Marriage sustains on mixing and matching or compromising and appreciating

A happy married life depends on mixing & matching with or compromising with & appreciating the traits of your spouse. Adapting to similarities or dissimilarities in interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes and even career play a role in sustaining the marriage. Often people prefer marrying others with similar traits like a doctor wants to marry a doctor, or an engineer another engineer etc. The thought process behind such a move is that they will understand the pressures of the career, the adjustments necessary and hence might help the marriage to sustain. However, this is not always true.

Similarities and commonalities in partners can become boring and predictable over a period of time and slowly a point of saturation is reached. Everything about the other spouse becomes predictable including the way they react. This can often lead to a strained situation where each one might start taking the other person for granted closing the gates of communication. This can lead to distorted perceptions or misconceptions over a period of years. Might end up never appreciating the achievements of the spouse- small or big, in career or in personal life. Life might appear less colorful and challenging over a period of time.This does not mean that the choice of a partner with similar likes and dislikes is wrong. However, unless worked upon, the relationship can tend to become too superficial.

Appreciating the characteristics of your spouse (that you admire and do not have yourself) and compromising and accepting on grey areas (up to a certain tolerable level- not a blind acceptance) such as being too vocal in expressions, certain food habits, requires some work. Trying to see the benefits of those grey areas might help strengthening your marital relation in the long run.

It may not always be necessary or important that all your needs “have to be” fulfilled only with the spouse. Need for sharing, relating, being intimate, feeling companionship can be continued at different levels and forms even with other family members- parents, in-laws, siblings etc.

Do we not compromise with the perceived faults or differences of our family members? Do we not accept them as they are? Is that because of a compulsion because we were born into that family? Why do we see the spouse as someone different? Why would we not give the same latitude to the spouse? What makes us complain and be choosy or critical about our spouse? Is it an expression of choice which we feel we do not have with our family? Why wouldn’t compromising and accepting not work with the spouse? It definitely will. Is the fact that we have a choice in the relationship with the spouse and no choice in the relationship with the family such an important determinant?

If marital relationships have to sustain, one needs to accept that difference of opinion and arguments happen between couples. Whether these difficulties help to strengthen or weaken the relationship depends on how the issues are resolved. Is a process of compromise and acceptance used? Personal likes and dislikes may not be of much value in resolutions as each person will tend to presume what the other person thinks rather than listening to what they say.

Every individual is a combination of strengths and weaknesses. In a couple’s relationship, when the strengths and weaknesses of the partner is appreciated and accepted, there will be a slow and steady improvement in the quality of the relationship. Marital relations develop continuously over different experiences and is a process that grows as long as the coupleĀ  lives together.

Similarities might aid to strengthen a close relation but may not form the only basis for a strong and intimate relationship.

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