Saturday, August 10, 2013

Marriage 101: Be satisfied with your own life


After we got married, we went to visit some of our Indian cousins in Seattle en route to India for our honeymoon. One of our cousins had been married for 10 years, so I asked him what is the best marriage advice he could give me. He said, "You do your own thing; he does his own thing. You will be happier together." I was a little shocked. This was not the advice I was expecting and it really made me think. Usually, when someone gives marriage advice, they will say something regarding an absolute devotion to your spouse, but his advice was really true. As much as you love your spouse, you can't put your whole life's happiness in their hands.

So many times in marriage ceremonies, they talk about "two souls becoming one" which is not necessarily the case. I would argue that you are still two separate individuals, with the marriage being the 3rd entity, like a sun shining over you both. Each person has to be responsible for their individual needs and not completely rely on their partner to satisfy them. If you do, you're setting them up to fail. It's too much pressure. The belief that you have to sacrifice all your needs for your spouse is not necessarily true. You are not a martyr. You don't have to sacrifice your own needs just to make your relationship work. You have to take care of your own needs, and have a life outside your spouse. Have friends, have hobbies, have alone time...especially after kids.

What happens when your spouse has a bad day? The other spouse usually gets the blame for it. It is SO EASY to blame your spouse for all your problems rather than looking inwards and fixing it yourself. And so begins the blame game, and resentment builds. 

I think for stay-at-home mums it's a little harder. I know so many girls who stay at home all day and just wait around for their husbands to get home - and that becomes way too reliant and dependent. Even if you do stay at home, you should keep yourself busy with things that you like to do FOR YOURSELF - things that better yourself. It is not your spouse's job to keep you satisfied with your own life. Many people think if you live like this, you are less connected - but that's not true. If each person takes care of their own needs, then you will be happier in general, happier together, and not blaming your spouse for your own problems. Your life is in your control. The best gift that you can give your spouse is your own happiness. You alone are responsible for creating a fulfilling life for yourself. As a spouse, what are you bringing to the table?

If I can't take care of myself, then I bring absolutely nothing to the table but negativity and stress to the household. However, after that, my husband and my marriage is my absolute first priority. And then comes my daughter, because it is very important for me to give her the example of a healthy relationship between a man and woman. She is happier when we are happier. She loves to see us hug and kiss and laugh with each other. Even though I'm a stay-at home mum for 6 days a week (I work one day - my "vacation"), it is my responsibility to take care of my own needs. Every day I like to do something special with my daughter, whether it is going for walks, playing together, visiting Daddy at work, visiting my parents, going to the park/beach, taking Maya swimming, and meeting my friends - this is beneficial for me and for her, as well as my bonding with her. I rarely am at home. During her naps, I do my writing, reading, and if I'm really lucky I'll watch a movie. Maintaining my friendships with both mom friends and non-mom friends have been really beneficial to me. As Beyonce said, "There's nothing like having a conversation with a woman". I also try to go out on a childless date with my husband every other weekend, and I try to sneak out for some mommy-pampering a once a month. Taking care of myself outside my marriage makes me feel refreshed and reborn. I love it when my husband comes home from work, but I definitely don't sit around waiting for him!


Click HERE to read my Best Marriage Advice I have Received Over the Years.

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3 comments

  1. I completely agree with this post about how it is important NOT to be dependent on your spouse for your happiness and well-being. Well said!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, totally. It is too much pressure on the other person.

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  2. Such an amazing post...truly well said...

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