5 way to make your Marriage work

5 way to make your Marriage work

  • If you think your marriage is hitting a rocky ground and things are not turning out the way they ought to be then here are 5 ways to tell you how you can make your marriage work.
  • 1) Open 2-sided communication:
    This is the string that ties every relationship together, especially your marriage. No one will ever know what you are thinking until you open up to them to tell them. In a marital relationship, it is always best to talk to your partner about what you feel about certain things, and develop a line for open communication. At the same time, beware that you don't force your ideas on your spouse. Talk to him/her and give them time to ruminate through what you have said. This works wonders!
  • 2) Respect for your own and your partners identity:
    When you get into marriage, you are getting into it with certain expectations in mind. But what you need to realize is that your expectations might not be what your marriage is going to be like. Your partner and you are two separate individuals that are coming together. Keeping your expectations aside, it will be good to create expectations for your marriage together. Instead, of trying to gratify those expectations, individually, learn to respect your spouse' identity, personality and together build an expectation for your marriage.
  • 3) Space with Security:
    Although you are two different people, you unite together to go forward in the space of our family, our life, our work etc. But this unity is like a double edged sword.As individuals, we are going to be two different individuals; who must learn to differentiate from each other and carry out some part of their life to connect with your own identity. Learning to give your partner space when needed and remaining secure in the relationship is a lesson that really helps marriages battle through the tough times.
  • 4) Free Expression of love:
    Even today, there is a lot of restricted expression of love, between couples. It is taken for granted, or they assume that once they are married, there is love. Expressions of love in the form of touch or in the form of words begin to trickle down. This takes time and effort on your part too! But it in the end it is always worth it! Try to exist in the space of love like you once did in the initial years of dating or when you started your courtship.
  • 5) Maintaining friendship:
    It is important to know that while you have to respect your spouse, it is also important to maintain a level of friendship with them. Because it is only in friendships that you can truly share your feelings, desires, your thoughts. You tend to be vulnerable only with those whom you trust-your friends. How amazing would it be, if your spouse turned out to be your best friend too!Marriage is never easy. Like anything else precious and important in this world, it takes hard work and effort to make it work. Ultimately, YOU have to decide, to make up your mind that no matter what, through thick and thin you will fight it out to make your marriage work.

Dealing with the in-laws!

Dealing with the in-laws!

  • In marriages, especially in the Indian subcontinentin-law interferences from both the sides has raised a serious threat to long and happy married life for many couples. Many divorces are filed owing to the various issues that creep up in a husband and wife relationship due to their parents. Here is some help to wisely deal with in-law interferences post marriage.
  • 1) Communicate:
    Before you talk it out to ANYONE else, take this to your spouse. Tell them what you feel and think about the parents getting a little-too-involved in your lives. Being open and honest with your spouse will not only cement your relationship further, you will also know if they are on the same page as you. If not, you'll can talk it out.
  • 2) Be friends with your in-laws:
    Build a relationship with your in-laws in such a way that they are your friends too! Be respectful, loving, friendly, open and just all heart! Be yourself. Be honest in all things and they would soon know what you are inside out.
  • 3) Set Boundaries:
    These are boundaries that you decide upon with your spouse. There are some matters for which parental advice may be good but not for all. Once you are clear on these with one mind and one unit just follow those boundaries.
  • 4) Communicate with the parents:
    Now, this may be hard because there will always be some generation gap here. The key is to communicate the concerned matter withlove in the right tone and with a clear perspective in mind. Once this is done rightly if the parents are matured they would be more than willing to make things good for you.
  • 5) Remove the in-law tag:
    Often, the parental issues surface when we give the 'in-law' tag or your-my parents title. Once you get married, your spouse's parents become yours too. And just as much as you love your parents, love your spouse's parents too. Treat them the same way. It gets easier for you AND for them!Some sayone really does not have a choice here! but love can make things work for you.
  • 6) Are you making them feel left out?
    Do not make them feel left out. Especially mother in law may feel insecure in some cases. A combined dinner sometimes or a get together can help to seed love innew relationships. Wherever needed parental advice can always come handy too. Overall make a healthy balance of their involvement in your marriage matters.
  • So, remember to deal wisely and handle situations in a more matured way to avoid routine conflicts due to in-law interferences in your married life. Many couples are stormed by challenges unware and end up in court cases just because of small petty conflicts that could have been harmoniously resolved. Always remember to keep marriage as a lifelong commitment and you will soon know what matters most to you and what does not.

