Saw this image a few days ago and it really struck a cord. Before I got married, I knew marriage was going to be difficult. I just never knew how difficult it was going to be. But I have learnt a little, about how to cope with it. A little.
Facebook contributed significantly to my worldview of marriage. Don’t get me wrong. I never consciously set out to glean marriage advice from Facebook. But somehow, subconciously, I allowed the many hours I have spent Facebook surfing to cloud my perception of marriage. My conclusions about marriage based on Facebook were these…
1) Married couples are always happy.
2) Married couples are always out having romantic dates/adventures.
3) Married couples always GET each other.
While much of this is true, a more realistic portrayal of marriage would be this…
1) Married couples are
always generally happy, except for when they are squabbling over the most mundane of issues, like whose turn it is to do the laundry, who gets more of the blanket, who accidentally kicked whom in their sleep, who made the ants and the cockroaches come (true story), who gets to choose the movie and so on and so forth.
2) Married couples are
always out having romantic dates/adventures, when they can manage to drag themselves out of the bed on a Saturday morning after the longest week at work and when they have enough left over after paying the bills.
3) Married couples
always GET each other, after a million fights over the same issue, and after one party has explained to the other, for the 39th time, how they feel about something.
Much of this is exaggeration of course, but in the last 6 months, I have learnt that the biggest threat to a marriage is to compare one’s marriage to that of another’s.
For example, when we fight, I catch myself wondering if its normal. I am surrounded by couples who seem so happy, that they make me feel like our fights imply that we are somehow dysfunctional. However, a dear friend recently pointed out to me that everyone has their own versions of normal. What is normal to someone could be entirely abnormal to someone else, and the moment we judge our lives based on that of others, that’s when the real problem starts.
I have also learnt that it is important to be really careful about who you allow into your marriage. Everyone needs an outlet to rant and to vent. However, some people are going to give you advice that is not ideal, or perhaps even damaging. Some people are going to judge. And some people will want to tell you how to deal with your marriage. At the end of the day, only you and your spouse know all the intricacies associated with your personalities and your life. Any advice that anyone offers, needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, because really, this is the ONE area where you need to trust that you know best. But there will be people who genuinely just want to be there to listen, and to share their own experiences. Talking to them will make you feel better, and that’s when you will know that you have made the right decision in confiding in someone.
I have learnt this much in 6 months, and I think this much will last me a long time to come. Marriage can be a difficult journey, but it can also be the happiest one, if you allow it to be. In times when I question my decision to get married, when I question my decision on whom I married, I asked myself who I want to be with during the darkest moments of my life. For as long as my answer is Naren (And I have this nagging suspicion it always will be), I know I am good. 🙂