The consensus opinion on love marriage is that if you knew your partner before marriage and were going out with her/him, then marriage hardly makes a difference in your life.
I can tell you this is definitely not the case.
If you’ve read my other stories on Bonobology, you’d know I did indeed have a love marriage.
Before marriage, I lived in a typical bachelor pad, which was like a cross between a place that had been bombed and one that had recently undergone an earthquake. I was the ruler of my tiny kingdom (read rented room).
The things that I needed most were always within reach. And sometimes, that meant them being on the bed, right next to me. Bachelors (or bachelorettes) will often tell you how the part where you sleep on the bed is always a ‘shrinking island’, constantly being infested by things that are absolutely essential to you and cannot be anywhere else – books, charger, guitar (in my case), the laptop, a disheveled bedspread/blanket, keys to your vehicle/house and much, much more. But hey, after marriage, all this goes. Because there is another whole person who will be next to you.
Jokes apart, after marriage, it does become all about sharing spaces. What you considered your solitary kingdom, is no longer such. Things become more about ‘sharing’ than about ‘owning’. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot about shared spaces. While occasional tiffs can’t be avoided (it’s even considered healthy), they can be resolved sooner if you put in that ‘little’ bit from your end.
Related reading: The first year of marriage
Keep things back where you took them from. I cannot stress how important this is, particularly if you want to live a stress-free married life. For some strange reason, guys are wired to not do this at the first instance. I have realised this the hard way. In spite of being careful to put things back where they belong, there continue to be slip-ups. These aren’t to be worried about; you are human after all. What you need to do is be aware. The same goes for the ladies too. Best avoid leaving things around while you can. You’ll thank me later.
Both of you are now in a relationship where there will be a lot of overlapping zones. You’ll be giving in some and holding on to others. After a few initial hiccups, things should start falling into place. That said, it’s still perfectly ok to want a little privacy, a little bit of ‘me’ space. And if your partner comes to you with this expectation, grant it. While marriage does mean ‘sharing and caring’, it should never be an impediment to your personal space if you demand some. Everything, in moderation, always drives towards a more fruitful relationship.
One of the fundamental mistakes that you can make regarding common space is how you treat it. It is a ‘co-space’ and not just a shared space. You are not a ‘roomie’ anymore, sharing living space with someone. This is your life-partner we’re talking about. Think about your living space from your partner’s perspective. Make it warm and comfortable. This is the place you’ll be returning to and facing your partner in every day. Wouldn’t you want it to be more welcoming? So put that personal touch into it and watch how it changes the dynamics of your relationship as well.
Related reading: Take Me as I’am: The 8th Vow
Last, and definitely not the least, put your heart in your space. If you are the guy, don’t go ‘oh but she’s the one who is supposed to take care of this’. You’d be doing a great injustice to not only your life partner, but your relationship and your own self as well. Help put the house together with her. Maybe dust sometimes. Choose furniture. If you have a little space, start a terrace garden.
Put bits of your own self within the shared space, so that when you come back home at the end of a long day, you can resonate with them and have a memorable evening together.
In our day-to-day existence, our living space often gets neglected and ends up turning into a place to just crash at the end of the day. After marriage, it has the potential for much more. A good time necessarily doesn’t always have to be a fancy dinner in an expensive restaurant or a movie for two. It can also be a conversation had over cups of tea in the evening or warming your hands over endless chatter under the night sky. The place where you live often has the potential to turn your marriage around. Next time you unlock that door and step into your home, make sure you give it all the attention it deserves.