The recipe for a happy marriage can be safely dubbed the world’s best-kept secret, given how many couples strife and struggle to keep the boat of marital bliss afloat. But every now and again, comes along a couple who succeed in finding a method to the madness and build their own version of happily-ever-after. Today, Bonobology brings you one such story, straight from the horse’s mouth…
Even though ours is a rather clichéd relationship, it is one in which I have indeed discovered the recipe for a happy marriage. Through all our ups and downs, there is so much that we have learned as a couple. Having grown together all these years, let me tell you what works and what does not, and what are definitely a few essentials for any good marriage. I am here today to let you in on those things. But let me start with a little background first.
The Correct Marriage Recipe, As Per Me
My partner and I both work in the media and communications sector. It isn’t uncommon for a lot of people who work in the media to find a spouse and happy marriage from the same profession. The wife has dabbled in everything from radio to TV, film, and internet content. She has even done a stint in journalism. Me? I am into advertising for the most part.
Not hardcore advertising – because I have flirted with TV and film too but advertising is my core competence and area of interest. Want to get right into how we started falling in love? Well, here it goes.
We met when I was pitching a TV idea to her. And yes, the show actually got made. We fell in love during the making of the show. And we never worked together again – ethics et al. Despite the different media sectors we dabble in, we do have a lot in common. We discuss scripts, ideas, casting, background music…be it for my ad films or her movies/shows. That has sparked our intellectual intimacy as nothing else could.
We have been around the block – we are both in our 40s and this is also a second marriage for us both. We are seen as (hopefully) a pretty relaxed couple. So that’s the good part – understanding and appreciating the pressures that come with the business is our core recipe for a happy marriage. But we are very different people, with very different habits. We have worked around those as well.
The Secret To A Successful Marriage
The wife found the crowd and company in the advertising industry to be pretentious and very overconfident. And a lot of the ads they make can be kind of boring too. I had to introduce her to my friends and ensure she started spending quality time with them – also explain how, unlike TV or movies, advertising is not an end to itself; it’s a small part of the marketing mix and the overconfidence is necessary to sell an idea to a client in 15 minutes. The ads she finds boring are selected from thousands to do the job – it’s part science.
She interrupts. When you are narrating the idea to her, she will interrupt. Not just her – all TV and film people do. And most advertising people will wait and hear your entire script or presentation. Then I realized that interrupting is not being rude, it’s part of the process. You can’t wait for three hours of narration, the point has to be made then, shared then and you move on after that.
She loves movie stars. My idea of stars is the people who come on Shark Tank. She watches English, French, Hindi, Marathi and Punjabi cinema. I watch only and only, American TV on Netflix. She loves music a little too much. I am tone-deaf and could not care less. She wants to drag me to any concert that comes to town and it’s a chore for me. She loves reading and can spend hours on a Sunday just reading. I am a lapsed reader and want to get out of the house on Sundays.
And slowly we started spending the evenings doing our own thing. Until we realized that it needn’t be that way. We realized that we had to create our own recipe for a happy marriage.
Create the right recipe for a good marriage
What is the recipe for a happy marriage? The secret to a successful marriage is not something you are blessed with. It is something you have to repeatedly create with sacrifice, good communication, and compromise in a relationship. Confused and wondering how to go about that? Then take our example and see how we do it.
Now, I watch one movie a week with her. We pick an American TV show we both like and watch it together most days of the week. She’s now a fan of certain genres of American TV too. It’s like worlds colliding but this routine is growing on the both of us. She introduced me to Sufi music and I am hooked to the same. I took her help in some ads, discussed marketing strategy on a portal her friend is starting, and other such things – now she’s learning to enjoy discussing advertising or at least doesn’t hate it.
The 5,000 books she has lying around have made me a reader again. The list of small things that make up our happy marriage goes on… and I have discovered that this is indeed the answer to how to stay happily married.
How To Be Happy In A Marriage? Make The Right Sacrifices
She has a gang of eight friends, they party together and go out for frequent girls’ night outs. I am more of a one-to-one-over-a-drink guy. Now, I look forward to the parties and she looks forward to the ‘meeting a single friend for a long evening’ thing. But we have made our sacrifices and struck a balance there too.
I get up at 4 am to work and now she’s up early too. Earlier, it used to be a Herculean task to drag her out of bed. Now, she chooses to wake up with me and for me. Clearly, the correct recipe for marriage involves doing the little things for your partner. In the morning, she exercises and I plan to…. Okay, that’s just wishful thinking. But I’m a step ahead of where I was yesterday.
So, have we made the final recipe for a happy marriage?
Yes, I can say this with full confidence that we have discovered the secret to a happy marriage and our marriage recipe is indeed in place. So, all is well in paradise and the proof of that is that despite all this, we are very much the same people before we got married. Want to know how to stay happily married? We have just picked up each other’s better habits and learned how to make adjustments for one another.
It’s made us realize that the secret to a happy marriage is celebrating the things we love about each other, showing each other we care, and fixing the small things. Big differences are not fixable and cannot be altered monumentally. Couples who have huge problems either end up divorced or lead loveless lives.
Small differences are and should be fixed. It’s stupid not to. So take this advice for a happy marriage. Without it, there’s a danger of drifting apart or no longer having your spouse as your best friend. And here’s the most important happy marriage tip and some food for thought: If your spouse is not your best friend, then what even is the point of going through the travails of life with them?
If one needs advice for a happy marriage or wants to know what makes a marriage strong, they must think more about the adjustments that they make for their partner. Spending your entire life with someone is about understanding their habits and making room for accepting them.
The recipe for a happy marriage lies in two people who are childishly in love, are willing to be better for the other person, practice good conflict resolution, and have good communication as well.
While love should be considered the most important ingredient in a marriage recipe, it is certainly not. Companionship is. And all of the important elements such as care, concern, compromise, adjustment, sacrifice and understanding fall under the umbrella of companionship.
The five ingredients should be commitment, sexual compatibility, patience, selflessness, and communication.