Monday, November 19, 2012

Are you losing your friends after marriage?

Do you find yourself losing some of your friends or friends circle
after marriage? You’re not alone. Remember the Friends’ episode where
Monica and Chandler want to hang out with married couples, rather than
Phoebe and Joey? Or take the latest rumour of Jessica Biel and Justin
Timberlake, who might be having trouble already, having married hardly
a few weeks, because she wants him to cut ties with his hard-partying
friends. Sounds familiar? It’s not uncommon.

The first few weeks after marriage can be overwhelming, even if you’ve
lived-in with your partner before getting married. Suddenly you’re
dealing with whole new situations, relatives and routines. All the
while coping with your regular job and the sudden increase in chores,
etc. And more importantly dealing with the harsh reality that marriage
is not always a bed of roses. So, it’s quite natural that you don’t
have time for your friends. Yes, the same ones who you would drop
everything for, in their times of need, suddenly get relegated to the
back with a, “Oh, they’ll understand. They’re my friends after all.”
In fact, they don’t. And the rifts start right there. They’re coping
with the gap in their lives too, knowing that things will never be the
same again, while you’re coping with that and a lot more!

Change is not always easy, unfortunately it is inevitable, especially
after marriage, but it can be softened around the edges if you take
some measures beforehand.

Before the big day, talk to your close friends, and discuss how things
will not be the same again. Also tell them that it’s likely that
you’ll choose your spouse over them, in situations. Empathize with
them and tell them that you consider the friendship really important
and that you are keen to make it work. Also have a frank and open chat
with your spouse and tell him / her how important your friends are to
you and that you’re keen to keep something of if, even after the
marriage. Here are a few more tips:

•       Make a schedule to meet-up with your friends regularly. Stay true to
it. Mark it on your calendar.
•       Take  regular trips with your friends.
•       Be open and frank with your friends and spouse. If things are not
going well, bring out in the open. Talk it out, don’t let it fester.
•       If your friends are not in the same town, stay in touch through
emails or Facebook and phone calls. Make a schedule to chat up every
once in a while.

Would you like to add to these tips? What measures have you taken to
keep your friendship going, after your marriage? Share your
experiences with us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cultivate Chastity in your relationship

Threesomes. Couple swapping.  Sex romps. We live in a highly
sexualized world, and are constantly bombarded with sexual content and
sexual innuendos. So much so, that we think chastity is boring, old
fashioned; it’s for old people. You’re not considered ‘in’ or ‘mod’ if
you think chastity is important in today’s world and for today’s
marriages.

But, you’ll be surprised to know, it is. Maybe chastity had a big role
to play in marriages of the previous generation, which lasted a full
life time. Maybe the lack of it has a big part to play in today’s
failing marriages.

 So, where does chastity stand today and how can it help relationships?

Sex plays a big part in marriage, and when it is coupled with
chastity, it becomes even more special. Sex then becomes an intimate
part of us that is reserved only for us, making it that much more
special. It brings in more attractiveness because it’s exclusive for
us; it brings in more intimacy because it’s something truly special.
It’s is not a power play anymore, it’s not a manipulative game; it’s
not a self-centered activity. On the other hand, it is liberated and
it brings in togetherness and creates an extraordinary bond of
friendship, companionship and mutual respect.

When our sexual thoughts and desires are fixed only on our spouse, we
naturally disregard any sexual thoughts that emanate from others, and
this strengthens our bond. If we let chastity guide us in other parts
our lives including the people we socialize with, the movies and TV
programs that we choose to watch, the books that we decide to read,
you’ll notice how it all plays a beautiful part in a more purposeful
life that is centered around creating fulfilling relationships, with
our spouse and children and the community at large.

When we begin to practice chastity, it beings to extend and touch upon
all aspects of our relationship and life. We begin to respect and
connect with our spouse at a deeper level, we react more calmly, we
can empathize with our spouse and trust becomes a strong and
unshakable part of our relationship.

If you thought chastity was passé, think again. Cultivate it in your
life and you’ll see the difference it makes to your relationship and
to your life overall.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spending time together was never this fun!

The days of fancy dinners, or maybe awkward first kisses, popping of a
champagne bottle to impress or sharing two straws over a milk-shake
might seem like faded memories. Because you’ve got ‘more important’
things to do now. Like a job, tending to kids and the never-ending
household chores. We live in a busy world after all and the dreamy
lover days, the first heart-thumping touches and exciting nights have
been replaced. Not that they have become less important, but that we
have other ‘more important’ stuff to do.

It’s ironic how our ‘more important’ stuff has changed. As lovers that
seemed the ‘most important’ thing to do. Didn’t it? But as days went
by the ‘most important’ person in our life got replaced. Sad, isn’t
it?

