May 2015 By Malvika Dadoo Agarwal Have you ever wished for some training in anticipating and dealing with relationship issues post marriage? Have you desired to strengthen the bond you have or are likely to have with your partner? If so, then this book is for you. The authors, Sujatha and Advesh Sharma, have shared the wisdom garnered from 30 years of experience in marriage counselling, and have highlighted useful guidelines, skill-sets and insights to create harmony in committed relationships. The first section enables the reader to understand the changing context of marital relationships, evaluate his or her own relationship problems, understand the need for premarital preparedness or training, and gain insight into the nature of intimate relationships. It accentuates that we ourselves are the chief protagonists in this drama of life, and only self-transformation can pave the way for transformation in others around us. The second section of the book draws a beautiful analogy between the “navratna” _the nine precious gemstones that bring good luck and protect the wearer from harm, and the nine key personality attributes that enhance marital happiness and longevity. Each attribute is linked to a core value that helps navigate relationships smoothly and successfully. Across nine chapters, each relationship navratna is explained through easy illustrations, exercises, tips and techniques to enhance these attributes. These are: Trust is one of the most universal of the core values that underlines intimacy in a relationship. Freedom helps in building equal and mature relationships which lead to true autonomy. Respect underlines relational well-being, i.e. self-esteem. Co-operation is the heart of bringing flexibility in a relationship. Compassion is the foundation of empathy. Selflessness underlies the quality of nurturance. Honesty is the hallmark of good communication. Tolerance is the quintessential universal value that is the basis for conflict resolution. Courage enables creative coping and is a key attribute in facing the vicissitudes that challenge the stability of marital relationships. The book concludes by demolishing social taboos against seeking professional help when things still fail to work out, or take a turn for the worse. Though an easy read, it is thought-provoking, and a comprehensive guide on how to build a healthy, harmonious relationships with one’s significant other.
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