The author of Light Within has invited me to comment on this issue… I will in my best capacity, as a newly wed. 🙂

It’s a classic story. Boy meets girl. Boy & girl fall in love. Boy proposed. Girl agreed. They got married, and they live happily ever after…. NOT.

Many people fall into the trap of thinking that marriage is a given. It’s just a natural transition from a relationship, some even call it an upgrading of the relationship. But it is a lot more than that. Marriage is hard work, if you do not know that already.

How can we avoid falling into the trap that ‘Love in L.A.’ has fallen into?

Lesson #1: Do not get married until you feel you are able to say those vows and mean it.

When you were saying your vows, the pastor/justice of peace/(insert term for the person who legalize your marriage) – the vows were… I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Please note – ‘until death do us part’ and NOT ’till I am sick and tired of our lovemaking’, or ’till I do not feel any longing or lust for you’. Therefore, before you go into marriage, please do think long and hard because you are talking about a lifetime.

When you say your vows and mean it, chances are you will not stray even if given the opportunity. Because, you have made a conscious decision, and this decision is very powerful. Maybe nobody will ever find out about it i.e. you were in a foreign country and even if you visited a prostitute, nobody would ever know, but you will never be able to face yourself in the mirror. Because even nobody will ever know, YOU know. You have made a conscious decision, and by going against that decision, you are effectively cheating yourself.

Lesson #2: Add spice and variety to your relationship.

We all love variety. If you were to eat the same McDonalds Cheeseburger for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of your life, I am sure you will tire of it even if you are a staunch fan. Ok, maybe Cheeseburger is not a good example… even the best French restaurant in the world. If you have to go to the same restaurant everyday for the rest of your life, at some point, you will call it quits too. You get my point… it is human to get bored.

So instead of taking it as an excuse to stray, do something about it. There are many ways to do it. One way is to take up classes together – like my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, they have taken golf lessons, salsa lessons, NLP lessons together (among others). By doing things together, you see sides of each other that you do not normally see. And it brings you closer as a couple as well. And when it comes to ‘in the bedroom’, hmm… I read somewhere that the male’s brain can be fooled by role playing and costumes. 😉

Lesson #3: Communication is the key to any successful relationship.

It is easy to drift apart after spending decades together. Especially when the kids come along and you do not communicate with each other any more. You talk about nothing about your kids. I am constantly amazed by people who feel that it is justified to put their kids before their spouses. Refer to my previous post. And when the kids are gone, you are not sure if you know your spouse at all.

Relationships are different from what they used to be. People used to marry for survival, for procreation purposes. But nowadays, people marry for love and companionship. If you do not find companionship as you used to in your relationship, then you are in the danger zone. My friend M told me that she and her husband lead totally separate lives. She does her own things, and so does her husband. They do not talk much. They are virtually two strangers living in the same house. In such circumstances, if M’s husband meets a colleague who’s so understanding, so warm, and always tuning into his every word, would he stray? Yeah, I would say – a pretty high chance.

My parents have been married for close to 30 years, and they spend every day together. My dad will send my mum to town where she does her grocery shopping, he will sometimes buy lunch back for her if he’s not too caught up at work, then they will have dinner together, and then they will watch some TV serials before calling it a day. They still hold hands, my dad will tease my mum, and they sometimes act like teenagers in love, and that’s just so sweet. I mean I used to find it disgusting when I was a growing teenager, but now as a married woman, I pray that my marriage too will last through the decades.

The key I believe is to communicate. Do not lose touch with your spouse. Understand his/her work. Get to know his/her friends. Go for a trip together, experience new things together. Engage in intelligent conversations, go back to when your romance first blossomed, remember those deep and probing conversations you had about the world, the universe or just about life? Do not only talk about mundane day-to-day things.

Well, to ‘Lost in L.A.’, my question to you is this – you might find the prostitute tantalizing now, but would you find her the same after 20 years? The same amount of time you have been married to your wife.

Your comments will be warmly embraced.

Category: musings, dating101, askviolet

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