Marriage is often taken for granted. We think we know all and get into it without learning how to make it work. Understanding marriage should be the first most important task if you want to live a happy married life. There’s more to marriage than love, sex, and trust. Let’s clear some misunderstandings and highlight the pitfalls so that you’re better prepared to face challenges and have better expectations of marriage. ~ Ed.
Some say marriages are made in heaven.
Well, if they were, there would be no divorces.
But hey, maybe they are, and divorce happens to teach you lessons about marriage.
So next time, if there’s one, you make it a sure success – understand marriage and live a happy married life.
Why not clear the exam of marriage in just one attempt? Yeah, understand all about marriage before you enter it, so you stay in it forever (or till you part naturally).
Are you married?
If not, then this is a must read. If yes, and you think you know everything about marriage then you’re wrong.
Marriage is a vast subject – the course content keeps changing as you cross different levels and it isn’t an easy deal.
Marriage is one of the toughest tests in your life – a test of your character, integrity, patience, sincerity, and the ability to carry responsibility, humility, words of promises, and so on.
Many regard marriage as the elixir of love, while some consider it a heavenly relationship. It’s not that these aren’t true, but there are many other facets to marriage.
An Overview of Contents
9 Tips to Understanding Marriage
Here are some of the facts of marriage that you should know.
“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.” ~ Andre Maurois
1. Marriage is a contract that needs to be renewed, everyday
Yes, it’s a contract – an agreement, a deal, pact, or a bond of trust and togetherness. Both partners sit together to define its terms and conditions and revise them periodically. But marriage is not maintenance free!
You need to continually make it work to keep it alive and fresh. If you neglect it, it rots and disintegrates. Marriage is more about acceptance and making adjustments on the go.
Marriage is certainly an agreement that is binding on both the partners. Don’t take it for granted. If one partner cheats on the contract, it leads to chaos.
In a perfect marriage, the couples refresh their love and renew their commitment to each other on a daily basis. Small acts of kindness, caring gestures, and daily doses of love enhance the life and performance of your marriage.
When things do not go well, know that it’s time for servicing your marriage and bring back the magic to keep it moving.
2. Marriage is more about commitment than togetherness
Most married couples live together, and that certainly is good for marriage. But being together isn’t enough. The partners in a marriage need to be sharing and caring. They should support and trust each other during thick and thin times.
The strong commitment makes your marriage work even if you’re separated due to work or other circumstances. The element that glues two individuals in a marriage is not sex but commitment.
The understanding in marriage leads to more intimacy in relationships than that comes out of sex in marriage. Remember, a good marriage leads to good sex, and not the other way around. It includes commitment, compassion, care, respect, and being there for each other. Having these elements make sex in a marriage all the more wonderful.
One aspect that makes a marriage special is exclusivity – remaining commitment to one person, your partner. Being together by marriage but indulging in affairs elsewhere is the worst thing you can do.
“The best thing to hold onto in life is… each other.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
3. Marriage is like a roller coaster ride and has its ups and downs
Yes, marriage by itself does not guaranty happiness and pleasure forever.
The journey of marriage is not always smooth – it has many challenging and down times. But what matters is that you hold on to each other till the end of the ride. All that ends well is well. You need to nourish your marriage with love to make it stable and stronger.
The times of crisis are the testing times of your marriage. Financial crises, medical crises, emotional crises – if you aren’t together in such times, the marriage loses its sheen.
Marriage does not come with a lifetime guaranty or warranty. Being married does not mean there are going to be no differences or disputes. There may even be days that the married couple do not see or touch each other. In spite of that, you need to be committed, honest, and loving.
It’s you who has to work and make efforts to create stability in your marriage.
4. Marriage is a mutual responsibility and a doubles sport
It takes two to tango! Marriage is a team work.
Each partner takes on different tasks. Well yes, marriage is more than just being close, together, in love, and having fun and sex. It’s also about managing your lives, your home, your job, and your family.
Sometimes your partner may get depressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed. That’s when you provide all your love and support to help your partner to move on. And, vice-versa.
Marriage is one of the most difficult and responsible jobs after parenting. But if your marriage is good, the task of parenting becomes easy and gives superb results.
There’s an Indian proverb that the marriage cart has two wheels. If one of them stops, marriage halts. These two wheels are the two partners. Authoritarianism or dictatorship doesn’t work in a marriage. It works on the principles of democracy and egalitarianism.
