Expectation versus reality: Demystifying Marriage

Bad Marriage relationship bored with love problems

Since time immemorial, girls have always dreamt that her knight in shining armour would come on a white horse and sweep her away to a wonderland of love and happiness and live happily ever after. What the girls don’t realize that it’s a story, a hypothetical story and nobody has shared what happens beyond the ‘happily ever after’. Somewhere I read, marriage is a journey from ‘I do’ to ‘she/he did’. Inadvertently, it becomes our habit to find faults constantly about each other. And to top it, the pleasure of saying, ‘I told you so….’. It gives us more orgasmic pleasure than the actual act. Pun intended!!!

There is a famous adage ‘Marriage’ is a laddu, jo khaye woh bhi pachtaye, jo na khaye woh bhi pachtaye. Simply put, it’s a sweet that if you eat you will repent, even if you don’t eat then also you will repent. The smart people amongst us then thought, why not taste it and then repent. A smart idea indeed.

What problem found after marriage?

I thought, let me identify some common expectations that we have before marriage and the reality that strikes us once the honeymoon period is over. This gap between our expectation and reality leads to a lot of stress.

Let’s start with the most basic need, ‘Financial independence’. There’s a constant tug of war on who will spend and who saves. Does one need to take permission from the other on every expense that happens? This often becomes bone of contention.

Second most important aspect is the in-laws part. Do we need to spend all festivals/occasions with in-laws and if so who’s in-law, my-mom Vs your-mom is a constant struggle that we argue on? Also, the elephant in the room question is whose mom interferes more in a day-to-day life.

Third is the gender stereotyping of the everyday chores. Who cooks, who cleans, especially now during this corona virus era, when we can’t even look up to our maid. Moreover, both are working, immaterial of who earns more.

Next in line is kids. When do we have babies, or what if one partner doesn’t want a baby at all? Are we okay to accept each other’s decision? Moreover, many a times a girl wants her mom to stay close to her so that she can take help in managing kids without compromising on her career. This also creates a rift because a help can be requested to a mom-in-law too.

Then comes our me-time, a time which we want to spend our own way. One might want to go for an exotic vacation, have a leisure stay in some luxurious resort and the other one might want to spend the entire vacation in the bed, lazing around, not doing anything, just eat…sleep…repeat…

Finally, a spick and span versus a messier one. The classic example of the wet towel on the bed has an ability to initiate a mini world war.

Not to forget, a left brained individual who understands only black and white married to a right brained individual, who is super sensitive and emotional. And the list of expectations doesn’t stop here. In fact, it keeps building up as our relationship progresses. And, so the ‘tu tu main main’ (the squabble) continues.

Why premarital counselling needed?

I am sure, most of us identify with some points mentioned above, if not all. The reason being, most of us never went for premarital counselling and hence the lack of tips of what we should be aware of before committing ourselves in to a long-term relationship called marriage. Moreover, once married, it has been grilled into us, now that you are married you need to hold on to that marriage despite all odds. And the compromise era begins…

Bad Marriage relationship counselling

What I want is to bring your attention to focus on things that are in our hand. To begin with, think, do you want to be RIGHT or happy!!! Once you are clear that happiness is more important than ‘being right’ you have crossed one major hurdle. The foundation for a strong marriage is based on communication, respect, trust and commitment. The most important being, able to communicate, rather than going into your silent zone. Even if it means to fight or shout. Being vocal and expressing emotions is vital to any relationship.

Second is respect, and by respect, I mean, respecting the individuality or perception of that person which may not always align with you. None the less, to understand the other individual’s perspective/ point of view, adds to a relationship. This will happen when we listen with an open mind and empathise with our spouse.

Third is rock solid trust on your spouse. Trust can neither be built overnight, nor can it be destroyed in a jiffy. So a little dash of forgiveness goes a long way. Though, rebuilding trust takes time but revisiting the past mistakes only stirs up negative emotions. We need to let go.

Fourth being commitment. Once we have committed to each other, ie., once we promise to stay together forever (till death do us part) and try to work out the problems amicably, by not having unrealistic expectations and being more accepting, life becomes beautiful.

Keep watching this space and I will touch upon issues that can be avoided which lead to frustrations and pain of unmet expectations and thereby building a closer, stronger relationship.

Where to find the best online marriage counsellors?

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