There is a no dearth to the stories we hear these days of people who are married but not as happy as they are “supposed to be”.
The biggest bone of contention vary from differing personalities, annoying parents-in-law, lack of common interests, irritating habits in the spouse to a host of other problems.
“I am very unhappy. What is the solution?” we hear them cry. And it is not only “them”. I am sure all of us have been through the ups and downs – some more resiliently with their lips sealed, the others venting from time to time.
The long and the short of it is there are no simple solutions. There are a few basic facts to remember.
Fact #1 : We are dealing with “people”, which means that we have to handle as many personalities as there are people. It would be very simplistic to imagine that there is a “solution”.
Fact #2 : “Accept them as they are and get married – you can change them afterwards”. How often have we heard this advice before marriage? This is just a decoy to push the son/daughter into getting married. No one changes after marriage. Even if they change, you can never be sure whether it is for the better or the worse. Our spouses are adults with an established personality, not children who can be moulded. Moulding may have been possible in the era of child marriages and then only the little girl could be moulded according to the wishes of the parent-in-law who would have been the primary care-givers.
There is a popular joke: After marriage both husband and wife are unhappy. The wife complains that the husband has not changed after marriage and the husband complains that the wife has changed after marriage.
Fact #3 : Your spouse may not be doing things wilfully to hurt you. It may just be who (s)he is. You need to analyse for yourself (no one can give you a readymade recipe) and decide how to deal with it. Can you ignore it and get on with your life? Can you make small changes that will help you get on with life? e.g. Your husband snores so much at night, it is impossible for you to sleep. Can you go to another room and sleep there? OR He does not want the fan, you can’t sleep without it. Can you find a compromise? Turn on the fan but not at full blast?
Fact #4 : Annoying parents-in-law are another bone of contention. You cannot wish them away, but you can certainly choose to ignore them. If they do not allow you to do so and keep flying in your face, be upfront; don’t be afraid to speak your mind. You cannot expect to top the popularity charts with everyone. You just have to live with that fact.
Fact #5 : There are no easy “fix it” handbooks for unhappy marriages. You have to deal with it. Either stay, endure, fight, get your way, give some OR if it is really unendurable, quit. Be happy being on your own or with another person who suits your expectations better and let your ex-spouse do the same.
Get on with life either way. Don’t carry your burden around. You will only break your own back.