“It’s a rare thing to find yourself in another”
Marriage has so many myths around it. But an undying fact is that; it’s pure bliss to get married to someone you can truly live with for the rest of your life. A happy marriage requires a certain degree of work, just like any result-oriented thing in life. There’s a foundation that needs to be laid down before you reap the rewards of a great marriage.
Marriage is the most basic and intimate of social institutions, and a happy marriage starts with getting to know your partner beyond the surface level. The dating stage is a great way to do this, although you can’t truly decipher the behavior of your partner until you live in the same space with him/her.
However, here’s one thing you should know— don’t base your marriage on the opinion of others, or what works for others. This is because what works for others might not necessarily work for you.
Be different. Stay different.
How to Stay Different
For most people, the search to find a compatible partner is constantly on the rise. And to assist in this search, businesses have invested huge amounts of money in tech to enhance this search for the perfect other half.
But then, staying married is not as easy as searching for a partner. A study conducted by Eli Finkel in 2014 reveals that marriage is the most and least satisfying institution there ever has been. “Americans today have elevated their expectations of marriage and can achieve an unprecedentedly high level of marital quality, but only if they invest a lot of effort,” he says.
Staying different is a virtue of being exceptional— not following the norm or stereotypes. This virtue of staying different is one of the keys that open the door to a happy marriage.
The Infinite Couple— Baba Richard and Sri Namaste, have been together for 18 years and they exemplify the perks of staying different as a couple. Richard and Namaste are the founders of The Framework of Marriage Mastery, The DYAD Paradigm, and the Power of Eleven Marriage program, where they assist people to have a better and powerful long-lasting marriage.
Being different allows couples the freedom to make decisions that are not bound by “socially acceptable norms,” and this cuts across several concepts which may range from how communication, showing affection, intimacy, finances, responsibilities, and career, is done. What may seem as completely unacceptable to a particular couple might be the icing on the cake for another.
For the Infinite Couple, one of the things that have made their marriage a happy one is staying different.
Here are some ways to stay different;
Communication is of the essence in any healthy marriage, and effective communication is a life-long journey. Communication can be likened to a river. When feelings and opinions flow smoothly between partners, it feels really good and brings about high spirits. On the other hand, when communication gets blocked, there is a lot of built-up pressure which leads to catharsis when there is an “opening-up.”
Richard and Namaste advise that; “communication is not simply talking, it’s etymology means ‘to connect’. The majority of communication is not words that are said, it is tone, body language, behaviors, and presence. When this is understood, it becomes easy to see why communication exercises – which is called “communication praxis” are vital. Praxis means practice and what you practice you get good at.”
Effective communication is not inborn. It’s something that is constantly learned. As a couple, you don’t have to follow any stereotype of “how to communicate with your partner.” Understand what works for your partner and what doesn’t— base how you communicate with them on this.
However, if communication is not done properly, it hinders the flow of passion and love between couples, which leads to an unhappy marriage.
Gender roles have a very significant role to play in a marriage. A mismatch of gender roles is one of the leading causes of divorce. Gender roles and expectations play a germane role in decision-making, family interaction, and overall marital satisfaction.
Over the years, gender roles have been determined by society— of which the traditional family pattern posits that the male is the breadwinner and the female is the homemaker. However, in recent times— there has been a shift in gender roles, with the labor market witnessing an influx of females in it. Without a doubt, this has influenced the responsibilities of couples in marriage.
The Infinite Couple emphasizes that; “there is no competition between the Masculine and the Feminine, only misunderstanding of each other’s roles and position.”
As a couple, you can decide to stay different and be flexible with roles, putting into consideration your partner’s strengths and weaknesses, and not necessarily what society deems as right or wrong. Flexible roles often contribute to a happy marriage, as opposed to rigid roles.
Sexual intimacy is a very important aspect of marriage. Sex is an entire bedrock on its own, and it increases the level of commitment and emotional connection in marriage. Sex is known to have emotional and psychological benefits like reduction in depression and a significant increase in happiness. This is partly due to brain chemicals like endorphins, and also oxytocin which is released during sex.
As a married couple, it is quite necessary to try different things. Try extraordinary stuff that is different from the norm, don’t follow stereotypes or “routines”, break boundaries.
“Within a committed marriage, trying things during sex that are conventionally considered “out of the box” or “extreme” creates an opportunity for intimacy far beyond the common. It is a means of exploring the depth of one’s emotional and spiritual inner landscape together, “ says Namaste.
Happiness and satisfaction in marriage help to improve mental health and overall well-being. Ensure that you understand your partner to a large extent, and also find working solutions that help strengthen the marriage, but are quite unique to both parties.