While we were dating, I frequently asked my husband, “Why do you think you love me?” And my poor husband had to hunt for a new answer every time. The other day I wondered, why had I stopped brooding over these things? Had the mundane taken over? What was it? Had there been a dynamic shift in our personalities or perspectives? I found myself curious to understand how marriage has changed for us.
After being married for over a decade, I revisited the idea of love. How has its meaning changed/evolved for me over time? The images of romantic love for many of us would include roses, romantic dates, diamonds, and fiery sex. We all fall prey to that kuch kuch hota hai feeling. We want our partners to be mushy and romantic. But changes in marriage are inevitable and should be welcomed even! Let’s see how.
Changes In Marriage Are Inevitable But They Can Be Good
I have to confess, we have had our fair share of romance in the good old days of dating in college. There were many occasions loaded with roses, surprises, and even long romantic vacations. We read Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems together. And so many other things — some cute, some crazy, some lovey-dovey, some wild! And I must say that I enjoyed every bit of that phase; but then these popular images fade and become mere memories. Because it’s true. A relationship changes after marriage in many ways. I still do love flowers, but the romantic meanings attached to them have perhaps changed. What are the things then, that keep us going? Let’s navigate how marriage has changed us.
How Marriage Has Changed Us
He encourages me to chase my dreams. After nine months of our marriage, I joined an MPhil course, in a different state. I lived away for almost two years; he never complained. He happily joined me in all my endeavors, and that made the journey more beautiful. I remember he was really anxious before my doctoral defense.
He was the first person I called after I was awarded my doctorate degree. He waited for me to come home and narrate the entire sequence of events, the proceedings of my defense. He was as involved in my struggles and success as I was, as happy and as proud — if not more. That is love over time. It is consistent support and finding shelter within each other.
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Interests don’t matter, support does
We don’t have matching interests, yet we take deep interest in each other’s and show each other we care. He is usually the first to read my write-ups, not always by choice. He has no inclination towards poetry, yet he manages to sit through my occasional poetry recitals. My husband once came home from work and told me, “I shared with my boss that your write-up is doing so well.” The look of pride in his eyes as he told me, is something that is etched in my memory forever. These are the beautiful changes in marriage I’ve been talking about.
Developing respect creates love over time
I think the success of any relationship lies in respect for each other. Things we wouldn’t dare admit but secretly admire about each other. The way he has accepted my family, their strengths as well as their eccentricities. I keep falling in love with my husband again and again when I see him with our three-year-old daughter. He is so calm, patient and engaged. That’s how a relationship changes after marriage. There is more maturity.
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A relationship changes over time and a sync is established
There are times when we catch each other thinking about things in a similar fashion. For example, we’d be at a party and he might suddenly lean over and whisper, “Isn’t this person too cheesy?” And I would be thinking exactly the same thing! We also share spontaneity: “What should we have for dinner?” And the instant answer is kebabs! When I see other couples, I can almost always tell that they are in sync with each other as well. A good marriage will do that to you — make your relationship get better over time. By the way, that has got nothing to do with kebabs!
Yes, we celebrate differences and entertain relationship arguments too. We do have flaming fights, but over the years we have learned to rest our conflicts with happy endings. I am short-tempered, I need to vent my emotions. I am in the habit of writing long text messages, expressing my grievances. I seldom get a reply – instead a contemplative silence follows.
At one point, we had even started writing our complaints on little notes of paper and would pin them on a board. I finally created a scrapbook out of those stickers, some fond memories to cherish and encapsulate our change in love!
I believe that we have evolved from our previous definition of love as being all about mush and romance, to one that is about ‘finding love in small things and in the everyday.’ That is how marriage has changed us.
Absolutely! A relationship changes over time and it can certainly change for the better. When two people grow together emotionally, become more mature and share a deeper understanding of one another — their relationship becomes unstoppable.
Yes. Love can definitely grow deeper and stronger over time, especially if you take the help of love-mapping.
It can go either way depending on how you nurture it. If you work on your relationship every single day, it could turn into the best relationship. But if you start becoming complacent and take things for granted – your love may fade.