Life energy, like water, needs two banks to flow. When water flows between two banks, it has a direction. Similarly, life force needs a direction, and the bank that gives it direction is commitment. Marriage is one such commitment.
Marriage is a commitment to share one’s life and care for another. It helps one to come out of self-centeredness. In a marriage, you cannot always think about only yourself. After being married you have to also think about your spouse. If you want to go on a vacation, you cannot just wander around, you have to consult your better half, and all decisions need to be taken in consultation with one another.
Marriage is a very sacred institution where you tell your partner, “All my desires I give to you and I take all your desires”. So each one has the responsibility to fulfill the other’s desires and not their own. Growing in marriage is growing in responsibility, and love and responsibility go together.
Marriage is also that institution of commitment to serve the society together. If you are married only to serve yourself, then you start demanding from each other, and demand destroys love. If you both have a goal to serve society, to make a difference in the world, then it is like two parallel lines that can move together till infinity. Then, there is satisfaction; life finds a fulfillment.
Do’s and Don’ts to a Happy Marriage
1. Don’t Police Each Other
Don’t doubt your spouse’s sincerity, or be suspicious. Sometimes, people call their spouse’s office and find out what time they left work. Don’t do this. Don’t be suspicious about them If someone doubts your sincerity and love, and you would have to prove it to them again and again, isn’t that a big burden for you? Know that love is difficult to express and don’t be suspicious, because suspicion and fear will bring you misery which in turn brings dejection and disappointment.
2. Don’t Demand Proof of Love
Do not ask your spouse, ‘Do you really love me?’ You should not ask such questions. Even if you do have a doubt, don’t ask for proof of love, instead you should ask, “Why do you love me so much? You love me so much more that what I really deserve!” When you say this, your love grows.
Always remember, demand destroys relationships. Any demand on any one person will destroy that relationship, so do not demand. You are here on the planet only to give and contribute, not to take. When you take this step, you will see that whatever you need will simply come to you; you will receive ten times more of whatever you need or desire. This is the law of nature.
3. Don’t Go on Complaining
Many times when one spouse comes back from work and is exhausted, the other will complain and taunt them by saying, “You did not do this”, or “This is not right”, etc. So they end up facing problems at work and also at home. Similarly, if one spouse does not work, but stays home, and the other comes back home in the evenings and does not share quality time with them, how will they feel? There needs to be understanding from both sides.
If a person comes and sits next to you, or if you sit next to someone who goes on complaining about something or the other, and finds faults in everything, do you feel like sitting with them? No! You feel like running away from them that very instant. When you sit with someone, you want to feel uplifted in their company.
You should have this firm resolve in your mind that whoever comes to me should only go back happier and lighter, no matter what my own condition may be like.
Life is a mix of pleasant and unpleasant times, and it goes on. Do you think that everything will happen to your liking? Will everyone only keep praising you all the time? No, sometimes some people may insult you as well, and you have to listen to that also. What is so disappointing about it? It is nothing. Be strong and brave.
4. Don’t Step on the Ego or Emotions
A person should never step on the emotions of their partner. You need to respect their emotions, and not dictate terms to them. Similarly, you should not step on the ego of your partner. The whole world may say to them that they have no brains, but you should never say that, or their self-esteem will go down and they will become like that. You should compliment and support them. Your spouse shouldn’t have to prove their talents or competency to you. Instead, with a sense of belonging, give them relief and comfort.
5. Don’t Get Upset at the Same Time
However compatible, no two people can think the same things all the time. There will be arguments and difference of opinions. So the best way to deal with this is to take turns getting upset. When one gets upset the other should be quiet. If both get upset at the same time, it is a problem. And if you compete by saying, “You got upset, now I will get more upset than you”, then there is a bigger problem. So if one is getting annoyed, the other should keep quiet. The other can take their turn the
next time. If you want, you can give back twice as much, but not at the same time and same place. To one bad day, you can add another bad day, but don’t make the days so horrible that you can’t continue anymore.
Marriage is give and take, or compromise. You cannot say, “I want it only this way!” You have to let go of your wishes and desires and listen to what the other person wants. You have to compromise. If there is no compromise, then there are arguments.
6. Don’t Make Your Spouse Feel Guilty
Never make your spouse feel guilty. This is very important. Anyone whom you make feel guilty will cease to be your friend somewhere deep inside. The bond gets loosened. Just imagine yourself in a position where you make a mistake and someone keeps asking for an explanation about your mistake. It is such a burden to explain to somebody or to justify oneself.
There is a skill in making a person aware of his mistake without making him feel guilty. However, the normal tendency in human beings is to make someone feel guilty and then feel happy about it. We have to rise above this normal tendency, and not make the other feel guilty; then your relationship will be longstanding.
7. Be Willing to Sacrifice
If you only keep thinking about your own wants then no marriage will work. You should see what “we” want. How “we” can progress and bring happiness to the family. When there is a willingness to sacrifice, and when there is no selfishness in the relationship, then such a relationship becomes very beautiful; there will be a lot of love and peace.
In life, we need to have a sense of sacrifice. Sacrifice brings us great strength. In fact, nothing else can give you the kind of strength that sacrifice does. And the greater the sacrifices, the greater is the strength that comes.
“Life is so short so be happy at all times and spread that happiness to everyone around you”.