Chapter 45


What counts in making a happy marriage is not so
much how compatible you are, but how you deal
with incompatibility.

George Levinge

Today love marriages are most common, although arranged marriages are still widely prevalent in many parts of Asia.

The up side of love marriages is that the couples get to know each other better through the process of courtship. While the up side of the arranged marriage is that the couple expects to give a lot and a may be psychologically more prepared to give,than to take.

While marriages may be made in heaven, they have to be lived on earth. Hence a great deal of adjustment is called for especially after the honeymoon is over.

Children usually act as a binding agent, as the principal purpose of marriage for most people is procreation.

Research carried out by Stephen Emlen, behavioural ecologist and his colleague Peter Buston at Cornell University shows that in the selection criteria of mates, both men and women tend to choose people like themselves. This covered areas such as looks, wealth, ambition, family values, sense of integrity, health, desire for children, etc. So likes attract, even if there are exceptions.

Basic values need to be synchronized for a harmonious marital relationship. What certainly helps to make marriages work better is mutual adjustment and a give and take. As marriages get on in years, it is like two sides of a coin, one is the stale side and the other the mature side. Hence giving each other space becomes very important, for the marriage not only to sustain but also to flourish.

You need to constantly be conscious of the need to keep the magic alive. Putting oneself in your spouse’s shoes, apologizing if you have caused hurt even if it is not your faults. Expressing love, listening, giving gifts that are personal, developing common interests, expressing feelings, appreciating even small things, giving surprises, touching often, thinking up new ways to make love are some ways for you to keep the spark burning.

The stresses of modern day pressures, of work, finances, children, social activities, often takes toll on health and sometimes on marriages. This may result in infidelity due to non-fulfilment of emotional or physical needs, or due to temptations, or divergence of interests with the passage of time and so on. For some, this eventually leads to discord and divorce.

Talking things over, and if things get really bad going to a marriage counsellor is a good idea although most couples resist doing so.

Research shows that married people are healthier, live longer, are less likely to drug abuse and re happier.

While marriages may be

made in heaven, they

have to be lived on earth.

Hence a great deal of

sensitivity give and take

is needed.