The Red flags in your marriage

The Red flags in your marriage

  • Have you ever wondered when u hear tabloid stories of people madly in love suddenly separating their ways? The couples you thought were idols of lasting marriages have disappointed and shocked you. The reasons can be many however let us consider some red flags in a marriage and how to overcome them that if ignored can lead to serious trouble in marital relationships.
  • 1) Secrecy:
    This is crucial. Today, both being independent professionals and earning members, the lives of the husband and wife tend to become independent of each other. Be honest about your finances, your friends, your office issues, family problems etc. Do not give room for doubt.
  • 2) Lack of communication:
    This is mostly because of lack of time and due to skill issue. Take the time out to study and learn your spouse. See what makes the bloom, what makes them tick; and try and communicate through those means. The more you communicate, the more your build. The lack of communication can not only distance you from your partner, it can also kill the marriage.
  • 3) Parental Influence:
    It is a problem that is prevalent everywhere. You may not realize it, but if the parents of either spouse are always involved in making decisions that should remain between the husband and wife, then it can disrupt the relationship between the spouses too. Yes, parents do have a role to play not if they are ruining your marriage instead of building it up.
  • 4) Extra-marital affairs:
    If none of the above will break your relationship, this DEFINITELY will. In India infidelity, has caused numerous marriages to break and high number of divorce cases have been filed owing to this reason. That promise, that oath that you took on your wedding day was meant to last your whole life. Never let anything or ANYONE come between you and your spouse. If there is any such thing in your life, flush it out! Before it becomes more than just a 'side' thing. The word coined itself is EXTRA…It's not supposed to be a part of you. It is an extra baggage of guilt, shame, tag of being unfaithful and in addition the fear of being caught can shatter your respect and personality all together in the society we live in.
    Your marriage is the biggest blessing and the most precious bond that you have entered. Treasure it, love it, and work hard to maintain it. Never give up on your spouse!

Commitment in Family Life

Commitment in Family Life

  • Commitment is not a mere 'emotional feeling'! Emotions may change due to circumstances or even due to certain chemical reactions within our body. But commitment has to be 'unscathed' by any of these.
  • Commitment is not a Quid-pro-quo deal
    Real commitment does not expect any favour in return. It is the conscience choice to be committed in it becoming the motivating factor in itself, irrespective of its outcome.
  • But why commitments fail?
    There are several reasons why we lose our commitments over time… Some of them are given below:
  • Forgetfulness:
    Human beings tend to forget several things over time and commitments are no different. It is important to keep some 'memorials' to remind us of our commitment. A 'Wedding Anniversary' is a strong 'milestone' that reminds a couple of their commitment and provides an opportunity to re-dedicate. But sadly, more than 90% of husbands that we meet look sheepishly to their wives if the date of their marriage is asked! Couples should devise several 'reminders' of their commitment at regular intervals. That will help them not to deviate from the path of commitment.
  • Selfishness:
    In marriage, there is very little room to hide! When there are immense differences to the 'personal choices', 'commitment' should be setting in to 'adjust' and smoothen out relationship. But 'selfishness' wouldn't allow that - My Way or High Way attitude throws 'commitment' out of the window! It is important to learn the beauty of 'selflessness' from childhood… that "it is better to give than to receive"! When this divine wisdom dawns on a couple, 'commitment' thrives in their marriage.
  • No time:
    "My Spouse has no time for me" is one of the most quoted 'irritants' at Marriage Counseling Tables. Commitment will become cold if not nurtured with adequate time together.
    It is better to be 'prepared' than be 'repaired'! Carve out some specific 'undivided time' for your Spouse every day without indulging in any other activity. In many families, this has become an 'alien idea'. Once a lady boasted to us that she meets her husband more often at Airports while both jet setting from one City to another for their work! God save their marriage!
  • Alternate commitments:
    Many Spouses, along the way, develop 'alternate commitments' that push aside their commitment to marriage.There are several reasons for this tendency.If Spouse is not encouraging regularly the 'commitment to marriage' through words or action, they may look for alternate commitments. Sometime, Spouses (mostly men) have the 'after victory symptom'! They lose focus on their commitment once they feel that it is already 'achieved'.Ideally, a married couple should choose any commitment together where their 'relationship time or mind' is not sacrificed. They should not allow any 'commitment' that stand in the way of their marital relationship by any means.

