Can A Marriage Last A Lifetime?

"....Can I get your views on marriage and relationship since you always write so much about it. I am getting married soon and of course scared a little after seeing so many friends already divorce. They always advise me on what I should and should not do when I get married but I would like to know what you think about how we can make a relationship work in a marriage..."

Toughcookie says:
First of all, I am no expert in this matter since I myself have only been married for 3 years. Yes, I do have an opinion on this issue but I would like to say that they might not work when only one party practices it because it takes two people in a marriage to work together to maintain a harmonious relationship, to honour and respect each other, to love and cherish one another, til death do them apart. Unfortunately, these things are scarce these days with people all wanting shortcuts and many prefer being non-confrontational, which sometimes lead to lack of communications and eventually scores of misunderstanding.

First of all, I would say, marry because of the love you have for each other - not because he could buy you a Beemer (although that would be a bonus, yes) or because he has a body like abang Vin Diesel, etc. When you love each other that much, you would do anything for one another.... you would work hard to create wealth to grow your family together, you would want to cook for the family even when you're dead tired after a long day at work and you would always want to do things together. That would create a happier environment and there isn't anything you can't face since both of you would support each other in times of need and be your pillar of strength when you need a shoulder to cry on.

With love, both of you will get far because you would always remember why and how you both got there in the first place and even when there are fights or misunderstanding at home (yes, there will always be these moments, definitely), the love you have for one another will bring you back to each other's arms.

If you marry because of money, you must know that wealth can just be taken away if one is not careful. I've seen how someone got married hastily for money but as soon as there was a financial crisis at home, she packed her bags and left the husband.

With love, you would take each other as is, accept their flaws no matter how much you complain about them and keep supporting each other for a better future together. Surely, love is just a feeling that can dissipate with time, if one is not careful. So, I guess, this is not an independent point and must work with other factors in a marriage.

Secondly, I strongly believe that the couple must both know and be fully aware of their responsibilities. The husband must be aware of his role as the leader of his family and the wife must realise that she is a wife no matter how much you want to fight for gender equality. When you have a sense of responsibility towards your family, I think most affairs and betrayal would be non-existent. That's why, I feel that women especially, must always get their husbands involved in raising their kids, not just by giving pocket money. There needs to be proper bonding activities like bathing the kids, tucking them to bed at night, reading them stories, going swimming, etc. If you don't have kids, get your husband involved in some decision-making process relating to the house or the vacation and stuff like that which involves the two of you. I know some men dislike these things but that's probably because they've never tried it or prefer the easy way out since women can be quite manipulative sometimes as they'd want their other half to agree to everything they've decided.

With the sense of responsibility, both parties will have a sense of belonging at home and towards each other and it makes things more convenient for the couple. When you know what you're supposed to do at home or for your partner, you will realise that they are always on your mind - like what they would like to have for lunch/dinner, that you would think hard before you decide anything so that you will consider your partner's likes and dislikes. I think so la...

With sense of responsibility, you can prevent one from taking their partner for granted and simply think that everything will fall in place eventually, without even putting any efforts in the relationship. That's the mistake many couples make - to think that a marriage is like the end destination after the courtship and years of dating. The thing is, it isn't the end... in fact, it is just the beginning of life-changing moments.

To me, the fact that you've decided to get married in the first place, you are ready to take on a bigger responsibility. It isn't like fashion where it's something you have to get and wear. It is a huge task of two people working their way up and looking forward to what's in store for the future without being held up by what they missed from those days of singledom.

You have to take actions in your life and being responsible will ensure that your family is well cared for.

Then, the next point would be to hone your listening skills and be patient. Accept the fact that no one is perfect, not even you. Staying with each other for the rest of your lives would be a perfect formula to boredom if you don't listen to the needs of your partner. There will always be new things for you to discover about your partner because humans evolve through time... I used to like blue back then but I no longer favour the colour. Things change and both of you must learn to listen and adapt. You can't assume that things will be the same for the next 30 years and you'd need to be patient if you expect some things to change for the better. This, is also a reminder for myself, actually... because patience has never been my strongest virtue.

I also think that family should always come first. You'd need to learn to prioritise. Just because you're busy at work, that doesn't mean that your family must always understand you and your busy-ness. You'd be surprised at how many of your colleagues who would secretly admire that family-man or family-woman trait in you if you'd always put family before work. I am not saying that you don't need to work. I am just saying that you must prioritise... time/manage your work properly so that you'd be able to return home by dinner or stuff like that. Because like it or not, an employer will not be with you in times of need but your family will. Don't put off that vacation with your other half because you feel that no one else in this world can do that project except you... and you don't have to feel the need to be popular with the entire world when you sacrifice being popular with your own family.

Most importantly, I think, we'd need to throw away our egos when dealing with our most beloved soulmate. Egos always get in the way of everything. Yes, I agree that at times, it does help to display some egoistic tendency simply because we deal with another human. And being human, we always tend to forget things. Things are easily forgotten. Though that hardly applies to me (because I remember everything... haha!) I find that people consciously practice being amnesiac. It's the best defense system if they suddenly realised they've lost a little bit of the 'being responsible' factor or other factors for that matter.

As much as I think there are many other factors to what can make a marriage work til the end, I just feel that these are the most important ones that you simply have to get it tattooed on your heart. Only then, and constantly reminding yourself of who you are and what you'r supposed to do, can possibly make a marriage work for the longest time. I think....

All the best in your next adventure and don't easily give up.


Nia said...

good advice Juan! v.good advice indeed!..marriage can work, we just need some effort for it...(bukan some laa,..a lot of efforts!hehe)

Amy said...

Well said. Kalau ada butang like macam kat FB, I nak tekan 10 kali kasi kuar 10 thumbs up heheh

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Lady, I read your posting with interest....
Marriage the first 5 years is bliss. Then the kids arrive, as well you or hubby climbing up the Corporate ladder....and thus some hiccups will occur.

But as long we remember...Listening + Communication = Understanding, then you'll be fine.
Most important, have fun and a good sense of'll be looking after grandkids together.
Best regards and keep a song in your heart, Lee.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi, incidentally I did a posting about marriage....
if you free drop by see my archive, 'An expression that frighten husbands', D/d 5/21/10.
Have a nice day, Lee.

Sharon said...

Read "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage" --- that's what it takes to last a lifetime ...

emly2175 said...

well said n written dear. totally agree with u on it. which reminds me of this line from that jerry meguire movie : you complete me.