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The Golden Marriage Rulebook Debunked

Despite dating your partner for a long time, you don't just default to a common-law marriage

For most of us, our ideas regarding our own conduct in our marriage stem from preconceived notions derived from fairytales and movies. While undoubtedly, marriage is a beautiful bond where two people pledge to take on the world together; going in with a set strategy of rules is not how it should be done. With my own nuptials soon to take place, I have come across some well-meaning albeit unrealistic advice from all directions which has only strengthened my resolve to take every day as it comes, break some stereotypes and come up with some of my own rules, those that will make sure love blossoms and blooms between my spouse and me.

GOLDEN RULES TO BREAK

No Arguing

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When I was given this piece of advice, which, just by the way, made me feel like a very naughty child, I thought it to be the most harmful of all notions. While it is certainly undesirable to have disharmony in the beginning of your marriage, a lack of conflict also means you aren’t talking about the important issues or are not voicing your opinion. Doing so is unhealthy for both the individual and the couple and may breed resentment later. No one’s saying be disagreeable, that is toxic to any relation, but should you feel the need, speak your mind; holding on to your individuality is also of paramount importance.

Spending all your time together

This is one of those notions that has its roots in the novels we’ve read and the romantic movies we’ve delighted in. While being in love does make you want to spend all your time together *sigh*, you should space out a bit too, do other stuff and spend some quality Me Time as well. This is a foolproof plan, for it will make you miss one another all the more, appreciate your time together and feel blessed in the fact that you are now together for eternity. But please also stay connected, keep the little flirtation going on, while you make out time for other things and ease into your lives together. Just remember to keep enough space in between for love to grow.

Staying over the moon happy all the times

The midlife crisis is a myth.
I believe when you are genuinely happy and satisfied, it just shows without you having to make an effort at all. Yes, staying grateful and feeling blessed in a relationship is incredibly important, and should be there, but it doesn’t mean you have to be agreeable or have a smile plastered on your face all the time and that too for another’s benefit. The only person you should spell out your happiness for is your spouse, for you would like for him to do the same. Apart from that, know that it is ok to feel blue at times, missing home or your friends or your single life but that glow on your face is telling of your happiness.

No heavy talk

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Keeping things light and easy gives your bond the strong foundation of love and cheerfulness, I believe it is better to deal with touchy subjects earlier on in the marriage if you want flexibility on it from your spouse. Seeing each other at the end of a stressful day is bound to brighten up the mood, hence take advantage of it and don’t shy away from the serious topics. Talking about things that are meaningful for both of you will also help the understanding grow and bring maturity to the bond.

Immediately plan a family

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Specially in our part of the world, getting married is almost always followed by baby plans. Unless you want to start a family, there should be no pressure. You are only getting to know each other and are discovering new truths about yourselves too. If you have the luxury of time, it is always better to use it in getting to know each other. But if you are ready to take up parenthood in all its glory and tribulations, then there is nothing like giving birth to a new life that is testimony to the love you have for one another.

Changing your last name

It is one of the dilemmas that faces the modern-day bride. On the one hand is your name which has been your identity throughout. It is the name of your first love, your father who has protected you all your life, while on the other is the name of the man pledging to protect you now for the rest of it. It is not easy to decide and so take your time with it. There is an undeniable romance in taking your husband’s name but you certainly don’t have to just because people say so.

GOLDEN RULES TO MAKE

Being goofy

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Showing your most awkwardly adorable selves in a marriage shows not only how comfortable one is with their spouse but also how accepting they both are of each other. Besides, this person deserves to know you at your best, worst, adorable, ugly, foolish self so don’t be held back by shyness. In fact, you should actively seek out to entertain each other with such cuties, to keep things interesting, make the love and affection grow by leaps and bounds and endear you to one another for life.

Set some ground rules

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We all have our little peeves and quirks that may make it difficult for another person residing with us. Marriage is about comfort, shouldn’t these be spoken of and decided on right in the beginning? Setting ground rules about what is acceptable and what isn’t, be it from the arrangement in the closet to how you like your meals all should be discussed to get a smoother, more comfortable start on life.

Plan getaways

Ok, just be romantic. There will surely be lots of romance already, but you must take a mini honeymoon right after the wedding ceremony takes place. Spending a few days at a hotel to give yourselves a breather will give you two the very much needed time to bond, and talk about things that would otherwise be left with the show-and-tell marathon that would otherwise take place at home.
Even later on surprise romantic getaways should be indulged in periodically to get away from the humdrum of daily life.

Unplug from social media

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Hey you’re newly married! You can’t live your life on social media anymore. While it is very tempting to post the picture of the pancake you made for your husband, you should curb the urge and let him decide to do that. And husbands, do it! You don’t have to be stuffy and stern on the face of so much love all the time. While being demonstrative in public does feel good to both and is pretty reassuring, cut on the time you spend talking about how in love you are on social media and saying it to your spouse instead will always be better, for there is something to be said for interpersonal communication.

Turn the to-do list into a game

pretend-to-be-happy-step-12From all that I’m hearing right now, real life kicks in the very next morning. True, responsibility does double up the moment you say ‘I Do’, but everyday life doesn’t have to be boring, and will be especially fun when indulged in together with a little play. To begin with, you can take the To-Do list and split the chores, put some music on and get ready to tackle the pile of dishes lying in the sink from the night before. Find your husband a feather duster and get on with the chores and enjoy. Off and on, taking up a DIY project together may be a good idea too, like paint a wall in your house. The fun, the bonding, the feeling of having achieved something as a team once you accomplish it together and following it with mini-celebrations will strengthen the togetherness and love.

Appreciate

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‘Thank Yous’ and ‘I Love Yous’ are the saviours of any relationship in the world. Use these two phrases liberally to carry your relationship forward and fill it with love. The three magic words do not get old with time and usage and when combined with tight hugs, have therapeutic properties.

‘Thank Yous’ are the best way to show your spouse how much you appreciate them. If you wife brings you your towel in the shower or your husband bends to pick up the sock you dropped on the ground, thank one another. And do it with gratitude in your smile and love in your eyes.

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