Bridge the virtual gap in real time to make a good marriage

My nephew Sheel and his wife Priya found each other via the worldwide web 2 years ago and got married within 6 months after their first virtual meeting. My friend Meena too met her match 6 years in an online chat room that she frequented; she has been married for over 5 years now. Nilesh and Radha, both of whom are Indians living in Australia, found their respective partners in Mumbai and Chennai through a few years ago.

Finding a life partner through the net is not a rare occurrence as more and more youngsters spend more time online than ever before. More marriages are made in virtual space rather than heaven, but for them to last to a ‘till death do us part’, living mostly in virtual space isn’t exactly the answer. Marriage is about sharing and caring in real-time physical space.

And despite the vows made at the wedding ceremony by the starry-eyed couple, more marriages are breaking up and do not survive beyond the first 2 years.

Why is it that marriages do not last? Have tolerance levels have gone down? Is greater equality for women the reason? Have expectations regarding marriage and spouses gone up? Or is it that the sense of reality has been warped by the virtual world? 

I believe it is a bit of all these reasons. Youngsters getting married do so without really knowing what they are getting themselves into, what is marriage all about, and what it means.

I would recommend that the couple sit down for a serious expectation-setting session before they actually decide to get married – more marriages may be saved by just this one initiative.

A few things that should be clear is what they want of each other – apart from living with each other and sharing most of their time with one another.

  1. Where will they live – is the future ‘home’ acceptable to both?
  2. How will their finances be managed – will they both work; will they have separate accounts; will their inheritance and assets be equally divided? Will their businesses have a change of management, or trusteeship, or otherwise?
  3. What is expected from each one with respect to their in-laws – what could be termed ‘due respect’ and how much is expected
  4. What religion will be practiced, will each have the freedom to practice what they like?
  5. Are children in the scheme of things, and if when and how many?

Answers to these questions should make you realize what your partner is like and give you a clear idea of what you are getting into.

I do hope you have a good marriage – you have to make it one!

All the very best!

Realistic expectations can make a good marriage !

Beena and Sundar were married for 10 years. They lived with Sundar’s parents for the first few years of marriage and then when their two delightful children arrived, they found the house small and decided to move out.

They took an apartment close to their earlier home and settled in well. The chinks in the marriage started to appear – they had less distractions in the form of elders and pressures of looking after the children were taking their toll. They began noticing each other and their idiosyncrasies came to the fore… when all too suddenly their squabbles started to grow into full-blown fights and  they realized they needed help – help that was neutral and that both could trust.

Most often couples will seek the services of a marriage counselor when their marriage is in jeopardy.  It may be too late, and there will have been a lot of wisdom much too late.

So what is it that women want? They want emotional support and understanding, companionship, all this with a dash of praise and love.

They want to be heard, they want companionship, support, praise, recognition, respect, all with a dash of romance.

And what is it that men want? They want love, respect, security, emotional support, understanding, physical proximity and sex so as to feel desired.

Most of what each one wants from the other partner is much the same, yet the degree to which each one is willing to give of what they want is very little. This is often the prime factor for not enough closeness among couples. If only there was a special mirror that allows us to see how much we give and how much we get. If there was this special mirror I am sure most of us would have been surprised by what we saw and would have realized we need to be grateful for what we already have but did not see…

Let’s try and find these special mirrors – from among our friends, family or even by looking within. We also realize how very like Sleeping Beauty’s magic mirror this is.

Hope you find your special mirror; I have!

Feature Writer: Purnima Joshi

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