It's the same story with the same fairy tale ending. Boy meets girl. Love. Kisses. Miss made Mrs. And everyone assumes that they'll live happily ever after. But do they? If you don't want your marriage to go wrong you should understand that contrary to popular belief, nothing goes right in marriage unless you are mentally prepared for life together. Pointers to help you.
Don't waver between, "Should I?" or "Should I not?"
Entering into anything half-heartedly can end in disaster. If marriage is not what you want, do not be forced or cajoled into it. Being single has its own charm - the freedom it gives one is a wonderful lure. If marriage is something you do want, be sure that you feel drawn to your partner-to-be. Do not be pressurised into accepting someone you don't have a liking for.
Avoid acting in a manner which says, "I'm easily available".
Flirtatious behaviour and ways which clearly show that you are an easy catch do not add to your worth. It may tempt boys to have some fun with you but it will send you hurtling down in their estimation. The shy hard-to-get miss has far more appeal.
Be wary of Internet romance.
It starts as a bit of fun and ends with all fun drained out of your life. In cyberspace one is anonymous and nobody knows what the real truth is. So, don't be dazzled with the novelty and charm of it, but look before you leap into cyberspace.
Talk over those cherished dreams of yours with your partner-to-be.
The girl's right to a home of her own, to take up a job and related matters do not figure in marriage discussions among elders. It is for her, therefore, to tactfully find out her partner's stand on matters that are important to her.
Fiona's was an arranged match and, when George told her they'd be staying with his mother, she spoke out her mind saying, "But I need my own space. If you can't give it to me, this marriage will be no fun and I'd rather opt out of it." They talked this over with his mother and came up with a solution acceptable to both. With prickly matters like these agreed upon beforehand, the marriage stands to gain.
Seek knowledge, for it is a safe guide while ignorance can misguide.
A girl needs to be mentally prepared to take up her new role as wife, daughter-in-law and mother, but sad to say, she often is not. There are matters - personal, health-related and sexual - that the couple, especially the girl, would like advice on. But parents treat these matters as taboo. In that case, the couple should seek information from books and on-line material or go for counselling. Sound knowledge is the basis of a sound marriage.
Being prudish and refraining from talking about intimate concerns can hurt a marriage.
Certain questions like when to start a family and how big it should be, did not arise in the past but are inevitable now as present-day couples are driven by personal ambitions and pressures of work.
Being very specific about such matters can take a load off the mind.
Newly-wed Wendy was deeply distressed and when pressed for the reason, told her husband about her fear that kids may stand in the way of her higher studies. On being reassured that they'd think of children only after she had fulfilled all her ambitions, she was relieved. Such assurances are important, for thwarted desires can give rise to negative feelings in a marriage.
Your appearance and looks can send your man's heart racing.
So, be graceful and dress decently. Look attractive and smart and, above all, maintain a trim figure even after marriage. Every man likes to show off his wife but a dowdy and badly-dressed woman is someone he'll cringe from. Dressing revealingly, however, is a big no-no. Though men enjoy seeing skimpily dressed women, they don't want their wives to dare and bare.
Remember the age-old saying "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach".
It was grandma's approach route. It has been tried out for years and has vintage flavour. Why not make it yours by learning to be a good cook?
A happy home can bind hearts together.
So, master the art of good housekeeping and make your home invitingly bright and warm. "I hate to go home because mine is a filthy place run by a scowling wife," complains a husband as he walks away in disgust.
That should remind you that winning or losing a battle on the home front depends largely on how bright your home is and how vivacious you are.
Courtship time need not be all romance and moonshine but can be reality-check time.
It can be an opportunity for the couple to learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses, loves and hates and anything else of importance. This will not only prepare them to adjust to each other's ways but will also enable them to use their own strong points to offset the weak ones of the other and vice versa.
Seeing her fiance spending lavishly on her, Karen knew that he was a spendthrift and pointed out that this could be a hurdle in their marriage. "I'm frugal," she told him," and am adept at saving. So, let me handle the household finances after marriage while you do something you are good at, like choosing the gadgets and seeing to their upkeep." Since it was courtship time, he readily agreed. As feelings are warm during this period, agreements are not hard to reach and small arrangements like this can help marriage click in a big way.
Know that lovers' bliss has to end some day.
When this happens, flaws are detected, irritation surfaces and anger erupts. Every couple needs to be prepared to handle this stage and to do this, they must be well apprised of certain time-tested ways of interaction that can be helpful. Here are some:
Cultivate the I-for-you and you-for-me attitude from the very start.
Marriage is neither dominance nor servitude but a partnership. So, partners should learn to forget the egoistic 'I' for the self-effacing 'we', in their relationship. Jane hated to forego her early morning sleep and her husband came to her aid by finishing off all the early chores. This pleased her so much that she readily overlooked the way he threw about his things untidily, and tidied up for him. Such a give-and-take attitude can lessen friction in marriage.
Learn to handle your partner's ego with care.
Marital relations deteriorate when egos are hurt. Egos need to be cherished with appreciation rather than be crushed by constant fault-finding. During courtship, appreciation is unstinted and everything is rosy. Couples should remember this and they should be firmly committed to putting into marriage what made life so great for them before.
Let's face facts. "My wife is a great cook and the dishes she cooks are always great!" brags Dennis to his friends - but he never tells her' so. "My husband has a nasty temper but is very helpful around the house," admits wife to everyone else except her husband.
This failure to give due credit to each other builds up resentment in both. Each day offers so many opportunities to every couple to say heart-warming words to each other. If you say them as you readily, did during your courtship, much that goes wrong in marriage can be set right.
This is because appreciation is a great mood-enhancer and a healer of emotional hurts. It can be the vitamin A that keeps your marriage in good health.
Add spice to your married life with some romantic moments.
When two heads come together with antagonism they will soon be at loggerheads, but romance has that magical ability to drive away unkind feelings from the mind. A few quiet moments together, a short walk in the moonlight, a soft touch, a lingering caress, a silent locking of the eyes, sweet nothings whispered into eager ears, do not take time but they make you forget hurts and keep hearts locked in love's embrace. So, give this magic of love a chance to keep things straight.
Learn to fight the right way.
Fighting is an inbuilt danger to marriage but it need not be an evil that destroys it. I once heard a lawyer and his wife fighting so violently that they could be heard all over the place. Minutes later, they were walking arm in arm to their car. That's how fights should be: just a release for pent-up feelings and forgotten in a flash.
Not dragging yesterday's faults of omission and commission into today's quarrel is important, for that would be nagging which really hurts and wounds. Nobody wants to lose an argument, so a little give and take or meeting your partner half-way is a great idea.
Marriage, as all will agree, is a 24 X 7 commitment, highly taxing and very demanding with no holidays allowed and no breaks permitted. Such a trying relationship will not flourish on its own.
Strange to say, so much time, attention and money are spent on the wedding, which is a one-day affair, while no thought is given to preparing the couple for marriage, which is an exacting life-long involvement.