it can also help us to develop interests together. I like cooking with Shriram, or watching the same shows year after year, it’s important to find a routine that can give us something to look forward to as a couple.

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What matters most is that we continue to love each other and be understanding of the fact that we both will go through ups and downs in our lives; if we’re true partners, then we’ll both grow into stronger, more capable, and more loving people.

We know that our relation is finite. One won’t realise now that the relationship can end because of anything. A divorce, death or anything else for that matter. I also don’t claim that to have a happy married life you should be doing what we did. Do whatever but keep your relations with your better half intact. That’s it.

And this is surly not the Rocket Science, anyone can do this.

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About The Author: Surekha Garde

With a Masters’ Degree in History along with Bachelors’ Degree in Commerce, Psychology and Education, I am a full time Teacher and Supervisor at a Private School in Mumbai.

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