By Juhi Bansal
If my experience of the last 10 years is anything to go by -marriage is not “one size fits all”. I can’t look at someone else’s relationship and hope mine was like theirs. There is no secret to a successful marriage. And if there is, I am yet to discover it. However, I do have a few learnings that I have picked up in the last decade.
Real joy lies in building your life bit by bit. We started our marital life in a one BHK. I brought along my old fridge and AC, he had a couch and we bought the TV together. I paid for our honeymoon, he made the down-payment for our first car (i10) and we took a joint loan for the rest of the amount. We continued to live in the 1 BHK for 6 years and only moved out just before Iy was due. How boring would our initial days have been if our house were perfect!
Romance is not in grand gestures. He didn’t give me a big diamond, neither was the proposal grand. And ten years later I am so glad we didn’t dwell on these small things. Are we romantic? You have no idea! Hold hands unabashedly, kiss unhurriedly and never go to bed without saying I love you.
Make an effort. I know how busy life gets with both partners working. Add to it socializing pressures, workout and baby duties. Almost always, spending time with the partner takes a backseat. However, make an effort. Date nights, snuggle time, late night in or long chats make a whole lot of difference. Remember it started with the two of you and before you know it, it will be just the two of you again.
Two individuals. While you are “supposed to act” as a single entity after you’re married, never forget that you are two individuals first. Marriage is a relationship between two equals. Different but equal. And while love is definitely the starting point to a marriage I think the secret ingredient is respect for each other. Respect for each others work, choices, space and views. If you truly respect one another, you have a rock solid thing going.
Celebrate your differences. Pizza was once just another food item. Now, I look forward to trying it in every corner of the world. He on the other hand loves going on soap binges with me now (the joy of which he never understood before meeting me). He will forever be a mountain and snow lover and me an out and out beach gal. We manage to find our common ground every now and then.
Find a balance between choices. Marriage is not a laundry list of things to do or stuff to acquire (even if that’s what people will have you believe). We’re both not big on acquisitions but I love to travel (slightly more than him) and he would like for us to have a small rainy day stash. Our balance- shoe string budget travels!
Defined roles? He prefers to cook, I do the accounts and pay the bills. We share the expenses and baby responsibilities. While you may have another comfortable set up in your household, I know this for a fact that if the roles are gender defined- more often than not it results in heart-burns.
It does not take a village. While raising a child does take a village, marriage does not. It is just the two of you with a pinch of understanding, sprinkling of love and a spoonful of respect. And, it will take just one or both of you to make or break it.
Marriage is not your “be all end all”. Never forget that it doesn’t define who you are but the other way round. You make the marriage, it does not make you.
We’ve seen immense amount of love, laughter and celebrations in the last decade but we have also experienced enough sorrow, loss and pain. It was not supposed to be a smooth ride, it isn’t going to be. I am glad I have you for company, it doesn’t make bad things go away but it sure as hell makes the ride easy.
I don’t say it out loud enough but my dear husband, thank you for giving me the most terrific ten years of my life. I know the best is yet to come and I can’t wait to experience it all with you. Also, I owe you a snowfall and then some 🙂