The Secret Sauce of Indian marriages

As told to me by a 90 year old matriarch

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Recently I attended the 70th  wedding anniversary celebrations of my 90 year old aunt and she was dressed to kill-her hair done up in a bun, tiny solitaires in her ears, a touch of lipstick and rouge(as she calls blusher)-in a beautifully draped Kanjeevaram silk saree.  Her inner radiance outshone her external accoutrements of beauty.

Since all of us, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, grand nephews and the entire noisy lot was celebrating with her, we asked her to talk about her marriage.

She shared some beautiful insights on what she calls a ‘roller coaster partnership’.

Marriage is a destination yet a journey-When we think of marriage as a destination we just stop trying to make it work because we feel we have arrived and this is the end. But when we view it as a journey, then we look at it as ongoing, so we always have something to look forward to, so we keep trying to make things better. This can range from keeping our chin up even when the chips are down, to even dressing up to cheer up yourself or your spouse or maybe both of you. The important thing is, to keep the marriage alive and kicking as a living entity and not as a dull boring dead end destination.

“To keep the marriage alive and kicking as a living entity”

Psycho-Social Support- Any marriage has its share of ups and downs and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. My aunt said, “My husband was extremely wealthy when we got married, but became bankrupt and that’s the time I turned to my circle of friends and family for support. It wasn’t a question of borrowing money but speaking with them that helped reduce the enormity of the catastrophe”.

Adjust adjust adjust-Adjusting to your partner is not a bad thing. When you can adjust with friends, then if you just thought of your husband as a friend, then why would you not adjust with him? It’s just that everyone tells you to be rigid rather than flexible, but remember it is the mighty oak that falls during a storm and not the willowy bamboo. Besides, does everything have to be such a big deal that you take a life and death stance on everything? You never compromise on your core values, but so many things, like what show to watch or what to eat, these are just preferences and people tend to confuse them with core values and that’s where the strife begins and never ends.

Karma – A belief in the Karmic cycle is one of the innate beliefs in India, the simple philosophy of ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’, provides solace and strength in rough patches of your marriage. It may sound simplistic but it also relieves you from trying to keep a scorecard in marriage as you always feel, ‘Karma will take care of it’.

My aunt had so much more to share so let’s talk about it in my next column.

Stay happy and Live Life EmpressSize….till next time.

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