“When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.” ~ Joseph Campbell
5. Marriage is a bond that helps cultivate compassion and selflessness
Marriage is about true love that is unconditional. True love develops your heart and makes you more compassionate. You learn to be selfless and think about your partner before you. Marriage is your personal growth tool – it helps you become complete.
When you’re single, you don’t realize how selfish you’re until you get into a marriage. Then, instead of thinking about yourself, you put your spouse’s need before your own. You learn to think and do things for someone else, rather than for yourself.
You do things for each other, and that cultivates compassion, builds bonds, and makes you truly a couple. In marriage, both partners go through personal development and help better each other directly or indirectly.
6. Marriage is becoming one, spiritually
Your marriage is successful if you have one common spiritual philosophy.
Okay, let’s make it “simple philosophy,” if you object to the term “spiritual”. But if you have the same principles and goals, it’s going to be easy to stick together in marriage. After all, beliefs matter and make bonds strong. One in thought are likely to be one in tough times!
Marriage gives you the opportunity to look into the other person’s mind, heart, and soul. This is getting more intimate than on a body level. The bond of your soul can even make sex shy. If you’re one spiritually, then the physical aspects doesn’t really matter much.
Being on the same page – having the same goals – gives you more power to make things work and progress. While you’re one and together, you can still be different individual and live your own lives. That’s the beauty of a successful marriage.
“What greater thing is there for two human Souls than to feel that they are joined… to beat one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories.” ~ George Eliot
7. Marriage is suffocating without communication
Sex is an important binding element in a marriage. However, if the married couples aren’t on talking terms, sex takes a back seat. Communication is like oxygen to marriage. It even acts like oxytocin and helps the married partners have a great sex life.
Lack of communication will create more conflicts in a relationship, more misunderstanding, and increase the distance between the couples even if they live under the same roof. When you communicate, do it with intent to seek a resolution and not take it as an opportunity to fix blames.
You may differ, but the right kind of communication can wither away the differences. Often the problems are simple but the resolution is delayed because of ego hassles – who takes the first step.
One who breaks the communication barriers is the winner. What do you say?
8. Marriage leads to more happiness and wealth
This may sound strange, but research studies indicate that married couples are happier than singles, and they accumulate about four times more savings and assets. So, if you are planning to get rich, think about getting married!
Marriage is most rewarding if you stay committed to one person for a lifetime. Alas, there are always some barriers, obstacles, or problems. There are miserable times, but you can together manage them to create more memorable times.
In a marriage, “mine” and “yours” become “ours”. You literally share everything. Compassion, contentment, forgiveness, and sharing are the seeds of happiness. If you’re happy, you’ve one of the greatest wealth that money can’t buy. 🙂
“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” ~ Robert Quiller
9. Marriage is about forgiving and forgetting
We’re humans, and we all make mistakes. In the long journey of marriage, you may get hurt somewhere, sometime. There will be times when you feel there’s nothing more left and it’s all over – you can’t move forward in the relationship.
Such are the times of deep introspection and reflection. You need to put your guard down, lower the ego, inspect your partner’s intent, and give another chance. But then there are so many factors to take into consideration.
Forgiveness is the tool to heal the deepest of hurts. It’s not about making compromises, well sometimes you’ve to, but it’s for the sake of the old good times, your compatibility, and the vows to come out stronger and live a happy married life together.
Did you know all these facts about marriage?
Yes, marriage is hard work. But it is the best thing that can happen to a person provided they have complete understanding of marriage. While marriage is the most rewarding thing, it also is one of the most difficult tasks.
Marriage is beautiful. It is a ceremony that you conduct continually. Marriage makes you complete.
What makes marriage go bad and go down the drain is the ego, lack of love and understanding, poor care and communication, ill intent and treatment, incomplete efforts, and infidelity. To avoid this, you need to follow this mantra in your marriage religiously, regularly – CULT.
C – Communication
U – Understanding
L – Love
T – Trust
I call marriage as the work of kaizen CULT.
“A good marriage in it… all the pleasures of a friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason, and indeed all the sweets of life.” ~ Joseph Addison
Over to you –
This list about understanding marriage is not complete. What things about marriage do you know that you would want to add to this list?
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