It’s not about how much money you spend on your spouse, but the time.
And time is never really enough, so I would say perhaps not even time,
but intention. After all it takes merely a few seconds to give a quick
peck on the cheek before you leave the house. A hug doesn’t take long
either, nor does a quick mid-day phone to say “Hey, how’s it going.
I’m thinking of you!” Yes, it’s only the intention that counts. You’ll
be amazed to know that you don’t really need all that much time to
show how much you care. You’ll be amazed to know how much punch you
can pack into half-an- hour or one hour! Get a weekly hobby-class together. 

You’ll re-discover each other, spend some good times and learn something new in the process!

   Here are some quick ideas:

  •    Give each other a 20 mins massage. And who knows what that’ll lead to ;-)
  •    Skip the monthly fancy-restaurant ritual and head for a quick bite at a late night cafe. Nothing like some chit-chat about good old times.
  •  Join a gym or a yoga-class together. Working out together can be really fun!
  •    Sit at a park bench and enjoy the weather and watch people go by.
  •     Get your car or bike out and go out for a short late night spin.
  • Being under the stars can work up some magic. Or maybe even take the day off and head out for a quick picnic.
  •     Do some spring-cleaning together. Chancing upon old photographs and other items can get you talking about your dating days.
  •       And I would say the most important thing is to ‘touch’ each other every day. Make hugging a routine before you leave the house and when you get back. Or perhaps when you wake up in the morning or the last thing before you drop off to sleep. Tell each other ‘I love you’ everyday.

Have any more ideas? Would love to hear them!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Gift of Time

“Not now, I’m really busy!”

“I don’t have time now, can we talk about this later?”

“There’s so little time, I can hardly get anything done!”

How often, and many times how conveniently we blame it on time. Our
days are so full with chores, jobs, assignments, activities, kids,
commitments and what-not that we don’t have time for the most special
person in our life – our spouse. Because, we take our spouse for
granted, thinking, “Of course, she or he will understand that I’m
‘busy!’”. But unfortunately, this simple assumption can be the
beginning of the end. It is the beginning of fights, of ‘you don’t
understand me’, ‘I’m not important enough for you’, ‘you have better
things to do’ and of course, stress and unhappiness.

Give your relationship the gift of time. That’s the least you can do.
And don’t make it up with material gifts, or chocolates or money.
Because, nothing can really replace the time you spend with your
spouse. It’s not something that can be bought or exchanged for,
financially. Giving time to your spouse shows how much you truly care.
It says, “Yes, you are important to me. You are important in my day.
You are important in my life.”
So, the next time you catch yourself giving any ‘time excuse’, stop.
Step back and ask yourself, “What is really important?” And if
something really needs your time and attention, then put it across
clearly and make a plan on how can you make it up later.

Here are some quick tips to help you give the gift of time.

•       Ask yourself, when was the last time you really spent quality time
together. If you can’t remember, you better make some time today!
•       Are the choices you’re currently making, causing harm or are they
beneficial to your relationship?
•       What are your priorities? Now and for the long-term?
•       And how do these priorities stack up vis-√†-vis your spouse, your family?
•       How are you doing, in terms of giving time for yourself, your
spouse, your family? Are you doing enough? If not, what adjustments
can you make in your day to make it happen?
•       Make a list of activities that are a definite ‘no-no’ and those that
are ‘yes’.

Give the gift of time to enjoy a happier and long-lasting
relationship. Because once you’ve lost time, you can never get it
back. 

Harvey MacKay once said, “Time is free, but it's priceless. You
can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend
it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.”

So, what are you going to do with your time today? Tell us!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I always love beginnings

One of my favourite times of the year is the ‘beginning’. Just when
spring announces its arrival with flowers in bloom, bees buzzing
busily, clear bright skies. There’s something about it: hope,
anticipation, excitement. But it’s not to do with seasons alone mind
you, it also mirrors our relationships, as we can choose to carry all
the good of the previous year and leave behind the ugly days.

The wise owl in Bambi says in spring time, “Before you know it, you
will all be twitter pated!” To which Bambi and his friends squirm and
say “Ewww! Not us!” Of course before they know it they each fall in
love – the rabbit, the skunk and Bambi, the deer himself.

Spring with all its charm is a great time to renew and enhance your
relationship. And a fantastic way to do it is by being a friend to
your spouse. Friendship enhances the relationship in a beautiful and
positive way, with the companionship, the warmth, the no-expectation
and the fun of being just friends. So if you’ve been too busy trying
to be ‘the’ wife or husband, this is the right time to throw in some
friendship too. Go out and do fun things, just like you would with
your friends. Start a hobby together, go on a trek, go for a play or
movie or just ‘hang out’ – chatting about this and that and enjoying
your ‘together’ time. Just like you make time to catch up with
friends, make time to catch up with your spouse. Soon you’ll discover
new things in your relationship; new sides of your spouse’s
personality that you never knew existed. And the best part is you’ll
be having fun all along. And before you know it, you’ll be twitter
pated all over again!