Marriage is a relation, undoubtedly different from any other relationship. Multiple factors make it stand out. It alters the boundaries of freedom and responsibilities of a person or family to make space for another person or another family. This is not a simple rearrangement in any way. In our childhood, the boundary was defined by parents and society with little bargaining from us. However by the time we reached adulthood we would have altered boundaries to some extent and established a stable pattern. Once we marry, the boundaries of partners collide and seek a rearrangement which is satisfactory for both the parties. There certainly is a honeymoon period wherein we are baffled by the presence of another person in our private circle. It however is followed by the boundary conflicts which might last for a short interval or even a life time. There are some practical ways which can come handy in creating win-win situation out of this conflict..!!
The Phase after Honeymoon
In the honeymoon period every little nuances of the partner seem bearable or even pleasant. In this period one rarely takes time to understand the partner. However one surely would notice when the honeymoon phase ends and reality of two very different people making life together syncs in. I am going to propose one simple experiment which can alter your marriage for the better if not for the best. This experiment will run for a month & leave your marriage changed for the days to come..!! Consider taking it up even if you have a satisfactory relation. After all it doesn't hurt to improve your marriage for the better..!!!To reap maximum benefits, both the partners will have to make a commitment to take it up together.It's also essential not to assume that you know everything about yourself or your partner beforehand. Once you take it up, you will be amazed by the way your marriage shapes further..!!
1. Notice Yourself Keenly for a Week : What Exactly You Seek From Life..?
Starting from today, just notice yourself for a week. On first day make note of your routine. Everything you do starting from early morning till the bed time. Make a mental note & note it down in a journal at the end of the day. Just compare it with your past routine, the way it used to be before marriage. Identify the factors which have changed for the better, remained neutral or for the worse. On the second day keep on with the task of first day & reaffirm your observation. Now you have clarity at task level. On the third day, move on to your thoughts. Notice your thoughts throughout the day and again note it down in your journal. Find out if the way you think and what all you think about have changed since the marriage. What used to be your focus beforehand and what it is at this point? Locate the changes & see if you like the present or the past. Repeat this on 4th day. Dedicate 5th & 6th days for your feelings. You would notice the way you feel at different instances & note them down. Make an observation of the factors which change your emotions. On 7th day you will bring all the three; the tasks you do, the thoughts triggered & also the feelings they generate together and validate the extent to which the life is going according to your intentions. Note down how different it is from the way it used to be. At this point you know your expectations from life and the extent to which things are in track.
2. Write a special letter to your partner : Clear Expression of Who all You Are..!!
With your current understanding of yourself, you are in a position to make your partner understand you at first level. In second week you would write a special letter to your partner. This letter will contain 2 sections. First section will talk about your routine before marriage. It also would have the way you thought & felt about what you did. Most importantly It will talk about the intentions which were behind the way your life was and how satisfied you were with your life. Second section will talk about the situation at the moment. It will have all the factors first sections had. Take whole week to write & rewrite the letter so that it is absolutely satisfactory for you & speaks your mind clearly. One thing to watch out for in the letter is the language you use. Please write your point of view without blaming or criticising anyone. It should show the way you see the world with ‘I’ language with as few ‘you’ & ‘them’ as possible. Please do not forget to write down things you have started to appreciate about your partner & partner’s family.
3. Read out the letter to Partner/Family : Setting the Clear Expectations
Go for a day’s outing to a place you both enjoy visiting. At the end of the trip sit together and read out your letter to the partner before handing it over to the partner. Ensure that you do not discuss the content of the letter for a week. During this week read the letter as many times as possible and also observe the partner when they are engaged in their day’s task. Think about the ways in which your partner is similar or different from you. Consider the ways in which you can plan & restructure your life to realise both of your dreams & aspirations. Check how you can help your partner satisfy their intentions & expectations from life.
4. Accommodate each other to establish togetherness..!!
Discuss the way you can change your marriage for better by accommodating both. Evaluate the extent to which your intentions match. Locate the things which can be done together, shared or realised separately. Respect the differences. Ensure that you are walking with each other & nurturing the other, rather than blaming or criticising. Make a commitment to talk about the things which went right or wrong at least once in a week. Make another commitment to notice & openly appreciate at least one factor about the partner genuinely, every other day
The very next step…
Understanding is a continuous process. There are many ways to take understanding to next level . This small step would act as foundation to rearrange boundaries & create intimacy. Even the most fabulous of the couples still have a possibility for improvement, here & there..?? This simple experiment, if done at any stage of marriage would leave you pleasantly surprised by it's effectiveness. Great marriages do not just happen, they are created. Take Care & do not forget to take care of your marriage... !!