How to rekindle friendship after marriage
Certain concepts of life in our minds are many times influenced by the media. When it comes to marriage, we often have some Bollywoodish romantic notions about love and sharing lives together. What we forget is that, firstly, movies aren’t real and secondly, they mostly always show how two people get together in the end for a happilyever-after. But is there really a happily-ever-after? There could be, but it takes hard work.
When two friends get married, it’s a beautiful thing. Friendship is based on bonding, unconditional support, openness, trust,
transparency, mutual respect, understanding and attachment. To convert that into a life-long pact is to convert friendship into
something much deeper.
Friendship now expands as a bigger bond of marriage is created. It is a huge shift. The bond of marriage means that now, the earlier relationship as two friends does not exist anymore, as they have decided to become one.
Unlike friendship, there are no two separate entities anymore in marriage. There is no “I” and “You” after marriage, it is always “We.” So, marriage consists of all the ingredients of friendship plus commitments as a family.
Friendship after marriage essentially gets diluted. Why? Because, first of all, friendship by itself is a non-committed association maintained outside home from a distance, whereas friendship after marriage is within a home in a 24×7 monotonous and routine environment with all its challenges and commitments.
When, after living together, a couple suddenly realizes that marriage is not as easy-breezy as their friendship was, there can be
disappointment, expectations, depression and many other problems as individuals and as a couple.
So, what can a couple do to keep the original friendship or “spark” alive after marriage?
Break the monotony and bring in suitable variations from time to time.
What is the ‘spark’ anyway? And why is it present in friendship and fades away in marriage?
The spark is all about seeking each other, love, romance, intimacy, etc. Unfortunately, this often ceases to be priority after marriage. These emotions are not a “specific event-based emotions.” They deserve to be in every breath, every moment, always in the mind and used all the time in different forms.
It should be an all-senses affair.
Sense of touch: Sensual and non-sensual touch.
Sensual touch and caring touch both should be used abundantly and appropriately as per various situations.
Sense of smell: To be used appropriately.
Sense of smell is important to human relationships as it can trigger emotions and behaviour.
Sense of speech: Using effective communication skills. It is the usage of words that makes or breaks any relation.
Sense of hearing: We often say “listen to me” , not “hear me”. Hearing is not listening. Listening is to give uninterrupted attention and patiently trying to understand. The act of listening involves complex, effective, cognitive and behavioural processes.
Sense of sight: Using visual techniques in connecting. It is important to maintain “eye to eye” contact in a loving, sensitive and caring way.
Even if you know each other quite well, the desire to know each other should be enhanced after marriage, to make the bonding stronger. The “discovery channel” should always be “on.” You will be surprised to know how you come across new things, new thoughts, even creativity, as you explore more and more about each other. Our minds are very deep, we can never stop unfolding them layer by layer. Personalities are very dynamic
To keep the essence of friendship alive after marriage we have to make a conscious choice of maintaining a level of excitement,
liveliness, complete acceptance and caring for each other, which is very much in our hands.
To add to this, the relationship should not be problem-based but solution-based. Let go of the blame game and strive for a better mutual solution for all challenges that may come. Turn everything into an opportunity to grow individually and as a couple.
This is when the unique combination of friendship and marriage will create something new and exciting for the rest of our lives.