Sunday, January 30, 2011

Resolutions for your Marriage, 2011

What’s the point of a marriage if you have to ‘work at it’? You get together because you love each other and then you just go on.’ Right? Wrong.

When you see life with rose-tinted glasses, you would probably believe in the above, but married a few years, you realize that things are not as rosy or simple and that ‘working at it’ is required. (Read: Stages of a Relationship). And many years down the line, you realize that it is indeed ‘hard work’.

But don’t get me wrong, it is not ‘hard’ hard work; the hard work can be fun too! It’s like working hard towards achieving something: climbing a hill to enjoy the beautiful view, working at a painting and sitting back and enjoying it when it’s on the wall or any of the activities where the journey – hard as it may seem sometimes, is as beautiful as the end.

It’s the same kind of hard work in a marriage. Here’s an idea, why don’t you start by making your New Year resolutions as a couple! Sit down together, brain storm about your marriage goals for the year, write it down and revisit the list throughout the year to stay on course!

Here are some tips:

1. What do you want in your marriage this year?

You probably would have discussed about your ideas of marriage before getting married, but it’s always good to revisit these ideas. And now it’s time to be specific. What is it specifically that you would like to do this year to get closer to your idea of marriage? Go on dates more often? Have late night chats every week? Start a hobby together? Go on a dream vacation? Or perhaps start a family? Even if some ideas seem out of reach at the moment, don’t discount them; give them a fair hearing, put them out on the table, that’s what this brainstorming session is all about.

2. Be specific.

If a holiday is on that list for both of you this year, break it into smaller goals, maybe how much money you would have to save every month for it, or who is going to take charge of the bookings and other arrangements? Or schedule your work life keeping the dates in mind. Make sure your break down your resolutions into specific workable goals.

3. Re-visit your goals.

It’s easier said than done. It’s easy to get everything on paper, but not quite as easy when it comes to honoring it. To help you stick to your goals, take a printout of the list and stick it on the wall or the fridge – any common place. That way you get to see it every day and it’s somewhere in the periphery of your consciousness. You’ll find this method helps, especially when our days get increasingly crammed with hundreds of activities.

4. Hold each other accountable.

Make sure your resolution has someone assigned to each activity. That way, you know who is doing what and also who is slipping up. If you see your partner slacking, point it out to her and help her stay on course.

5. Enjoy the fruits.

At the heart of this list, remember the journey should be as enjoyable as the goal. Make sure the activities don’t become arduous, enjoy the journey. And if you feel that at some point it is becoming burdensome, talk to your partner about it.

And remember, honor your resolution!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

'LOL’ in your Marriage

‘My partner should have a sense of humor’ – how many times have you heard or read this line when friends or people list out what they are looking for in a partner? Many, if not most times is my guess. Maybe it’s something that you too have been secretly looking for, perhaps without expressing it consciously.

Ever wondered why?

Because deep down we are seekers of happiness…and laughter. And we tend to look for that kind of quality in our partners too. Even if we sometimes appear as a rather ‘serious’ person to others, the one quietly laughing at jokes rather than cracking them, we crave for that light moment, or someone to create it.

In my experience, marriages that have lightness and laughter are the ones that tend to last. The just-quarreled couple who can crack up when in anger a partner realizes that he is reading the newspaper upside down, or a partner who bangs her head at the door while storming out after a spat. Or laugh hard when the baby passes wind while you’re powdering her, despite the many sleepless nights. Or burst out loud when in the middle of a tender moment late at night, a nosy neighbor knocks at your door for a cup of sugar!

Many times we tend to get ‘serious’ after marriage and even more after kids, because of the so-called responsibilities that suddenly find their way into our lives. But deep down we are yet craving for our care-free selves and the many laughter-filled days. And that’s what we tend to look for in a partner, someone to lighten the sometimes tedious journey. You may be the one cracking the jokes or you may be the one who sits at the ringside and laughs, either way, both of you are looking for that one thing – humor.

Yes, marriage like most of life is filled with joyous times and difficult ones, but if couples can find that lighter moment in the darkest of times (and you’ll see you’ll find it easier, when you work at it as partners), then you are likely to find the source of strength that can carry you through. So next time you have a spat, bring in humor and see what a healthy change it can make!

Share you lighter and funny moments with us!