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Communication and commitment in married life

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CoupleA marriage counselor once said - Marriage is the commitment that two individuals promise to one another and the trust they repose on each other. Where there is commitment there is love and respect.

Commitment and Trust are the two pillars of the institution called marriage. To be committed you need to trust. Trustworthiness happens only when there is honesty.. Honesty implies integrity of character.

To be honest you need to be transparent. In other words, you need to bare your soul to your partner. There is no room here for sifting and talking. You will have to talk and thrash out issues to emerge stronger. If there are hidden depths in the marriage it leads to distrust and insecurity. Insecurity breeds lack of commitment.

It is a vicious circle that can drown you. Make a conscious effort to work on your marriage. Vindya Raman, married for 18 years, philosophically states, “Soul mates are not those who are identical. Rather they are from opposite sides of the spectrum who have taken an oath to be committed to each other.” She further states there are bound to be ordeals and trying times, but who says the path of love would be easy?

Homo sapiens as a race are needy. They want to belong; they need identity in greater order of things. Which is why we feel – we have emotions – elation, recrimination, remorse, joy, anger – they are ways of expression.

Talking is also one effective way of expression. While we don’t hesitate to show our emotions; when it comes to actual talking we shy away. Just like a flower that needs air and water to blossom similarly marriage needs commitment and communication to survive.

Words are powerful in that they can heal as much as hurt. By refusing to communicate we are hurting our other half. The hurt grates and gnaws the other person forcing him or her to retaliate and then the whole situation spirals out of control.

Be kind in words. My aunt once said, “When you compliment do so generously.” Everybody wants recognition; they would love to be complimented. When you can offer motivation unhesitatingly in workplace, what hinders you in the home front?

Sanjay and Sanjana are married for 10 years now and have one son aged eight. Things started going downhill from the first month of their marriage due to various factors the most crucial being in-laws being difficult. Subsequently they moved out but they had not resolved the issue. That ‘thing’ lay between them unspoken, gradually it became cloak that wound them tight. It became the crux for their differences. Sanjana wanted to talk to resolve the differences. Sanjay preferred not to talk about ‘things of the past’.

This became the bone of contention driving them apart. Lack of communication has now put them on opposing sides with their child be caught in the middle. The child caught in the crossfire manifests aggression and behavioral problems.

Most counselors recommend the following steps for a strong marriage

1.Your relationship comes first. Prioritize. Don’t put your most loved ones on the backseat of your life. Don’t take them for granted.

2.Do couples’ things together that goes beyond sex. Join a fun class together. Surprise by taking off midweek for just the two of you.

3.Talk sweet nothings. Reminisce the good old times of dating and courtship or engagement. There always a feeling of romance about the past. It reinforces your best period together.

4.Fight and thrash out the issue. Let the can of worms open up. Then make-up. Everybody knows make up sex can work wonders for the relationship. When you are pitted against the other it exposes each other’s vulnerability. By coming together you are reaffirming your commitment to each other thereby bonding stronger.

5.Be brave and apologize. Kick the ego on the butt if it creeps between you two.

Remember, no matter how much you care for your plant of life there is still bound to be weeds of distrust and misgivings. Weed out the negative emotions and let your love have fresh air of trust, transparency, commitment and communication. Then the fragrance will engulf the whole family in love, joy and happiness.

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