As the day closes in on 5 years of married life, as with everything, i look back at this milestone with equal parts contemplation and dreaminess. I can’t help but reflect on the numerous childhood fairytales, pieces of advice, real life examples, research papers, poems, jokes, movies, books, folklore, stories, literature, songs that are consumed by the topic of marriage. Marriage a culturally (and legally) acceptable union of two individuals who choose each other and commit to being lifelong companions, until death. What makes it so intriguing after all?
In the age of ultra choice; a plethora of world cuisines, fashion look-books, religious faiths, career streams, vacation destinations, millions of OTT platform titles, hair & nail colors, etc. etc. etc. sticking with the traditional idea of one partner for life (7 in a Hindu context!) might seem in the beginning somewhat limiting.
But who we marry is one of the most important decisions in life. One that will influence the level of happiness, growth and success like no other choice. And if it turns out to be the right one, in this world of dizzying options, it can unleash you to be unlimited.
Perhaps this is why all the fuss about marriage and married life. People want to know how it turns out in the end.
However, I don’t particularly subscribe to the fairytale ‘lived happily ever after’, I believe in the ‘committed to and working on building happy moments together every day until ever after’.
While 5 years may not merit the wisdom from 10, 25, 50 or 60 years that people often celebrate, i thought sharing the 7 lessons that made it feel like they wizzed by would help someone embarking on this mystical journey of togetherness 😍
Dating and marriage are not the same. There is no better or worse, just not the same. Screaming your name from the rooftops, driving 5 hours to catch 5 minutes together, and endless hours of dressing up give way to daily sunsets with coffee from the roof-top, sleeping in the passenger seat on a 10 hour road-trip while the other drives, and sweatpants and flip-flops on date night. They can’t ever compete, they only compliment. Both needed in equal measure to make it a wholesome experience.
I always wondered why societal expectations of boys and girls are exactly the same during school, college, initial years of work, and MBA, but as soon as marriage comes into the picture, the list of expectations suddenly skyrockets for one gender. And a partner who recognized, understands and takes remedial measures is golden. A true partnership truly means down the middle on everything that goes into building a home – expectations, chores, and societal obligations. Not just on paper, but also in action.
Disagreements & debates aid in discovering one another’s blindspots and making you a stronger team overall. Knowing that you will not always converge on all minor mundane topics like which dish-soap in the best, or how much salt is too much salt, will help you figure out which battles are worth picking and which better to let go. As long as you find common ground on major fundamentals in life and do it before you hit the bed, you’ll sail through 🚢
Marriage doesn’t mean two people have to somehow amalgamate into a nebulous core of one person losing all sense of self and being joined by the hip forever. Such an idea can not only be dangerous but also claustrophobic for a relationship that is blossoming. There is no need for ropes or shackles to keep you together. Each of you can chase your dreams, and allow butterflies to weave a magical threaded tapestry of dreams together.
In the age of social media and heightened societal benchmarking, it’s impossible not to compare your real life with someone’s highly curated virtual one. Throw on top of it, ideal images and #couple-goals, what happy couples must look like, clothes they should wear, houses they must live in, and places they have to vacation at — is a clear recipe for doom. Stop. And take a deep breath. Remind yourself that there is no perfect. No perfect body, no perfect outfit, no perfect couple — Only near-perfect for each other.
“Now that you are married, you should this, you should that, you should 10,000 other arbitrary rules” Let’s stop others from ‘should-ing’ all over us. Remember, there are no rules for marriage. As long as both of you are on the same page, you should do that which feels right to you and that which works for you. People in your life who matter, and care for you, will support you and get it. Anyone else who consistently and unsolicitedly points out the flaws in your way of life together frankly doesn’t need much more consideration.
Yes, adulting & marriage can often seem like serious business. Kids, parents, careers, homes, bills, challenges, failures, stress – life takes over your relationship sometimes. And marriage suddenly feels like a loaded word. But if you can build & retain a childlike friendship in day to day life, even marriage can’t possibly mess it up. Be silly. Laugh out loud often. Make fun of each other. You may not be the best partner on all days, but you can be a best friend every day.
Curious to see what other lessons you would add to the list! Please share them in the comments below.
View previous post on 7 lessons from Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
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