Forgiveness in Family Life

Forgiveness in Family Life

  • Have you ever wondered how many times parents have 'forgiven' you for doing/saying what they have instructed you not to do? Numerous, isn't it? We all were fed with the sumptuous diet of 'forgiveness' in our formative years. It runs in any family…. I mean, in any healthy family!
  • Jamiya's story

    Jamiya was crying over the phone... she had been 'emotionally low' for several days now. She described how her husbandhad spoken so harshly to her in front of children the previous night. We wanted her to assess the degree of importance that she wanted to attach with this incident in light of her overall goal in family life. Suddenly she snapped – "it's not a stray incident! I just can't forgive the way he dealt with me on the 3rd day of our marriage that was nine years ago at his parents' house. He and his cousins had a hearty laugh at my expense". "Did he feel bad about it later?"we asked. "Yes" she said, "he did say sorry to me later.. But it still lingers on my mind. I cannot forgive him. It was too much. I could never fully trust him again".
  • Family lives and marital relationships get wrecked over an unforgiving spirit. It is difficult to respect or trust an individual whom you have not forgiven. Often the refrain is – "I am not able to forget, although I wish to forgive"
  • Jamiya, forgot the fact that she too needed forgiveness from her husband for something else at some other time. It was at a counseling session when Husband opened up a can of worms from her past life which he chose to 'forgive', tears welled up in her eyes. It was then she realized that she too need 'forgiveness' far more!
  • Forgiveness sets you free in your mind! The one who is 'forgiving' is more benefited than the one who is' forgiven'.
  • Forgiving others becomes easy when we realize that we too might need it someday! Or in other words, if we appreciate sufficiently the forgiveness received by us from others, we will be more willing to forgive.
  • Not forgiving your spouse is as good as not forgiving your own 'body part'. A husband and wife are irrevocably joined in their minds, bodies, goals and time. If two parts of the same body are not in harmony with each other, then that is very dangerous. Therefore, there is no place for 'personal ego' in a family life. 'Forgiveness' is indeed one of the golden rulesin family life– both, to 'ask' as well as to 'give'!

Johnny & Siby Interview

Johnny & Siby Interview

  • Times are changing and more and more couples are opting out of marriages these days. In a busy city like Mumbai we found two young hearts who are setting some milestones for others to follow suit. Johnny and Sibyhave been happily married for 11 long years and were kind to share their story with More than bread for our very special campaign on making marriages stronger!
  • 1. What were your first impressions when you'll met each other for the first time?
  • Siby : I thought he was this very strict person and I remember being so intimidated by that.
    Johnny : She came across as a lively social person.
  • 2. What's the change now?
  • Siby : He has become more social than what he was.
    Johnny : As a person that has come from a very restricted environment, she has grown a lot.She has been now exposed to a lot new ideas.
  • 3. In what areas you guys had different opinions?
  • Johnny : Managing Money! I am more conservative and she was a freer; but now few things are changing.
    Siby : I use to care about what others thought about me or about us as a family while Johnny's perspective was different. He really did not care what other people thought. Wewould also sometimes disagree on what needed to be divulged and not divulged. Also, because of our varying nature, we would disappoint one another expecting certain kind of behavior from one another.However, with time, we have grown and matured as a couple.
  • 4. What was that one thing you both did to resolve your differences?
  • Johnny : We decided to talk it out and that has really helped us.
  • 5. How has marriage been a blessing in terms of shaping your personality?
  • Siby : We have realized we are slow learners and that motivates us to learn and grow together.
    Johnny : We have realized that irrespective of the differences in opinion, the other person still loves you because of which, we have started valuing the relationship our spouse all the more.
  • 6. Two things,Siby, that you decided to inculcate in your marriage?
  • Siby : I have become cautious of how I sound when I talk to him. Do I sound disrespectful? Is my tone aggravating? These are some simple internal checks that I do. The second thing is to say sorry or reconcile things before the sun goes down. Both these things have helped our marriage grow stronger.
  • 7. We asked Johnny if "Perfect Marriage" is a myth or reality.
  • Johnny : We all are imperfect people so it is impossible for anyone to have a perfect, flawless and, smooth marriage. Even then, I can say that we can have a great marriage if both the partners are willing to make it work and do not give up on one another.
  • 8. Why do you think Marriages are not able to last longer than they did in days of old?
  • Johnny : Financial circumstances of both husband and wife have changed over a period. People have an option to walk out of relationships and not be affected at all. Working women have financial freedom to decide for themselves. The culture also plays a role where people are now focusing more on their perceived rights than on their perceived duties.
  • 9. One word that defines Marriage for you?
  • Siby : Sacrificial
    Johnny : Forgiving one another
  • 10. Final word for the ones struggling to keep their marriages strong!
    • • Be committed to one another
    • • Forgive and let go
    • • Spend time with each other
    • • Be Honest
    • • Never give up on one another

