The Talk editor got a chance to have heart-to-heart conversations with two newly married couples. While Umar and Ayesha have now been married for four years, Asiya and Usman tied the knot less than two years ago. Both of them had somewhat similar tips on how they make marriage work wonderfully. Here are 5 tips from the couples on the key to a successful marriage.
1. Give each other space
“What a lot of couples don’t realise these days, especially in an arranged married, is that both individuals need their own space at times.” says Ayesha. No relationship is perfect from day one; it takes time and effort to strike the perfect balance. No matter how long two people have known each other for, both individuals have a lot to learn about one another until after they’re married. And that is where giving each other the necessary space becomes very important.
“If he likes to watch his favourite action series before he goes to bed, it is fine if I am not part of his alone-time at that moment,” adds Asiya to Ayesha’s comment. Usman had similar things to share about Asiya. “She likes to have a cup of tea with her book every Sunday morning for an hour. I don’t mind that.”
2. Respect each other’s privacy
“I don’t understand why some couple find it cute to know each other’s passwords,” replies Umar to our question on trust as a factor in a successful marriage. What was insightful about Umar and Ayesha was that they both had similar beliefs about mutual trust. Perhaps all couples have different dynamics when it comes to having faith in their partners. If you notice a change in your partner’s behaviour and are unable to decipher why, it might be because of something they want to protect you from. Not just in marriage, but in all relationships, giving a benefit of doubt to the other side goes a long way.
“I feel like men and women, both need to protect their relationship’s privacy at any cost.” Usman commented. The bottom line is that no matter what, a couple should not let any outsider, whoever it may be, comment about their spouse in a distrusting manner. Adding on to this, Asiya said, “Girls these days sometimes tend to overshare with their families. I feel like some things need resolving only by the stakeholders and not the well-wishers.”
3. Be courteous to your spouse’s family
“My mother told me once, that if you love your husband, how can you not love the people who your husband loves? That has really stuck with me.” That is what the newly married Ayesha had to say about moving in a different household post-marriage. While it is important that a husband and his family realise the pressures on a woman when she moves in, it is also important for the woman to treat all members of the family with respect.
“I have always been scolded for my lack of tidiness. Jab se hamari shaadi hui hai, mere ghar wale mujhe Ayesha ke sath mil kar lecture dete hain,” said Umar while the couple chuckled.
With a stigma that the south Asian society faces about in-laws being unaccommodating, and of course their negative portrayal in the media, it is not surprising that both men and women can be defensive at times. The secret to not let it get you may lie in understanding the family systems of both households better.
4. Appreciate your partner every once in a while
Both, man and woman, like being complimented and appreciated, period. While some people may not be as expressive, a small gesture on their part can still go a long way.
“Every time there is a gajray wala on the signal, Usman still buys me some.” – Asiya.
“Whenever I’m out of city for work, she sends me a text message that says khair se pohnchain” – Usman.
“Umar compliments me whenever I dress up for some function or a wedding.” – Ayesha.
“Before marriage, I used to iron my own dress shirts before going to work despite having house help. Now, Ayesha does it for me even when I don’t expect her to. I think it just shows how much she cares.” – Umar.
5. View each other as equal partners
Lastly, we drew a very crucial insight from the conversations that we had with these couples. Where there were women trying their best to give men the space that they need, men had a realisation that women alter their lives quite a lot for the sake of marriage when they move in to a different environment. Both men had that element of empathy towards their partners.
For any marriage to work, both individuals need to be equally responsible and understanding. Any marriage that expects one side to make all the sacrifices may be dysfunctional, even if it does not fall apart.
*The identity of the couples have been kept confidential in order to protect privacy.