Today is my 26th wedding anniversary. It doesn’t seem so. The time has just flown. It seems only yesterday that I proposed to Geeta and she eagerly accepted. What a great ride it has been. We have gone thru thick and thin, ups and down, and if anything, that seems to have strengthened our bond.
One of my colleagues keeps asking me the secret of how we have managed to keep our romance alive. I never thought about it. It seemed only natural to have the romance alive. However, with so many marriages breaking, or not working to their fullest potential, I decided to share what I think are our secrets.
Stephen Covey in his famous book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has an excellent advice on love. It’s told as a very interesting story, which I urge you to read on your own. I will only share the lesson.
A man says that there is no love anymore in their marriage and asks Stephen what he should do? Stephen tells him to “love her”. The man says that the feeling is not there any more. Then Stephen tells him
“My friend, love is a verb. Love — the feeling — is a fruit of love — the verb. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”
I believe that Geeta and I have been consistently doing that. Not only love, the noun, but also love the verb. We have followed many practices that I think have helped us lead a harmonious married life. A small post like this is not large enough to share all. That will need a whole book. So I would share just a few of them.
I think the single most important thing is that, both of us believe, that we have received in the other, a lot more than we could have ever hoped for. And we want to demonstrate to each other, that we really deserved what we got. Each of the action that we take emerges out of this.
A explicit agreement we have had since our wedding day was not to sleep with an unspoken grudge against each other. This promise was very difficult to keep and we have broken it many times, particularly when we really had big fights. But we always reminded each other and got things out in open.
Another implicit agreement we had, was not to complain about each other to anyone else. If we had issues with each other, we never told them to anyone, not our friends, not our parents, no one. The world is like a mirror. Whatever we tell the world, it reflects the stuff back to us, magnified many times. We knew that we had to solve our stuff ourselves. Letting others know didn’t make any sense.
We also let each other be. It’s not that we like everything about each other. We have always told each other what we don’t like. However, we let the other make a decision about changing. And in most cases, change we did, but of our own accord at our own timetable. I quit smoking 18 years after Geeta first registered her protest, but that was ok.
To conclude, I would say, Marriages may be made in heaven, but we need to nurture them here, in this world!