Strengthening Marriages

Strengthening Marriages

-Rashi Laskari, Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist

  • How good is the quality of your marriage right now? Your answer will depend largelyon the quality of the habits your spouse and you practice.
  • Have you ever stopped to really look at the habits you use in relating to your spouse? Most of us behave on the automatic pilot, without taking time to consider if we should do things differently.The good news is that even if your marriage is going downhill, it could be improved by re-evaluating the habits you and your spouse have adopted in relating to each other.
  • Here are your three marriage-enriching habits:
  • 1. Make goodwill deposits
    Couples have emotional 'bank accounts' with each other. Whenever you do something nice for your partner, you are making a goodwill deposit with that person. But when you do something that causes disharmony, you are making a goodwill withdrawal. Deposits can be strokes of affection, a gesture of respect, an acknowledgement for something the other has done, or a sincere compliment to the other person.
  • 2. Choose alternate words
    When you're angry with your spouse, substitute "YOU' statements for "I" statements.
    For instance, instead of saying, "You make me furious when you come home late", say, "I get furious when I have dinner waiting, and don't know that you're going to be late."
    "You" statements come across as more accusing and attacking. When you choose "I" statements instead, you are taking full responsibility for your feelings.
  • 3. Take responsibility
    Take responsibility for your part in any conflict. Say the words, "I am sorry for my part in what happened", whenever you have a chance to make up after a fight.Whatever the situation, in saying these words, you acknowledge that every argument has two sides and that each of you shares the responsibility for what happens in the marriage. Even if your partner does not take responsibility for his/her part in things, set a healthy example by your actions.
  • The simple act of being open to changing your own habits, require courage.You may find the quality of your marriage spiral upwards to heights you never imagined. And while forming better relationship habits takes some effort, the results feel so good that they become addictive.This strengthens the bond between you and your spouse.
  • And remember, "Humility goes a long way in patching things up."

Why are young people choosing to die than live?

Why are young people choosing to die than live?

-Rashi Laskari, Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist

  • "A view to die for" was the last post that Arjun Bhardwaj had put up with the gorgeous sun set as the backdrop to this tragic story. Another young life took a drastic step to end his life early this week by jumping off Taj Land's End Hotel in Bandra.
  • The comments on Arjun's Facebook page give varied reasons for this death from drugs to depression. Whatever he did to himself,has deeply grieved his parents; not much can be done about this now.What we can do is really delve in to the deeper issues of our younger generation. With all the pressure to perform well and stay in the race, our youngsters are slowly slipping away from us!
  • How has our world changed from what it was?
    • Strong bonds of love that once held people together during the tough times have disappeared.
    • Parents were, at once in time, role models for their children. Today, parents and children have time for everything but not for living.
    • Broken things were mended; we didn't give up on life so soon. Including relationships, everything has now boiled down to just a right and left swipe or the click of a block button.
    • Solutions to problems were sought after. Together, mind you, never alone. Life, for them, was a gift to be loved, cherished and lived to the fullest no matter what.
    • Failures were accepted as part of life. Today, we push them to join a race that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, tired, defeated and worthless with little or no time for self-reflections.
  • How can we change this changed world?
    Here are some ways to progressively work towards reshaping a better world for undoubtedly the future of tomorrow.
    • Let us always be available for them to listen.
    • Let's stop looking at the outward but start looking at the inside of a person.
    • Let us create more awareness of help that is available for them.
    • Let us love them for who they are and what they are capable of.
    • If you and I can pledge to hear them maybe we can save not just few young lives; let's assure them... We are listening!!
  • And for you, our dear young life:
  • We appeal! Seek Help. You are precious and your life is worth living. No one can be at a greater loss than yourself when you choose to quit. Create a legacy that leaves behind loving memories and not hurt and grief for the people that love you. No burden is too big that cannot be handled and no mountain too tall to overcome. If life throws a storm at you, face it with courage and fight on!
  • Every life has a desired beautiful destiny and a pearl of great price to live for. Do not give up while you are just at the first hurdle.