What is it we need to be happy in our marriage? Does it have to be some unattainable ideal? Not at all, happily married couples do exist. Modern marriage is often fraught with stress and tension. If only a proper examination is made to the roots of all these social issues as well as frequent pre-marital sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, divorce, wife-bashing and child Abuse, inevitably find that it’s mainly due to selfishness, lack of tolerance and patience – the three ‘anger’ words which are regularly hurled at married couples.
The reality of a happy married life is usually just an extension of one another’s good intentions and priorities. It is about finding a middle ground where two people can live happily with each other. However, modern life is so involved with work and schedules that it becomes difficult for both parties to find time to devote to one another. A marriage becomes a juggling act of work and home, leaving little time for each other.
So what has happened to the ideal of a nuclear family unit where parents and children were always closed? Where children were cared for by both parents and grand parents? Well, the answer is obvious – gone. In most cases (at least in the developed West), the nuclear family has given way to caring and nurturing single parents and their children. In many countries today, nuclear families are now considered to be inadequate.
So what has brought this about? Why has it become so important to have a happy married life? The answer lies partly in the material needs of humans.
In early days, a married couple’s material needs were focused on the new family. If the husband worked, the wife had to be cared for. A nuclear family required two working parents to provide for the young. And, even though women were now at home bringing up the children, the expectation was that a woman would still be looking after the family and looking to contribute financially as well (as in the case of the mother). This meant that material needs of the male family members were focused primarily on the nuclear family.
Over time, the focus of the material needs of a married couple has changed. This is probably best illustrated in the current scenario of late capitalism. Under capitalism, a married couple’s material needs are not necessarily fulfilled. With the rise of the global economy, there is an increasing desire for flexibility in a career. And, if a person happens to have multiple streams of income, then more than likely that person will want to balance those streams by taking some of them on as well.
In this competitive global atmosphere, it can be very difficult for a person to find a balance between the needs of the career and the needs of the family. A happy married life therefore requires that a person has both a career and a domestic stream of income. The second aspect is obviously easier to achieve since the initial family income is more easily attained. Yet, the end result is the same. We want to balance our lives out in order to be happy.
There are various tips that you can use to ensure that you are leading a happy married life. But, it all begins with recognizing your personal needs. Your spouse can never be the best partner in life. Yours is the marriage. Therefore, you need to accept your special needs and meet them head-on.
Next, you need to recognize your spouse’s special needs. If she has certain medical conditions or takes medications that are hard on her back, make sure that these issues are taken care of. You need to make sure that your home is as comfortable as possible for her. Also, set up time aside for the two of you whenever you are out of the house. If you take time to show concern for your spouse’s needs, then you will create a happy married life for her.
Finally, you need to recognize your own needs as well. If you think that you are financially exhausted from working so many hours, then you may need to scale down the commitments you make. On one hand, you can save money in order to provide for your spouse. At the same time, you can have a greater say in how the marriage is going to work out.
With the right attitude, everything can be properly managed in a marriage. Of course, communication is the most important aspect of a happy married life. Make sure that you spend enough time with your spouse. Also, you both need to learn how to communicate well with each other. If you keep these things in mind, then you can create a happy married life for yourself and for your wife or husband.