Married Life

Is ‘Staying Married Happily Ever After’ for Real?

Kamal Nagpal helps de-mystify secrets to a long and happy marriage

If you’ve been paying attention around your surroundings, you are surely aware that happily married couples belong to the category of‘endangered species’. Although most relationships start out blissfully, what goes wrong? What really is a successful marriage? When does a marriage become bad?

Below is an excerpt from the article I read in Huffington Post, which set me thinking:

There are a variety of ways to define a successful marriage. For purposes here, I’ll define it this way: Two people who’ve been married for 25 years or more and still take an active interest in each other. They spend time together, genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and don’t keep super-sized secrets from one another (occasional white lies are okay). They are together purposefully rather than practically.

The above excerpt to me is a practical definition of a happy long-term marriage in today’s world. It does not talk of concepts such as love, fidelity, loyalty, etc. which mean different things to different people. Instead, it talks of being able to take an active interest in each other, wanting to spend time together and enjoying each other’s company.

Related reading: Adapting to Each Other: Some Do It Right

I will add another angle to it, a very important one especially to us Indians- the common goal of raising children well. I think we choose to be with each other everyday because of all the seeds we have sown together – a house, children, friends, our work place (we are both doctors and work at the same hospital), and we want our seeds to take root and sprout. A successful marriage to me means being committed to common goals and enjoying that commitment and its fruits.

married life

The concept of truthfulness is also dealt with more practically. The author is okay about occasional white lies, which is based on informed personal judgment, formed by a person in the coupledom and is based on particular sensitivities of the marriage.

Happily married: A contradiction in terms

I’m happily married but I like to pretend I’m single

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